Monday, September 26, 2011

Tea for Two

A while back my lovely sister asked me if I'd like to accompany her to tea at the Hilton Netherland Plaza downtown.  A free fancy tea downtown with my sis?!  Yes please!  So, this past Saturday we got all fancified and made our way to the Orchids at Palm Court for afternoon tea.  If you've never been to Orchids, which I hadn't, it's all Art Deco, gold and mood lighting.  And if you've never been to afternoon tea at the Orchids, I'd highly recommend it, particularly for a fancy ladies outing (something I don't do ever very often).

 Orchids at Palm Court dining room. Notice the mood lighting, which made it tricky to get decent pictures.

Fancy sisters (please ignore my crazy look...not sure what that's about).

First, you order tea.  We both started with the Ceylon, which was very nice.

Michelle perusing the tea menu.  You each get a little pot of tea that holds approximately two cups.  Once you've finished that you can either have more hot water or try a different tea altogether. 

 Fancy sugar cubes.

One lump or two?  Such a silly question to ask Michelle or lump just isn't enough! (That sounded a little dirty! Sorry!)

The sandwiches show up shortly after you've received your tea.  An afternoon tea consists of tea, sandwiches and pastries, unlike high tea which also includes soup and quiche. See that sandwich on the bottom, front and center, that's smoked salmon.  And I ate it!  Me!!  And I liked it!  Weird, I know.  Don't be too alarmed though, the Earth hasn't completely fell off it's axis...I still hated the egg salad!

After the sandwiches and some more tea (this time Jasmine for me and Lapsang Souchang for Michelle), out come the pastries.  Oh, the pastries!  Scones.  Muffins.  Chocolate mousse.  Macarons.  Chocolate covered strawberries.  Pink velvet cake.  Just to name a few.
The little pryamidy thingy in the spoon on the left was one of my favorites.  When you ate it all together it tasted like cheesecake, damn good cheesecake.  The dark chocolate mousse in little shortbread cups on the right were out-of-this-world rich and decadent!

Lemon verbena macaron.

Doesn't get much better than this.

Everything was stellar.  The sandwiches were delightful (except for the egg salad, but that's just because I hate egg salad).  The pastries were intense, creative and delicious!  Out of 12 or so pastries, I only dislike one of them...and I'm picky!  I had such a wonderful time acting like lady-like and fancy (again, not a normal thing for me), and eating some decadent goodies.  I would definitely go back again.  In fact, I kind of want to check out the Orchids' annual Holiday brunch.  I've heard awesome things.  And after experiencing the flavor explosion of awesomeness that is their afternoon tea, I'm even more intrigued by the idea of Christmas brunch there.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.


Anonymous said...

How wonderful! You both look so lovely! Also I was going to say that the white pyramid-y thing looked SO GOOD. Very cool!

Michelle Boyles said...

Must concur the white pyramid thing was awesome!!!
As was the lovely afternoon with my sister!