Monday, December 14, 2015

Afternoon Tea at Palm Court (Omni William Penn)

It's been quite some time since we enjoyed winter holiday afternoon tea at Palm Court in the Omni William Penn Hotel. We decided to go this December and made reservations for this past Saturday at 2:30 pm. The lobby is decorated as it usually is; it's lovely and invites you to sit down and relax.
I was a little sad our table didn't have a better view of the lobby, but that seems to be the case every time we go for afternoon tea. We always end up seated off on a far side without a view. It's kind of frustrating and definitely disappointing. We both chose the Victorian Tea (instead of Royal Tea, which includes champagne). For his tea, SP chose Cherry Blossom Green (mildly grassy and cherry, Japanese sencha green tea lightly infused with sweet candied cherry). He said it was very tasty. I chose Chocolat (sweet and refreshing, an exotic tea blended exclusively for chocolate lovers, best with a spot of milk).
I liked this chocolate tea. It's different from the one I buy at Margaret's, not quite as straight chocolaty but there is more of another flavor, perhaps a berry undertone? Neither SP nor I could quite place it. I liked this tea with and without the milk.
 Our first tea course: 3 "sandwiches." Left to right:

  • Ham / Gruyere / Tarragon Mustard on White Bread Arugula
  • Goat Cheese and Marinated Artichokes on a Spinach Tortilla
  • Smoked Salmon / Cucumber / Cream Cheese on a Dill Gougère
I gave SP my salmon one since, yuck, salmon, and he gave me his ham & gruyere (though he did try a bite of it). My favorite was the artichoke one.

The second course: the 3 tier tray of goodies. Mini Traditional Scones, Plain & Lemon-Blueberry, served with crème fraîche, raspberry preserves, and orange marmalade.
Sweet Treats: White Chocolate Basil Macaroon, Chocolate Cup with Amaretto Mousse topped with Almonds and Coca Nibs, Fruit Tartlet of Mascarpone topped with Blueberry & Strawberry.
The mousse was really light, almost like a whipped cream. I'm not sure if that or the fruit tartlet was my favorite. The macaron of white chocolate and basil was good, but a sweet treat with a savory ingredient like basil is something I enjoy in only a very small dose.
 Fresh fruit kebabs.
Our tea was quite nice. As I read through my posts from our other 2 teas at the Omni, I found that the price for afternoon tea has increased (it's $25 now) while the amount/quality of food seems to have stayed the same. I still have the same complaints: no tongs for the sugar cube bowl (plus those cubes are too big for the smallish tea cups, so I had to keep close watch and fish out a partially melted cube so as to not overly sugar my tea), no way to stop the tea from brewing for too long and turning bitter, and strange cream for with the scones. I realize the menu says it's creme fraiche, but it was really runny and had something speckled in it, cinnamon maybe, but it made me think of ranch dressing.

Overall, we had a lovely, relaxing tea, and we got to people watch, one of our favorite things. It was great to be enjoying the city on such an unseasonably warm December day (temperatures in the high 60's), even if it felt a little weird to enjoy holiday trees and Santa and elves and sleighs and reindeer while wearing short sleeves and driving with the sunroof open!

  Palm Court Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. I have always felt the presentation far outweighed the quality at high tea. $25 is quite steep (no pun intended) for what you get. I think the last time I went there, it was around $18 - only a couple of years ago.

    1. Yes, the last two times we went it was $17-$18, and presentation is better than quality. It's good, but not great, but sometimes we just like to change up the routine, even if we know the atmosphere/presentation is better than the actual food (though the tea itself was good). I do think, though, that the current $25 is pretty steep and for that price, I'm looking for the little things (like tongs for the sugar cubes).