Tag Archives: Beverly Hills

A Mother’s Day Moment

What better way to spend Mother’s Day than with my dreamy husband and sweetest daughter at a First Ever service of High Tea at American Tea Room. Edie was on her best behavior for most of the time, and I got to enjoy my favorite people and favorite pastime all in one exceptional spot.

David and Valerie hard at work

David and Randy, the owners of ATR, greeted us fondly and we were shown to our table. We were also introduced to one of my new favorite people, Valerie Gordon, the artisanal confectioner preparing all the sweets and treats to accompany the glorious selection of teas.

High Tea started off with a most beautiful Amuse of the most delicate and decadent chocolate filled with a lovely cream filling. It was accompanied by Bao Zhong Royale, an Oolong with just the lightest hints of jasmine and narcissus. Edie dove headfirst into both, and I couldn’t blame her. Delicious!


And now came the potentially difficult decision of tea. A hand-picked selection was offered on a tea menu, but David came to my rescue – knowing my love of black teas – suggesting a new arrival not listed on the High Tea menu: Ruby Black. The history of this lovely Assam is the stuff of novels, but let me pique your interest by saying that this tea has been in production for less than 3 year and can only be found in the U.S. at our own American Tea Room. David, you know me too well…

Next, we were served Creme Fraiche Scones with the largest pat of real butter I’ve ever seen, and a mouth-watering selection of strawberry-creme fraiche jam, strawberry rhubarb jam, and a marmalade. I loved how the scones were a little bigger than an Oreo, light, fluffy, warm, and manageable. There was no worrying about whether or not to cut off chunks – just the luxury of slathering the whole thing in butter and jam-of-choice and nibbling away.

The tea sandwiches were next – a selection of three per person.  Curried Chicken with Muscat Grapes; Breakfast Radish, Butter and Lemon Confit; Crab Salad with mint and Lime.  All open-faced, all designed to be consumed in two or three heavenly bites. The Curried Chicken came out the crowd favorite – I even heard one patron request additional Curried Chicken sandwiches because they simply couldn’t get enough!

And last, but definitely not least, the sweets. Oh, Valerie. You are a Master of your Craft.  An Earl Grey Petit Four; a Lemon Curd and Creme Fraiche Tartlet; Matcha Shortbread Cookies; and the most divine chocolates I have ever tasted. Gene and I tried to name our favorite of the assortment, but we just couldn’t. The petit four had a simple sweetness with that gentle bergamot (and perhaps lavender) of the Earl Grey, but the tartlet had everything that is best about a lemon meringue pie without the meringue.  And the chocolates… Well, they are just a category on their own that can’t be compared. Toffee squares coated in chocolate, topped with either an almond or what appeared to be some kind of rock salt. The toffee was not the kind that you will be excavating from your teeth for years to come, oh no. This is real, buttery, nearly melting in your mouth toffee like nothing I’ve ever had before. And caramels. I love caramels. I didn’t know how much I loved caramels until I tasted these.  The liquid caramel is lovingly hidden in dark chocolate domes. I suddenly realized I had never really had caramels before.

Thank you to American Tea Room and to Valerie Confections for providing such a lovely opportunity for me and my family to enjoy tea together is such a setting. And thank you to my husband and daughter for making my Mother’s Day quite a special moment. While the High Tea was incredible, sharing it with my family was priceless.

Enjoy High Tea at American Tea Room
Saturdays and Sundays
401 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Reservations strongly recommended
310.271.7922 or  tea@americantearoom.com

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Tea, Tea Room

A Highly Anticipated Moment

It is no secret that I have been having a very public love affair with American Tea Room for quite some time. They know me. They “get” me. And they have some of the most lovely teas you can get your hands on.

And so it was with great delight I discovered that ATR will soon be serving high tea on Saturdays and Sundays beginning on Mother’s Day. May 9th – Mark your calendars and remember to call your Mom that day. Better yet, make your reservation now and take her to this Highly Anticipated Moment!

I’ll see you there!

