On a recent crisp, clear autumn afternoon I hopped on the MBTA purple line in Providence and soon arrived at South Station in Boston. Since I had some time to kill before meeting sister-in-law Dorothy and her friend Grace for afternoon tea at the Boston Harbor Hotel, I took the prerequisite stroll down the Greenway and over to Quincy Market. Tourists were out in force and a couple of buskers were performing for the crowds.
|The Rose Kennedy Greenway|
I meandered down city streets, passed the occasional historic building, walked through Post Office Square, and made my way back to the Boston Harbor Hotel for our 2:30 pm rendezvous.
|Old South Meeting House|
|Post Office Square|
|From the foyer looking into the Sea Grille restaurant|
Our only task was to decide on the flavor of tea we wanted, since the tea menu is otherwise all-inclusive. Dor went with Earl Grey (her fave), Grace with passion fruit, and I with Formosa oolong. There are “tea-tails” offered as well, for those who wish to have an alcohol laced addition to the tea experience.
Our perfectly steeped pots of tea arrived and were soon followed by a three-tiered assortment of treats. Everything was described by our server and looked very tempting, although I thought the presentation would have been more pleasing had the top and bottom plates been switched in position, thus improving upon the “top heavy” look.
We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon repast. Once we had finished everything, save for two rather large pieces of the coconut chocolate chip shortbread bar, we voted for our favorites. Of the sandwiches Dor and Grace gave the smoked salmon top prize, and I chose the Vermont cheddar and ham. The grapefruit segment with the lobster salad was a nice touch, but the egg salad mousse was rather flavorless.
The menu described “warm lemon poppyseed and dried cherry scones, various pastry breads and Devonshire cream”. In reality the scones were not warm, there were a scant few dried cherries involved (mine had none), and there were no “pastry breads” (unless the coconut chocolate chip shortbread bar is considered by those who made it "bread"). The Devonshire cream and fresh strawberries were tasty and did give a certain lift to the scones.
The sweets portion of the tier included raspberry mousse on a shortbread crust, passion tartlet topped with fresh blueberries, chocolate dipped strawberry and candied peanut topped PB cremeux in a chocolate cup. The raspberry mousse was the winner, although Grace was surprised by the nice flavor and texture of the peanut butter offering, particularly since PB is usually not her first choice!
Once our tea pots were empty we bid each other adieu. I headed for South Station and the train back to Providence, and Dorothy and Grace took a walk along the water before heading back to Douglas.
All in all an enjoyable afternoon with great company, tasty treats and a lovely autumn day!
|The tea musketeers!|