Food & Drink

The 5 Best Spots for Afternoon Tea

One if by Land, Two if by Tea

afternoon tea!

Suffering from Downton Abbey withdrawal? Drown your sorrows in the Dowager Duchess’s sip of choice at one of these top-drawer spots.

Pinkies up.

Hotel Bel-Air
Channel your favorite Crawley sister (ahem, Lady Mary) at the newly renovated hotel. Wolfgang Puck’s menu satisfies with swoonworthy fare like black truffle grilled cheese, blue crab rolls, and flaky Viennese pastries. Nestle up by the fireplace or commandeer a private booth on the Mediterranean-style terrace overlooking a leafy garden. 701 Stone Canyon Road, Los Angeles (310-909-1644).

Tres by José Andrés
The molecular gastronomy maestro turns teatime ($32 per person) on its head with exotic bites: caviar steamed buns, savory beet macarons with goat cheese filling, and chocolate pop rocks. The Philippe Starck-designed restaurant is equally avant-garde (AK-47 standing lamps, glass stag heads). Brews come straight up (English Breakfast) or with a twist (Nobo Whole Fruit, Hojicha). SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, 465 South La Cienega Boulevard, between Colgate Avenue and Clifton Way, Los Angeles (310-246-5551).

Rose Garden Tea Room
Refuel with a dainty spread of scones, finger sandwiches, and sweets (brownies, lemon bars) after a ramble around The Huntington’s lush botanical gardens. The relaxed, kid-friendly tearoom fills up quickly, so reserve your spot at least two weeks in advance. The Tea and Tour, a private 90-minute garden journey followed by a full tea service, is worth the $60-per-person splurge. 1151 Oxford Road, off Stratford Road, San Marino (626-683-8131).

Jin Patisserie
Tea aficionados have their cake (Guanaja chocolate with cherry custard, pistachio and almond dacquoise with fresh raspberries) and eat it, too, at Abbot Kinney’s pastry boutique-slash-outdoor tea garden. Steeped in purified water, the blends hail from storied French company Theodor and include such popular flavors as African Breakfast, Rouge Revolution, and Je Ne Sais Quoi (which has a certain something). 1202 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, at Aragon Court, Venice (310-399-8801).

The Peninsula Beverly Hills
The white-glove service at 90210’s sophisticated (but never stuffy) hotel would give Mr. Carson a run for his money. Get your Earl Grey on while enjoying a right proper meal of finger sandwiches (egg salad, smoked salmon), scones dolloped with Devonshire cream, and champagne and caviar. 9882 South Santa Monica Boulevard, at Lasky Drive, Beverly Hills (310-975-2736).

That’s the oolong and short of it.

Photo: Corey Lesh / Getty Images

Hotel Bel-Air
701 Stone Canyon Rd
bt Capello & Tortuoso Ways
Los Angeles, CA 90077
Tres by Jose Andres
465 S La Cienega Blvd
bt Colgate Ave & Clifton Way, inside SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
Los Angeles, CA 90048
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Rd
off Stratford Rd
San Marino, CA 91108
The Peninsula Beverly Hills
9882 S Santa Monica Blvd
@ Lasky Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd
@ Aragon Ct
Venice, CA 90291