Five Top Locales for Afternoon Tea in Los Angeles

As fall slowly descends upon Los Angeles, flavor profiles change from icy drinks to warm beverages. Of course there are hipster coffee houses all over the city, but how about an elegant outing like an Afternoon Tea, complete with flavorful teas, finger sandwiches, and scones. So for those who want to veer away from the usual and treat themselves to a scrumptious Afternoon Tea, here are five exquisite locales throughout Los Angeles.

1. The Peninsula Beverly Hills
The Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel presents an Afternoon Tea with pizzazz. Accompanied by a classical harpist, The Peninsula's Afternoon Tea is presented in The Living Room salon with comfortable sofas and two fireplaces. There are three tea services including "The Traditional Tea," which consists of a selection of teas, finger sandwiches, petite pastries, scones with Devonshire cream, fruit preserves lemon curd; and a glass of sparkling wine or sparkling cider. Additionally, there is "The Royal Tea," which offers the above plus a glass of champagne. And finally there is "The Imperial Tea," which adds a caviar canapé, a Peninsula Page Boy Cap Cake as a parting gift and a glass of champagne. Seatings are daily at 12:00, 2:30 and 5:00 p.m.

2. Langham Huntington Hotel
Pasadena's Langham Huntington Hotel boasts that their hotel in London was the very first luxury hotel in Europe to serve afternoon tea in 1865. Bringing the tradition across the pond, the Langham Huntington offers "The Langham Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood." Serving Wedgwood specialty teas in Wedgwood china, this tea service also serves finger sandwiches, warm scones with Devonshire clotted cream and lemon curd, French pastries, tarts and macaroons. Served daily, however Monday through Wednesday is slightly discounted.

3. Tea by the Sea at Getty Villa
Operating Thursdays through Sundays at 1:00 p.m. is "Tea by the Sea" at the Getty Villa. Inspired by the Getty's Roman gardens, this tea service is inspired by the Mediterranean herbs, vegetables and fruits that are actually grown on site in the Roman gardens. Held in the Founder's Room with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the villa, guests are treated to scones, tea breads, gourmet cakes, tarts, fruits, cheeses, savory Panini and of course tea. After tea, a docent-led tour is conducted through the gardens, and guests can also tour the Getty museum as well.

4. Rose Garden Tea Room at the Huntington Gardens
Overlooking three acres of roses at Huntington Gardens, the Rose Garden Tea Room is a delightful sensory experience. Tea, scones, and tea breads are served at the table while a buffet of finger sandwiches, cheeses, fruit, salads, and desserts are offered to guests. Opened Wednesdays through Mondays (last seating is at 3:30 p.m.), reservations must be made in advance.

5. American Tea Room, Downtown Los Angeles Arts District
Although not serving a traditional afternoon tea, the American Tea Room in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District gets a special mention for its modern approach to the tea experience, as well as its dedicated fine selection of teas to drink onsite or to take home. The shop offers an interior tea lounge with a 30-foot bar made from 11,000 pieces of reclaimed wood, and an outdoor patio with fire pits and a 25-foot living wallscape. The hot and cold tea bars offer selections like London Fog (Earl Grey Shanghai, Vanilla Syrup and Steamed Milk) or the cold Chamomile Palmer (Chamomile Blossoms, syrup and lemon).

Author's bio: Lori Huck works in television development as well as writes on entertainment, travel and the arts. She's a fan of the vibrant arts scene in Los Angeles and is a member of various film, television, and arts organizations.

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