Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Cozy Affair

By Dru Ann

How perfectly cozy to attend a tea with good friends. Several weeks ago we went to an Afternoon Tea, also known as English Tea or High Tea, at the Ritz Carlton. The setting was very nice, with Christmas decorations to highlight the festive season. We were also entertained with Christmas tunes by a pianist. Our tea started with....




A fine tea selection that included the traditional Earl Gray, as well as chamomile, green tea and English Breakfast. I chose to be daring and selected the Vanilla Bean tea which was quite delicious.




Then we were served four finger sandwiches starting at the top:


  • Prosciutto, Butter, Cream Cheese, Asparagus, Chive, Cream Cheese Star on White
  • Jumbo Gulf Shrimp, Herbed Cream Cheese, Chives on Whole Wheat
  • Classic English Cucumber, Chive Cream Cheese, Chervil Sprig on White
  • Smoked Salmon Rosette, Salmon Cream Cheese, Capers, American Caviar, Dill Sprig on Pumpernickel



Jars of honey and jellies, currants and butter balls adorned the table.




And we had a choice of lemon slices, raw or white sugar cubes.




Then the tower of delectable goodies arrived.




From the top left: Éclair, Fresh Fruit Tart, Shortbread Cookie, Opera Torte, Vanilla Cupcake w/whipped cream topping and chocolate dots, Red Velvet Cupcake w/cream cheese topping, Palmier, Chocolate Dipped Strawberry, and Blueberry Scone. What I ate was scrumptious.

And in the tradition that is the English Tea affair, we all wore pearls and when sipping our delicious tea, our pinkies were extended.

Have you ever attended an English Tea?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I grew up with afternoon tea, not the dainty morsels you had but cucumber, egg and cress, ham sandwiches, cakes and of course tea. One thing was hammered into me was to never, never extend the little finger, it must be tucked in. Very non-U and lowerclass.

Lori Cimino said...

No I have never had a tea party this delicious. Only tea party i have had is with my mom when i was little. and it was really water. I have heard there is a local tea shop that does have high tea parties. I think in the new year i will attend.

Lesley Cookman said...

Well, yes, but then I'm English and have lived all my life in England. So funny - a bit like attending a Wild West event in England.

Bookwoman said...

Glen Eyrie here in Colorado Springs does a wonderful tea - they do Victorian Teas, High Teas, Summer teas on the terrace. It's a treat! And I like to go with friends at least once a year.

holdenj said...

I've never attended one either, but think it would be a fun event, especially somewhere like the Ritz Carlton!

Sheila Connolly said...

When I was in college, I spent a summer working in London, and on a day off I treated myself to tea at the London Ritz, which was much as you described. It was made more intriguing by the presence of a young and very self-important young Indian visitor (if he wasn't a prince, he sure thought he was), accompanied by two elderly English ladies who were hanging on his every word. I felt like I'd stepped into a novel.

PS. Why is my verification word "gurgl"? Did your post make me hungrey?

Tonya Kappes said...

Hi Dru!! I have had English Tea at the Ritz in New Orleans! It was so much fun.

Heather Webber said...

I've been to a couple of teas but none were as fancy as this! It's such a treat, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Dru, great recap of a lovely tea, spent with dear friends. Everyone should take time out for an afternoon tea with friends, it is truly something very special.

Rural View said...

I went to a prep school near St. Louis in the 1950s. We were taught things like proper posture, how to sit like a lady, and to pour at tea. High tea was a regular event where we entertained board members, etc. Most girls hated it but I enjoyed the experience.

Miki Willa said...

I enjoyed high tea in Victoria, British Columbia many years ago. I remember it being very fancy and delicious. It was great fun.

signlady217 said...

Never attended one of these, but sure would like to! Sounds like a lot of fun with good friends. (Every time I read a Laura Childs' Teashop Mystery, I want to go to a tea shop!)

Anonymous said...

I love high tea! I've attended a few of them over the years. You mentioned pearls, but what about hats? :o)

Brandy said...

I have never attended a High Tea, but there's always hope for the future! Sounds like a lovely, and scrumptious, time.

Lover of Books said...

My church does a Christmas Tea every year and I enjoy it soo much! This looks like fun too!

Aurian said...

I have enjoyed a few High tea's before, but none so scrumptious as you describe them! I truly love them, and try to fit them in my busy schedule more often!

Debra said...

No, but I always wanted to try clotted cream. Did you have some?

Vickie said...

I attended a tea party that my daughter requested for her 7th birthday party this year. It was a really nicely done affair that could have been pawned off since it was for children, but the bakery did a really sweet effort. Scones, tarts, cookies, two different kinds of tea, ham and cheese sandwiches....a good time had by all.

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like a wonderful thing to do, especially around the Christmas season. Love the photos.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Rural View said...

Debra, I had clotted cream with my scone and tea at Kensington Castle (Princess Di's and Princess Margaret's home at different times) in the Greenery. Lovely setting for a delicious treat.

Laineshots said...

What gorgeous pictures, Dru! Absolutely beautiful. I've been to afternoon tea at the Ritz in several different cities, as well as the Four Seasons and St. Regis. I've catered several teas and have done many of my own. Scones with jam and clotted cream are a common treat around our house. I'd have loved to be there with you and your friends. I love the pearls!

But just for clarification... what you've pictured is Afternoon Tea. High Tea, though it sounds elegant, is actually a very humble meal, the workingman's evening meal--as in, "it's high time we had something to eat!"