Afternoon Tea, also known as “high tea” or “low tea," is an afternoon social occasion most frequented by ladies. Best known as a British past time, the whole notion of afternoon tea originated as a snack or mid-day meal at a time when most people ate only breakfast and a late dinner.
Light and Full Teas
These days, the notion of Afternoon Tea conjures up images of dainty snacks served on china and linen with Earl Grey or Assam Black tea.
A “light tea” is considered a snack that might include scones, cakes, and pastries, while a "full tea" includes finger sandwiches and/or quiches.
Several hotels in the Metro-Detroit area still hold formal traditions including manners, doilies, and food served on three-tiered trays. The area also hosts several shops and cafes that offer a more relaxed version, similar to a coffee house. Below is a list of places that offer Afternoon Tea and Tea Rooms in Detroit.
Ann Arbor: Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room
114 South Mail Street, Ann Arbor
Crazy Wisdom Tea Room is a cafe-type tea and coffee shop on the second floor of a bookstore. Surrounded by spiritual books, music, incense, and jewelry, the tea room has a unique atmosphere. It is filled with comfy chairs, couches, and tables, all of which overlooks Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor. In addition to over a hundred varieties of tea, including Oolong, Chinese Green, Roobios, Fruit, and Herbals, the shop offers organic coffee, appetizers, entrees, sandwich dips, and desserts.
The Tea Room is also known for hosting “Tea and Tunes” on weekend nights.
Clinton Township: Tea by Three
15333 River Lane, Clinton Township
The Afternoon Teas at Tea by Three are offered sporadically throughout the year but tend to be held on the weekends. Tea for Three offers an experience well beyond a “tea room.” In addition to two acres of gardens, including a butterfly garden, rock garden, ponds, and gazebo, a little, blue Teacup Cottage helps set the atmosphere and tone for a weekend “Tea.”
The formal teas take place in a sunroom overlooking the many and varied gardens. The china, linens, and dress code changes by occasion, which has included past themes like Titanic, Mother's Day, Red Hat, Anne of Green Gables, Japanese, Halloween, and Christmas. Costumed characters often drop by as well.
Farmington Hills: Longacre House
24705 Farmington Road, Farmington
Longacre House in Farmington Hills offers a traditional, English-style “Tea” and Luncheon on a monthly basis. In addition to China, linens, and doilies, the events often include character presentations.
Holly: The Holly Hotel
110 Battle Alley, Holly
The Holly Hotel hosts a Victorian Afternoon Tea in a candle-lit dining room with china, imported tea served in a ceramic pot and a three-course meal. The meal includes scones, muffins with Devonshire cream, petite tea sandwiches, quiches, and canapes.
The Holly Hotel also hosts a Queen Anne Luncheon Tea that includes a lunch entree course.
Plymouth: Sweet Afton Tea Room and Restaurant
450 Forest Avenue, Plymouth
Sweet Afton serves a traditional British tea, complete with tea-cup chandeliers, antiques, linens, personal teapots, finger foods, and tea imported from London. The restaurant's “high tea” is served all day long and includes tarts and scones with Devonshire cream, plus finger sandwiches and quiches.
The menu also includes sandwich melts, Shepherd's Pie, Chicken Pot Pie, and several desserts.
Rochester: Royal Park Hotel
600 East University Drive, Rochester
In addition to Mighty Leaf tea served in glass teapots, the hotel's Royalty Tea includes champagne and the traditional three-tier tray filled with scones, pastries, and savory snacks like sandwiches and quiches.
Royal Oak: Goldfish Tea
117 West 4th Street, Royal Oak
Goldfish Tea is both a tea shop and a cafe. It has several different types of seating options such as couches, chairs, and tea-testing tables, and provides Wi-Fi, books, and open-mic nights. In addition to Premium Chinese Loose Leaf Teas served in dragon-embossed pots, the cafe also sells tea paraphernalia, cookies, pastries, wraps, coffee drinks, and smoothies.
West Bloomfield: The English Tea Garden
7410 Haggerty Road, West Bloomfield
The English Tea Garden offers Morning Tea with an a la carte scone purchase and free tea. It also offers traditional Afternoon Tea, complete with a pot of tea, sandwiches, pastries, and scones with Devonshire Cream. The tea varieties include Tippy Assam Leaf Tea and Japanese Cherry Sencha Leaf Tea. A lunch menu is also available and includes sandwiches, salads, and pastries. The English Tea Garden is decorated with beautiful ivy and sometimes hosts a harpist.