Afternoon tea at the Adolphus is quintessential Dallas. If you have not had the opportunity to enjoy this elegant repast, then you should plan to make a reservation.
When we arrived, our table was already set for three, with Villeroy and Boch plates, small napkins and silverware. Most of the tables were low coffee tables (thus we were having a “low tea”), covered in tablecloths. The arrangement of the tables allowed for private dining vignettes. Potted palm trees added to the privacy of the tables.
As soon as we were seated, a small platter of thin cookies was placed on the table and water was served. The table had been preset with brown and white sugar cubes.
The first course was finger sandwiches. Instead of the sandwiches being served on a silver tiered serving plate, individual plates were placed on the chargers. Curried chicken salad on a croissant, egg salad, smoked turkey, cucumber and Boursin cream cheese, and tomato and mozzarella sandwiches were served with African Amber tea. The tea was wonderful. The sandwiches were all delicious, but our favorite was the curried chicken salad.
The second course was a scone with golden raisins, served with Devonshire cream and strawberry jam. All were delicious. The scone was moist and had a good texture. A flavorful strawberry accompanied the plate. The tea for this course was Wild Blackberry.
Next, plates with four small sweets were served. A diamond-shaped pecan tart, a strawberry and vanilla cream cup, chocolate mouse in a chocolate tulip, and a small cheesecake in a chocolate shell comprised the offering. The tea for this course was pear caramel.
The finale was a small chocolate truffle, which was a lovely dark chocolate send-off.
The staff was attentive without being overbearing. The various plates were served from a silver and glass cart that resembled a large, rotating tumbler used for raffle drawings.
When changing courses, and starting a new tea, the server would empty your last tea into an empty teapot before serving the new tea. It reminded me of a wine tasting when you empty your glass.
A pianist entertained on the 1893 Steinway piano which was once owned by the Guggenheim family in New York.
The experience was exactly what you would expect of afternoon tea: Relaxing, enjoyable, and delicious. When considering the atmosphere of the Adolphus, it was also elegant and regal.
If you wish to enjoy tea at the Adolphus, you must make reservations in advance. Tea is served from 2-4 p.m., Friday through Sunday. This is a splendid way to spend the afternoon with friends!
Bonus: Low tea (or afternoon tea) is served at low table, just as high tea (sometimes know as meat tea) is served at a high table. Low tea’s menu is accommodating to a low table, as it is small sandwiches/savories, scones, and sweet treats (generally in that order). Whereas high tea is served at a high table (like a dining table or kitchen table) because it is a meal. In essence it is supper, served with tea.