Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fit for a queen (or three): Afternoon tea at the Royal Park Hotel

Pam and Rachel toast to a royal afternoon tea
If you are ever in Michigan and are in need of a regal afternoon, I've got just the place:  the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester. Just minutes from the busy downtown retail district, the Royal Park Hotel seems miles away from the congested traffic and crowded streets of the city and you feel the difference as soon as you step into the gleaming marble-tiled lobby with its sparkling chandeliers.

In need of a luxurious repast (and aren't we all, from time to time?), I had afternoon tea at the Royal Park Hotel with good friend, Pam, and my daughter, Rachel, this weekend.

Once inside the lobby, we were greeted by hotel staff and escorted to the library where we waited for our tea hostess as we sat in overstuffed leather chairs by the glowing fireplace. Soon, our hostess, Mary, arrived and lead us to our tea table, already set with a three-tiered tray full of goodies, fine china accented with artfully folded napkins and a kir royale cocktail, cherry-red and fizzing busily.

Three-tiered tray filled with delicious sweets and savories
Mary introduced us to the sweets and savories on our three-tiered tray, which included a delicious variety of tea sandwiches, two types of scones (with clotted cream and lemon curd) and a scrumptious selection of desserts. (Of the latter, chocolate decadence was a table favorite!)

Our tea hostess, Mary Kuhn, serves our tea
The hotel serves Mighty Leaf teas and Mary brought out a case filled with a dozen different varieties in small glass vials, so we could inspect and sniff as she gave a description of each. We picked three: Earl Grey, Caramel Pear and Green Passion. Each of us had our "go-to" tea and all were satisfying.

Along with the fare on the three-tiered tray, hot hors d'oeuvres are served with the tea.

The service is excellent and, true to our hostess' word, we sat back and relaxed while she did all the work. Another nice touch is that no two teas will be the same. Mary explained that she keeps notes of guests visits, so when one returns, she might serve different china or make a few other changes to, in her words, "keep it fresh".

Enjoying a cup of Earl Grey and window views of Paint Creek

Tea is served on the lanai, a narrow strip off the dining room that overlooks the hotel's patio and Paint Creek, which makes for excellent viewing from the table.

Ending our royal afternoon in the hotel lobby. We'll be back!
We ended our elegant tea where we started, at the hotel lobby, under the crystal chandeliers and the marble floor below our feet. We plan to be back, ready for the royal treatment, excited to know our next visit will be something new to look forward to.

For more details on the Royal Park Hotel's afternoon tea, see The Detroit Tea Examiner's article, Enjoy Royal Treatment in Rochester:  Afternoon tea at the Royal Park Hotel.

1 comment:

parTea lady said...

What a wonderful afternoon tea. The setting was elegant and the food looked delicious.