I’m a bit obsessed with British television shows, their accent, and food. One thing that Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice even Ladies of London have in common is the tradition of Afternoon Tea. We have Happy Hour with cocktails, sliders and fried calamari and but they have cakes, cookies, finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream and yes tea.
Afternoon Tea is traditionally taken from 3 to 5 but most tea rooms are open for lunch to the early evening. Afternoon Tea has all of the cakes, sandwiches and pastries we are used to while High Tea is actually a heavier meal that’s similar to dinner.
Tea menus have different themes. A Cream Tea includes scones, jam and Devonshire or Clotted cream. A Light tea adds cakes, cookies and shortbreads to the Light Tea menu. And the Full Teas adds savory items like sandwiches and hot or cold appetizers.
The ambience of the tea room, the variety of the menu and the selection of teas are all aspects that make each location unique. Here in Los Angeles you can find many tea houses, here is a list of a few that I recommend and below you will find a recipe for my spin on Cucumber Sandwiches, a tea staple.
Chado Tea (6801 Hollywood Blvd, Ste A2-209 Hollywood, CA 90028)
Here you will be served the Full Tea and have an amazing offering of more than 300 teas to choose from. Your server will be happy to help you select a tea that perfectly suites your tastes, in addition you can buy a bag of loose leaf tea to take home.
American Tea Room (909 S Santa Fe Ave Los Angeles, CA 90021)
You will enjoy a sampling of sandwiches, petite fours, tuffles and more when you order teas at this swanky spot. Enjoy the architecture as well as the tea.
The Peninsula (9882 Santa Monica Blvd Beverly Hills, CA 90212)
You can add caviar canapes and champagne to the already expected servings of scones, sandwiches and pastries. There is a harpist playing in the background.
Cheesey Cucumber Sandwich
makes 8 mini sandwiches
4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
4 slices of gourmet white bread, crusts removed
1 hothouse cucumber, peeled and cut into ¼ inch thin slices
In a bowl mix the cream cheese, chives, cheddar cheese. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Divide the cream cheese mixture in half and spread it on 2 slices of bread. Then layer slices of cucumber on top. Top with the other slice of bread and cut into triangles. Serve with tea, scones, jam and enjoy!