Spilling Tea at The Adolphus Hotel

Last week, my friend, Ilse, and I went to high tea at The Adolphus Hotel. If you have been following my blog since study abroad, you will know that I have been to high tea before. High tea is a pricey activity and I’m really not a tea girl, but who doesn’t like to have a bougie outing now and again? This has been a tradition here in Dallas for decades apparently. I couldn’t find an exact date of when it started, but I learned on arrival that The Adolphus Hotel has been here since 1912, so I will take a guess it’s been at least 20 years of high tea during the holidays.

Tea at The Adolphus is hosted in their infamous French Room, a.k.a. The Reception Hall of My Dreams. I’m pretty much obsessed with anything that’s a gold and white/cream color scheme and obsessed was an understatement for how I felt about this setting. There was nothing overdone, but it was so fitting for the holidays.

So, this activity includes: two types of (bottomless) tea, scones, finger sandwiches, tea cakes & sweets, and a glass of bubbles–we chose Rosé. It is a set menu and paired in a specific way. Our first course was the quintessential tower of scones and finger sandwiches (menu pictured below in post), paired with an earthy tea called “Moonlight Beauty.” Of the finger sandwiches, my favorite was the cucumber and herbed butter, followed by the most delicious hot chocolate ‘coal’ stone scone which had marshmallow inside. And the English double-whipped cream was to die for! ❤

The second course was the sweets spread with a lighter, fruitier chai tea called the “Adolphus Holiday Chai Blend” with hints of mango–much more our style. By the time sweets came out though, we were actually not super hungry since the sandwiches were pretty savory. There were also a number of ingredients in the sweets that both of us were not huge fans of, but we were able to take it to go and my boyfriend ate every single one. 🙂

Okay, I know y’all are wondering, “How much did it cost?” It was $65 before tax. We discovered when we were given the bill that they already added a $26 gratuity despite it only being us two as I’ve usually only seen gratuity added on group reservations. So, after tax, we were each charged about $83. Yes, very indulgent for some tea and finger foods, but like I said, it was an afternoon of feeling bougie and expensive that we both wanted to do.

Holiday Tea at The Adolphus is reservation-only. They have extended dates through January 3rd, but considering how popular the event is, the weekends are likely booked up. Ilse made our reservation on opening day (October 1st) and she was calling back consistenly for about 20 minutes just to get to someone. This was even more surprising when our hostess explained to us that they essentially set up a phone bank for multiple people to confirm these reservations. But I’m so glad she eventually got through because it was such a nice afternoon to spend with one of my best friends and get dressed up for. It also made me want to visit The Adolphus again as one of the few historic landmarks we have left in the city.
The hotel is valet parking only, by the way, but it was immediately validated upon arrival and the validation was active through midnight. It’d be a great idea if you are ever attending an event in the future in downtown and don’t want to deal with parking, but don’t live near enough to downtown to justify a rideshare cost; you could dine at the hotel and continue your evening around downtown!

For COVID-related information, you are required to wear a mask whenever you leave your table for any reason. The tables are seated six feet apart. We had the first reservation of the day when the restaurant opened at 11:00 a.m. so we enjoyed having a fairly empty room for a huge portion of our outing. However, we chose to leave when the lunch rush brought more patrons and two ladies disregarded the rules and confidently walked through the room without masks on. No, thanks!
It is also important to note that this is not a timed event. Something I should have just asked up front was if we were required to leave at a certain time. With the size of the room, I wasn’t sure if they were going to ask us to leave once we hit our two-hour mark. Overall, I had a lovely afternoon and would highly recommend. The service was amazing and the staff were some of the most pleasant people I’ve ever met in my life. I hope to be able to attend again next year if only to sample the expensive champagne I didn’t realize was one of the included glass of bubbles!

xx, AE

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