Do you get the 3 p.m. slump, sending you to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and something to snack on? Well, so did Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford in 1840. Afternoon tea was her idea: she would routinely get hungry at 4 p.m. and request a tray of tea, cake, bread and butter as a way to stave off hunger until the 8 p.m. dinner bell.
This Afternoon Tea concept has become popularized across the world, with many restaurants and tea houses replicating the grand tradition. We have rounded up a few of our favorites across metro Detroit, as well as some tips to host your own special Afternoon Tea at home.
The Whitney, built in 1894, is an iconic mansion that represents luxury and opulence — the ideal location for an afternoon tea that steeps its attendees is the rich history of Detroit. It offers a three-course Mansion Tea Service every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30. Mimosas are presented upon arrival, fresh-baked scones are paired with Whitney-Hive Honey from the on-premises hives and the presentation of “The Tower,” a combination of sweet and savory bites, including miniature pastries, make for a memorable afternoon. Special seasonal events include Christmas Cup Tea and a Frozen Tea.
This Ferndale favorite has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a little peace and quiet solo or want a private celebration with 30 of your closest friends, this tea room can accommodate your needs. You can spring for the full-out Afternoon Tea, which includes soup, salad, tea sandwiches, dessert and tea or pop in for something more simple with pastries and freshly brewed tea. Call for reservations at 248-268-3275.
When a tea room revolves around homemade scones, you know it will be a delight for the taste buds. Just Scones launched in 1994, and has evolved to include 14 regular varieties, including gluten-free, no sugar added and seasonal favorites. The Royal Treat Tea Room opened in 2004 in Roseville, followed by the Pink House Tea Room in New Baltimore in 2020. Both locations feature European lunch options in addition to tea and fresh scones. Check out the Just Delicious Scones website and see which location works for your crew, or opt to order the famous scones and host your own tea party at home!
Worried about chipping the good china? Head to a thrift store and buy secondhand teacup and saucer sets. Mix and match different designs and grab a teapot if you can spot one. This way, you can let your kids (carefully) click cups in a cheers without cringing.
For caffeine-free tea, try Rooibos. This herbal tea is naturally caffeine-free and you can use it to make a Sweet Cinnamon Milk Tea. Bring water and cinnamon sticks to boil in a pan, add Rooibos tea bags and steep for seven minutes. Stir in honey or maple syrup, a splash of vanilla extract and milk that has been warmed in the microwave.
Want a low-prep tea? Hit up the store for pre-made chicken salad, scones and petite pastries. Trader Joe’s even has crumpets, lemon curd and macarons.
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