Sunday, September 9, 2012

Taking Tea in Dallas: The Adolphus Hotel

Yesterday we were able to get reservations for afternoon tea at the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas.  It was everything you could expect from a historic hotel (the Adolphus is turning 100 next month).  They have been doing afternoon tea since the early 1980s, so they have had plenty of time to get everything right.  Tables are set up in the lobby living room, and there is a live pianist playing classical music to set the mood.  The hotel has hosted a number of connoisseurs for tea, from the Queen of England to food writer Kerry Vincent (who featured the Adolphus on the Finger Food episode of Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate).

Yet, we still felt special, seated among the antiques, and treated to impeccable service.  Louis, who served as our guide to the teas presented, was both knowledgeable and accommodating.  

For the first course, we received an assortment of tea sandwiches (our favorite was the egg salad on brioche, followed by the curried chicken salad) along with a pot of Africa Amber (a red rooibos with hibiscus).

Next we got a scone with clotted cream and raspberry preserves (it was so delicious I forgot to take a picture), alongside a pot of Orange Jasmine (a black tea with a delicate citrusy/floral note).

The third course was an assortment of mini-desserts.  We both agreed that the tie for best flavors was between the mini-cheesecake and the pistachio macaroon.  This came with a pot of pear caramel (another black tea, with a pleasing flavor, though I had a hard time actually tasting the pear).

Louis did offer other teas, and we listened to other tea drinkers describing their choices.  Next time, I definitely want to try the vanilla black tea and the Provence-inspired blend.

If you want to attend the afternoon tea at the Adolphus, tea is served Friday through Sunday from 2pm to 4pm in the lobby living room at the front of the hotel.  Reservations are required.
You can contact them at (214)742-8200.

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