Shaun and I have developed a little tradition of having afternoon tea when we go out of town. In New Orleans there were several options to choose from but we took the advice of a sorority sister and headed to Windsor Court. Tea at Windsor Court is offered at 11am and 2pm on the weekends. This is a little different but fit it well with our timeline. Tea is served at Le Salon, which is the lobby bar offering a nice ambiance of several mini living room set ups.
There were five other groups enjoying tea during our seating. Because we were a small party we were set up at a side table while the larger groups sat on chairs and couches around a coffee table. Although not as comfortable as sitting at a regular dining table this is more authentic to how afternoon tea is traditionally served.
Here we are at our low table:
In the US most people incorrectly call afternoon tea high tea when in fact it is a low tea - meant it is served on low tables in a parlour / living room. High tea is served at the dinner table and is a hearty meal - this was traditionally enjoyed by the working class while low tea was a tradition of the nobility. Now you know.
When we arrived the table was already set up with everything we would need including creams and jams. As you can see, table space was a little limited.
Tea at Windsor Court does not come cheap: $37 per person plus tax and 20% gratuity. It does however include a cocktail to start with. I got sparkling wine while Shaun got the milk punch, which he said was very good. Here's a look at the menu so you can see what's included:
On the back is a list of teas:
I immediately zeroed in on the gunpowder pearl tea, I mean really, how does that not sound like a MandySue tea?
For the record, it was legitimately very good. On the menu were several "rare" teas for an extra $5 a pot - no thank you.
Our tea sandwiches came out after the cocktails. They were good but very small. Honestly I am not a caviar fan, too salty.
Although the presentation was nice I do like the tired tray system other places use. Larger tables had their items served in this manner so it was not a space issue but just the Windsor Court method of presentation. After the sandwiches our tea arrived - I'm undecided if this was on purpose or our tea was delayed. For space and I'm also guessing service tea was not kept on the table. Although I appreciate this thought we actually drink tea and aren't there for the novelty so not having access to our tea pots was a little annoying. I did however enjoy the rock sugar provided.
After tea came scones, which we enjoyed with the raspberry jam, Devonshire cream and regular cream; neither of us are lemon curd fans but it looked nice and I heard another table inquiring about it so it is for some people.
After a few cups of tea our desserts came out. I'll admit, I was super disappointed.
It really bothered me that we has to pick between different items. Shaun wound up not liking his chocolate piece so I had both. This is the smallest dessert selection I've had at tea. And the chocolate covered strawberry was very bland. Very sad.
Overall we had a nice time and were there for an hour and 20 minutes, it was clear though that we were welcome to stay and enjoy more tea. A piano player played at times which was very nice but she took frequent breaks, as in three during our short visit so I can't really say it added to the experience. At $96 for the experience we won't be back but an glad we tried it once. We continue to hold The Peabody (which costs less than $70 for two) as our favorite tea experience. The cocktails were a nice touch but added unnecessarily to the cost and not really anything to the experience. Our waiter did a really good job taking care of all the groups and did engage us in conversation about tea when we mentioned this is something we do frequently so that was very nice. If you happen to be traveling by a Windsor Court and want some elegant fun it's not a bad idea to give the tea service a go.