Pinky Up For High Tea at The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Los Angeles is a city whose locals are fueled by lattes, energy drinks, or sated by cocktails. Yet, that doesn't mean that Angelenos are averse to taking a breather and enjoying tea time, that serene mid-to-late afternoon tradition that's become fashionable at high-end hotels like The Peninsula Beverly Hills. The hotel's cushy, semi-Victorian decor is redolent of a traditional salon, and like most swanky tea rooms, it also bears a "you break it and you buy it" air. That just means you'll have to mind etiquette rules when sitting down with that pot of Darjeeling.
Tea is served in the hotel's Living Room, where a harpist—sadly not Joanna Newsom—sets the mood. There are two seatings per day, one at 2:30 and the other at 5:30, plus a noon seating on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. At these times you're handed a menu and allowed to choose from spreads that range anywhere from $29-59. There's the rub. High-tea is high-end at a place like the Peninsula, not a grab-and-go affair like that $1.50 cup of Tazo you can get at other places.
Luckily though, you do have choices: with or without champagne (with), with or without strawberries, and so on. All the requisite fixings are there, too: scones, cucumber sandwiches, and so on. Reservations are suggested, because with few other La-La Land hotels offering quality tea service (we were surprised to hear that a place like Raffles L'Ermitage doesn't, for instance), it's a popular draw.
And remember: pinky up.
[Photo: The Peninsula Beverly Hills]