Thursday, June 14, 2012

No. 218: Diamond Jubilee/Anniversary Afternoon Tea @ Langham Pasadena

While afternoon teas are usually an indulgent affair, with the low-end ones running at approx. $20/person and the upscale affairs going close to $70, once a year there is a phenomenal promotion - the Anniversary Afternoon Tea at Langham Pasadena on June 10 - which they commemorate by offering their afternoon tea at its original price of 1 pence and 6 shillings (or, 15 U.S. cents -- yes, $0.15)

Lounge Area 
Alas, in past years I have missed out on this amazing deal because 1) June 10 fell on a weekday or 2) by the time I remembered about it, it has already been booked up. Not so in 2012, where it fortunately fell on a Sunday and... thanks to their PR and a last-minute cancellation of another table... I managed to wrangle a space for my friends and I.
Bubbly and Tea 
This year's tea was made extra special because it also commemorates Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee, which meant a glass of bubbly to go with our teas. I can certainly toast to that! Long live the Queen!
Tea Sandwiches 
And just because this tea set costs less than a buck doesn't mean it's any less decadent. Our tasty affair started with bite-sized, open-faced tea sandwiches with exquisite toppings such as smoked salmon profiterole with shallot-caper cream and caviar, and prosciutto with egg on peppercorn-potato bread. Though I think our favorite is the watercress-pesto marinated shrimp on herb-garlic bread.
Tea Sweets 
Next came a plate of mini desserts, some finger-friendly and others not so much. Having had such intensely-flavored savory sandwiches earlier, I personally liked the more delicate and subtle sweets on this plate, such as the airy, bright raspberry macaron and the spongy almond financier - though I definitely appreciate the artistic qualities of their fancier sweets too, especially the cloverleaf designs on the milk chocolate citrus torte and the plump, gold leaf-topped berries on the lemon-raspberry tart.
Scones & Poundcake
Of course, no afternoon tea is complete without scones, and these came to us still warm from the oven with a wonderful flaky crust and an interior that's impeccably light without being too crumbly. They were sublime with the Devonshire cream & lemon custard, as well as their strawberry preserves.

As for the tea itself, I stuck with the Langham Blend throughout the afternoon, their signature blend of Assam, Darjeeling and Tippy Golden Orange Pekoe that made for a black tea that's smooth enough to drink on its own, but definitely better with a lump of sugar and a spot of milk. My friends did opt for their lighter Green Tea Passion[fruit] and Chamomile teas as the day went on, though.
And like the afternoon teas we've had, time just slipped right by as we sipped, nibbled, relaxed and chatted away . . . has it been two and a half hours already? I guess all good things must come to an end . . . but not before we made a pact to do another tea in the near future, and try to come back again next year for this truly affordable luxury (even if it means taking that Monday off in 2013 . . . consider yourselves notified!)

And if you're feeling particularly posh and sweet-toothy, I'd also point you towards their Sunday chocolate afternoon tea... with a dessert buffet!

Lobby Lounge @ Langham Pasadena 
1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue 
Pasadena, CA 91106
(626) 585-6218 


LV said...

I have been looking for a great place to go for high tea. This one looks interesting.


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