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Worth the Drive: High Tea at the InterContinental Century City

Posted By Karen Young On June 24, 2010 @ 12:41 am In Cuisine,Eat,Featured,Food,My Daily Find,Restaurants,spotlight,Tea | 4 Comments

BY KAREN YOUNG

Afternoon tea with friends is a tradition in England — a daily ritual to sit, relax and enjoy good conversation.  Unfortunately, the English settlers didn’t bring this custom to America, so we have to work a tea time event into our busy schedules as a treat.  Or we use the tea as an occasion for showers, birthday celebrations and get-togethers.  It’s also a very civilized way to conduct a business meeting.

There are various hotels and tea houses in Los Angeles offering lovely teas, but most are upwards of $35 to $60 per person. Recently, I was  surprised to find a worthy afternoon high tea at the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City offered at $21.51 per person for a full service or with a choice of a la carte items (2151 is the address of the hotel in case the extra penny leaves you puzzled).

Petite Tea Sandwiches. Photos: Karen Young

(L) Inside dining at the Park Grill. (R) Pastries include scones with Clotted Cream and Preserves, Lemon Cake and Zucchini Bread all served on Wedgewood.

The tea is situated at the Park Grill Restaurant, as well as on the outdoor garden, which is seen through a wall of glass windows. Complete with linens, flowers and English Wedgewood china , it’s a very well appointed and calming environment. The InterContinental was recently refurbished, and although is part of large hotel chain, it has more of a boutique feel.

The traditional tea set is served with Petite Tea Sandwiches (Grilled Vegetable Wrap, Smoked Salmon with Dill Cream on Pumpernickel, Curried Egg Salad on Wheat and Crab Salad on a Herb Scone); Pastries (Scones with Clotted Cream and Preserves, Lemon Cake and Zucchini Bread) and a choice of four teas, plus a very special flowering tea (Organic Dragon Lily) which is quite a conversation starter as it blooms. A surprise is a choice of Crepe Suzette, Mango Jubilee and Bananas Foster which are prepared table side and quite fun to watch.

Grilled vegetable wraps are a twist on the traditional English tea.

(L) Crepe Suzette, Mango Jubilee or Bananas Foster are prepared table side. (R) Flowering teas are a specialty.

You can also order your own tea set a la carte with little bites starting at $2. Other sweet selections, such as French Macarons  ($2.75) and Petite Fours  ($5.50) with can be ordered as well.  Additional teas are $6 to $8 each. The a la carte selection is nice if you want to have one bite, but if a real tea is what you are after, it’s a better deal to stick with the traditional tea set.

As a side note, while inquiring about other amenities in the hotel, I was told about the personal helicopter pad situated overlooking  Fox Studios with a breathtaking 360 degree view.  It’s also available as a venue for parties up to about 50 and is used for Sunrise Yoga classes.

Finger sandwiches and crepes.

The outside grounds are also used for tea service. Photo: InterContinental

InterContinental Los Angeles Century City, 2151 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067 (310) 284-6500. Afternoon Tea is offered Thrusday-Sunday from 2:30-6:30 pm. $21.51 per person for the traditional tea set. www.intercontinentallosangeles.com. Sunrise Yoga on the Helicopter pad: Tuesdays 6:30 -7:30 am $15 per class. Call the Spa InterContinental for info: 310-552-0435. Non-guests welcome.

Karen Young is the Editor/Publisher of My Daily Find. Email: karen@mydailyfind.com

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