The Brown Palace - Afternoon Tea
“I am B, I drink tea, won’t you dance around with me?!” – Ross Gellar, FRIENDS
denv.her. was graciously invited to The Brown Palace to join in their popular tradition of Afternoon Tea! & Denverites, this made for one unforgettable and wonderful afternoon!
Some quick afternoon tea history for you: we owe this tradition to the seventh Duchess of Bedford, Anna Russel. In the 1800’s, people were masochists and only served TWO meals a day – breakfast & dinner.
Ok, ok, so they weren’t ACTUALLY masochists, lunch just didn’t exist yet. & since the concept of lunch didn’t exist, people dealt with their hunger as best they could and more or less were left counting the minutes from breakfast to dinner. Anna spoke up about this long wait complaining she was fatigued in the afternoon and needed something to eat.
Anna began requesting that tea and snacks be brought to her boudoir between breakfast and dinner to combat her exhaustion (this became a well-established ritual in Anna’s daily routine).
Soon enough, Anna started inviting friends to join in her snacking pastime (nothing goes better with a crumpet than some good gossip)! This tradition soon caught on and spread throughout England. The tea tradition even went as far up as Queen Victoria who started hosting lavish afternoon teas that could have upward of 150 guests! #teagoals
Basically, this tidbit of his history teaches us to never underestimate a woman who’s hungry!
Now back to our Afternoon Tea experience.
Upon our arrival at The Brown Palace, we were immediately struck by the grandeur of the hotel. The Brown Palace has been a jewel in the heart of downtown since 1892. The hotel truly is a timeless luxury with it’s opulent architecture, décor, and unparalleled customer service.
My sister and I were overwhelmed in the best way possible with The Brown Palace’s outstanding customer service the moment we set foot into the atrium. From the front of the house, to the servers, to the musicians, The Brown Palace offers an inviting atmosphere whomever you encounter and it’s evident that each and every employee takes pride in their work.
Our reservation for Afternoon Tea was at 3 o’clock and we were immediately seated in the Denver tea room, which is in the middle of the hotel’s striking atrium. Our server, Jessica, had been with The Brown Palace for three years and seamlessly brought us through our afternoon tea.
After browsing the menu, we ordered the Veuve Clicquot for Two per Jessica’s recommendation. Veuve Clicquot for Two offers a half bottle of Veuve Clicquot to enjoy with your tea (you can never ever go wrong with champs!).
Veuve Clicquot for Two comes with scones, Devonshire cream, preserves, finger sandwiches, numerous pastries, and to finish, the famed Brown Palace Truffle. Veuve Clicquot for Two comes in at $134.
If you decide to leave the champs out of your Afternoon Tea, you have the option of The Brown Palace Signature Tea ($40/person) or The Royal Palace ($46/person). Children (ages 6 and under) can enjoy these tea options for $18-$22/person. If you want to up the ante when it comes to bubbles, Moët & Chandon Tea for Four ($250 or $200) will be the route to go!
When choosing teas, I ordered the seasonal option, a pumpkin spice blend, without hesitation #basic. Treslyn opted for a black tea and ordered the Organic Palace Grey. The Brown Palace serves their tea leaves in gorgeous stainless steel tea strainers with the hot water in beautiful little tea pots (which the attentive wait staff keeps filled at all times). The tea is bottomless so drink up!
When our tea arrived, we added sugar cubes and eagerly began drinking. The pumpkin spice was delicious and I could not get enough of it. The Organic Palace Grey had floral accents and finished with a subtle lemon flavor that Treslyn loved.
We enjoyed our tea and champs, while relaxing and enjoying the piano player’s tunes (he’s been playing at The Brown Palace for 15 years and takes requests!).
Soon, Jessica emerged with our tower of treats and we began sampling all the goodies.
We started with the house made scones accompanied with Devonshire cream. The Brown Palace gets their cream directly from England! We indulged in two types of scones; one was a classic buttermilk and the other was a decadent chocolate. I couldn’t pick my favorite between the two, I loved them both, but Treslyn liked the buttermilk best.
Next came the finger sandwiches!
Not only are The Brown Palace’s finger sandwiches cute, they are packed with great flavor. There were three kinds of finger sandwiches served, a classic cucumber, a turkey with spicy aioli on rye bread, and a curry egg salad. All three were great but my favorite was the curry egg salad and Treslyn’s was the classic cucumber.
As we were finishing up our sandwiches, the music changed from the solo piano player, to a four piece jazz band. The jazz band proved to be just as talented and entertaining as the phenomenal pianist! The Brown Palace has their live jazz band play during their cocktail hour every Friday and Saturday afternoon & evening.
The Brown Palace’s pastries, aka sweet heaven, were up after the sandwiches.
The Petit Fours were almost too pretty to eat... almost lol. We definitely ate them…all…and they were delicious as they were pretty!
Next we indulged in the pistachio canolis and OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS. Jessica had tipped us off that these were her favorite and they ended up being ours well. These little canolis were incredible and the shells crumbled and melted just like they should. The flourless chocolate cake packs a punch of rich flavor so definitely don’t eat this one all in one bite. The tea cookies were a great switch up in taste from the richer options and go down perfectly with a sip of tea.
We finished off with the signature Brown Palace truffle which was a sinful indulgence that we would indulge in over and over again. Y-U-M.
We have to give The Brown Palace staff one last shout out as they truly made our afternoon V special. Everyone was SO attentive and knowledgeable & each employee’s tenure at The Brown Palace speaks volumes about the hotel.
The Afternoon Tea tradition at The Brown Palace is a sought after activity in Denver and they book up quickly, especially during the holidays, so make sure to book your reservation in advance! We cannot wait to go back and thank you Brown Palace for hosting us!
Make your reservation for Afternoon Tea at The Brown Palace today! & don’t forget, “Tea is the elixir of life.” – Lao Tzu