My sister and 7-year old niece visited me from England for a week’s vacation/staycation. Even though many of my friends will not believe this statement… I truly did disconnect from work for one full week. Of course, this past week Ipaid the price with what felt like 3-months of catch up but it was totally worth it.
Everything on this trip revolved around my niece, Ava, so when I asked her what she wanted to do on the Sunday, she responded with saying “I really want to do High Tea as I felt I didn’t fully appreciate it when I was 4!” Seriously, she is 7 :).
When I think High Tea or Afternoon Tea in Boston, my mind automatically goes to the Four Seasons, Taj or L’Espalier, all of which are lovely and perfect for those rare afternoons when you want to enjoy little sandwiches and tea with the girls. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into any of them and I randomly remembered someone talking about Tea at Reserve in the Langham Hotel so immediately logged onto Opentable and made a reservation.
Reserve is in the lobby area right off the main entrance of the hotel itself. I did think this felt a little weird but once we were seated in the beautiful and elegantly designed space, the fact that many people were walking in and out of the hotel didn’t bother us at all.
Seated in white high-back chairs we were handed our menus with offerings of Traditional British Afternoon Tea by a smartly-dressed waiter. The Reserve Afternoon Tea with Wedgewood offers a fixed menu for $45 with a few additions you can add on for $12, which we did.
Once we put in our order, two boxes of tea selections are brought out to the table. What I love about this is that they have little containers you can open and smell the teas making it a lot more fun and interesting. All of us, including Ava picked the English Breakfast, although we did smell almost all of them first.
Your tea is quietly delivered to the table and you are asked to wait until the egg timer has finished and at that point you can drink the tea. I have to say sipping tea out of real china tea cups sent me back to my childhood in England when my mum would do a girls’ treat day for me and my friends and serve us cups of tea with cucumber sandwiches using her best bone china.
Of course, it goes without saying we ordered a little bubbly with Toni enjoying the Champagne cocktail while I rejoiced in an afternoon glass of Roederer Estate Rosé.
Our first tasting was the addition of a meaty lobster, avocado and tomato amuse-bouche, which a touch of delicate basil.
The official first part of our Afternoon Tea consisted of smoked salmon parfait, egg salad and tarragon Chicken vol-au-vent. I loved the vol-au-vent, which was a little different for Afternoon Tea and reminded of weddings from the 1990s in the UK, where every buffet showcased a selection of vol-au-vents.
Our next serving was the scones with my absolute favorite spread of strawberry jam and clotted cream. I was even happier as it truly was proper clotted cream and not pretend, which I have come across before.
Our sweet and decadent desserts came up next with the strawberry glazed vanilla bean puff being the most enjoyable for me.
While both my sister and I really enjoyed our experience, I think Ava had the most fun as she felt like a bit of a grown-up. She was surprisingly well-behaved throughout our two hours there :).
Service is top-notch at Reserve and while it is a little pricey, I could not think of a better way for us to start a wonderful week of fun travelling around New England.
I have a new favorite place for Afternoon Tea. Do you have a favorite?