Today I met up with three friends Marlene, Shannon and Tracey and I also made a new friend Annelies. Sadly Marisol and Deb were unable to join us.
Being British I couldn't turn down the opportunity to have afternoon tea at a local tea lounge, especially when there is a good bloomspot deal on.
Dartealing Lounge (be warned their website has annoying music!) is situated on 3rd St in San Francisco and very easy to get to by public transit or driving. When we first arrived it didn't look that great from the outside - they could do with a nicer sign to make it easier to spot, and make it look a lot more attractive from outside. Although I imagine they don't get a lot of passing 'drop in' customers, unless they already know its there.
For me a proper afternoon tea would involve a lot of cups of tea, and a variety of sandwiches (made with white bread and no crusts), with fillings such as cucumber, cheese and pickle, maybe even egg and cress, and of course a proper English scone (which in my books shouldn't have raisins in!!) and strawberry jam and proper clotted cream. Also a few little petit four cakes (reminds me of Mr Kipling).
Entering the Dartealing Lounge it is smaller than I expected, but very quaint. It does look like an English tea room, and there are a variety of different seats and tables depending on how cozy you wish to be. We had the option as part of our deal to chose 4 sandwiches and 4 types of tea. They do have a huge selection on their menu. We went for the fish n chips, hummus and red pepper, brie and chutney and turkey and pesto. This was served with a basic salad and dressing (not very English at all!). I'm pleased to say yes the sandwiches were in cute little triangles and they had the crusts removed, although they weren't all made with white bread, however the bread was really good, and didn't taste like the usual not very nice American sliced bread you get!
I really enjoyed the fish n chips sandwich (basically a fish finger sandwich with some crisps (potato chips) in it), it was really nice whilst it was still warm. The hummus sandwich was OK, the brie and chutney was lacking a bit on the brie, but again was OK, and the turkey and pesto was nice.
The tea was served in some very cute teapots (if only my handbag had been bigger ;) ) The four teas we chose were creme de coconut, breakfast candy, jasmine and jade and big keeum on campus. The creme de coconut was definitely my favorite, the breakfast candy and keeum were OK, I didn't try the jasmine and jade one. We weren't given refills on the tea which I was a little disappointed with (there will be a yelp review to follow).
One thing I did notice was none of the teacups and teapots or saucers matched, maybe they were hoping this would make it look quainter or quirky - I thought it looked a little tacky!
Based on their menu it looked like we maybe getting sausage rolls, being the Greggs lover that I am (I so wish they would open stores in the US) I was super excited about this, but sadly there were no sausage rolls, not sure if this was because we used a voucher or they just didn't have any today. So instead it was on to the scones...
They get a +1 for the fact the scones were warm, but sadly that is about it. For a start they were orange and cranberry - WTF? Have they never been to England! They tasted nice with the 'sweet cream' (not exactly sure what that was - it had the consistancy of whipped butter), and there was also lemon curd and jam if you wanted. The small (very small) heart shaped shortbreads were cute, but didnt taste great.
Enough of my English bitching!! It was actually very nice, we all had a lovely afternoon hanging out with each other and chatting, I have another voucher for there so I will be going back again in a few months, so will make sure I try some different things from the menu then (and I may even get a sausage roll!). Looking at their site it does just say afternoon tea, not an English afternoon tea - so they did deliver what they promised.
For those of you curious to see a proper English cream tea - this photo was taken in England when I visited recently. Minus the cup of PG Tips :)