Afternoon tea is only available at Annie Miler’s airy Century City café on Thursdays from 3 PM – 5 PM. The week after Thanksgiving, my friend and I were apparently the only people interested in Clementine‘s formal tea service, which we enjoyed at a table dressed with a white tablecloth and a sprig of Christmas holly.
We each received a choice of Fonté Full Leaf Teas: Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Chamomile, Peppermint or Shana’s Chai. We were also allowed to order anything from the coffee bar, but that would have defeated the purpose. We selected pots of Earl Grey and Peppermint, which we allowed to steep for a couple minutes before pouring through our silver strainers. We also received a small pitcher of whole milk and a dish of brown sugar cubes. I took two lumps.
A plate of “lovely tea sandwiches” (Clementine’s apt description) were all made using house-made bread with the crusts excised. There were twin triangles of autumn chicken salad on pecan raisin bread, house-cured gravlax and cream cheese on pain de mie, prosciutto and St. Andre triple cream Brie on pecan-raisin bread, and onion-flecked egg salad with watercress on pain de mie.
Our cookie plate included raspberry thumbprint cookies crusted with crushed walnuts, lemon poppy seed cookies, mini apricot cakes emblazoned with the Clementine logo, and rich Nanaimo bars, named for a Vancouver suburb, with layers of vanilla cream and coconut-studded dark chocolate.
I don’t normally enjoy such dainty food, but Clementine’s tea service was unexpectedly flavorful, the setting didn’t include any antiques or doilies, and at $18.95 per person for so many tastes, the experience was reasonable. I might have to get used to high tea.
Note: Reservations are required.