Whether you’re cooped up with bored kids or just needing a little you-time, one of the best ways to chill is with a pinkies-up high tea. Local tea houses are now offering this English tradition to go — from crustless cucumber sandwiches and scones to pasties and baked treats. Breaking out granny’s silver service not required, but really, why not?
Tudor Rose Tea Room: Our crummy Monday turned into a charming afternoon teatime escape for one. High-tea order includes four tea sandwiches (little crustless triangles of curried-chicken, cucumber and cream cheese, hummus), a mushroom and onion tart, scone with cream and jam and a packet of tea. Add-ons include sausage rolls, savory pies, French onion soup and savory pies. Owner Angela Grant is an unreservedly enthusiastic Brit who makes sure the whole experience is authentic. Daily, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Order online, phone confirmation. 733 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, tudorrosetearoom.com.
Patisserie Angelica: High tea with a Parisian twist at this longtime Sebastopol patisserie. First, choose a luxe tea from the famed Mariage Freres Tea Company (just reading the descriptions is an exotic adventure). Pinkies-up petit fours include mini versions of favorite desserts: two scones, quiche, seasonal cheesecake, lemon meringue tart, chocolate souffle, Parisian “puff” and a real-deal macaron. Gluten-free options available. Love, love, love to go. Order anytime at 707-494-2547 for Café carry out each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 6821 Laguna Park Way, Sebastopol.
Muir’s Tea Room: Enchanted Fairy Tea Service (wrapped as a gift) is so cute we want to pinch it! Wrapped up as a fairy gift, it includes the Wee Willie Winkie Pinkie Strawberry and Cream Cheese Finger Sandwich, Pixie Puff Pastry Pesto Pinwheel, a toadstool tart, a handpainted fairy cookie and more. All food is plant-based (ie: no meat). Available Tuesdays and Fridays or by request. Pre-order online at muirstearoomandcafe.com. 330 South Main St., Sebastopol.
3 thoughts on “High Time for High Tea Takeout in Sonoma County”
Except for the Tudor Rose’s excursion into “savory pies,” none of the meals described here is what is known in Britain as “High Tea” (I’m a Brit). True, some London hotels that cater largely to foreign tourists might call their afternoon tea by the incorrect term, having given up trying to combat its misuse abroad, but Brits know that High Tea is actually a working class meal taken at table (hence the “high,” in contrast to the low sofas etc on which afternoon tea is taken). It was traditionally eaten when laborers got back home from the fields or factories at the end of the workday. It consists of salad, cold meats, pies, and other savory dishes + maybe a pudding — along with a pot of tea. Afternoon tea, which is what the restaurants mentioned in this article serve, was originally taken by the leisure classes at around 4:00 pm and consists of cucumber sandwiches, scones and the like. I live up to my name, don’t I?!
Thank you. Now someone to back me up, I too am English. High tea is supper. What they are enjoying is Afternoon Tea; just as you said. . I get an argument all time about this, and I should know. But what gets me is sometimes places like Tudor Rose advertise High Tea, knowing full well it isn’t. I guess they think it will sell better. Americans need to be educated on this, as it’s our culture.
Well said! That’s how I remember it!