Afternoon tea in SF?

Old Nov 13th, 2010, 06:01 AM
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Afternoon tea in SF?

Years ago, my mother took us girls to tea at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, now we will be visiting my sister and her family for Christmas in California and I'd like to take my niece and sister to an Afternoon Tea in a similar place. What is the best afternoon in San Francisco? The Ritz?
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 06:11 AM
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The Palace Hotel, but we warned, it will cost you:

http://www.sfpalace.com/assets/u/Gar...ernoonTea2.pdf
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 08:01 AM
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This is from Chowhound..would suggest you double check

Here's list of all the hotels that serve English style tea -- its a year old. NOT recommend the Ritz - its the most expensive, least amount of food, and poor service.
High Tea v. Afternoon Tea - At the hotels, I think only the Windsor Tea room comes even close to serving high tea. If you want high tea, you need to go to Lovejoy's in Noe Valley. If you want afternoon tea, any of the hotels would be fine.

I like the small scones at the Stanford, comfy atmosphere of the Windsor. The Rotunda is a little too ladies-who-lunch but their food is nice. Laurel Court had lovely tea service last time I was there. The Garden Court is sooo "historic San Francisco" its just a marvelous place to dawdle but the food has gone downhill in recent years.
Ritz Carlton
600 Stockton St (@ California)(415) 296-7465
Mon-Thurs 3:30-4:30 pm, Fri 2:30-4:30 pm, Sat-Sun 1-4:30pm http://www.ritzcarlton.com/
Tea services ranging from: $29 - $41
Famous for their children's Teddy Bear Christmas Tea. The Traditional Tea arrives on a tiered carousel with tea sandwiches, a scone with Devonshire Cream, lemon curd, and preserves, English Tea cakes, a fresh fruit tartlet, a Madeleine, a Florentine, and shortbread. Add a champagne cocktail, to the Traditional Tea for the Premier Tea, or add champagne, chocolate, and strawberries for the Royal Tea. A vegetarian option is also available.
Garden Court (Sheraton Palace Hotel)
2 New Montgomery St.
Tues - Sat 2 - 4 pm
http://www.gardencourt-restaurant.com/
Tea services ranging from $22 - $85
Beautiful dining room in San Francisco with gilded marble columns, a leaded glass-dome ceiling, crystal chandeliers, and gold leaf sconces. A harpist provides soothing background music at tea time. The Garden Court Tea includes scones with thick cream, marmalade, honey and lemon curd, an assortment of pastries and fruit tarts, and tea sandwiches. For more $$, you can upgrade your tea with a glass of sparkling wine or champagne. You can order the Exclusive Tea for Two which includes the equivalent of two full tea services with a half-bottle of Pommery champagne instead of two glasses. Has children's Prince and Princess Tea option.
Windsor Tea Room (The King George Hotel)
334 Mason Street (@ Geary) (415) 781-5050 Sat - Sun 2-5 pm
http://www.kinggeorge.com/dining-tearoom-teamenu.html
Tea services ranging from $8.50 - $18.00
Very British experience with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth peering down from the wall. Their most elaborate tea service, the King George's tea includes a bottomless pot of tea, a scone with preserves and Double Devon Cream, a refreshing mixed green salad and a selection of two tea sandwiches. The tea concludes with a choice of tea cookies or a fresh fruit tart. For a service that more closely approximates an English High Tea, there's the Cheese and Fresh Fruit Platter.
The Rotunda (Neiman-Marcus)
150 Stockton Street (415) 362-4777
Daily 2:30 - 5 pm http://www.rotundarestaurant.com/
Tea services ranging from $18.50 - $29.00
The Rotunda is a circular restaurant under the NM glass dome and is a gorgeous setting. Full Tea includes a selection of finger sandwiches, flaky scones, petite cookies, tarts, and other house-made sweets. Add a glass of champagne for additional $. If you want one of the coveted booths overlooking the lower shopping levels and Union Square, call ahead for a reservation.
Laurel Court (The Fairmont)
950 Mason (@ California) (415) 772-5260 Mon - Sun 2:30 - 4:30 pm
Tea services ranging from $32.00 - $57.00 for adults, $25.00 for children
Laurel Court restaurant in the lobby the Fairmont. The standard tea starts with housemade scones served with lemon curd, Devonshire Cream and Sonoma preserves. This is followed by an array of finger sandwiches, a selection of French pastries, and a glass of Champagne. For additional $$, you can also upgrade your tea with caviar and a higher quality Champagne. An á la carte menu offers all the components of the complete tea service plus seasonal berries with Devonshire Cream and a selection of English tea biscuits. Sparkling wine, port, and sherry can also be ordered by the glass.
Renaissance Stanford Court Hotel
905 California St. (@ Powell) (415) 989-3500
Daily 2:30 - 5 pm in the Lobby Lounge
Tea service: $25.00 - $35.00
Reservations required at least 24 hours in advance.
The High Tea at the Stanford Court includes finger sandwiches, miniature scones with lemon curd, Devonshire Cream, and preserves, petit fours, a fruit tartlets, and assorted tea cookies. For an additional $$ you can add a glass of Mumm Cuvée champagne.
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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My choice would be the Garden Court at the Palace Hotel. The room is beautiful.

