13 June 2013

Afternoon Tea - The Langham Anniversary Tea


A posh afternoon tea for 15 cents?! It happens every year when Langham hotels worldwide celebrate the anniversary of the first Langham hotel, Langham London, by rolling back the price to what it was originally: 1 shilling and sixpence ("one and six"). 

June 10 (or 10 June, as they say in the UK) was the 148th anniversary of the opening of the Langham London, London's first grand hotel. Opened on June 10 in 1865*, it was the first luxury hotel in Europe to serve afternoon tea (still served daily in The Palm Court). So what better way to celebrate the occasion than afternoon tea!

*For history and/or genealogy buffs: On that date in 1865, my great great grandmothers in England could have been there, but it would have been a 175-mile journey for Sarah and Ann and a 240-mile journey for Ann and Mary Ann. My great great grandmothers in the United States (Cynthia, Hannah, Mary and Martha) had other things on their minds, the Civil War having ended just days before.

One day I hope to attend the anniversary tea at Langham London. In the meantime, I'll have to celebrate stateside: Langham Boston, Langham Chicago, Langham Place New York. This year I was going to be in the Los Angeles area on that date, so I applied for a reservation at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena. As you can imagine, more people than can be accommodated want to attend, so they've come up with an application process.

The discreet signage is the first indication of the hotel's distinctly residential feel.

The Langham Huntington, a grand hotel at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, has been a southern California landmark for more than a hundred years. Once on property, it's hard to believe you're so close to the city and just 26 miles from LAX (Los Angeles International Airport). 

The serenity of the views as well as the coziness of the Lobby Lounge and a delectable tea menu make afternoon tea at the Langham all that it should be.

The atmosphere of the Lobby Lounge, with panoramic garden views through floor-to-ceiling windows, is ideal for a traditional British-style afternoon tea. For this occasion, the servers were dressed in period costume and guests were asked to wear a touch of pink, the Langham's signature color.

Sandwiches delicious as well as beautiful! Missing from photo is the gorgeous smoked salmon profiterole.

Assorted warm scones served with house-made clotted cream and lemon curd.

Jewel-box pastries as delicious as they are exquisite (especially the cone!).

Happy 148th anniversary, Langham!

For reservations, call 626-585-6218 (1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue, Pasadena).

For tea at home, see: How to Make a Proper Cup of Tea and Tea and Scones. Look under Teatime on my Recipes index page for other teatime recipes.

28 comments:

Julie D said...

Tried to get into this via their sweepstakes, but didn't win. Bummer! Maybe next time?!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Yes, maybe next year, Julie. Or if you decide to splurge, it's $39. It's a really lovely tea!

Yenta Mary said...

Oh, how absolutely, wonderfully fabulous! I adore afternoon tea, and this was so very special and beautiful and lovely ... :)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Mary! Maybe you can get in on the one in Chicago next year?

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

I CONFESS! I ate the smoked salmon profiterole (and I’m glad). I tried to smoke it, but alas it wouldn’t light. Ah, Jeani, great history there. Don’tcha love researching that stuff. You must be a charter member of ancestry.com. Would’ve been nice to juxtapose that English tea ceremony with the Revolutionary War (styled as a war over tea taxation), but you have to go with the facts and the (un)civil war. Of course, we know where I stand on tea, so we won’t go there…else America would still be part of the Motherland. Then again, you wouldn’t find that all bad come tea time, eh wot?

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Eh wot? You got that right! Serenity now ... Sereni-tea ...

Kim said...

Jean, Your photos are so beautiful! It was like a little trip just reading your post. Thanks!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Kim, thank you sooo much! That was the effect I was aiming for - though I hadn't really thought of it like that!

Tony Grant said...

Thomas, I couldn't resist replying to you.

Now, just imagine where you lot would be IF you didn't breakaway from us????

