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Tea Time, Without the White Gloves, at The Montage Beverly Hills

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  Site Where: 225 North Canon Drive [map], Beverly Hills, CA, United States, 90210
August 25, 2010 at 11:20 AM | by | Comments (0)

When a friend warned us that he would be showing up for our tea date at The Montage Beverly Hills in flip-flops we had a feeling that this wouldn't be the strict sort of white-gloved high hotel tea we've experienced elsewhere at HotelChatter. And we were right.

Tea time is served at the Montage from 2:30-5pm in the hotel's lobby lounge which is across from the hotel's Parq restaurant and which overlooks a pretty garden courtyard and the Bouchon Cafe. Sunlight streams in while guests sink into soft couches and oversized chairs and order up their drinks. A harpist plucks her strings and the conversations are kept to a low buzz.

While we stopped in a prime tea time at 3:30pm, not many folks were ordering the fancy tea service but rather cocktails, wines and little bites served from Parq. Nevertheless, tea time here is pleasant and relaxed.

The linens were crisply ironed and the pretty Lissi Kaplan hand-painted china plates were promptly and correctly set. A tower of scones, pastries and finger sandwiches created by executive chef Richard Ruskell came out in timely fashion although the rest of the accoutrements (the all-important jam and butter cream) took a bit longer. Apparently, the room is staffed by just one waitress (and no, she does not wear white gloves.)

Our favorites were the scones, of course but we also devoured the cucumber and Danish butter on pumperknickel and the egg salad on white bread. We had to save the pastries, while they looked mouth-watering, for later. (The waitress carefully boxed them up for us and are in our fridge right now, awaiting 3:30pm snack time.)

And about the tea? Since it was about 90 degrees in Beverly Hills yesterday we had to ask for ours iced. Yes, for those who like a formal tea time, you may want to look elsewhere. But if you just want to relax and enjoy some small, hand-crafted bites on a lazy afternoon, Montage does it just right. Just don't expect to make phone calls or check email. The lounge is a dead-zone but as soon as you step outside, service works. (Update: The hotel tells us they were having some network issues the day we were there but they have since been resolved. So break out your Blackberries and iPhones!)

The basic tea service we ordered is $39 per person. There are other types of tea depending on your group--a Gent's Tea with scotch ($51) for the menfolk, a Royale Tea ($61) which includes Veuve Cliquot for the boozers and even a Kid's Tea ($29) which include nutella, pb&j, and grilled cheese sandwiches. For more on the hotel's tea time, go here.

Insider Tip: Unlike most hotels in LA, a plus for non-hotel guests is the parking situation. The Montage is served by an underground parking garage from the city of Beverly Hills that gives you two hours free.

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