|Edible gold letter branding on a chocolate-covered strawberry = Extravagant!|
MATT: I recently had the pleasure of visiting Krystina Alabado and the American Idiot Tour in Boston, one of my favorite cities (Except of course when it comes to baseball: Go Yankees!). I often talk about coffee, but the tradition of Afternoon High Tea is almost as near and dear to my heart. I first fell in love with it while living in London and have, since returning to the US, found many places in NYC and the rest of the country that not only honor the tradition but more than do it justice. One of those very places, and the first of our new Tea Time series, is the Taj Boston Hotel, located on the north end of the Boston Common, Boston's closest equivalent to a centralized park. (Of course, it ain't got nuthin' on Central Park.)
If anyone is unfamiliar with High Tea, here's what one can expect to find:
- Finger sandwiches usually including cucumber, egg salad, salmon, and a variety of meats and cheeses.
- Seasonal scones served with jams, jellies, lemon curd, and clotted cream A.K.A. Devonshire cream. (This is what makes High Tea so special!)
- Assorted desserts such as cookies, candies, cakes, and pastries.
- Champagne can usually be added for an extra charge.
- It's a bit of a time commitment but nothing compared to a tasting at a gourmet restaurant.
- There's usually a dress code so wear your English finest!
- And of course...a good old-fashioned pot of tea!
The Taj, like so many other places that serve High Tea, have their own house blend which is usually black, my personal favorite because it cuts the sweetness of the scones and desserts. The highlights here were both savory and sweet, the first being a lobster profiterole. Imagine biting into an eclair-type puff pastry, but instead of tasting chocolate, discovering creamy New England lobster! Another was the prosciutto & cheddar tartine topped with an olive garnish (their take on the classic ham & cheese.) The combination of a pumpkin macaroon and a mini-tiramisu topped with a gold-covered espresso bean more than satisfied my sweet tooth as you probably remember from Coffee Talk: Porto Rico Importing Co. The staple scone is that of currant served with clotted cream. On occasion, live music is played, this time by a lovely violinist.
So, if you're ever in Boston, dress up and take an afternoon to visit the Taj, maybe even before you take in a show, where you can sit back (Sit up straight!) and relax, but get ready to answer the question, "One lump or two?"