Top Tea Houses in Albuquerque
Among those of us who live outside Britain, there’s some confusion over “afternoon tea” and “high tea.” By whatever name you call it, the service at several Duke City tea houses is lovely. The ambiance at each is exceedingly girly (in a good way) with lace doilies, floral-patterned upholstery, and hats befitting the Royal Ascot ready for borrowing. Tea at each destination is a quiet, relaxing experience best shared with friends and family.
1. For an afternoon tea straight out of a Jane Austen novel, head to the St. James Tearoom. The space and menu are equally refined, offering nibbles in savory, bread, and sweet courses. Past menu items have included fennel orange salads, cucumber with grapefruit and mint butter tea sandwiches, butterscotch buns, and custard tarts.
2. Situated on the Westside, Devonshire Adobe Inn offers lovely views of the city. A working B&B, the inn also serves afternoon tea. The plates here also include savory, bread (read: scones), and sweet items; I find the single plates more filling than the petite servings at St. James. However, eating your fill isn’t necessarily what afternoon tea is all about.
(If you’re a vegetarian, be sure to let these two tearooms know in advance so they can ready a fitting menu.)
3. Mes Amis Teahouse in Nob Hill is your best bet if you want to drop in for a cuppa. The teahouse does offer a full afternoon tea with multiple courses, but they also offer single cups of tea and a la carte menu items such as pastries and scones. The traditional cream scone with lemon curd and clotted cream is especially delightful. (I know: “Lemon curd” and “clotted cream” sound rather unappetizing. I have taken to calling these condiments “lemony deliciousness” and “whipped cream butter,” which are far more accurate.)
New Mexico Tea Co. is an excellent spot to purchase loose leaf teas and teaware. They had a go at serving afternoon tea, but aren’t currently.
Bottger Mansion Bed & Breakfast in Old Town will also serve afternoon tea for a group of eight to 16 people if booked in advance.
Where’s your favorite place in Albuquerque for tea?