Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Café at The Frick

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Best intimate atmosphere and natural lighting

A recent trip to Pittsburgh could not be complete without an afternoon of tea at The Frick. On the beautiful estate lies a charming café that offers afternoon tea.

Entrance: As we entered the café, we were greeted by a hostess who promptly took us to our table.

Service: Although we arrived before the 2:30 tea service began, we were allowed to place our order and received our tea right away. Promptly after 2:30 we were presented with our tiers of delicacies.

Presentation: Our table was adorned with fresh flowers, and the natural lighting in the room made for a beautiful atmosphere.

Table décor: The table had a lovely matching porecelain tea pot, cup, saucer, creamer and sugar atop a white tablecloth. The tea accessories included a customary tea strainer to aide in sifting out the leaves.

Aesthetics: The café featured floor to ceiling windows all around the tables which created lovely natural lighting inside. Outside the windows of the café is the sprawling Frick estate which makes for an enchanting view and picturesque setting.

Tea Quality/Variety: There were approximately 11 tea selections. I chose an apricot tea which was recommended by the staff. The tea was delicious and the pot was refilled upon request. Other tea choices included Earl Gray, English Breakfast, Russian Country, Darjeeling, Black Currant, Chocolate Mint and Sencha Green teas. There were also assorted herbal teas including French Verveine, Peppermint and Raspberry.

Food Quality/Variety: There were four sandwiches including: chicken salad, egg salad, egg tart, and a pea sandwich. There were two scones to indulge in including vanilla and apple cinnamon. The scones were served with English cream and jam. There was also four desserts + strawberries and chocolate. The desserts included a macaroon, almond cookie, date muffin, and cranberry muffin. At the end of the tea the waitress also gave us a small sugar cookie.

Music: There was no music the afternoon I was present.

Takeaways: There is a gift shop on the Frick premises that offers some tea accoutrements.

Price: Low-Average

*As the Café at The Frick is very small (I would guess it seats 20-30 people comfortably), reservations are highly recommended. I witnessed the host regrettably turn away some customers who did not have a reservation.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Restaurant Afteem

Bethlehem, Israel

Although we didn't have an official afternoon tea on our trip to Israel in February, we did enjoy a wam cup of tea at Restaurant Afteem in Bethlehem after a cold, snowy day of sight-seeing. The mint leaves and a bit of sugar brightened our tea, which we paired with a delicious falafel pita.  The restaurant's cozy, cave-like atmosphere and prompt service provided the perfect place to relax with a cup of tea.