HTTY
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 11:09 AM
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PS The Garden Court is currently offering a $19.09 lunch and tour!
http://www.sfpalace.com/assets/u/Sep...nchMenuGCT.pdf

HTTY
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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I think you are looking for a dramatic location, but if you decide to go the cozy route I love this tea room -
http://www.lovejoystearoom.com/
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 02:15 PM
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A mixed green salad with afternoon tea??? Good grief.
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 04:03 PM
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What's the difference between high tea and afternoon tea?

For ambiance, I have enjoyed the Garden Court and the St. Francis hotel teas, and have not liked the Ritz-Carlton or Neiman-Marcus (why? the first two, you can sit on lobby/living room-like furniture, whereas the other two you sit at regular restaurant tables and chairs -- just doesn't do it for me, ambiance-wise)
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 04:42 PM
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sf-lots of people confuse afternoon tea and high tea Traditionally in the UK high tea was akin to a light supper. Afternoon tea (between about 3 and 5) is the tea sandwich, scones/jam/clotted cream affair; but many Americans in particular have taken to called a fancy or elaborate afternoon tea, "high tea", apparently in the belief that high tea is more fancy than afternoon tea.
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 05:55 PM
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So I've only ever had "afternoon tea", at all the places mentioned. My advice still stands -- Garden Court or St. Francis!
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 07:11 PM
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I agree -- Garden Court or St Francis (SAB's explanation is right on. Many Americans think a posh/refined tea served in the afternoon is called "High Tea" - it ain't. It is 'Afternoon Tea'. I don't think a real High tea served anywhere nowadays - except maybe in limited bits of northern England. And that would be 'dinner' to most of us)
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Old Nov 13th, 2010, 07:22 PM
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I love afternoon teas and perhaps my favorite was the one at the Price of Wales hotel in Niagara on the Lake.

They've added a cheese course with Canadian cheeses that is wonderful.

Here's their menu - with a history of afternoon tea -
http://www.vintage-hotels.com/docs/p...uly%202008.pdf

http://www.vintage-hotels.com/princeofwales/dining.htm
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Old Nov 14th, 2010, 05:42 AM
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Thanks for the replies. My sisters family are vegetarians so the only snag is finding a place that serves vegetarian sandwiches-no chicken or fish. But I'll look into the Palace.
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Old Nov 14th, 2010, 09:00 AM
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They will all have some vegetarian choices.Cucumber, etc. Do they eat eggs? There is often an egg salad sandwich of some sort.

The thing to do is once you pick a place -- phone them and make a request for only vegetarian sandwiches. These are all high-end, expensive-ish teas and they will probably be happy to accommodate them. Vegetarians are not at all unusual and it won't have been the first time . . .
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Old Nov 14th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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I had tea with an English friend at the Ritz-Carlton and both of us absolutely loved it. No complaints from us at all.
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Old Nov 15th, 2010, 09:46 AM
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I second starrs' recommendation for Lovejoy's. I was there last weekend, in fact, because it is one of my sister's favorites. Their afternoon tea menu is really nice, and they could easily accommodate vegetarians. I am not a tea-drinker myself, so I had a nice pot of French press coffee instead.

Excellent service, and the food was arranged and displayed artfully. Very tasty.

It is more a local favorite-- comfy, cozy and more "San Francisco" in feeling than the other standard hotel offerings.
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Old Nov 15th, 2010, 11:21 AM
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The Garden Court at the Palace Hotel is a very special room: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/202410114/

HTTY
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Old Nov 15th, 2010, 11:34 AM
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Another vote for the Garden Court at the Palace Hotel. Make your reservation now. A very busy and popular tea during the holidays.
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