Fastasy Tea Party at L’Espalier

It was Oscar Sunday and we wanted something a little glamorous.

And what could be more glamorous than afternoon tea at one of Boston’s fanciest, most sophisticated institutions? So we booked a Fantasy Tea Party at L’Espalier. I mean, afternoon tea at L’Espalier – even just saying it makes me feel all swanky and proper. Like I’m the type who never suffers from hang-overs on Sunday morning, the type who eats dainty tea sandwiches, the type who, you know, saunters over to the Mandarin hotel for a little afternoon snack. Which I am, obviously.

I was with my friend Mich, event and lifestyle writer, blogger for The Unmarked Door, and my regular partner in crime. We had scheduled an afternoon for shopping and catching up, and we were fueled by the many wonderful tea snacks we had.

the beautiful lobby

L’Esplaier’s weekend tea offers three options: Red Riding Hood’s Basket (canapes, tea sandwiches, pastries, petit fours, and tea), Make Way for Ducklings (petit fours, pastries, and tea), and Three Blind Mice (cheese tasting). Each option has enough food for one person, but of course we wanted to pick a couple and share (because when is food not better when shared??). Mich and I decided to split the Red Riding Hood and the Three Blind Mice.

Our server, Dipu, offered to pace it out so that we get the canapes and sandwiches first, then the cheese course, and end with the pastries. L’Espalier also generously doubled the serving for the first course – so we ended up with more food than we expected!

selection of tea sandwiches

lobster salad on a home-made pretzel roll

egg salad on brioche

smoked salmon

I’ve heard many good things about the lobster roll but I wasn’t head over heels for it. The pretzel roll was really good, but the whole thing was just a little messy to eat so it wasn’t my favorite. I’m a sucker for brioche and anything egg though so I really enjoyed the egg salad slider – even if it had onions, which I normally don’t like! My top pick was the smoked salmon canape – and not just because it was bite-size, but because I really like salmon :)

for my tea, I chose the Crimson Berry

Our next course was the cheese plate. L’Espalier’s cheese selection has been nationally recognized, and I was really excited to do the tasting.

the cheese tray in full glory

Dipu was very knowledgeable about the cheeses and even chatted with us about his favorites. I am on a roll, lucking out with the wonderful servers lately: last week with Oleana and then L’Espalier. I was definitely expecting high quality service from a place like this, but it was very refreshing to encounter friendly and welcoming staff. I used to think that such a highbrow place would be stuffy and intimidating, but it was actually very relaxing and pleasant.

my favorites were the blue cheese and gouda

the cheese accompaniments were multi-grain bread, white wine apricots, honey, and roasted pecans

Then the cuteness arrived. And by this I don’t mean the group of 12 year old girls at the next table celebrating a birthday… Now that was extremely fancy; I certainly didn’t have any girly tea parties at hotels when I was that age. When I was 12, I was collecting NBA basketball cards and watching WWE (what? you didn’t think Bret “the Hitman” Hart was cute?). Anyway while the girls were adorable, what I meant was the pastries.

assortment of mini scones...

...assortment of pastries

... and a lovely little fromage blanc cherry trifle

It was the perfect cherry on top of our wonderful afternoon. Mich and I really enjoyed our tea rendezvous. In fact we enjoyed L’Espalier so much that we signed up for one of their Top Shelf, Top Chef Series! Mich called it our Red Carpet Sunday.

we knew this was a sign that Black Swan would win the Oscars!

L'Espalier on Urbanspoon


24 Responses to “Fastasy Tea Party at L’Espalier”

  1. #
    Michelle posted March 2, 2011 at 8:56 am

    This looks like such an awesome afternoon. I’ve been to L’Espalier for dinner and for several of their events. I’ve definitely got to check out their afternoon tea!

  2. #
    Elizabeth posted March 2, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Wow, I definitely need to do this. The food is pretty much my fantasy.

  3. #
    Victoria (District Chocoholic) posted March 2, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I thought I was going to be wowed by the pastry photos – which I was – but the lobster (pretzel) roll makes me want to run up to Boston and go there immediately. Sounds like a delightful experience

  4. #
    MelissaNibbles posted March 2, 2011 at 10:19 am

    This looks like so much fun! The service sounds great as well.

  5. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted March 2, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Wow, this seems like the perfect Sunday activity. Those lobster and egg salad sandwiches look SO good. and the pastries. and the cheeses. I’m seeing visions of my (daytime) 30th birthday celebration before my eyes!!

  6. #
    Daisy posted March 2, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I officially NEED to attend and event at L’espalier, and this is looking like the one. such a fun afternoon!

  7. #
    Joanne posted March 2, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I feel like having afternoon tea just makes the day more upscale. And gourmet. And classy.

    And when the tea is accompanied by pastries and petit fours and cute little sandwiches this good? Well that’s definitely Academy Award-worthy.

  8. #
    Renee {Eat.Live.Blog} posted March 2, 2011 at 11:33 am

    This post makes me smile. My inner circle knows I am a complete High Tea Officianado…and snob. I haven’t been to the L’Espalier High Tea in years, but I remember it as fabulous! I have absolutely GOT to try that cheese course!! Thanks for this post!

  9. #
    Heather posted March 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I love high tea! I’ve done it once in London (the ultimate) and once in Phoenix, so much fun!

  10. #
    thehealthyapron posted March 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Sounds like a really fun afternoon!

  11. #
    Amanda L. (Tales from a Kitchen Misfit) posted March 2, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    This looks amazing! I need to get my afternoon tea fix here!

  12. #
    Megan posted March 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    MUST go! Everything looks fabulous. I love those pretzel rolls as it is… but with lobster? Fabulous! Great review!

  13. #
    Nicole @ Making Good Choices posted March 2, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    That place is so cute!

  14. #
    Kimmy @ Lighter and Local posted March 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Tea looks wonderful and tea at L’espalier has always been on my “to-do” list, but I’m howling in laughter over the “Bret the Hitman Hart” comment because yes… when I was 11 or 12, I did think he was cute. Ha!

  15. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted March 3, 2011 at 8:14 am

    That looks like so much fun and SO delicious! I love that they served a lobster salad sandwich- usually you think of kind of boring tiny sandwiches for a tea party.

  16. #
    Susan (Oliepants) posted March 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    As a lover of sandwiches, I have to say (for once), the sandwiches won me over than desserts! I want to try that lobster salad!

  17. #
    Jenn @ Frost Bites posted March 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    That place looks awesome. I love tea parties. I’ve only been to 2 in my life…need to go to more.

  18. #
    Baking 'n' Books posted March 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Wow…I want the trifle – and cheese :)

    Looks fantastic!

  19. #
    Meghan@travelwinedine posted March 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Such an elegant tea is the ultimate treat! I am definitely checking this out sometime.

  20. #
    chrysta posted March 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    omg..that is so beautiful and elegant. I love the assortment of tea sandwiches they offer.

  21. #
    Simply Life posted March 5, 2011 at 8:27 am

    What a fun experience – I’m drooling over those scones!

  22. #
    Meesh posted March 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    This IS glamourous. I can’t believe I haven’t tried that cheese, it looks ridiculous! And that little pretzel roll, YUM!

  23. #
    Sharon (umommy) posted March 15, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    How lovely! I think I just discovered what I’d like to do for Mother’s Day this year :)

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