Even Marie Antoinette would be jealous of these afternoon tea menus.
Afternoon tea (or low tea as it's commonly referred to, since it used to be served on low tables back in the day) is a centuries-old art form that is still upheld by countless hotels and restaurants across the country. Different from high tea, which is served early in the evening and is typically more of a meal, afternoon tea was reserved for midday to late afternoon and full of grandeur—plus pretty petit fours.
Dainty pastries, mini tea sandwiches with the crusts cut off, towers of macarons overflowing from glistening tiered trays—what's not to love? Then you throw in a few exotic herbal blends, artisan tea pots, sparkling flutes of Champagne and the loveliest china we've ever laid eyes on and you're really in for a lavish affair.
Related: 52 Best Afternoon and High Tea Time Recipes
When it comes to the best afternoon tea experiences in the world, these 21 literally take the cake. And while the focus is usually on foreign infusions first and foremost—along with plenty of bubbly—the over-the-top fare that accompanies these bold brews is often the star. Behold our favorite afternoon tea menus that will make you feel like royalty.
The Best Afternoon Tea & High Tea Experiences Around the World
Afternoon Tea at The Baccarat's Grand Salon (New York, New York)
There's no more splurge-worthy afternoon tea experience than the one you'll have in the house of Baccarat. The iconic crystal brand opened their first NYC-based hotel in 2015 and they're been serving quite the impressive tea spread ever since. Expect a rainbow of Baccarat flutes that never seem to dry of Champagne, tiered towers of warm scones with Devonshire cream, lobster and caviar medallions with truffle aioli and mini salmon sandwiches, plus worldly tea suggestions from their very own tea sommelier. Yes, really. Not to mention the environs during this over-the-top tea are unparalleled. Celebratory affairs like engagements, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are better spent at Baccarat. Did we mention there's a specialty children's Petit Prince tea? They get it right on every level.
Afternoon tea is served daily, from noon to 4 pm, by reservation here or by emailing email@example.com.
Afternoon Tea at Elm Restaurant (New Canaan, Connecticut)
An afternoon tea fit for the true gastronome, Elm's sweet and savory pairings are literally top-tier. Nibble fennel pollen and golden raisin scones with yuzu marmalade, and cucumber yogurt tartine with caviar, alongside green, black and herbal blends. Or, indulge in a wasabi and tarragon lobster roll, black truffle croque monsieur and foie gras macaron in between pots of darjeeling and China gun powder tea. To end on a sweet note, there's a pistachio cannoli and s’mores tart not to be missed.
Afternoon tea is served Fridays only, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm, by reservation here.
Tipsy Tea Party at The Gwen Hotel (Chicago, Illinois)
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If you're looking for an afternoon tea to take advantage of in the Windy City, look no further than The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, where vintage glamour, 1930's decor and a Tipsy Tea Party awaits! Served at their in-house Mediterranean restaurant Kostali, you and your crew can enjoy this boozy twist on traditional high tea with spiked tea drinks, bottles of bubbles and Tea Towers comprised of sweet and savory treats built for the number of guests in your party. There's everything from spanikopita with hot honey and vegetable samosas, to amaretti cookies, mini apple pies and more.
Afternoon Tea at the San Francisco Proper Hotel (San Francisco, California)
One of the most memorable parts about checking into the eclectic, Kelly Wearstler-designed San Francisco Proper Hotel, is the opportunity to experience their afternoon tea program. The setting is posh, in their art-filled lobby-living room, and the nibbles at Villon are classics with a twist, like English cucumber, deviled egg salad and cashew butter tea sandwiches, plus sweet treats along the lines of cream tea scones and cake doughnut holes. Pro tip: Make your way upstairs to their "California Cool" rooftop, Charmaines, once you're finished with tea. With a European vibe, blazing fire pits, ice-cold cocktails and more luxe interiors inside, you'll quickly understand why everyone flocks to this high-above Market Street hot spot.
Afternoon tea service is available Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m.
Afternoon Tea at Boston Harbor Hotel (Boston, Massachusetts)
Raise a pinky and toast with friends as fragrant herbal teas and waterfront views brighten your day at the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Afternoon Tea. Taking place at Rowes Wharf Sea Grille, selections include herbal rooibos chai, oolong tea, and their signature Aphrodite’s Potion, which is a ginger and vodka-based cocktail topped with prosecco and rose buds. As for afternoon tea fare fit for a queen, choose from a variety of tea sandwiches such as a Curried Egg Salad with Micro Basil, Smoked Turkey, Bacon and Tomato and a Monte Cristo. For pastries, the options include scones, poundcake, cookies and profiteroles. Pricing starts at $99 per person.
Afternoon tea is served Thursdays through Sundays, from 11 am to 2:30 pm, by reservation here.
