Monday, January 21, 2013

Afternoon Tea at the Oak Room

A perfectly personalized table setting.
The menu for Afternoon Tea at the Oak Room was a surprise, even after we sat down and looked at the official menu clapboard. We didn't get any more information than what had been presented on the website. Three of our party chose the Royal Tea, which included a glass of Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine ($5 more), and one person chose the Complete Tea plus a Red Blossom Three Chrysanthemums blossoming tea. Everyone else also made their tea selections, which included the St. Francis Holiday blend, the Wild Berries and Blossoms, plus Chamomile Citron which were courtesy of Mighty Leaf. The sparkling wine showed up immediately, however, our teapots lagged behind. They were lovely small glass pots, which you could sweeten with your own personal pot of honey, milk and lemon in any combination.

Beautiful flowering tea from Red Blossom!

Herbal tea with milk.

 After a bit our servers appeared like magic with a modern twist on the tiered serving tray that holds all the components of afternoon tea. We enjoyed our maple glazed scones with a side of whipped cream, or a spoonful from our personal pots of jam which were blackberry, strawberry or marmalade. The towerng stack of salmon on little toasts amazed us all. The thin delicate slices of cucumber on cream cheese were lovely to look at and taste, while egg salad triangles 'rounded' out our trio. Our server let us know we could ask for more of anything (except sparkling wine refills) for no additional cost. We made sure to snag enough salmon for everyone at the table to get two of the mountainous sandwiches. The waitstaff also offered us PB&J (families can come together and enjoy this tea) as well, but we politely declined. Strawberries with cream delighted everyone; the fruit was ripe and yummy. Our four individual desserts were on the table when we arrived, but we resisted the "dessert first" credo and enjoyed them after the main course.

3 trays for four ladies.
Scones, sandwiches, and fruit- unlimited.
Three sandwiches came with the original tray.

Individual desserts.
The desserts included a raspberry tart, vanilla macaroon, glazed mini cream puff, plus a layered chocolate and cream pastry. Tea Time resisted hoarding any extra desserts, but if you so desired, you could also ask for seconds of these tasty little gems. Tea Time can't promise that you'll get the same menu as we ate during our visit, and we would suggest calling ahead if you have dietary restrictions as the staff at the Westin-St. Francis was was very accommodating. We also encourage to you to ask to have your tea pot topped off whenever you see a waiter. If you drink tea like Tea Time, tiny pretty clear pots sometimes just aren't as functional as the large size traditional tea pot.

This is our first foray into the realm of Hotel afternoon tea. We'll be bringing you more afternoon tea updates as the year moves along. Please let us know if you think we should check out a place! Or if you'd like to do a guest afternoon tea post, that could be an option! We want to know about your afternoon tea experiences too.

Tea Time hopes that a  mountain of Salmon awaits you at the Oak Room.