Friday, October 19th, 2012 | Posted under Argentina
I like to drink tea with the best of the them, but if I could have high tea regularly I am sure that my appreciation of this warm, soothing drink would skyrocket.
I’m going to advocate for having a high tea at a swanky hotel. These kinds of high teas are definitely the best. While in Buenos Aires, Husband J and I made sure to stop by the high tea at Buenos Aires’ “Grand Dame” of hotels, the Alvear Palace Hotel. It’s one of Buenos Aires’ most lauded and most luxurious hotels. I would have considered staying here, but I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to drop the $500 USD plus for a room. Maybe someday.
Part of the lobby at the Alvear Palace. I was trying not to take a pic of this woman on the phone. Oh well…
Tea is served in L’Orangerie restaurant at one end of the lobby. You can take tea here OR……
Here in this gorgeous solarium area like we did.
After ordering, the march of food began. I guess when I mentioned going to high tea to Husband J I expected him to know what it was. We had just eaten a ton of pizza (well, HE had just eaten a ton of pizza) at Guerrín. I think when I said tea, he thought I meant just a cup of tea. Oh no, honey. High tea is much more than that. Was that my bad? Should I have warned him appropriately?
My advice: Come to this tea HUNGRY. Eat a light breakfast and a quick, light lunch or mid-day snack if you have to. If you can hold old out until tea time, even better. Tea starts each day at 4:30pm and doesn’t stop until about 7pm, every day except Sunday. You want your stomach prepared. Really.
To start, we were served a banana-flavored bread. Unlike the more cakey pastry-like banana breads that we have here in this U.S., this had the consistency of an actual bun. I liked it. Nothing like priming your palate for things to come.
The main tray of savory sandwiches and sweets came out next. I think Husband J’s eyes bulged. I reassured him that I was taking this one for the team, and I would be taking the lead on eating.
He looks a little scurred (scared), doesn’t he?
Everything about the Alvear Palace Hotel’s tea is about reliving old school luxury. From the white-gloved waiters, the classically elegant china and the beautifully maintained tea service ware, it’s just a style of dining that I think many of us just don’t experience much anymore. The waiters were very attentive, and they speak excellent English just in case you don’t want to order in Spanish.
I started in on the heavier, savory sandwiches. I have to say that these were not my favorite of the sandwiches as a whole, but you can never go wrong with smoked salmon.
A few of the sandwiches were a little dry or bland.
I thought the tea sandwiches were much better. I believe this was egg, tomato and cheese.
I think the Alvear Palace’s tea really excels with its sweets. I tried to take notes, but I was really eyeing the food and trying to figure out what to try first.
I don’t think you can really have high tea without a scone. This one was lovely especially with all of the jams and jellies on offer, which I unfortunately did not capture.
I was totally in love with all of the sweets we had. I thought this raspeberry lemon tartlett was beautifully presented.
I think after awhile my pants just started to get a tad tight. Luckily, Husband J and I had this picture taken before the end of tea.
Just when I thought the onslaught of food was over…nope it wasn’t. What you can’t see inside is yet ANOTHER dessert that we were offered as a finale. The waiters even brought out the dessert cart. I told them to pack it up. Yikes! It was this lovely coffee flavored mille-feuille pastry. Perfectly flaky and great for an after dinner snack that I tore into later.
Even the take out bag is pretty here.
STILL. MORE. FOOD. Petit fours. I think there were only two left after we were done. Chocolate, pisatchio and lemon. Yummm…
Okay. If you are not stuffed just looking at these pictures, just imagine how I felt. Oy!
Oh yeah, we had some tea, too. I had a nice pot of peppermint tea, my usual stand-by.
I had a lovely time and enjoyed this experience. While it wasn’t my first and only high tea experience, I think the surroundings and value for food and service make for a pretty nice afternoon of relaxation after pounding the pavement in Buenos Aires.
Have you ever attended a fancy high tea? Where was it, and what did you like about it?
Alvear Palace Hotel
Avenida Alvear 1891
Buenos Aires, Argentina