London Calling: Can’t Make Their Big Day? Celebrate with Tea, Locally

With the Royal wedding only two days away (April 29!) and our invite obviously lost in the mail, Foodies On The Fly have been searching desperately for alternate ways to enjoy our Friday afternoon. Since we can’t attend the most coveted social event of the year the next best thing is to attend a fabulous local soiree, or visit a local tea room and indulge in a royal-tea lunch.

For your sipping enjoyment we’ve listed a few dainty-dining options and fabulous fête in the South Florida area.

West Palm Beach :: Serenity Garden 
Voted “Best place to host a tea party” in South Florida by The Palm Beacher and Boca Life Magazine, this whimsical little cottage is a great place to relax, unwind and enjoy a cup of tea. Reservations are strongly suggested and afternoon tea is served throughout the day.

Parkland ::  Hidden Tea Secrets 
Enjoy an afternoon amongst the trees and fields at Hidden Tea Secrets in Parkland. This quaint tea parlor will pamper you with the finest culinary delights and tempt you with a gift shop filled with chocolates and sweets.

Fort Lauderdale :: Emunah Café & Tea Bar
If you are looking for a modern tea experience than Emunah Café & Tea Bar is your cup of tea.  Located in Ft. Lauderdale this swanky tea bar serves up organic fare and a holistic experience.

Fêtes at the Atlantic Resort :: Friday, April 29, Enjoy a cocktail reception at the Atlantic Resort and Spa in Ft. Lauderdale. Cocktails will be served from 3-5pm along with light bites.  If you are an early bird you can catch the royal nuptials in the Trina Restaurant and Lounge from 4-9am.

Miami :: The Biltmore Hotel – Enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea in the elegant Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gabels.  Served from 3-6pm daily guest can enjoy complimentary music and exceptional treats.

Fêtes at the Biltmore :: Friday, April 29 – Enjoy a post nuptial viewing of the wedding, and indulge on traditional English tea, pastries and champagne complimented by informal modeling of the Wedding Suite collection at Nordstrom Coral Gables. Tickets are $30 and reservations are strongly suggested.

Foodies on the Fly approved

Naples :: Brambles Tea Room and Gift Shop
Hidden in an alleyway this romantic tea room offers homemade delicacies and an extensive selection of teas from around the world.  If you don’t have time to linger and relax you can order from their take-out menu.

Fêtes at Brambles Tea Room and Gift Shop :: Friday, April 29 – Brambles Tea Room will host a special royal wedding tea to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Tea is $21.95 per person and the party is free. Call (239) 262 – 7894 for more information.

Naples :: Ritz Carlton
Located in the elegant Ritz Carlton this high tea is served with Wedgwood china, signature Ritz Carlton silverware, and crystal flutes for a champagne toast. Check out our review of  high-tea at the Ritz here.

Fêtes at the Ritz Carlton Naples ::  Friday, April 29 – Guests of the hotel and locals can enjoy an elegant High Tea reception at 2:30 p.m. The tea party will feature a selection of fine English teas, delicate finger sandwiches, gourmet breads, fruit tartlets with fresh preserves, scones and rich pastries—all hand-made by the artisans in The Ritz-Carlton, Naples’ pastry shop. Guests can reserve their space for the event by calling 239-598-6644. Seating is limited. For more information, visit The Ritz-Carlton, Naples’ Calendar of Events online at www.ritzcarlton.com/naples.

Didn’t find anything you fancy? For a list of additional events click here.  Or click here to learn how to make the perfect cup of tea at home.  

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Afternoon Tea: Ritz-Carlton – Naples

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Henry James

I started my journey of teas at a young age, influenced greatly by a mother and grandmother who always hosted tea and dessert about an hour after dinner. As I grew into my own, my love for tea only grew deeper. I went beyond Lipton Orange Pekoe and began sampling English Breakfast, Earl Grey (still one of my favorites!), Chamomile, and Green teas. Today, I get excited about new blends (especially ones including mate) and mix my own varieties of loose leaves depending on my mood, meal pairing, or energy level.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do: Have high tea at the Ritz. Joined by my fellow tea enthusiast boyfriend, it was everything I always pictured it would be.