It wasn't so much about tea anyway. "Tea," has become a nice symbol for the revolution but it was more about the stubborn tax laws and the refusal of the British Government to allow the big landholders such as George Washington to expand westwards. The Brits had the idea that the indigenous populations should have their bit. But the draw of grabbing land and going west, the dreams of great wealth, was too much and of course we know what happened with the expansion west to the indigenous peoples.
Don't get me wrong, I think the British Government should have given you much more independence from the start and they set austere unfair taxation rules. They did become more amenable though.

But, we are all great friends now!!!!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Tony, all I have to say about that is: *I* would have *had* to find another way to protest - couldn't have done without my tea! :D

Melissa AuClair said...

Gorgeous pictures! Thank you for sharing this post- I've never been to a formal "tea" but your pictures, description and history makes me want to. Yum & fun!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thank you, Melissa! You MUST go out for a posh afternoon tea! There must be oodles of places in Boston, including the Langham Boston. Do it soon and be sure to tell me how you liked it!

Pauline Wiles said...

My goodness, I can't believe I didn't know about this! What a splendid idea and the photos are gorgeous.
Melissa, yes, you MUST do proper tea at least once. Go hungry and plan to skip dinner!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Pauline, thank you! I try to stay pretty well informed about all things tea - I *live* for afternoon tea!

Tony Grant said...

Thomas, I thought you might like this link.

Believe it or not there actually was a Thomas Sully. Ha! Ha!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sully

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

LOL! Glad “all is forgiven,” Tony. But my pedigree is much more tangled (and infamous) than that. The Irish “Sullivan” carries its stigma, if being an upstart colonialist isn’t enough. As for Thomas Sully, the painter, I’ve always been grateful to those who carry the name and moniker to a more respectable place. ‘Fraid I’ve done nothing to enhance the brand. Then again, America itself hasn’t done much to mitigate the history of taxation without representation either. Thanks for your posts and all best to you.

Tony Grant said...

One more point. You lot have only been a country for about 200 years. You are mere infants. We have been a country for about a thousand years, if you take into account the Roman occupation. Before that we were split into tribal areas, the Dumnonivores, the Iceni etc etc(All named by the Romans) and quite a few more tribes. The Romans kind of brought us all together. When they left about 300 to 400 AD, well that is a different matter but anyway you lot have a lot to go through yet.
What will the USA be like after a thousand years? Quite a thought, concept, don't you think?

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sully and Tony, my oh my, what you could make of my humble little food blog!

Charles said...

Well damn - that sounds very reasonably priced! Haha, I guess they're not making any profit on that day but how nice they commemorate the event in such a fashion (no wonder it's so popular too!).

I went to a restaurant in London once - "Searcy's St. Pancras Grand", an actually very nice restaurant, and they were commemorating 150 years of being open (or something like that). They had a special menu, but no bargain like this tea... it was priced at £18.62 (their year of opening). Not a bad price considering the food, but it sure would have been nice to pay with a handful of change instead of forking over my credit card :D

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Yes, Charles, it was a hoot getting the bill of 60 cents for four of us! Of course, we tipped 20 percent of the everyday price!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

If Jeani has her way, both the UK and the USA will be tea plantations, Tony. Me, I'll be space-bound for the Planet of Sugar and Grease. :-)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

That's right, Sully. And isn't it wonderful that both the UK and US each have a tea plantation! (See my Tregothnan tea review for info about the one in the UK.)

Sippity Sup said...

Yay. Finally someplace I have actually has "tea". This was my one and only experience with the grand tradition. GREG

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Greg, you must do it again! I seek out tea places everywhere I go and have had tea in several states and three countries. It's the best meal of the day!

Paulette said...

A family traditions is to have tea during the holiday season at the Drake in downtown Chicago. I was unaware of the Tiffin at the Langham serving tea, but will certainly see if I can snag a reservation for next June 10th. Thanks for this fun new information.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Paulette, what a lovely tradition! The Drake tea sounds lovely, and I like the fact that they serve afternoon tea daily - that's very rare.

Abigail Rogers said...

Oh my goodness, don't make me droll! That sounds like an absolutely amazing day out.

-Abigail

www.picturebritain.com

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Abigail. Yes, it was amazing! And I'm enjoying reading about all your amazing experiences!

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