After wandering around bonsai trees, Chinese gardens, sakura blossoms and fields of greenery, we were starving by the time we got to the tea room. We were immediately seated, and our server was very nice, and mentioned the special tea of the month was a raspberry tea. We both chose that to drink. This was what was here when we were seated...
Cream, jams and marmalade, and butter for the scones. Nice that they had freshly whipped cream, and I really liked the blackberry jam that we opened in the little mini jar.
The scones...these were fresh and warm from the kitchen, nestled in a cloth napkin. Ooo, these were tasty, and of different variety. Some were cranberry, some had bits of orange, one I had was studded with chocolate chips! These were some of the best scones I've had, and I've had my share of scones. Yummy, and not too big and filling, so I didn't feel too guilty having...I think 3...um...maybe I feel guilty now. With the blackberry jam, a quick smear of whipped cream, this was a taste of heaven.
My first plate from their high tea buffet. Yes. This high tea is a buffet, any kind of sandwiches, cheeses, pastries, salads...whatever you liked, and as much as you liked. A great set up. For some reason, I usually worry about getting full during high tea, but whenever I have had high tea, I always leave way too full. I think it's the high ingestion of liquids, perhaps? Okay, I'm feeling guilty again. Let's focus on the food...this plate had water table crackers, a smoked salmon finger sandwich, and various cheeses (blue cheese, smoked gouda, muenster, from what I remember.) I loved everything on this plate, but the smoked salmon was exquisite, and the smoked gouda I remember being especially memorable.
Second plate of sandwiches - from the front, a cucumber mint sandwich atop of some pasta salad, then a chicken salad sandwich, then a watercress sandwich, and way in the back, a prosciutto sandwich. I wanted to try every kind of sandwich they had, even though at this point I was starting to get a bit full, even from these little sandwiches. Everything was tasty, but I think out of this bunch, I especially liked the cucumber mint sandwich, which surprised myself. The bright flavors of the mint shone against the cucumber, and the bread was soft and delicate.
Last plate of savories. Some spinach salad, and cracker and pita, with some caviar. The salty caviar was REALLY salty, the cracker barely cut the intensity of the salt. Eating the salad helped though - the salad was pretty good. I felt bad leaving any caviar (cuz...it's caviar...I mean, I doubt this was the expensive kind but caviar sure is expensive) so I managed to eat most of it, even though I could have probably been good with a quarter of what I put on this plate. Argh, I can't waste anything...
A shot of our raspberry tea, with a bit of milk and sugar in it. Delicious and warming, I noted that this tea was at the PERFECT sipping temperature, not too hot or too cold. I was quite impressed!
Okay, the last plate. At this point I was pretty full but I HAD to get some dessert. On this plate, starting from the left going clockwise, I got: one more smoked salmon finger sandwich, a fruit tart with mandarin orange, raspberry and a blueberry, one more piece of smoked gouda, strawberry and watermelon. The fruit tart was really tasty, a perfect bite of sweet, fruit and custard. The strawberry was perfectly The strawberry was ripe, maybe not as sweet as the sweetest strawberry I've ever had but not too bad, and watermelon was good. A nice ending to a pleasant meal.
I think this high tea experience was really nice, and seeing the perfectly manicured roses outside the window was a nice touch. When I get the chance, I think I'll be making another reservation for this place!
Huntington Gardens Rose Garden Tea Room
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108