Queen Mary Tea Room

Have you ever looked at your bank account to see how much you actually spend on food per month? My generation is really adept at spending half our entire earnings on socializing and going out to restaurants as a way to spend time. The other half goes to rent, obviously. My bank account’s spending category of “food & dining” looks as though I’m a professional food critic without the employer reimbursement showing up in the credit column.

While I can fairly effectively state a case for both sides of the eating at home (cheaper! less calories! making an effort!) vs. dining out (tasting the city’s offering!  getting out of the apartment! being more social! blog research!) debate, husband and I came to the conclusion we need to reel it in and spend more time cooking & eating at home in the coming months. Yes, I said months, I’m not some complete lunatic who might adopt this method for years or whatever.

Luckily, the budget review and restrictions came hours after I visited Queen Mary Tea Room for Afternoon Tea. One last splurge, and gosh did I choose the loveliest way to spend my “last meal.” Look at this place!

Afternoon tea is still a new-ish concept to me, therefore it feels very fancy to drink delicious tea out of fancy bone china cup with matching saucer, and nibble my way through an assortment of baked goods and crust-less sandwiches from a two-tier cake plate. I just love everything about it.

Queen Mary Tea Room Afternoon Tea begins with a fruit sorbet assortment and a sprinkled teapot-shaped sugar cookie, along with a giant silver pot of tea, of which I chose Orchard Berries green tea since I generally prefer a lighter, fruity tea in the summer. Next came the spreads, an orange marmalade and a chunky strawberry jam, and tiny pots of each butter and whipped cream. Finally, out came the two-tier cake stand containing a tiny quiche, scone, fresh fruit, soup, sandwiches, pork sausage roll, almond cookie, fudge brownie, among a few other treats. I tried taking my time with each morsel, but that is incredibly difficult for me when faced with such delicious selections.

Technically, groups of up to six people are welcome to stay for up to two hours, but we were full and happy to close out our check after a satisfying hour. I wish I’d reserved room in my belly for some sticky toffee pudding or royal wedding cake, which we could see through the glass dessert case from our table. We got lucky with a last minute, same-day reservation, but they strongly recommend making a reservation well in advance of your visit. Now that I’ve experienced the Afternoon Tea, next time I’d like to stop in for a pot of tea and a dessert, for which you do not need to make a reservation.

Afternoon Tea at Queen Mary is definitely a lavish splurge at $42 per person, and would be a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday or very special occasion. I’d love to throw a DIY version of an afternoon tea party with friends from work, and will certainly draw inspiration from the food offerings and the great service we received from Angie. Afternoon tea also left me amped for my second year volunteering at the upcoming NW Tea Festival in Seattle, and also for my upcoming trip to England. I love being introduced to such a massive variety of teas of all flavors, blends, categories through experiencing tea rooms and the festival. There are endless teas to sample at the Tea Festival and even during today’s tea, we sampled a buttery lemon chiffon rooibos and a blackcurrant black tea both of which I would chose for a pot of tea at a future visit. As in, when I’m ready to lift spending restrictions once again!

Have you ever experienced a fancy afternoon tea? What was the best part?

This post is not sponsored, although it should be since I am a Queen named Mary. All opinions are my own!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary, let’s have our own afternoon tea once you return from England. I will bring my Moomin tea and we can bake some desserts or make sandwiches for it. I even have tea cups!

    1. Mary says:

      Sounds good to me!

  2. Mary M. Doremus says:

    Hi Mary- I don’t know how I missed the “afternoon tea” blog. (Just read it now on November 16.)
    I went to an afternoon tea in London, many years ago. I remember being uneasy about not knowing the protocol for eating during the tea. Is one supposed to eat everything they bring to the table? Is afternoon tea supposed to be a real meal? If I recall correctly, afternoon tea is later afternoon…so should one then skip dinner/supper? How much tea should one drink at an afternoon tea?
    How about a blog on afternoon tea etiquette for us stateside tea novices?

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