Queen Mary Tea Room

My friend Susie had never been to formal high tea before, so this year for her birthday I took her to the Queen Mary Tea Room (don’t you love it when you get to enjoy the gifts you give others?).  Although I think she was a bit taken aback by the intensity of the frilly Victorian decor and the 99% female clientele, she seemed much more at ease when the first course was brought – sorbet “to cleanse the palate.”

This consisted of coconut, strawberry, and raspberry (the latter two I thought were intensely flavorful and especially good).  After choosing our teas, the three-tiered tower of deliciousness arrived, with warm pastries on the top, fruit and cakes in the middle, and sandwiches on the bottom:


The sandwiches and savory pastries were excellent, but for the purposes of this blog I will focus on what’s most important: the desserts. I took care to assemble each one on a plate, pictured below:

From the top, moving clockwise: we start with the carrot cake, which, while good, was nothing out-of-this world. Next is the lemon bar, also good, although not quite tangy/lemony/tart enough for me. Next is the oatmeal cookie, which was too small to be very memorable, followed by the scone, which was NOT too small and VERY tasty. The crumpet was quite good, pictured with jam on top, followed by the Kahlua cake, easily the best of the bunch. I would return just for this piece of heaven: moist, soft, and a nice change from your ordinary tea cakes. The only thing that would have made it better: more of it! (Or if I didn’t have to share with the birthday girl…)

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