Disclosure: The Millennium Biltmore hotel in downtown Los Angeles hosted me for afternoon tea. As always, all my opinions are my own.
One recent afternoon I got together with real-life blogger friend, Christina from Christina’s Cucina for tea at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. I have been to many lovely events in the Biltmore’s Crystal Ballroom, but I had never had tea in the lobby and was excited to be able to join these lovely ladies for a relaxing afternoon of tea, finger sandwiches and conversation. Tea in the Rendezvous Court is the perfect way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon with friends, or as part of a romantic day with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day.
The Biltmore’s gorgeous building was designed in an “E” shape, to give as many guests as possible, views of Pershing Square Park. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences founded its annual awards banquet, which we now refer to as the Oscars, in the Crystal Ballroom. Before or after tea, stroll through the lobby and look at the beautiful architecture and elegant decor. Down one corridor, you’ll find a fantastic black and white photograph taken during one of the Oscar shows, where you can test your knowledge of old Hollywood movie stars and try to guess “who’s who”. There’s a key with the names located next to it, if you get stuck! Tea at the Biltmore is like stepping back into the Golden Age of elegance. The service is impeccable with attention to even the smallest details. Our waiter refreshed our tea cups before we even realized they were empty.
Tea is not meant to be eaten when one is famished, the delicate sandwiches and sweets are meant to be savored slowly. Indeed, we never felt rushed, even though we sat and sipped tea and chatted for two hours. We were given the choice of teas from the traditional Irish Breakfast and Earl Grey, to the exotic, White Peony or Bombay Chai. We had egg salad, turkey sandwiches on baby pretzel bread with micro greens, pumpernickel with smoked salmon and goat cheese, (my personal favorite) and a crab profiterole. The sweeties included, homemade Madeleines, a chocolate hazelnut cream puff, miniature cheesecake with blackberries, French macarons and homemade scones with cream. Next time you’re in Los Angeles, make sure to visit downtown and stop by the beautiful Millennium Biltmore for a taste of old Hollywood.
Looking for more afternoon tea ideas?
I didn’t realize that the Biltmore was built like an E for that reason, Cynthia! Love to learn things like that! It was truly a lovely and relaxing experience and I’d be happy to join you again, anytime!
I had such a great time with you both — maybe we need to do an encore for Mother’s Day 🙂 I can’t wait to try your lavender shortbread, that sounds amazing and I have lavender bushes growing in my yard!
Indeed Sue! That was such a relaxing experience! i think we need a do-over!
What a lovely way to spend an afternoon and you had such wonderful company. I have never done high tea and definitely want to experience it one day.
Andi, there are so many nice places to have tea in San Francisco too! I believe the Fairmont used to have a nice tea!?
Years ago, there was a tea room in OKC at the French Market Mall, which has now been turned into an obscene Burlington Coat Factory. =) I went there a couple times. There was also a tea room near the military base where I worked in public affairs. It was the Briar Rose. My friends and I went there every Friday for lunch. Sweet memories. I love tea and tea rooms. They were so popular here in the 1990s, but have also all disappeared. Anyway, they were much more quaint than the Biltmore. Beautiful post. Maybe Downton Abbey will heighten the importance of tea time in America!
i agree Jen, tea is such a civilized way to spend the afternoon! I’ll bet Downtown Abbey has helped bring the art of tea back!