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Food and Drink Features
 

High time for Downton


Formal afternoon teas — the good, old-fashioned English way — are new again. Here’s where to find them.

Angela Botzer December 30th, 2013

This city isn’t late to the Downton Abbey television series — or to its old-is-new-again trend of high tea. Yes, a formal afternoon tea with friends, scones, lemon curd, crumpets — the Edwardian works.

Are you overwhelmed by the chill of winter and need to warm your toes? Sit by a roaring fire in the sought-after “upper tea room” at Inspirations Tea Room, 2118 W. Edmond Road in Edmond.

Inspirations offers a three-tiered tea tray accompanying a full tea service. The lower tier displays a selection of two types of charming tea sandwiches.

“The second tier offers lemon curd, fruit, and scones. The top tier is dessert; chocolate-covered strawberries, cheesecake and brownies,” said Rebecca Pound, manager at Inspirations.

Historically, scones were rather simple, peasant fare often baked on a hearth and, over time, became a traditional snack for tea. The addition of scones, a choice of over 25 different types of tea, beautiful ambiance and excellent food make this location the ultimate tea party experience.

Following afternoon tea, you can find antique teas sets similar to the ones shown on Downton Abbey right here in Oklahoma City. Save the drama and dive into the culture; it’s closer than you might think. Among the numerous antique stores lining Western Avenue, stop by Brownstone Antiques & Interiors, 4616 N. Western Ave., for that perfect, elegant vintage tea service. Add some antique linen napkins or tablecloth to complete the setting. In the event you need to formally entertain relatives — or if the dowager countess comes to call — you will be prepared.

The beautiful Museum Café at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, provides five delightfully different types of afternoon tea (reservations required with 24 hours’ notice).

One can choose the Cream Tea, a basic tea service with scones, sweet cream and preserves. The Light Tea includes chocolate truffles and tartlets. The Full Tea adds a selection of scrumptious tea sandwiches. For a full, sophisticated splurge, go for the ultimate Champagne Tea, which includes tea, assorted tea sandwiches, scones, sweet cream and preserves, assorted tartlets, dark chocolate truffles and a fine glass of Domaine St. Michelle Champagne.

The holidays are also the perfect time to introduce children to afternoon tea manners at the Children’s Tea at the museum.

Notwithstanding the description of the Mad Tea Party in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, children are in for a treat at Children’s Tea. This includes tea or hot chocolate, mini cupcakes, tea sandwiches, fruit, yogurt dip and chocolate chip cookies. Afternoon teatime might be one of the best ways to unwind with your children.

For very special occasions, including Mother’s Day and other seasonal events, The Skirvin Hilton Hotel, One Park Ave., is often dazzlingly decorated and serves a high tea by reservation. The sumptuous teatime menu frequently includes scones, chicken salad, macaroons, deviled eggs and other classic tea accompaniments — the menu varies with the season.

 
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