23 August 2012

Afternoon Tea - The Queen Mary

Photo courtesy of The Queen Mary

Afternoon tea aboard a ship was not something I was ever going to experience. You see, I get seasick, and there is nothing to stop it. I know, I know, everyone has a story--about a particular ship, one with the world's best stabilizers, or about a particular medication, a unique combination of herbs or the latest drug--but there is no pill, patch or potion that works for me. But anyway ...

I found a way to have tea aboard a ship without hanging over the side and tossing my scones afterward! On holiday last week, I joined two friends for afternoon tea aboard the Queen Mary, the 75-year-old ocean liner now permanently docked in Long Beach (California) Harbor and serving as a hotel. Though the ship is stationary, looking out over the water one can imagine what it must have been like to cross the Atlantic in such style.

The Queen Mary Tea Room, pictured above, is located on the Sun Deck and has expansive views of the harbor and skyline. The Tea Room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch as well as afternoon tea. Despite the elegant atmosphere, casual attire is accepted. But, of course, not by me! Our party of three drew lots of attention and comments from patrons who appreciated the way we dressed for the occasion--dresses, heels (nylons, too, but that might be TMI), hats and gloves. (The gloves were removed, of course. Wearing gloves whilst eating is simply not the done thing!)


The traditional three-tiered stand held an assortment of dainty tea sandwiches, scones and an array of miniature pastries. You will note I had only four sandwiches on my plate. Not a fan of either smoked salmon or gravlax, I gave my gravlax (with caviar) sandwich to one of my friends who loves it. The pastries were delicious as well as lovely to look at. The scones? One patron who came over to remark on our attire volunteered that he thought the scones were great. Of course, wherever I go, I always prefer my own scones. (Maybe they'll want to use my recipe and credit me on the menu ... hmm.) 


For reservations (not required) or further information, call 562-499-6695. Visit the Queen Mary website. 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.

Tell me about your favorite teas and tea foods and about your seaworthiness and favorite remedies for seasickness. My husband pops pretzels in rough seas, but my brother swears by dry Cheerios.

27 comments:

Annie*s Granny said...

I used to go out salmon fishing once or twice a year, and never got seasick. Then, in 1986, I was involved in a horrific auto accident. The injuries I sustained caused my equilibrium to be messed up, and motion sickness became a bit of a problem. The doctor gave me some patches to put behind my ears that were supposed to prevent it, so I took one last trip out fishing. The patches didn't work, and I discovered I didn't know what sick was until sea sickness hit me. I haven't been out on a boat since.

Now I'm hungry for scones and tea.

Comtesse Olympe de la Tour D'Auvergne said...

How delightful! I do not get seasick myself, or least have not since I was a child. Everything looks so delicious that I'm just salivating over it.

I really enjoy having tea at Hillwood Estate in Washington, DC, but that is all about the atmosphere.

Jean said...

Oh how I feel for you, Annie's Granny! It's the worst feeling, isn't it? Having scones and tea in the garden is my idea of an outdoor adventure!

Jean said...

Thank you, Comtesse! Hillwood looks just my sort of place - will add that to my must-do list!

Eileen said...

What a fabulous afternoon. I would have liked to see a photo of you and your friends in your finery. The dainty sandwiches and pastries look really delicious.

Southerner said...

It''s good to see the old girll is still churning oout theafternoonn teas.. Does it still have it''s 19300's art deco interiors/
Coming from Ssouthamotn I kknow the Queen mary cery well. As a kid we I used to hear it's hooter as it arrived inn Southammpton and as it wsa leaving. It could be heard over twenty milles away..

My dad just after the war, when he was demobbed from the RAF worked as a purser on board the Queen Mary. He has the honour of going to New York 99 times ha! ha! New York as like a second home to many crew member from Southampton.

he mmet carry grannt oonce on a particularly rough crossing of the Atlantic. my dad, oour surnamme is grannt said to cary,, we could be rellated.. hhe grumpily replied, "Ne we are not." Ccary grant was not his real name of couurse. he came from Bristool. All the great Hollywood stars were british of coourse!!!!!

Laurel and hardy camme oover on the Queen mary once. of course stan laurell camme from Birmingham. SSee what i mean about Holllywood film stars!!

My Aunt Mary was a stewardess and childrens nanny on board the old Queens. She met Elizabeth Taylor. Sh was asked to go and work for her looking after her children in California.

Anyway back to your afternoon tea. The picture looks great and the experience sounds amazing.

Tony

Jean said...

