Where: Houston, Texas Style: Italian villa Tea Selection: 3 pre-selected teas Teatimes: Daily, 2 to 4 pm Reservations: 24-hour notice Contact: 713-418-1104 Cost: $85 The Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Afternoon Tea; $75 The Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Afternoon Tea; $52 The Granduca Afternoon Tea; $23 The Granduca Bunny Tea Destination Tea Tips: Posh tea hats are most fitting at this elegant hotel tea.
Destination Tea Notes: We confess a bias — Angela’s Italian-American heritage — in choosing the one afternoon tea we had time to visit on our recent Houston trip. How could we not go to the Hotel Granduca’s Ristorante Cavour where they put an “Italian spin on the English classic afternoon tea”? Of course, this also means we sit down to tea here expecting to feast like Gods. (If this is a bit of a high bar to set, it’s also a totally reasonable one in Italian families.) All told, the experience is one we recommend, especially to celebrate a special occasion in a refined atmosphere. Granddaughters and grandmothers take tea, girlfriends in fancy fascinators laugh together around a long table in a secluded alcove off the main room, and we happily toast our glasses of included Prosecco to a very special birthday girl. We appreciate the Italian influences throughout the meal, which stumble a bit during the savories course, but pick back up with the arrival of a pot of mascarpone and warm, generously sized cranberry scones.