Tea Under the Tree With Crown & Crumpet

A few weeks ago, a few friends and I headed to downtown SF to take part in a holiday tea event. Although it was pouring rain outside the whole time, we still had a blast. Crown & Crumpet in collaboration with the Sir Francis Drake Hotel is holding a holiday tea service for both adults and children throughout the month of December. The area where the event was held is wonderfully decorated, and the large Christmas tree in the middle was the site of many photo-ops.

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Our party of 3 started off with cider and sparkling wine (just me), and later each ordered a tea of our choice. I had my usual favorite (Strawberry Fields) while the others tried the holiday teas. The hostess gave us some party crackers to open before indulging in our selection of tea time treats. The crackers contained mini trinkets, a joke card, and a paper crown which the hostess insisted we wore during our session.

 

Before leaving, we each received a specially made ornament as a memento of the event. I’m glad I was able to partake in it this year and hope to do so in the next. The holiday tea runs through December 30th. More information can be found on the Crown & Crumpet website.

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Pinky Up! My Favorite Places for Afternoon Tea

Winter’s creeping up quickly¬†here in the Bay Area. One of the things I like to do during this time of year (or any time of year, really) is have a nice afternoon tea. I’ve been to quite a few places, but wanted to share the ones I liked the most. (All places listed in this post are linked to their websites.)

Crown & Crumpet

Located in San Francisco’s Japantown off of Post Street, this has been a frequent stop for me and my friends when satisfying our afternoon tea craving. Their Tea for One includes finger sandwiches, warm savories, a scone and crumpet, desserts, and a pot of tea of your choosing. I either get their Strawberry Oolong or Murky Water (it’s actually a fruit blend tea, and really good). For $28, that’s the best deal I’ve seen by far up here.

Satori Tea Co.

Once located in downtown San Jose, they have since moved to their new one in Saratoga. I loved the inside ambience, not to mention their extensive selection of teas. Customers are able to look at and smell the different types before placing their order. The English Afternoon Tea ($37) or Tea for Two ($63 or $31.50/person) would be my recommendations if you’re willing to go all out. I would prefer the former because it includes a crumpet. I really don’t eat those anywhere outside of afternoon tea!

Tea Upon Chatsworth

Call me biased if you will, but I absolutely adore this place in San Diego even though it’s the only SoCal location I’ve visited. I’ll heighten that sentiment even more because I celebrated my birthday here with some good friends. Their Queen’s Tea is $29/person, offering seasonal menus of various finger sandwiches, sweet and savory pastries, dessert, and unlimited pots of tea. They even gave me a candle lit mini cupcake and sang since it was my birthday. Talk about awesome service!

Looking for more options? Here are a few honorable mentions:

Regardless of where I’ve been, these are my favorite afternoon tea items:

  • English Breakfast tea
  • Crumpets with clotted cream
  • Lox or cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwiches

 

I highly suggest making reservations, especially if there’s a large group. Some locations will take walk-ins depending on availability, and they may also have gluten-free options upon request. It’s always best to plan ahead, and bring an empty stomach because some of these menus can be surprisingly filling.

Have you ever had afternoon tea before? Feel free to let me know if you have any recommendations.

Valentine’s Day Weekend

Taken or not, I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. However, it still has significance because it’s also my mom’s birthday. I had a fun weekend despite the constant lovey dovey stuff that occurred around me. Saturday was spent sending a few friends greetings via media text (I got lazy to mail anything out this year =P) and with the best friend. She celebrated the occasion earlier in the week with her husband since he had to work on the actual day. We had afternoon tea at The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus. Despite our reservations being for the next day (whoops), we were still able to snag open seating within a few minutes. I have yet to experience an afternoon tea that I didn’t like, this being no exception. The bestie gave me a Valentine’s Day card like she usually does every year, but also threw in a box of macarons from a place I haven’t tried yet. Nice!

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My family and I headed to Graton Casino on Sunday to celebrate my mom’s birthday. She and I did pretty well on the slot machines. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same for my brother and my dad (heheh!). I even tried out a slot tournament for the first time. I placed third in my group, but not too well overall since they averaged out the scores of all the tournaments at the end of the day. Who knew how tiring it was to hit that darn reel spin button as fast as possible?! Still fun nonetheless.

Fact: The Michael Jackson slots are my fave. Doesn't really get any better than listening to his songs in surround sound while forking over your dough!
Fact: The Michael Jackson slots are my fave. Doesn’t really get any better than listening to his songs in surround sound while forking over your dough!
Funny highlight of the day was seeing Tokidoki machines at the casino. Is there anything this brand  doesn't produce?
Funny highlight of the day was seeing Tokidoki machines at the casino. Is there anything this brand doesn’t produce?

 

Whether it was Valentine’s Day weekend or just another weekend, hope you had a good one.