January is National Hot Tea Month, so we’ve rounded up some of the best spots in town to grab a cuppa and enjoy the cherished, centuries-old tradition of afternoon tea.
Afternoon Tea at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples has been a tradition since the hotel opened in 1985. Tea takes place in the Lobby Lounge on Saturday and Sunday from 2-4 p.m. and is served on fine china, appropriate to the refinement of this beloved ritual. Savory treats and scrumptious desserts will delight your tastebuds as you enjoy freshly steeped loose-leaf tea or champagne. Both the Royal Tea and Traditional Tea options include tea sandwiches, tea breads, and freshly baked scones with fruit preserves and Devonshire cream. The Ritz also offers a children’s tea option that includes a choice of tea, hot chocolate, or juice with child-friendly sandwiches, baked cookies and a chocolate-covered strawberry.
Teas to Try: In The Ritz-Carlton, Naples Blend (created specifically for the hotel), estate black tea leaves mingle with the scent and flavors of Florida oranges for a delicate, luxurious tea. The Ginger Pear Tree tea, a rare white tea, is also a delight with its aromatic juicy fresh pear and crisp ginger infusion.
With an extensive menu of over 50 teas, Brambles English Tea Room and Gift Shop serves afternoon tea from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Tucked down Rue de Fleur just steps away from upscale 5th Avenue South, Brambles is a wonderful place to enjoy a spot of tea and a traditional English Scone made from scratch. Try a fluffy croissant, hearty shepherd’s pie, or their popular freshly-baked quiches with handmade crust that come with organic greens, tomato, cucumber and Brambles homemade Mango Chutney.
Teas to Try: Royal Wedding – a China black tea flavored with raspberry, strawberry, kiwi, and a hint of mango – was specially blended for the Royal Wedding and is Brambles’ most popular tea; another bestseller is Peach Apricot.
For your party needs, try Tea With Me at Audrey’s, a lovely combination of Victorian ambiance and traditional English fare in the midst of Naples. The tearoom is only open to parties of 20+ people and each group decides hours and menus – perfect for parties and showers. Dainty food – including petit fours, ladylike finger sandwiches, and authentic homemade scones from a recipe owner Sonja Tilley learned during her childhood in England – is served on three-tiered platters. This darling five-year old tearoom uses elegant bone china and linen napkins to complete the traditional English experience.
Teas to Try: The Pomegranate Pear tea is one of the most popular options, but you should also give the more traditional Earl Grey teas a chance – the Tearoom Blend, a mild traditional black tea, is a solid choice.