The Best Places For Afternoon Tea In LA
photo credit: The Maybourne Beverly Hills
The history of afternoon tea is long, complicated, and boring. So we’ll cut to the chase: If you want to feel opulent for a few hours with your pinky in the air, here’s where to go. The best tea services aren’t really about good sandwiches and interesting teas, they’re about creating a fantasy. Just for today, you don’t live with two roommates and drive a Toyota Camry purchased from your landlord. You’re a dowager, an heiress, and have no idea how much a flight is to the Seychelles, because someone always books it for you. That’s the fantasy, and these places help you achieve it.
At $125 per person, afternoon tea at The Maybourne is not a small financial undertaking, but if eating delicious food is your priority, this is our top pick. The menu features bites like chicken paté balls wrapped in raspberry gel, cauliflower panna cotta with caviar, and colorful, over-the-top desserts that look like props from Alice In Wonderland. Plus, if there’s a more lavish scene in Beverly Hills than Maybourne’s courtyard on a sunny afternoon, we don’t know it. Diamonds on diamonds, darling.
Available weekends, 2-4pm.
Few afternoon teas can rival the posh scene happening daily inside The Peninsula. The ground floor space is named The Living Room, an appropriate title for a room filled with opulent velvet sofas and two giant fireplaces. It’s essentially one big parlor room, where the Beverly Hills sets meet to sip bubbles, gossip, and snack on scones, tarts, and egg salad sandwiches. At $125 per person, this isn’t a casual affair, but that’s the cost of cosplaying as an heiress for 90 minutes.
Available daily 11am-4pm.
Imagine strolling through a 130-acre garden, stumbling upon a small chateau, and following the smell of jasmine to a fancy tea party. That’s The Huntington Rose Garden Tea Room. It’s been around for nearly a century and after a recent renovation, this palatial estate is an aesthetically pleasing spot to decompress over serviceable cucumber sandwiches and butterscotch scones. The afternoon tea service ranges from $62 to $75 depending on your champagne choice, plus there are vegan and gluten-free options available. You’ll also need a $29 ticket for The Huntington Library to eat here, but that means you'll get to frolic through rose bushes afterward.
Available Wednesday through Friday, 11am-4pm; weekends, 10:30am-5pm.
If you want to nibble on scones and watch housewives from the Palisades carry their Pomeranians through the lobby, head to the Fairmont Miramar. This historic hangout in Santa Monica operates like an A-list clubhouse and the intimate sun-filled tea room sits near the main entrance. It offers prime people-watching and the caviar-studded smoked salmon and cucumber mint sandwiches are particularly good. But the biggest highlights are the excellent French pastries at the end of the meal. That’s one of the reasons why you’re going to pay $95 per person for this three-course tea experience (or $180 for bottomless Veuve Clicquot champagne)—but for the premium, you’ll also get two hours of five-star butler service fit for royalty.
Available weekends; seatings at 12pm and 3pm.
For a place to sip tea and nibble on sandwiches like you’re Christine Baranski in The Gilded Age, The Langham Huntington fits the bill. This historic hotel in Pasadena has been around for over a century and offers a $79 afternoon tea Thursday through Sunday. The menu changes seasonally, but you can expect a fairly typical array of cucumber and salmon sandwiches, a suited man playing the piano, and unobstructed views of the stately back lawn.
Available Thursday through Sunday, 10am-3:30pm.
“The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills” is quite a mouthful of a name for a hotel. Geographical confusion aside, their weekend tea is pleasant, polished, and relatively affordable compared to nearby options. For $84 a person, you’ll sip an individual pot of herbal tea in a bright parlor with ample windows offering city views from the hills. It’s not quite as opulent as other high tea venues, but the beautiful finger foods fit the bill nicely: madeleines dipped in white chocolate, matcha checkerboard cake with marzipan, and savory profiteroles stuffed with roast duck. Available weekends, 1:30-3:30pm.