Afternoon Tea (AKA “high tea” or “low tea”) is an afternoon social occasion most frequented by ladies. Best known as a British past time, the whole notion of afternoon tea originated as a snack or mid-day meal at a time when most people ate only breakfast and a late dinner (at around 8 to 9 PM).
These days, the notion of Afternoon Tea conjures up images of dainty snacks served on china and linen with maybe an Earl Grey or Assam Black tea. A “Light Tea” is more of a snack and might include scones, cakes and pastries, while a Full Tea include finger sandwiches and/or quiches.
Several hotels in the Metro-Detroit area still hold with the formal traditions of manners, doilies and food served on three-tiered trays; but the area also hosts several shops/cafes that offer a more relaxed version that is similar to a coffee house. So without further ado, here is a list of places that offer Afternoon Tea and Tea Rooms in Detroit:Ann Arbor: Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room
114 South Mail Street, Ann Arbor
Crazy Wisdom Tea Room is a cafe-type tea and coffee shop on the second floor of a bookstore. Surrounded by spiritual books, music, incense and jewelry, the tea room has a unique atmosphere. It is filled with comfy chairs, couches and tables, all of which overlook Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor. In addition to over a hundred varieties of tea – Oolong, Chinese Green, Roobios, Fruit, Herbals -- and organic coffee, the cafe serves appetizers, entrees, sandwich dips and desserts.
The Tea Room also hosts “Tea and Tunes” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 8:30 PM to 10:30 PM.
Clinton Township: Tea by Three
15333 River Lane, Clinton Township
Tea for Three offers an experience well beyond a “tea room.” In addition to two acres of gardens, including a butterfly garden, rock garden, ponds and gazebo, the little, blue Teacup Cottage helps set the atmosphere and tone of a weekend “Tea.” The formal teas takes place in a sunroom overlooking the many and varied gardens. The china, linens and dress code changes by occasion, which has included in the past Titanic, Mother's Day, Red Hat, Anne of Green Gables, Japanese, Halloween and Christmas teas. Costumed characters often drop by as well. Reservations are required at 586-286-7836.
Detroit: Flora's Tea Room at The Whitney
4421 Woodward Avenue, Detroit
The Whitney's tea service takes place on the second floor of the historic mansion with a three-course meal, china and linen. Reservations are required: 313-832-5700.
Farmington Hills: Longacre House
24705 Farmington Road, Farmington
Longacre House in Farmington Hills offers a traditional, English-style “Tea” and Luncheon on a monthly basis. In addition to china, linens and doilies, the events often include character presentations. Reservations are required: 248-473-1870. The cost is $25 or $20 for Farmington/Farmington Hills residents.
Holly: The Holly Hotel
110 Battle Alley, Holly
The Holly Hotel hosts a Victorian Afternoon Tea in a candle-lit dining room with china, imported tea served in a ceramic pot, and a three-course meal including scones, muffins with Devonshire cream, petite tea sandwiches, quiches and canapes. Cost is $14 per person.
The Holly Hotel also hosts a Queen Anne Luncheon Tea for $18 per person that includes lunch (entree course rather than sandwiches).
Plymouth: Sweet Afton Tea Room and Restaurant
450 Forest Avenue, Plymouth
Sweet Afton serves a traditional British tea, complete with tea-cup chandeliers, antiques, linens, personal tea pots, finger foods and tea imported from London. The restaurant's “high tea” is served all day long and includes not only tarts and scones with Devonshire cream, but finger sandwiches and quiche. The menu also includes sandwich melts, Shepherd's Pie, Chicken Pot Pie and several desserts.
Rochester: Royal Park Hotel
600 East University Drive, Rochester
In addition to Mighty Leaf tea served in glass tea pots, the hotel's Royalty Tea includes champagne and the traditional three-tier tray filled with scones, pastries and savory snacks (usually sandwiches and quiches). Reservations are required 248-453-8732.
Royal Oak: Goldfish Tea
117 West 4th Street, Royal Oak
Goldfish Tea is both a tea shop and cafe. It has several different types of seating options – couches, chairs, tea-testing tables – and provides Wi-fi, books and open-mic nights. In addition to Premium Chinese Loose Leaf Teas served in dragon-embossed pots, it also sells tea paraphernalia, cookies, pastries, wraps, coffee drinks and smoothies.
West Bloomfield: The English Tea Garden
7410 Haggerty Road, West Bloomfield
The English Tea Garden offers both a Morning Tea (with a la carte scone purchase and free tea) and a traditional afternoon tea, complete with a pot of tea, sandwiches, pastries and scones with Devonshire Cream. The tea varieties include Tippy Assam Leaf Tea and Japanese Cherry Seucha Leaf Tea. A lunch menu is also available and includes sandwiches, salads and pastries.
The English Tea Garden is decorated with lots of ivy and hosts a harpist on Mondays from 12:30 to 1:30 PM.