I have this fascination with having High Tea like the English, with snooty women, eating frilly bite-size sandwiches and our pinkies held way out out as we sip our Earl Grey. I have now learned that HighTea (“meat” tea) is actually meant to be served as a light dinner in the early evening and reserved for the lower classes. The earlier, more formal engagement that I have admired since I was a child is actually called Low Tea. Hmm…
So, consider me lower class, I don’t mind, but we were were going to have high tea, not low tea. This was mostly due to the spontaneity of this goal and the hour we had to kill before dinner at Luce. I spotted Samovar Tea House as Peter and I were walking through Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco and there was absolutely no question in my mind that we were having fancy tea. I may have seen the husband roll his eyes, but he is now more than aware of my “having-every-new-experience” tactics and was easily persuaded, knowing there wouldn’t be any other option.
Walking into Samavor competed with any uber-luxurious wine bar in Scottsdale, Arizona; plush lounge chairs, jaw-dropping interior design and the “pretty” people were in abundance along with several business men who obviously had just attended a convention of some sort. You would think that they would have opted for a ice-cold beer at the local tap room, but this must be how the sophisticated live.
We waited briefly to be seated, though it wasn’t the cushy parlor-style seating, it was a comfortable table. The server was extremely knowledgeable about the tea selection, which was to be expected. The prices were equivalent to those of a glass of wine, ranging from $7 to $14, which would seem a tad expensive except that you have to realize that you are paying for the experience. We opted for the Nocturnal Bliss $8 (a blend of honeybush, lemon myrtle, lavender, etc) and a coconut rice pudding $6. Both were exquisite.
I could have stayed, people watching and sipping, at Samovar for hours, which is exactly what I plan to do in the future.