High tea, it turns out, doesn’t have to be stodgy, stiff, or frumpy.
The Four Seasons Austin has unveiled a very Texas version of the British tradition with its new A-Tea-X Experience, available throughout August.
For $62, guests can choose either a pot of hot tea or a tea-inspired cocktail. The service includes light bites – no cucumber or watercress sandwiches here – and dessert, too.
I pulled up a chair at a table in the Live Oak room off the hotel’s main lobby to check it out for myself. (For the record, this type of event is not normally my cup of tea.) Still, I enthusiastically stuck my nose in a vase of fresh flowers and wiggled my toes in their high heeled shoes beneath the table, thinking this might be fun.
An A-Tea-X take on a British tradition
Waiters delivered individual teapots of hot water to each guest, and we were invited to scoop from small dishes of loose-leaf tea. I choose English Breakfast; the woman across from me picked green. While our tea steeped, we chit chatted. I felt very lady like. My mom would be proud.
The Four Seasons designed the experience as a modern take on traditional high tea. Instead of cucumber finger sandwiches, we nibbled miniature smoked brisket sandwiches, tiny cups of gazpacho made with tomatoes and watermelon, a Latin take on chicken salad, and my favorite, a bit of mango-shrimp cocktail.
We also sipped tea-themed cocktails, including a glowing blue-purple one called the Sea and Sky that looked straight out of a Harry Potter movie. The server delivered a glass containing a purple ice cube atop a dish filled with glass pebbles, then poured tea-infused gin over the top. I also sampled a cocktail called My Darling Earl, made with milk-washed bourbon and Earl Grey simple syrup.
And then came dessert.
Those of you missing the iconic Choco Taco of your youth will be happy to know that the dessert tray included tiny chocolate tacos, as well as profiteroles made with matcha tea, and macarons made with jasmine tea.
For more information about A-Tea-X Experience go here.