Tony, thanks for sharing your Queen Mary connection! Yes, it still has that lovely decor; it's a step back in time. Glad I could see it without chancing a "rough crossing"! Cary Grant's real name was Archibald Leach, I believe. Most of my favorite actors are (or were) British.

Jean said...

Thanks, Eileen! I'll have to loosen up one of these days and post a photo of some of us in our afternoon tea frocks.

Southerner said...

I really should spend time editing my comments shouldn't I!!!!!!

Tony

Jean said...

I know, Tony! Would have fixed it for you before posting if I could. Don't worry - we all have days like that!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Pills, patches, potions and popping pretzels? And the ship never leaves the dock? Not exactly tea at sea. Probably the best movable feast I ever enjoyed (discounting Las Vegas) was aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean with my Boy Child, the Lad. After a while the rolling seems to aid digestion. (Not that there was much rolling.) I liken the phenomenon to the spin cycle on a washing machine. Rolling just sort of enhances the process. Love those tea sandwiches by any name. Not enough in a bite to taste bad; and still enough to whet one’s appetite. Scones, not so much. Scones are for skipping across the waves.

Jean said...

All I can say, Sully, is you've never had *my* scones! Wish the rolling of the sea enhanced my digestion, but it only sets my stomach to rolling, which leads to further unpleasantness.

Mary said...

Everything about this makes me grin! We honeymooned on the Queen Mary, it just sounded like fun to this cruise ship averse girl. We drove up and down the coast and it was great. Thanks for the memories you unintentionally brought me this morning! Have a wonderful weekend.

Jean said...

Mary, that's wonderful! Thank you for sharing! I spent a couple hours on a ferry over calm water getting to my honeymoon--I sat staring straight ahead saying "I am not going to be seasick on my honeymoon." Had I walked around, I would have been sick for sure. I thought about that on the Queen Mary and how it would be the only way I could spend my honeymoon on a ship!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

OMG you made me hungry and you made me laugh. I am soooo unseaworthy. The thought of traveling on a cruise ship is not my idea of a good time. My brother gave me some pills the last time I went on his boat--they seemed to help. I hate feeling sick so although I love being by the water I tend to be a land lover. Love traveling on ferries, however, they're stable.

As always your food photography is scrumptious and it's clearly time for me to go eat something.

I love your commentary and stories to go along with your recipes.

Jean said...

Susan, thank you so much! The operative word here for the two of us must be "by" the water rather than "on" it! I'm really hungry too, now that you mention it. Think I'll get off the computer and go whomp something up!

Tea in England said...

I love this post. I keep forgetting about the Queen Mary being docked in the States. We are actually sailing out on Queen Mary 2 next week for 10 days in Portugal and Spain. We moved back to the UK 2 years ago by sailing over on QM2, so it will be nice to see her again. Afternoon Tea aboard the QM2 is quite the affair, complete with a tea dance! I love your pictures, Jean, and aren't their dishes pretty?

Tea in England said...

P.S. Fortunately, I do not get seasick, but Mr. Tea does. He uses prescription seasickness patches with great success.

Jean said...

Thanks, Mrs. Tea! I feel for your husband, but it's good that medication works for him. I would be in for 10 days of misery!

Anonymous said...

What a FUN experience that would be. I have never seen an ocean-going vessel except for the huge ships that come into the harbor at Duluth to get iron ore, but that's another story.

Great idea to put links to some of your other posts within this post as well!

Have a nice weekend, but what can top tea on the Queen Mary??

Judy
www.cranberrymorning.blogspot.com
www.homemadesoapnsuch.com

Jean said...

Thanks, Judy! My husband has told me some great stories about the ships on the Great Lakes. And, of course, I remember the Gordon Lightfoot song from when I was a lass.

Vera said...

This post just prove a point! If we don't leave a comment and read the previous comments, one misses so much. Thanks for tea on the Queen Mary, this made me smile.
(I have no idea as to the remedy for sea-sickness, hey at my age I'm doing good to balance while walking to the bathroom) :)

Jean said...

Vera, thank you! Too funny about the balancing thing - I've always been quite queasy enough on dry land!

Amy Burzese said...

What fun! I would love to have tea on the Queen Mary!

Jean said...

It was fun! And there's a beautiful ballroom for wedding receptions and other events.

Kim and Megan said...

I love that you and your friends went all out and dressed up! Sounds like you had a lovely time. (Isn't that what tea is supposed to be all about?)

Jean said...

Yes! We feel we're really getting sloppy if we just skip the hats!

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