Turn Over a New Leaf

By: Chaton Anderson- Writer
Contributor’s Website: Fusion Integrated

Those bloody Londoners may hold the crown when it comes to high tea, but Angelenos run a chic close second. Tea aficionados from all over the world raise their pinkies for LA’s traditional style tearooms at haute hotels, modern takes at downtown haunts and garden style respites smack in the middle of our urban jungle.

Both LA’s classic and innovative spots for tea serve you everything from champagne and caviar cakes to rose petal elixirs and Strawberries Romanoff.

Jin Patisserie is my all-time favorite spot for tea. Nestled in the midst of bustling Abbot Kinney, this unassuming tea garden is absolute bliss. Grab a table in the small courtyard filled with fountains and bamboo and immerse yourself in this quaint sanctuary. The tea menu is superb, with all the classic staples as well as unique, hard-to-find blends. Follow one of their delicious salads or plates of finger sandwiches with their to-die-for macaroons and fusion pastry concoctions, like the Lavender Gateau, a lavender-infused sponge cake filled with butter cream and chocolate Ganache, or the Louvre, a decadent milk and chocolate crème dessert filled with ginger custard.

Located in Old Town Pasadena, the Scarlet Tea Room will take you to another world. Filled with piano music, white linen tablecloths, crystal chandeliers and red velvet curtains, this classic tea parlor feels like the perfect place for a rendezvous between long lost lovers. You can savor their five-course Scarlet Tea Ceremony afternoon or evening, with the option to add wine or champagne—the three-tier tray is filled with lushly embellished scones, petite desserts, gourmet finger sandwiches, fresh fruit and assorted pastries. The kicker is their Strawberries Romanoff, a cascade of strawberries floating in whipped cream and drenched in orange liqueur.

White-glove service, plush sofas and a swanky setting set the tone for chic afternoon tea in The Living Room at the Peninsula Beverly Hills. The elegant atmosphere is the perfect place to take your tea, once you’ve chosen from one of the four tiers offered—from a classic sampling to their decadent Imperial Tea, which includes champagne, caviar and scones topped with Devonshire cream. The desserts, clotted cream and gourmet sandwiches are as exquisite as the hand-painted china they’re served on. On the weekends, a classical harpist adds to the serenity of this regal, five-star experience.

The Rose Tea Cottage in Pasadena offers the most legit high tea in LA county—probably the reason it’s frequented by British dignitaries. The cottage is charming and authentic, and the lovely owners dote on each customer. Quintessential British fare including warm, crusty Yorkshire Pudding accompanied by sumptuous tea sandwiches and unbelievable desserts, like their famous Sticky Toffee Pudding! The gift shop teems with imported British goods, tea ware and other specialties.

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Contributor’s Website: Fusion Integrated

Images: 1st pic: Fodors.com; 2nd pic: JinPatisserie.com; 3rd pic: ScarletTeaRoom.com; 4th pic: Peninsula.com; 5th pic: Marpop.com

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