Friday, May 16, 2008

Scarlet Tea Room

My friend Jan, whom I have known since we were juniors in high school, invited me to view the Pasadena Showcase house and have tea at the Scarlet Tea room. What a lovely afternoon. Even though it was 87 degrees by 10am when we started the home tour and 98 by lunchtime, it still did not deter us from having a wonderful time together. It was both our first time at the tea room. We did not have reservations but they did manage to squeeze us in. It was quite elegant inside. They had a tea and a lunch menu. There were some big parties around us. One table was celebrating a birthday. Having tea with friends is always my favorite way to spend a birthday! I had the Scarlet Tea Ceremony. Jan had the warm mushroom sandwich. I started off with some refreshing strawberry sorbet. Then came a 3 tiered silver stand with a blueberry scone complete with Scarlet cream (so yummy), homemade lemon curd and strawberry preserves. I chose 4 different sandwiches: Cucumber, turkey and cranberry, green apples and cheese and brie, watercress and walnuts. I had a vanilla almond and a chocolate hazelnut petit four. The tea ended with strawberry compote with vanilla bean whipped cream. Sorry I didn't get a picture, I was too busy eating! The tea I chose was "Amour" tea- a blend of strawberry and hibiscus. I just LOVE the pink color! Even though it was blazin' hot, we both decided to have "hot tea".Jan had a pot of pear and blood orange. Both were very good. Overall, we had a lovely time, catching up on things since we don't live close to each other and we are both extremely busy with our families.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Favorite Tea Rooms

May 11 - May 17 Tea Room Ventures and Venues

Share all about one of your favorite tea rooms. Use photos and descriptions to tell about the decor and ambiance, menus, service, and what makes this tea room special to you. Does this tea room have a gift shop? What kind of special treasures does it contain?
With my tea group "Table for 8", we take turns hunting down different tea rooms to experience together. They are all unique. The Rose Tree Cottage in Pasadena is a charming place run by a Brit- Edmund and his lovely wife, Mary. The British Consulate, Emma Thompson and Julie Andrews are among his famous guests. With this type of clientele, you can be sure that the tea menu is authentic. Edmund keeps the tea and laughs coming. Love the Yorkshire Pudding! We always seem to end up at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel for Christmas. It is so festively decorated with a giant gingerbread house. We always do a gift exchange while someone reads "A Cup of Christmas Tea". We pass a gift to the right whenever we hear the word "tea" in the story.
Paddington's Tea Room is a little hole in the wall on Robertson Blvd. in Beverly Hills. They have a Gorgonzola Bleu Cheese Mousse with Carmelized Walnut Brulee on top. We dip Granny Smith apple slices in it...Heavenly!!! Some in my group say it has the best scones. (I happen to love the ones at Rose Tree Cottage).
Another yummy tea we enjoyed together was at the Hotel Bel Air in Beverly Hills. The gardens are just amazing! So fragrant and stunning!
Next week, my friend from high school, Jan, is taking me to the Scarlet Tea Room in Pasadena. I will be sure to post my review on it.

Please check out more amazing places on the

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Set the Table-Tea is On!

Gracious Hospital-i-tea Blog-a-thon question of the week: Share a creative afternoon tea table setting. Linens, serving pieces, teapots and teacup, tea accoutrement's and accessories, centerpieces, tea trays or three-tiers, and more. Show one way you enjoy creating a memorable tea experience. This is your opportunity to show the world the fun you have when you create your own special tea experience. Then. . .invite over a friend or neighbor and share some tea together. That way all your work is not for ought.

Since I have been hosting Jane Austen tea parties the last six months, I always want to make each one unique but I still manage to follow a formula that really works.
I like to make a menu of the tea and I print it in Jane Austen font, of course! I always have it displayed on the first tea table. I usually serve tea and scones while we watch the selected Jane Austen movie of the month. After the movie, we move into the dining room for a high tea. Since I like to have a lot of friends over (about 8-9) I usually have to set up 2 tables. Each table has a 2 tiered server, fresh flower arrangement, and a pot of tea. I also like to give my friends a little party favor. For the Pride & Prejudice movie, I gave them a paperback copy of P&P. I wrapped it in brown paper and tied it with vintage seam binding and added a sprig of pine. I didn't use any tape. (I wanted it to be somewhat authentic). For the Bridget Jones's Diary movie, I gave them a Mr. Darcy (with Colin Firth ) keyring and for Sense & Sensibility, I gave them individual tea packets with Jane Austen tea inside. I packaged it in small cellophane bag and then cut scrapbook paper to fit the bag. I printed "Have a "cuppa" on me" and then I sewed it shut on the sewing machine.

For the "Lucky Tea" when we played P&P game, right before St. Patrick's Day, I gifted my friends a ceramic tea bag holder with shamrocks on it.

Being a party planner, I'm all about the favors!

Check out other fabulous tea table ideas at