Seated at the Lobby of the Historic Building at the Arizona Biltmore, I looked at my daughter who had her pinkies up and was balancing a hot cup of clear tea with a big grin on her face. I think she was developing an alter ego – that of a little princess seated in a castle somewhere overlooking a well-manicured English garden for a traditional High Tea. The afternoon high tea service lead by Tea Sommelier Kevin Doyle at the Arizona Biltmore is indeed a sophisticated affair.
When I first saw the tea set at the Arizona Biltmore I added it to my wishlist, have you seen a cuter teapot?! So when we found ourselves in Scottsdale to catch a few Spring training baseball games over Spring break, we added tea at the Biltmore to our itinerary. We stopped by the Butterfly Wonderland to marvel at the colorful creatures and for some shopping at the Biltmore Fashion Park before the tea, it made for one fun and girly day.
The custom of Afternoon Tea or High Tea dates back to the early 19th-century aristocracy. Anne, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, instructed her servants to bring to her bedroom, in strictest privacy, tea, bread and butter with little cakes. Her vice was eventually exposed, the delicious pastime was taken up at court, and the present practice of Afternoon Tea was born.
Afternoon High Tea at the Arizona Biltmore
From simple black teas and refreshing green teas, to invigorating white teas and warming herbal infusions there were so many choices. We were treated to indulgent pastries, cakes and finger sandwiches that Kevin placed on the tiered plates. He then poured us our first tea – an amazing Black currant tea that paired well with the sandwiches. The egg salad sandwich with a hint of truffle oil was delicious and brought back memories of a recent trip to Italy where we devoured so much truffle.
Kevin then led us to a beautiful herbal infused African Solstice tea with notes of berries, vanilla, and rose petals. This tea is supposed to help release Serotonin which is sometimes called the happiness hormone. It certainly worked on us! This tea worked great with the scones and madeleines. We didn’t have to add any cream, sugar or honey to the teas – they were perfect just the way they were.
When we started on the desserts Kevin suggested clear ginger and pear white tea that was cleansing. We loved the African Solstice tea so much that we ended up finishing the whole pot, needless to say, we got a little giggly with all that Serotonin or maybe we were just happy to have had this wonderful mother-daughter experience.
We were seated in the elegant lobby sunroom of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel with a beautiful view of the gardens. The tea service led by Kevin Doyle whose passion for tea is evident in every tea that was offered, we spent a couple of hours during the course of the tea service on that beautiful afternoon savoring each bite. The service was impeccable, the china absolutely lovely, the tea selection delightful and as you would expect at any proper tea, the preserves, lemon curd, clotted cream, and scones were just divine!
The Tea Court is located in the historic lobby of the Arizona Biltmore. Seating is offered at 12 pm and 2 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For more information or to book, please call 602-955-6600. Reservations are required.
2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix, 85016
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Have you enjoyed afternoon tea or high tea that wowed you? We would love some suggestions for our next tea date.
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6 thoughts on “Afternoon High Tea at the Arizona Biltmore”
The tea service sounds like a royal affair, straight out of the pages o 19th century based romantic novel. I am sure the feeling of being pampered like royalty and the tea and the sumptuous cakes would be an affair to remember. I am sure you had a great experience, loved reading about it.
I loved the way the tea was served with such elegance. I’m yet to try a three round tea in the afternoon but sounds like a fun thing to do. Loved your pictures and yes, the teapot is too cute!
Wow, what a threat. This place looks lovely. I’m a huge tea lover and I love the high tea conception. Glad to hear you had a great time and thumbs up for Kevin for the excellent service.
Afternoon tea is always a treat. I have only once been to a tea like the one you had (complete with three tiered tea tray and champagne). Afternoon tea at my house usually involves some savouries and a latte (tea is nice but I prefer coffee).
I’m such a sucker for afternoon tea. Scones with clotted cream, ahhh yummmmm!
Such a nice piece and lovely to see the whole mother daughter thing – so cute. I really enjoyed the fact that you put in a little bit about the history of the afternoon tea and then some lovely descriptions on the teas tried. Oh and those cakes and scones….yummy