Afternoon Tea at the Peninsula Beverly Hills
Updated: Jan 8
AFTERNOON TEA AT THE PENINSULA BEVERLY HILLS DETAILS:
9882 S Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (310) 975-2736
Average cost: $$$ (tea selection packages include bubbly and start at $115)
Dress code: smart casual
Notes: delightful and delicious afternoon tea with tasty savory items and decadent desserts in a classically beautiful setting. Call for reservations or book via Open Table.
Recommended: celebrate and indulge at least once a year. Since our first visit in 2019, we've been aiming to go once a year to see if we can start a new annual tradition.
This was our second time visiting the Peninsula Beverly Hills and it was even better than we remembered from our 2019 visit! We visited this past weekend to celebrate Ryan surviving busy season (and because we couldn't go for his birthday earlier in the year). Service was wonderful from start to finish, and we were promptly seated so that we could enjoy the ambiance and live harp music.
Once you're settled in at your table, it's time to pick your tea package, which essentially boils down to three decisions:
The Royal Tea selection ($122) offers Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé while The Traditional Tea selection ($115) offers Brut or non-alcoholic Duche De Longueville French sparkling cider. Food and dessert wise, the sweet and savory offerings are all the same, but the Brut Rosé option costs $7 more.
Unlimited vs. limited for refilling your bubbly - the"Endless Bubbles" has a price difference of an additional $35 for endless Brut vs. $50 for endless Brut Rosé
Tea selection: Belvedere, Earl Grey, Tropical Peninsula, Egyptian Chamomile, Dragon Crisp Gen Mai Cha, Green Pomegranate, Mint Tea, Jasmine, English Breakfast, Big Sur, White Coconut Créme, and Caramel Pear
We actually picked different bubbly all around: Ryan went with the Brut Rosé, Tim tried the French sparkling cider (yum), and I picked the Brut. Once we made those selections, our tea service began with some scrumptious strawberries and cream.
Close up of our "appetizer" course:
Before we knew it, our personal 3-tier mini towers arrived in all their beauty. I'm not sure whether this was pandemic inspired change, but it was wonderful! In 2019, the towers were much larger, and the same items were grouped together instead of split up into one of each for a personal tower.
Love this personal tea tower change, which also made it super easy and convenient to swap out your main serving plate with a plate from the tower, as all plates are the same size.
Our wonderful waiter recommended that we start with the scones since they were fresh and warm. The Peninsula offers butter, berry jam, and a deliciously bright lemon curd to pair with the scones:
After enjoying a few bites of the warm and fluffy scones, I tried the gluten free zucchini bread and was pleasantly surprised because, in addition to zucchini, it had a pleasant cinnamon flavor that gave me major autumn vibes. I then dove into the sweet tier, since I adore savory and wanted to save the savory tier for last.
Such gorgeous and delectable options... I don't have a huge sweet tooth but most of these weren't super sweet (with the exception of the truffle). We'll start our rundown with the Peninsula Cap Cake, a mini chocolate cake, which was actually quite large considering how much food was packed onto all 3 tiers! But not to worry, of course the Peninsula staff had plenty of high quality boxes and bags on hand, and most guests took at least a few items home with them at the end of tea. This chocolate cake was so well balanced, moist, and had excellent chocolate flavor; I definitely wished we didn't have a whole day of LA planned, as I would have loved to tuck this away into the safety of our fridge to enjoy later.
Also had to get a quick shot of the cross section so you can see the layers:
The cherry crostini was topped with goat cheese and a dried cherry, and was such a delightful marriage of creamy and crunchy textures. Because of the goat cheese, this was slightly more savory than sweet, and we didn't really feel like it belonged on the sweet tier, but perhaps it was intended to break up the more dominant sweet flavors for folks who go all in on one tier at a time. In hindsight, it might have been fun to switch back and forth among the tiers, but I was fairly certain I would love the savory more, so I wanted to make sure I saved the best for last.
Not only was this dark chocolate raspberry tart pretty to look at, it was a dark chocolate lover's dream: just slightly bitter, with rich, velvety cacao flavors, and these high quality raspberries lent just the right amount of freshness and bright acidity to the tart:
This adorable and tiny cake was the plum cake, topped with frosting and a few fun decorative and crispy puffs. The plum flavor was fairly delicate - just tasted like a yummy and moist cake to me.
Next up, a gorgeous and perfectly delicate pink lemonade macaron. I was impressed by how delicate the macaron shells were, and the ganache inside had a very pleasant and slightly chewy texture and strong pink lemonade flavor.
My least favorite was probably the strawberry cheesecake truffle, because this was by far the sweetest item on the sweet tier, and I'm just not big on truffles. This had great texture and strawberry cheesecake flavor though, so if you have a sweet tooth you might enjoy this!
I alternated between my jasmine tea and bubbly while enjoying all these sweet bites. Most of these items I couldn't finish simply due to the volume of food and desire to make sure I could eat all of the savory items... I was so excited to get started on the savory tier:
As a palate cleanser, I'd recommend starting with the cucumber sandwich (cucumber, herb cream cheese, and dill). This was very well executed, refreshing, and the lightest of all the savority items.
The crab salad was incredible - creamy and fresh bits of crab with parsley, cucumber, and chervil (french parsley) on a butter lettuce leaf. So good that I wished there was more of it!
So many wonderful seafood ingredients were incorporated into the savory selection. This was a gorgeous little lobster roll topped with caviar and dill. Excellent flavors in the lobster roll; my only disappointment was the bread. I'm not sure if I took too long to eat it, but the bread was dry and seemed out of place compared to the other tasty options.
Rounding out these succulent seafood selections is the house smoked salmon sandwich with cream cheese. Such a classic combo, but the Peninsula's offering stood out simply because of the high quality of the salmon itself:
If you love surf and turf, you'll be happy with the Peninsula's absolutely delicious "turf" options. This was a very flavorful pastrami sandwich with horseradish, pickles, and mustard caviar:
And our table's favorite in 2019 and again in 2021 was the curried chicken sandwich with almond and raisin. I know it doesn't sound like this would be the reigning champ for overall favorite, but the curry chicken was bursting with flavor, super well-balanced, and left us all wanting more.
We thoroughly enjoyed our leisurely tea time, and all three of us were stuffed and definitely had leftovers. We left happy and looking forward to next year's celebration at the Peninsula!