|Photo courtesy of Millennium Biltmore Hotel|
Opened in 1923 in what is now downtown Los Angeles' cultural and financial district, the Biltmore is a designated Historical Cultural Landmark. The Old World architecture is nothing short of magnificent. Hand-painted vaulted ceilings, wood-paneled walls, elegant chandeliers, friezes, columns and carving everywhere. Ballroom with balconies, columned archways and rich brocade drapery.
Afternoon tea is served in the Rendezvous Court, which once served as the hotel's main lobby. As if the carved wood ceilings, gold-leaf accents, Italian travertine stone walls and rose marble fountain were not enough, there is a magnificent double staircase overlooking the room. A grand space with soaring ceilings, it somehow manages to feel warm and cozy.
Tea tables were covered in floor-length white tablecloths and set with Royal Albert Old Country Roses china accented by a yellow rose. The traditional three-tiered stand held an assortment of exquisite tiny diamond-shaped sandwiches, scones and homemade Devonshire-style cream, and an array of miniature pastries. Pots of excellent tea and glasses of sherry, kir or sparkling wine helped us leave the stresses of a hectic week behind.
For reservations, call 213-612-1562. For tea at home, see: How to Make a Proper Cup of Tea, Tea and Scones, and my review of the Zojirushi Water Boiler and Warmer.