The Best California Hotels for Afternoon Tea

Embrace your inner Brit and indulge in a posh afternoon tea service at these California hotels.

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Tea time is an English tradition that has made its way to hotels all across the United States. From cucumber sandwiches to fresh-baked scones, both high tea and afternoon tea have become a coveted service for travelers seeking solace in an upscale lobby bar or dining room. In California, an opulent tea service complete with champagne and pastries can be enjoyed at five-star accommodations up and down the coast. Put your pinkies up when visiting these posh California hotels for afternoon tea.

El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara

  • 800 Alvarado Pl, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Tucked away in the hills of Santa Barbara, El Encanto boasts sweeping ocean views from almost every corner of the property, including the elegant dining room where guests can enjoy the Botanica Afternoon Tea Experience for $95 per person. This astrology-inspired tea service features custom blended teas from local purveyor Magic Hour, allowing patrons to order teas that are connected to their personal sun sign. This experience is available from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and in addition to the zodiac-inspired teas, you’ll also be treated to a tower of finger sandwiches, sensational scones and decadent desserts.

El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara. A Belmond

Rosewood Sand Hill Menlo Park

  • 2825 Sand Hill Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025

Enjoy a sophisticated afternoon tea near Palo Alto at the Rosewood Sand Hill, with prices starting at $85 per person. Available from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, take in epic views of the Santa Cruz Mountains while sipping on champagne and loose-leaf teas ranging from English breakfast to chamomile. In addition to classic tea sandwiches like cucumber and smoked salmon, you’ll also enjoy more unique creations like Dungeness crab salad. However, the highlight of this afternoon is without a doubt the house-made pastries.

Rosewood Sand Hill Menlo Park. Rosewood

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

  • 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Every Saturday and Sunday, Santa Monica locals and hotel guests gather in the Fountain Room for a classy Afternoon Tea. When it comes to the $95 Miramar Tea, each loose-leaf blend comes from Lot 35, but you can also opt for sparkling wine or bottomless Veuve Clicquot for an extra splurge. Sip herbal teas, black teas and green teas as you indulge in an array of chef-driven finger foods like egg salad sandwiches or smoked salmon on pumpernickel. Traditional scones are also served alongside clotted cream and fruity spreads before ending with an array of sweet treats.

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. MARK HUMPHREY XPERIENCE FACTORY

Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco

  • 2 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105

Inspired by the Gilded Age, the grandiose architecture and glamorous chandelier at The Garden Court Restaurant set the scene for royal-worthy afternoon tea. This timeless experience has been offered at The Palace Hotel since 1910, and pricing starts at $120. The menu changes with the seasons, and each bite is specifically designed to pair perfectly with the accompanying teas. From artful cakes to savory sandwiches, the tiered tray of treats boasts a stunning display that is almost as opulent as the surrounding ambiance and decor.

Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco. Luxury Collection

The Peninsula Beverly Hills

  • 9882 S Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

At The Peninsula Beverly Hills, guests can partake in a daily afternoon tea complete with Champagne by Laurent Perrier. Located on the ground floor in the Living Room, the elegant decor, blue and pink accents and eye-catching chandelier make you feel as though you’re enjoying tea in an English estate. The traditional tea selection is complemented by savory and sweet delights ranging from chicken salad sandwiches to macaroons and pineapple banana cake. The traditional tea starts at $125 per person, while the royal tea starts at $135, but bottomless bubbles cost extra.

The Peninsula Beverly Hills. The Peninsula Beverly Hills

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

  • 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct, San Diego, CA 92130

Looking to sip and savor during an afternoon tea in San Diego? The Fairmont Grand Del Mar hosts a weekend afternoon tea every Saturday and Sunday in the Lobby Lounge. The arched windows look out onto the coastal canyon, and the vintage tea sets are beyond photo-worthy. Though the menu changes with the seasons, expect innovative tea sandwiches like lamb and marinated feta along with traditional scones and rich sweets. This afternoon tea service starts at $89 per person but can be enhanced with premium bottles of bubbly.

Fairmont Del Mar. Fairmont Del Mar

The Hotel Bel-Air

  • 701 Stone Canyon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90077

Head to the Hotel Bel-Air every Friday and Saturday for an unforgettable afternoon tea, beginning at 3 p.m. This exclusive tea service takes place in The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air and starts at $135 per person. In addition to being able to choose from 15 different loose-leaf blends, patrons are also given a glass of champagne to enjoy with elevated bites like Imperial Kaluga caviar, applewood-smoked Faroe Island Scottish salmon and house-made pastries from chef Christophe Rull.

The Hotel Bel-Air. The Hotel Bel-Air

The Langham Huntington

  • 1401 S Oak Knoll Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106

Escape the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles with a trip to The Langham Huntington for tea. This historic Pasadena property boasts a grand and elegant exterior that is met with an even more timeless and London-esque interior, making it the perfect spot for tea and crumpets at afternoon tea. Available Thursday through Sunday for $75, The Langham Afternoon Tea is a signature service of The Langham brand, and patrons are treated to stunning views of colorful trees and fresh blooms in the Horseshoe Garden while nibbling on tea sandwiches, fruit tarts and cookies.

The Langham. The Langham

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