Destination Tea: Ristorante Cavour at Hotel Granduca Houston

Where:  Houston, TX
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.

exterior Hotel Granduca

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.

entry landscaping Hotel Granduca Houston
Beautiful, lushly landscaped entrance to the Hotel Granduca Houston
Knights in the foyer of Hotel Granduca Houston
Knights in the foyer, a nod to the inspiration for this hotel – the 16th century palazzo (palace) of a Northern Italian duke
Interior Ristorante Cavour at Hotel Granduca Houston
Ristorante Cavour features Italian reds and greens throughout the decor.
Tea table in Ristorante Cavour at Hotel Granduca Houston
Our round table with beautiful rose centerpiece cozies up to a corner lit by paned french doors that run the length of the restaurant.
Friends at tea at Ristorante Cavour in Hotel Granduca Houston, TX
Hello to the co-creator of Destination Tea: Jeanette (second from right), whose birthday we came to Houston to celebrate. So much love for this vivacious, adventurous and brilliant woman!

Tea Service

Teacup and saucer at Ristorante Cavour in Hotel Granduca Houston
LOVE our teacups and saucers. Beautiful!
Champagne at Ristorante Cavour in Hotel Granduca Houston
First things first: champagne is poured before tea. Our thanks to Ristorante Cavour for spoiling us a bit, as not all hotel teas of this price point include champagne.
Tea is served at Ristorante Cavour at Hotel Granduca Houston
We appreciate that servers here are diligent about keeping our cups refilled, offering one pre-selected tea per course: Organic English Breakfast, Black Orange Blossom and Chamomile.

Scones & Spreads, Savories and Sweets

Savories on a curate at Ristorante Cavour in Hotel Granduca Houston
Afternoon tea begins with a curate of savories for the table.
Savories at Ristorante Cavour in Hotel Granduca Houston
Several Italian ingredients are featured in the savories here, from olives to bresaola (an aged, air-dried, salted beef originally from Northern Italy). Funnily, we find excellence in the preparation of the less-Italian walnut chicken salad croissant and cucumber goat cheese on white, while the shrimp olive tapenade sandwich is soggy and the mushroom puff mysteriously combines a dessert cream puff with a creamy mushroom filling. The bresaola rosette with quail egg on onion cracker provides a welcome tasting adventure.
Dessert at afternoon tea at Ristorante Cavour in Hotel Granduca Houston
The Italian butter cookie with apricot dipped in chocolate is Angela’s favorite, taking her back to the days of stopping by an Italian bakery on the way to a family party in New York. Dessert also includes a mini carrot cake, fruit tart, linzer tart and hazelnut cookie.
DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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