Afternoon Tea in Boston

 

Afternoon Tea: The phrase conjures images of women daintily munching on scones while gracefully sipping a cup of Earl Grey.  Afternoon Tea is a classy tradition in certain parts of the world.  Alas, America is not one of those places.  However, as a crass American, I can’t help but attribute a certain glamor to the custom of Afternoon Tea.  This is helped by my belief that there is a proper wardrobe for Tea Parties.  I can totally get behind any food event that requires a change in costume.

Given my romantic notions surrounding afternoon tea, you can imagine my delight in finding places in greater Boston that serve it!  After careful research, here are the top contenders:

1)  The Langham:  A very nice hotel in Boston with good restaurants.

  • Menu:  Good tea selection (lots of options for Black, Green, Herbals, and even White tea!).   The food selection also looks top notch with several sandwich options, the typical scone assortment and desert.
  • Price: Average?  I’m not exactly a connoisseur, but $30 seems to be in the upper-middle price point for this sort of thing.
  •  Fanciness Factor:  Looks promising.  The photos ooze class and femininity.  Fancy tea frocks do not seem out of place.

2)  The Taj:  Another very nice hotel in Boston.  I have not eaten at any of their restaurants, but I’ve heard good things.

  • Menu:  Another good tea selection with information about the styles and pairings.  I’m not as impressed with their sandwich selection (why do people insist on putting egg salad on menus?!), but I’m sure the quality will be good.  Lots of alcoholic options, for any lushes out there.
  • Price:  Coming in high at $38 per person.
  •  Fanciness Factor:  High.  The Taj is one of the fancier hotels in Boston and stands where the former Ritz Carlton used to be.  I believe a fancy frock would be required here.

3)  The Four Seasons:  I’m sensing a theme… Another very nice hotel in Boston, which houses one of my favorite Boston restaurants: The Bristol Lounge.

  •  Menu:  Good tea selection, but no information given on sandwich or pastry options.  Typically that would be enough to disqualify a restaurant, but prior experience at this establishment suggests the food will be good.
  •  Price: Good question.  The price isn’t listed, which should raise a few eyebrows.
  • Fanciness Factor: Promising but probably more low-key than either The Langham or The Taj.

4)   The Tea Leaf:  A tea house on Moody St. in Waltham!  They’re bucking the trend!  I’ve never heard of this place prior to today, but I do know where it’s located.

  •  Menu:  The best so far.  An insanely good tea selection and a full menu of goodies ranging from quiche to the traditional scones.
  • Price: The lowest, coming in at $24
  • Fanciness Factor:  Low.  Photos do not look promising.  A fancy frock may be entirely out of place for a neighborhood tea joint.

 

The Verdict:  I’m thinking I might start with The Langham.  I really do want to wear a fancy frock to tea.  I think it will heighten the experience, and who doesn’t love getting dressed up?  Terrorists, that’s who.  Since I’m not a terrorist, it’s time for a fancy frock!  Hopefully I can get out there this weekend.  Keep your eyes open for a review next week and hit up the comments section with any other Afternoon Tea recommendations!