The Peninsula Hotel Launches Al Fresco Afternoon Tea

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The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills has launched a limited menu al fresco afternoon tea. It includes tempting treats, a beautiful atmosphere and a chance to take a break from isolation and relax and enjoy great sandwiches, scones and treats.

The hotel’s holiday afternoon teas are a traditional winter outing for my friends as we usually gather to celebrate and enjoy the beautiful Peninsula lounge area and warm fireplace.

This year the tea and all dining have moved outdoors. Located in the hotel’s pretty Le Petit Belvedere garden, tables are spaced far apart and surround a center LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana, the newest edition to the Peninsula’s extensive contemporary art collection.

Guests can choose to enjoy the traditional tea with a glass of Laurent-Perrier brut for $115 or the Royal Tea with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé for $122. Each option also comes with a an upgrade to endless bubbles for a few more dollars. There’s also a nice selection of libation options including wine, an Aperol spritz, French 75 or a berry mojito.

Tea lovers have a nice variety of eight kinds of teas including the Peninsula mango, sencha, Brooklyn vanilla, caramel pear, dragon crisp gen mai cha, Egyptian chamomile, the coungou and Earl Grey.

The tea begins with a refreshing serving of macerated peaches and mint sorbet in rosé. Our tea was on a very hot day in August and this starter was light and sweet. Next came a three tier tray with sandwiches including smoked salmon and cream cheese; cucumber, herb cream cheese and dill; pastrami, horseradish, pcikles and mustard caviar; curried chicken and raisin; a lobster roll with caviar and dill and a crab salad with parsley and chervil. All were tasty and provided a nice variety of flavors.

We also received scones and a gluten free zucchini loaf as well as mini sweets including a chocolate pot de crème; lemon thyme éclair; camembert crostini with blueberry and honey gelee; a tarragon Mandarin layer cake, rose pistachio macaron and a pretty Peninsula cap cake. Our scones were accompanied with strawberry jam, lemon curd and Devonshire cream.

The Peninsula’s alfresco tea was the first time I had ventured out to dine in six months and it was worth the wait.

Reservations are available on Saturdays at 11am and 1:30pm and Sundays at 11am, 1:30pm and 4pm, call 310.551.2888. The Peninsula is able to accommodate gluten-free and vegetarian requests, if given advanced notice. The Peninsula is located at 9882 S. Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

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Shaena Engle
Shaena Engle is a food, lifestyle and travel writer for a variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Pasadena magazine, AOL, The Daily Meal, The San Diego Union Tribune and PokerPro magazine. She has interviewed top chefs including Lidia Bastianich, Michael Chiarello, Hubert Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jose Andres, and many others. She has authored three books, The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to Las Vegas (Globe Pequot Press), The Best Places to Kiss in Southern California (Beginning Press, a romantic travel guide) and Silver Linings: Triumphs of The Chronically Ill and Physically Challenged (Prometheus Books).  She is also an amateur magician and often writes on gambling, poker and magical happenings.  She also is a freelance consultant on restaurant, food, travel and hospitality public relations and marketing efforts.
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