Related: 28 Best Restaurants in Boston
Afternoon Tea at The Carlyle (New York, New York)
To do tea like a true Upper East Sider, you retreat to The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel. Inspired by the sultan's dining room at the Topkapi Palace in Turkey, The Gallery is an exquisite, private retreat for refined dining—and fancified tea service, complete with exotic teas, finger sandwiches, scones with authentic Devonshire cream and fresh pastries. There are also assorted house-made pâtés and one very delectable Hudson Valley Foie Gras Torchon to dive into, as you relish in legendary decorator Renzo Mongiardino's whimsical world outfitted in deep red wallpapers, banquettes made from antique kilims and red-fringed velvet chairs.
For more information about afternoon tea in The Gallery, please call +1 212 570 7120.
High Tea at The Ballantyne (Charlotte, North Carolina)
High tea goals, courtesy of The Ballantyne, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Charlotte. Their popular afternoon tea service features selections from The Rare Tea Co. of London, paired with sweet and savory delicacies, but it's the themes that really do it for us. Coming up over the next few months: Valentine’s Sweetheart Tea (February 13 & 14), Olaf’s Tea (February 20 & 21 and 27 & 28) and Yellow Brick Road Tea (March 20 & 21 and 27 & 28).
Pricing is $45 for adults ($60 for special themed teas including a glass of Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne) and $25 for children ages 12 and under. Tea is served in the Main Lobby every Saturday and Sunday, from 1 to 4 pm and can be booked here.
Afternoon Tea at Hotel d’Angleterre (Copenhagen, Denmark)
For a truly royal experience, The Grand Cuvee Package at the Hotel d'Angleterre serves Krug Grand Cuvee champagne alongside its traditional afternoon tea, plus a vast selection of teas (and coffees) are prepared with the traditional fare: smoked salmon sandwiches, cakes, mini-quiches, tarts and gateaux. Champagne is paired with lavish delicacies like lobster and truffles.
The hotel’s Krug Afternoon Tea is served every Sunday from 3 until 5 pm in the Gallery Hall at d'Angleterre and can be booked here.
Trifecta High Tea at Four Seasons One Dalton Street (Boston, Massachusetts)
The Four Seasons never skimps on epic experiences and their seriously stunning high tea spread is no exception at One Dalton Street, Boston. Enjoy petit fours with a glass of Domaine Chandon Étoile sparkling rosé, or a complimentary liquor pairing with tea selection and two special rose tea offerings from J'enwey Tea.
Trifecta High Tea is now on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm for $49 per person (with a glass of bubbles) and can be booked here.
Afternoon Tea at The St. Regis New York (New York, New York)
For a fancy tea ritual, NYC style, head to The St. Regis New York. Their afternoon tea experience is unparalleled and was introduced to the Big Apple landmark by Caroline Astor, the hotel’s matriarch and Grand Dame of New York Society. Each afternoon, Mrs. Astor would invite a select few of her closest friends into her drawing room to catch up on the latest gossip behind closed doors—and always over a decadent selection of sandwiches, cakes and pastries. Today, this ritual has become a signature St. Regis tradition, coming alive each afternoon in Astor Court, adjacent to the iconic King Cole Bar. Freshly-baked scones served with English Devonshire Cream, lemon tartelette, and fresh macarons are highlights of the menu, along with scrumptious tea sandwiches and quiche, which are complemented by teas from luxury purveyors.
Afternoon Tea at The St. Regis New York is served daily from 3 to 5 pm and can be booked here.
Afternoon Tea at Claridge’s (London, England)
Claridge’s iconic Afternoon Tea service has been a staple at the hotel for the best part of 150 years. Prepared and served fresh each day, the menu faithfully follows the traditional combination of sweet and savory. The ingredients include British specialties—such as poached Scottish salmon—and pastries change to reflect the fruits of the season. The centerpiece, however, is the drink itself. Claridge’s tea connoisseur, Henrietta Lovell, has scoured the four corners of the world to bring delicious tea from small, little-known producers and it's served on the very finest bone china (naturally).
Afternoon Tea is served daily between 2:45 to 5:30 pm can be booked here.
Afternoon Tea at The Peninsula (Beverly Hills, California)
Back by popular demand, the world-famous Afternoon Tea at The Peninsula Beverly Hills has returned with an all-new limited-edition menu in The Living Room. Enjoy free-flowing Champagne by Laurent Perrier, one-of-a-kind teas and a tower of sweet and savory goodies in their own "secret garden."
Reservations are available Saturdays at 11 am and 1:30 pm and Sundays at 11 am, 1:30 pm and 4 pm. For reservations please call 310-975-2736 or book on Open Table.
Afternoon Tea at Britannia Hotel (Trondheim, Norway)
At the iconic grande dame hotel of Scandinavia, the newly renovated Britannia Hotel in the centre of Trondheim, Afternoon Tea is conceived by Lead Pastry Chef Cathrine Nilsen, a member of the Norwegian National Party and Confectioner Team. The seasonally-inspired tea (which changes menus five times a year) comes in the form of tiered cake stands laden with finger sandwiches, scones, sweets, pastries and cakes, all served alongside a wide range of signature teas from the hotel’s official partner Twinings, Royal Warrant holder that provides tea to the British monarchy. Or, you can opt instead for a coffee or a flute of Champagne if you're feeling bubbly.
