Looking for an afternoon tea venue with upscale ambiance combined with first-rate personal service, delicious sweets and savories and freshly-brewed, high-quality loose tea? If you live in the metro-Detroit area, there's no need for planes, trains or taxis - you can find it all at Birmingham's Townsend Hotel.
Celebrating its twenty-fifth year in business, the Townsend offers afternoon tea in its grand lobby and, according to Laura Klein, Tea Director of the luxury hotel, aside from the many amenities, “it’s the emotional attachment we have with guests that make it special. Guests will come in for tea and book another before they leave.”
Jared Chorney, Director of Food and Beverage at the Townsend, says Klein gets to know the guests and gears each event to the individual's needs. “We want to make every experience memorable whether it’s a birthday or bridal shower” says Chorney. However, he adds emphatically, it doesn't necessarily have to be a milestone event. “We want to make lasting memories for every visit, not just special occasions.”
While the Townsend prides itself on personal service, the ambiance is just as appealing. The lobby boasts wood paneled walls, an open staircase, crystal chandeliers, a glowing fire in the fireplace and exquisite fresh flower arrangements placed throughout. In addition, guest are treated to the comfort of plush, velvety sofas as food is served on perfectly starched table linens and elegant fine china.
The afternoon tea menu completes the luxury experience with a delightful variety of savories, sweets and scones along with perfectly brewed tea. Finger sandwiches include traditional favorites such as smoked salmon and cucumber and watercress as well as some unexpected, but equally delicious offerings of pear and ricotta and asparagus with boursin mousse.
Tasty, freshly baked scones are served with mascarpone cheese and lemon curd. The condiments are filled with flavor and just the right texture and consistency.
The three-tiered tray finishes with scrumptious miniature pastries, as beautiful to look at as they are satisfying to taste. Desserts include key lime tart, passion fruit mousse dome, raspberry cheesecake pyramid and, my absolute favorite, chocolate mousse tea cup. The latter brings a bit of whimsy, as well as a powerful punch of chocolate ecstasy, to the tea table.
Guests will never pour their own tea, and no matter how much you drink, your cup will always be refilled quickly. The Townsend uses only Harney loose tea and its served in beautiful china teapots.
Known for hosting celebrities and sports figures that visit the area, the Townsend Hotel is also a favorite of locals who have experienced the hotel’s fine dining offerings . The Townsend is a true treasure for those in the Detroit area who can indulge in a memorable afternoon tea anytime and for any reason and without having to renew their passport.
The Townsend Hotel serves afternoon tea seven days a week and reservations are required. For more information, call 248-647-2196 or visit the Afternoon Tea page on the Townsend Hotel website.