Leave a comment

Filed under Tea, Tea Room, Travel

An American Tea Room Moment

I’ve lived in Southern California for 10 years: 3 months after Gene and I got married in our home town of Boise, Idaho, packed up both our cars and headed to the land of perpetual sunshine. People often ask, don’t you miss having four seasons? What are they talking about? We have four seasons: Nice, really nice, beautiful, and gorgeous! And right now, we’re experiencing the 5th Season – El Nino – just to mix things up a bit.

So, it was great fun to take a drive up to Beverly Hills on a really nice January day, where the thermometer rose just above 70, and stop in to meet the masterminds behind the American Tea Room. Randy, co-mastermind, greeted me as Gene and I entered the tea room. His warm, high energy enthusiasm is contagious! He immediately provided our choice of samples: their Earl Grey Sterling (which they should just call Earl Great), and Extreme Vanilla Organic Green Tea, which was 3 years in the making and incorporates three types of hand cut vanilla beans.

Then, I was introduced to David, who has been a key figure in my tea exploration this year. His suggestions, along with accompanying samples, have opened my mind and palate to worlds of black tea I have never even known to exist! What a pleasure to finally meet him live and in person!

Just seconds before my introduction to Milk Oolong

David ushered us to the tea bar, where he offered to brew a pot of tea for us to share. I have been hearing great things about their Milk Oolong, so it was an obvious choice.  As the tea was prepared, David began explaining how this oolong was processed. He presented the large tin of the Milk Oolong and pointed out its creamy aroma – a result of the processing, not anything that is added. The tea was steeped in a most beautiful tea pot – designed specifically for American Tea Room. (It has sold out of both colors (black and white), and has been a smash-hit  among the Hollywood elite.)

Once the tea had steeped, we were shown how large the bright green tea leaves were once they unfurled from their tight twists. Then the first sip. Tasting Milk Oolong for the first time was exquisite! The creaminess translates nicely into the flavor of this tea. It is light, but full, and hits every point on your palate. To accompany this marvelous discovery, we were provided with some small and delicate tea cookies. One, covered in matcha, and the other harmless looking cookies were described as “crack cookies” because of their tendency to leave consumers wanting more and more. (I found this to be disturbingly true. How can I get my hands on more?!?!)

And this was just the first course. The second course was the visual feast of the space itself. Gene and I wandered around, examining the large and beautiful selection of unique teapots in both cast iron and Japanese porcelain. There were walls of tea to be explored, each tea with a small pot of leaves to be sniffed and examined. Gift boxes, tea cups, so many amazing things, and all displayed with an artist’s touch.

The third course was trying to decide what to take home with me. I had asked David what his favorite tea for the moment was and he talked about various green teas, particularly those from Japan. While I shy away from the grassiness of many green teas, that is what he most enjoys. Feeling brave and also inspired by his passion, I asked for his recommendation on where I should start in my green exploration. He walked me through some Chinese greens (less “grassy” than Japanese greens) and brought down tin after tin from his wall of tea. I was thrilled to end my adventure with a parcel filled with a couple of old favorites, my new-found treat of Milk Oolong, and some Long Jing (also known as Dragonwell) as a re-introduction to green tea.

The cherry on top was getting to know David and how the idea of this tea room came about, his travels, his knowledge, recommendations, commentary, and even an inside scoop to some exciting changes coming very soon to their beautiful space. Randy and David have a perfectly balanced partnership with each filling in the blanks for the other when it comes to operations, tea tasting and testing, organization, displays… the list goes on and on. It even goes as far as David keeping Twitter updated (@AmericanTeaRoom), and Randy focusing on Facebook (Become a Fan).

I look forward to my next trip to this Tea Destination and my continued tea adventures encouraged by David and Randy.

American Tea Room
401 N Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 271-7922

Monday – Saturday 10 AM – 6 PM and Sunday 12 PM – 5PM

Add your comment to any of my blog entries & Win Gift Package of 2009 Award Winning Tea from An International Tea Moment! See details at http://wp.me/pv8CX-3x

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Tea, Tea Room