Did you know that the British tradition of High Tea has its origins in the mid 18th century? It was an afternoon meal served between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm, and it was taken standing up or sitting on high stools. Therein comes the term “High Tea.”
If you think that High Tea is limited to the culture laden land of Queen Elizabeth, you couldn’t be further from the truth. I think it’s a safe assumption (if that’s even a thing) to make, that most people aren’t aware that High Tea has ventured out of its British origins and taken root in other countries. I’ll admit that until fairly recently, I was one of those people. I couldn’t fathom the idea of experiencing High Tea anywhere else.
A brief backstory…
I traveled to England last summer with a laundry list of ‘must-do’ activities I needed to check off prior to my return to the States. My vacation activities plan was well thought out; however, most of it did not come to fruition due to time constraints. Time has a way of escaping at breakneck speed when you’re on vacation! One of my planned activities that did not see the light of day was the opportunity to experience High Tea in England. You know, like I envision the pomp and circumstance a High Tea ceremony with Queen Elizabeth would entail.
Upon my return home, like an ever nagging thought, I couldn’t shake off my desire to experience High Tea. It had been on my mind, since my England trip, to identify and experience the next best thing to British High Tea. Driven by this, I decided to consult Professor Google.com and see where I else I could possibly turn my High Tea dream into reality.
Did I find this treasure? I sure did! Imagine my level of excitement when I discovered a sizeable list of High Tea venues in close proximity to me! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, afternoon High Tea can be experienced even in the south of the good ole U.S of A where I currently reside. Who would have thought, huh? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware that Dallas is a metropolitan city that is not isolated from the rest of humanity. It is a melting point of a wide array of cultures; however, I was still surprised at how well embraced High Tea is, in a sea of iced tea drinkers.
Let me just put it out there that Dallas High Tea is a force to be reckoned with! I chose Hotel Crescent Court, a luxury hotel in Uptown Dallas for my inaugural experience. The hotel has a sophisticated vibe that I particularly took a liking to. The ambiance was exactly how I’d envisioned a High Tea setting to be. Can you say pomp and circumstance! *royal hand wave*
My High Tea experience at Hotel Crescent Court blew my socks off from the get-go! The hostess and our server were both above and beyond gracious. They warmly welcomed our party and ensured our experience was phenomenal from commencement to finale.
First things first, I perused the wide selection of tea options and decided on the flavored Lady Grey Black Tea, infused with apricot, blackcurrant, lemon, Earl Grey, and oil of Bergamot. The aroma and taste were non-comparable to any other tea I’ve had. I was blown away! I sat there sipping my tea, with my pinky finger up in the air (if you’re not doing this, you’re doing it wrong*chuckle*), overall feeling like royalty.
Other teas offered include the following:
The South Indian Iyerpadi tea, which is strong, black and heavy with multiple layers of richness and flavor.
The Chinese Young Hyson tea which is an organic twisted leaf with an attractive green and soft finish.
The Floral South African herbal tea which has more antioxidants than green tea and is infused with white chocolate, vanilla, and cookie dough.
Oolong tea with organic Sencha, Yerba Mate, ginger, blueberries, goji berries, dandelion leaves, and lemon grass
The Herbal Ruby which is a herbal blend of Hibiscus flowers, rose hips, orange peels, lemon peel, chamomile flowers, spearmint and peppermint leaves/
Regardless of what tea option you choose, rest assured that you will be reaching for a second helping or ten. It really does taste that good!
I was not aware until I glanced at the menu, that it would be a three-course meal. I’ll say it’s definitely a great bang for your buck–there are menu options to satisfy pretty much every palate. The first course consisted of a plated selection of finger sandwiches. These were the Spinach Dip Bite, Ham Sweet Potato Sandwich, Smoked Salmon Canape, Cucumber Hummus Roll, and Roast Beef Horseradish Sandwich. Each piece was carefully crafted and had a perfect blend of taste and texture. Tantalizing? That would be an understatement!
The second course consisted of seasonal warm scones. These included Brown Sugar Pecan Scones and Citrus Scones with Orange Glaze and for toppings, Clotted Cream and Berry Jam were within reach. This course catered to my sweet tooth in a sensory stimulating manner.
The third course was as expected- dessert. This included Champagne Petit Four, Macaroons, Chocolate Pavlova with Fruit, and Passion Fruit Panna Cotta. I savored each delectable piece, and relished every moment of it!By the end of the third course, I needed a nap- I was satiated!
- Be sure to book your reservation in advance. High Tea is only offered on Saturday and Sunday from 2pm-4pm; therefore, you want to be sure that you secure a spot. If you can’t keep your reservation, please be courteous and cancel more than 24 hours in advance.
- Be punctual- it’s only a two-hour event, that goes by faster than the blink of an eye.
- Dress the part! Think about how you would dress to meet royalty- would they approve of sloppy wear? I think not! (*chuckle*)
- Live in the moment. While it’s great to document the experience via photos and videos, try to make that a brief exercise. Put your phone and other devices away and focus on savoring every morsel, and taking in all the sensory stimulating tastes and sights. Relish every moment of your High Tea experience.
- Once the High Tea experience has come to a close, I highly recommend making use of the beautiful building for photo opportunities. It’s a stunning work of art- both inside and out.
In summary, I am looking forward to another High Tea episode at Hotel Crescent. I’ll definitely be a repeat consumer given my phenomenal first-time experience. If you live in the Dallas area or are planning on visiting soon, I’d recommend checking them out. It will be an epic tale for the grandkids- true story!