Upon arrival, we were led to a precious little table set for two with Wedgewood china and signature Ritz Carlton silverware. The afternoon tea menu we were presented with was quite extensive and after some contemplation, we decided on a pot of each: Eros (sweet mandarin orange and warm vanilla with ceylon leaves) and Shanghai Rose (black tea leaves infused with lychee and rose) with the full high tea service. Arriving to the table first were crystal flutes of perfectly chilled champagne for our “high tea toast”. A few minutes later they were followed by two aromatic pots of freshly diffused tea. Once our tea had time to steep to the correct temperature we were greeted with a three tiered tray of deliciousness including: assorted tea sandwiches on the top tier (prosciutto, egg salad, classic English cucumber, and smoked salmon rosette), followed by two freshly baked raisin scones with Devonshire cream and preserves on the middle tier, and lastly a decadent display of assorted sweets (fruit tartlets, puff pastries, shortbread and ginger cookies and a perfect chocolate espresso bite) covering the bottom tier.

The attentive staff stopped by our table often to check on our progress and perfectly timed each “course”. After every one of the tiered indulgences (each more lovely than the last) was sampled we were treated to a (by this time, forgotten) parfait of strawberries and fresh whipped cream with Grand Marnier on top.

At this point I did not feel I could sample another morsel but after one spoonful of the luscious cream I realized I was mistaken, and promptly finished the parfait, and some of my boyfriend’s as well. (Justification: I graciously gave him more (most) of the tea sandwiches in the beginning. I knew I wanted to save for the sweets!)

Indulgent: Yes! A must see/do: Definitely!

The Ritz-Carlton Naples
280 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples, FL 34108 USA
Phone:  (239) 598-3300
www.ritzcarlton.com

Suenos de Dali – The World of Dali’s Dreams!

When the announcement came that the new Salvador Dali museum was completed and would be hosting a surreal benefit party, Suenos de Dali – the world of Dali’s dreams, to showcase their new home I had to make a trip to St.Petersburg.

St.Petersburg, FL has hosted the Dali museum since 1982, when the collection moved from Cleveland, OH, home of the donors Reynolds & Eleanor Morse. The new Dali museum alongside the St. Petersburg waterfront is double the size of its predecessor and allows for works to be on display in a space specifically designed for the collection. The museum itself is listed as “one of the top buildings you have to see before you die” in AOL Travel News.

Direct from the Dali:

The museum’s exterior is itself a work of art, featuring more than 900 triangular-shaped glass panels. This geodesic glass structure – nicknamed the “Glass Enigma” – is the only structure of its kind in North America and is a 21st century expression of Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome as utilized in Dalí’s Teatro Museo in Figueres, Spain. No two glass panels are identical, providing a truly unique view of St. Petersburg’s picturesque waterfront. The Helical Staircase – a spiral that ascends to the third floor galleries – is the main architectural focus of the interior. An energetic form created with mathematical precision and resembling a strand of DNA, Dalí recognized the helix as evidence of the divine in nature.

Yann Weymouth, AIA, Senior Vice President and Design Director for HOK, conceived the museum’s architectural design. It was enlivened with a geodesic oculum by Novum Structures, which engineered and installed the free-form glass exterior.

www.salvadordalimuseum.org

The Suenos de Dali event was held on Saturday, January 22, 2011 throughout the architecturally stunning museum. Revelers entered “the world of Dali’s dreams” created by ornately costumed aerialists, stilt-walkers and other entertainers (as well as museum patrons), upbeat DJs, and fabulous hors d’ourves, including a hand-rolled sushi bar. Guests were welcomed and led up the Helical Staircase where they were greeted by an aerialist pouring champagne into abstract shaped flutes. The galleries were open and on view (amongst many others) were: Girl With Curls (1926), Basket of Bread (1926), Portrait of Gala (1932-33), Three Young Surrealist Women Holding in Their Arms the Skins of an Orchestra (1936), The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory (1952-1954), and Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln — Homage to Rothko (Second Version) (1976). Overall the evening provided a surreal escape for all the senses.

The museum is a must see for its collection and architecture, drawing over 200,000 visitors from around the world each year. Check it out yourself at:

One Dali Boulevard
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Tel: (727) 823-3767 or 1-800-442-DALI (3254)