The great British custom of partaking in afternoon tea offers a legitimate excuse to relax, take a break, and catch up with a friend amidst the most comfortable and luxurious settings. Once inside a tearoom, the chaos and noise of the outside world disappears and is replaced with tranquility and elegance.
In a city as large as Los Angeles, where can you find the peace and serenity of a perfect afternoon tea? From the finest most luxurious hotels to affordable, quaint, charming tearooms, the following is a selection of some of the best places to have tea in the Southland.
Hotel Bel Air
701 Stone Canyon Road, Bel Air
Friday and Saturday, 3:00 – 4:00 pm
$60 per person
Nestled in the winding roads above Beverly Hills, the Hotel Bel Air is situated on twelve acres of gardens and fountain courtyards. After a two-year renovation, the Bel Air transformed into a modern resort incorporating its past legendary style into a hip new hotel, spa and restaurant. Headed by celeb chef Wolfgang Puck, the restaurant provides a modern and romantic setting for tea – the sunny Terrace overlooking the gardens and Swan Lake. Their tea includes sandwiches, savory bites, fresh on-site baked scones and clotted cream and an assortment of sweets.
The Langham, Pasadena
1401 S. Oak Knoll, Pasadena
Monday through Wednesday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Thursday through Saturday, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
$39 per person
Held in what was once the original Ritz Carlton Pasadena's lobby, the Tiffin Afternoon Tea in the Lounge at the Langham Pasadena offers picturesque views from its floor to ceiling windows of the beautiful Horseshoe Garden. The elegant tea includes a wide range of traditional and exotic teas as well as an exceptionally good house blend. An extensive range of savory and sweets make up the tea, including elegant sandwiches, sweets and scones with clotted cream, all served with classical piano or harp accompaniment. Every year the resort also offers a special chocolate tea in October and a Holiday Teddy Bear Tea in December.
Huntington Library Teahouse
1151 Oxnard Road, San Marino
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, noon - 4:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:45 am – 4:30 pm
Entrance fee to the library, art collections, and gardens, $15
$27.99 per person for afternoon tea
The Rose Garden Tea Room overlooks three acres of roses and offers the only all you can eat afternoon tea in Los Angeles. Here you can enjoy an endless buffet-style tea with a large variety of finger sandwiches, fresh salads, cheese and fruit, scones, cookies, and tarts. Make a day of it and enjoy the library and 150 acres of beautifully sculptured gardens.
The Millennium Biltmore
506 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
Wednesday through Sunday, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
$29 per person
Home to presidents, kings, celebrities and at one time the Academy Awards, the Millennium Biltmore is the perfect place to escape the bustle of downtown or avoid rush hour traffic. The ornate Rococo surroundings provide the Rendezvous Court a cathedral-like setting for tea. Their “Empress Tea” includes a selection of gourmet and herbal teas, sandwiches, miniature pastries, scones, and a choice of sparkling wine, sherry, or kir royale.
8422 1/2 W. 3rd Street, West Hollywood
Daily, 11:30 am – 6:00 pm
$18 per person
A perfect refuge after a day of shopping at the Beverly Center is tea at the trendy Chado tearoom. Offering a variety of over 300 different teas from around the world in a no frills pink dining room, the afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches, soft scones with clotted cream, cake and a cookie is a steal at only $18. There is also a good selection of items in the adjacent gift shop.
The Peninsula, Beverly Hills
9882 Little Santa Monica, Beverly Hills
Daily, three seatings – 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm
$59 per person
Sip tea by the fireplace to the accompaniment of a classical harpist at the Peninsula Hotel’s afternoon tea. Sink into cozy silk sofas in the bright yellow and beige Living Room while enjoying the traditional tea service and some of the best people watching in Beverly Hills.
1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 am – 7 pm
$19 per person
For a slightly different take on conventional afternoon tea, visit Asian inspired Jin patisserie in Venice. Afternoon tea, and a large variety of cakes, is served in a Zen-like outdoor garden. The dainty artisan pastries and sweets are flavored with a unique blend of unusual ingredients like lemongrass, lavender, and spices. A peaceful casual place to take refuge from hectic day without having to dress up for tea.
Tea Rose Garden
28 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
Monday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday, 10:30 am – 4 pm
$18.95 per person
In the heart of Old Town Pasadena lies a jewel few Angelino’s know about, the charming and casual Tea Rose Garden, a combination flower/gift shop and teahouse. Opt for tea in the beautiful back garden – a small courtyard with a fountain surrounded by trees. Tea service includes edible flowers and unique blends of tea. A perfect place to hold a bridal or baby shower.