Thursday, May 31, 2012

Being Fancy: The Beehive Tea Room

When I was growing up, my sisters and I never played tea party in the sense most Westerners think of tea parties.

My version of a tea party is yum cha and dim sum, where steaming carts are wheeled around by uniformed Chinese women, serving up round metal trays filled with five or so pieces of shrimp dumplings, short ribs in black bean sauce, or chicken feet (my favorite!).

Patrons would peer into the round steamers as the server lifted the lids to show her wares.  Someone would point, the food is transferred to the table, and the server would pull out a small, round stamp and leave a red mark on the tab card. We would sip hot water (my family didn't ever drink the green tea they offered) from short round cups without handles.

My parents and Chinese tea

I love how raucous it gets sometimes--we Chinese can be loud/eating/pointing people.  You typically don't see any pinkies up.

(Side note: I just had a super funny picture in my head of younger versions of me and my sisters sitting around playing Chinese tea party, chopsticks in hand, and yelling and gesturing loudly at a younger version of my brother, who is wheeling around a makeshift cart with play dim sum.  That just made my day.)

So, when my friend, MiSharona, suggested a girls afternoon-out for tea at the Beehive Tea Room, I wasn't sure if I would feel comfortable there. I've never gone to an English version of tea before, and I was a little afraid that I wouldn't be proper enough.

I'm glad they had an explanation card of what it was all about.

But, I do happen to like late-afternoon snacks and enjoy good friends, so I got ready and met MiSharona and Gem there.

When you first get there, you can't help but settle into the dimly lit, comfortable rooms furnished with old-fashioned and elegant things. We were swooning over the tea settings--fancy!

I loved this tea set!

Our server started us out with the blooming tea--she added hot water to a dried sachet and it bloomed after a few minutes.  It was gorgeous and smelled floral. You could drink it, but we just enjoyed the aroma.

Beautiful blooming tea

We each ordered a tea--I got the Bella Coola, a fruity herbal tea with orange and pineapple hints. MiSharona ordered a Peach tea and Gem got a Raspberry Mint. All of them were lovely! They had a nice variety of black, green, white, and herbal teas--really something for everyone.

Look at my pretty red tea!

Along with the tea, they brought out a tower of finger sandwiches and scones.

MiSharona is considering what to try first.

I've never had a cucumber sandwich before--simple and good.  The cream cheese pesto with crushed pine nuts--hello! I need a recipe.  Anyone?

Finger sandwiches

And English scones!  Lightly sweet with currants throughout and lemon sugar on top.  I couldn't get over the amazing texture of these scones. These were definitely my favorite part of the tea.

Be still my heart!  English scones!

Then they brought a dessert of berries with cream and petit fours.

Side note:  We all agreed that the cream was made of something highly addictive--be careful.

But look at these petit fours--they were made of marzipan and tasted as good as they looked.

The food was marvelous!

Even better than the food was the chance to enjoy the company of good friends.  You can't help but catch up on life and laugh and come up with amazing ideas to save the world and just relax while your tea is cooling.Those couple of hours we chatted and sipped and nibbled were rejuvenating and wonderful. I can now see why tea time is so important to the Brits! 

Thanks for an afternoon well spent, MiSharona and Gem!

You must make advanced reservations for Afternoon Tea at the Beehive Tea Room and it will set you back about $22.00 per person. It might seem a little spendy, but it was definitely worth it!

Beehive Tea Room
12 West Broadway
Salt Lake City, UT

1 comment:

  1. Wow that looks so tasty and fancy! Love the picture of you and your family. It is cute!!


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