Afternoon Tea at The Driskill (Austin, Texas)
One of Texas' most celebrated afternoon teas, The Driskill tradition is ideal for celebrations, holidays and romantic occasions. The historic property welcomes guests with three courses of classic French pastries and petit fours, delicate finger sandwiches and endless local Austin Zhi Tea and sparkling wine.
Reservations are required and seating is limited. For more information and reservations please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Afternoon Tea at Ashford Castle (County Mayo, Ireland)
The long-established tradition of Afternoon Tea has been wonderfully preserved at the historic Ashford Castle since 1868, before it was even a hotel. The Afternoon Tea menu at the 13th-century, 5-star castle hotel includes a wide selection of specialty teas or a glass of Champagne, delicate finger sandwiches, warm freshly-baked scones with lashings of cream and home-made jam, not to mention plenty of pastries and teacakes. Afternoon Tea is typically served in the elegant Connaught Room, where you will spy the original silver tea set presented to Lord and Lady Ardilaun (former owners of Ashford Castle) to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in 1896.
Afternoon Tea service is currently only available to residents staying at the castle and can be booked here.
Afternoon Tea at The Langham, Huntington in Pasadena, CA
Should you fancy your tea in a more intimate setting, there's The Langham, Pasadena's Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood program, which is served in-room and features their signature Langham tea blend for fresh brewing. There are also mini sandwich selections, exquisite bite-sized desserts and two flavors of freshly-baked scones with lemon curd, Devonshire cream and fruit jam. Everything you could possibly want or need for a grand affair really.
To view the full menu and make a reservation, click here.
Afternoon Tea at The Pfister Hotel (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
One of Milwaukee's Four Diamond hotels and a member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, The Pfister also houses the largest collection of Victorian paintings of any hotel in the world and features a dedicated Artist-in-Residence program. So obviously, they know how to do tea. On Saturdays and Sundays you can take in panoramic views of Lake Michigan from the 23rd floor, while nibbling on fresh scones, sandwiches and pastries. There will also be a dedicated Tea Butler on hand to walk you through the different varieties, origins and unique flavors of their tea offerings, chaffered around on an all-silver Guéridon trolly and poured table side.
Seatings are available between 12 to 2 pm and priced at $54 for adults and $29 for children. Reservations can be made here.
Afternoon Tea at The Silo (Cape Town, South Africa)
At the acclaimed Silo luxury boutique hotel perched atop the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in a historic grain silo building in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront of Cape Town, the Royal Tea is served every afternoon from Thursday through Sunday (from 2:30 to 4:30 pm) in the 6th-floor lounge. While taking in stunning views of all of Cape Town through the building’s iconic “pillowed glass” windows designed by star architect Thomas Heatherwick, you can enjoy a selection of petit gateaux and teatime treats (including savory delights).
The Royal Tea at The Silo is priced at $22 per guest and can be booked here.
Afternoon Tea at Camellias (Charleston, South Carolina)
We're pretty sure you've seen this beauty splashed across your Insta feed, as Camellias has been dubbed the “Most Instagrammable Champagne Lounge” with its dreamy pink and crystal-clad interiors. Enjoy a complete afternoon High Tea at Camellias every Friday through Sunday at Hotel Bennett, where you can experience an extensive selection of teas, along with a flute of premium sparkling rose, and of course, a tasting of scones, pastries and sweets. To end the afternoon on an even higher note, there are fresh strawberries with vanilla bean whipped cream, drizzled with Grand Marnier liqueur. Chic c'est la vie.
Tea times are 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and 2 to 4 pm, by reservation only. Please call 843.990.5418 to book.
Afternoon Tea at Rosewood London (London, England)
After following the success of their Yayoi Kusama-themed tea service, Rosewood London has launched the latest iteration of their beloved Art Afternoon Tea programming that bridges iconic art, surrealism, British traditions and new digital technologies. The brand-new Art Afternoon Tea takes inspiration from renowned surrealist artist Salvador Dali, and takes tea to the next level with an AR (Augmented Reality) experience. Designed by Executive Pastry Chef, Mark Perkins and his team, the Dali-inspired Art Afternoon Tea will comprise three courses: traditional sandwiches, a sweet course and a centerpiece trio of Dali-inspired cakes with QR codes to unveil a limited, one-of-a-kind ‘NFTea.’
Afternoon tea is served Thursday to Sunday, 12 to 6 p.m. and can be booked here.
Afternoon Tea at The Ivy Tearoom (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
The Ivy Tearoom is doing the most in Albuquerque when it comes to teatime. Not only is tea with caviar their preferred (and recommended) experience, but the whimsical setting is customizable. Choose to take your tea in semi-private teatime suites or in private heated igloos outdoors. Enjoy a spot pot of hand-blended tea and a three-tiered tray of finger foods, ranging from cucumber tea sandwiches to cardamom rose blondies. You can also take in the gorgeous city views and Sandia Mountains through the Pink Panoramic Parlor and other themed seating areas inspired by movies like Alice in Wonderland.
Afternoon Tea is $38 per person and can be booked here.
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