Tea has been on my mind lately. Not just because I’m married to a Brit who enjoys more than a few cups daily. Not because I come from a family of Persians who drink tea like it’s tap water. Tea for me brings back memories of chats with my grandmother and rainy days indoors.
That said, the absolute best way to enjoy tea is the “proper” way – afternoon tea. When you think of Los Angeles, you don’t immediately think of great spots to find afternoon tea. There is one place, however – The Peninsula Beverly Hills -- that does afternoon tea very well.
On a recent afternoon my British husband and I ventured out to experience tea at the Peninsula. Before arriving my husband thought there wouldn’t be enough food for him and that we should plan on lunch afterwards. By the time we left, however, he admitted he had been wrong.
When you arrive you’re greeted with an abundance of sunlight in the Peninsula’s inviting Living Room, a fresh bouquet of packed hot pink carnations at every table (yes, carnations) and the service is every bit what you’d expect at a luxury hotel.
When we sat down, the waiter handed us a tea menu with an extraordinary variety of teas from all over the world. I chose the Darjeeling and my husband the “House Blend”. We were then each given a complimentary glass of champagne (I had two – the second is extra) and so it began. A 3-tier tea tray was put in front of us – the waiter recommended that we with start with the assortment of scones (as they were piping hot) that came with fresh jam and clotted cream – wow! We followed that with an assortment of tea sandwiches including salmon, cucumber, egg salad and, my favorite, the brie sandwich. And, finally, our afternoon concluded with a lovely display of desserts including macaroons and cakes.
We left feeling a little more proper and a lot more satisfied.
Until next time.