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Holiday Drinking: Afternoon Tea at the Sorrento

Your inner indoor kid will love it.

December 7, 2010

The tea party, all grown up.

Photo: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue

Some of us were cool little kids who played soccer and could tolerate grass-stained pants.

Others of us—I’m not naming names—were pale “indoor children” who hosted high tea for our stuffed animals and dreamed of visiting London, where we imagined children our age whiled away the afternoons in fancy dress, snacking on crustless cucumber sandwiches and having prim conversations about the weather. “I do say Sebastian, it seems to be raining once again. Do pass the sugar bowl, won’t you?”

If you know a child, or former child, who matches the latter description, do consider taking him or her to afternoon tea at the Sorrento. The hotel’s heavily brocaded Fireside Room makes for a very suitable setting in which to play out the whole fancy tea fantasy.

Tea at the Sorrento happens every day from 11am to 2pm and will likely run through January, says the Sorrento’s Kerri Benecke. There are three levels of service, all of which include tea (Mighty Leaf), naturally enough, and a selection of sandwiches (tarragon chicken salad, truffle egg salad, cucumber mint), and pastries (lemon poppy seed scones, chocolate eclairs, cheesecake, apple pecan tartlets, etc.).

The base price for that is $39. Add a round of Lucien Albrecht Brut Rose sparkling wine and it is $49 per person. Add a selection of Theo Chocolates as well and it’s $59.

Now—I have to say it, since I’m recommending this to you—I love the Sorrento, but my primary motivation for spending time and money there has never been the food itself. That said, I would still do afternoon tea in a heartbeat, because I love the idea of it so very much. And I promise I won’t bring my stuffed animals.

Reservations recommended, call 206-622-6400.

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