No matter the weather, even this sudden heat wave, afternoon tea is probably my favorite food-oriented ritual. Calm, relaxed pace, lots of tea and conversation, and a good sampling of different savory and sweet foods. And one of my favorite spots for everyday, casual afternoon teas that won't break the bank is Tea Rose Garden in Pasadena.
Part tea room, part florist - it's a small and cute shop on Raymond just on the edge of Old Town Pasadena. Filled with delightful china, giftshop knick-knacks (leaning a bit heavy on bridal / baby shower stuff, for obvious reasons) and wonderfully perfumed with the smell of fresh-cut flowers, it's a delightful escape from the hub-bub of the city, particularly if you sit in their quaint little courtyard in the back.
Their afternoon tea is $18.95 and includes a pot of tea - with a pretty vast selection for you to choose from - and the following foods:
- a refreshing spring petal salad (not pictured) with mixed greens and edible flowers tossed in housemade raspberry vinaigrette
- six pieces of tea sandwiches and you can choose up to three flavors (my faves are the spicy salmon tempter, the cranberry chicken and goat cheese & sun-dried tomato)
- a warm scone of your choice (rarely do I see a teashop where you can choose your own scone, so far my preferred ones here are maple pecan, candied ginger and lemon-blueberry), with Devonshire cream and raspberry jam. Crumbly, creamy goodness!
- mixed fruits (also not pictured)
- a chewy, mildly-sweet rose sugar cookie
- tea time sweets: bite-sized squares of lemon bar, vanilla cheesecake, apple crisp and walnut brownie.
Even if I'm starving, I'm generally beyond stuffed after the scone and wound up taking the cookie and sweets to go. But the food and tea here are solidly delicious, and it's a great way to relax after an afternoon of errands or shopping, or to get sugared up for an evening of festivities . . .
A few tips/observations: they DO host a lot of showers and parties here and it's pretty small place, so even if you have a party of two, best to call a day or two ahead to reserve a table (esp. for weekends.) Also, a 15% gratuity is added to every check, but feel free to add more as you see fit.
What Do Others Say?
- Solid four stars from 46 reps of the Yelperocracy
- Best of LA wrote about it on LA.foodblogging, loved the sandwiches and got surprisingly full too
Tea Rose Garden
28 S Raymond Ave