Designed to fill the long gap between lunch and dinner, afternoon tea is a British tradition of socializing in the mid-afternoon over tea and sandwiches, scones, or cake. If you’re fond of the afternoon tea ritual or are interested in trying it one weekend afternoon, here are seven Austin teahouses, cafes, and restaurants that serve afternoon tea.
Suzanne Daniels and Sarah Olano’s recently opened European-style cafe hosts a multi-course afternoon tea every other Sunday for 4. The menu includes premium Zhi Tea, curried chicken finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, and vanilla shortbread cake. You can also visit this quaint neighborhood cafe whenever they’re open for a cup of tea and an authentic British or French pastry. Brentwood Social House is a two-minute drive or ten-minute walk from AMLI 5350.
2. The Driskill
The Driskill, Austin’s oldest operating hotel, hosts an exquisite afternoon tea experience. For 5 (5 for children), guests enjoy a three-course meal paired with tea and champagne. Afternoon tea at The Driskill takes place one Sunday most months, with several additional holiday seatings offered in December. The historic Austin hotel is a 10-minute walk from AMLI Downtown and AMLI on 2nd.
3. Full English
It’s BYOC—bring your own champagne—at this British-owned cafe in southwest Austin. Full English serves afternoon tea all day long Wednesdays thru Fridays, and from 1:30pm on weekends. The teahouse can accommodate parties of up to 30 for high tea, but recommends reservations. In addition to tea and crumpets, Full English serves traditional British breakfast and other fare from across the pond all day long. This cozy and eclectic taste of Britain is a 10-minute drive from AMLI South Shore and 15 minutes from AMLI Covered Bridge.
4. Tea Haus
You can build your own afternoon tea menu at this Brentwood tea and coffee spot. Tea Haus serves boba milk teas, organic coconut Assam tea, Green Chai, and a signature grapefruit honey green tea. Cold-pressed juices and coffee are also available. Enjoy the beverage of your choice accompanied by either basil-fried chicken or strawberry brick toast. Austin’s Tea Haus is a five-minute drive from AMLI’s Burnet Road apartments.
Enjoy an elegant afternoon tea experience at the Four Seasons’ Lobby Lounge for 0 (7 for children). Hosted Thursday through Sunday, the menu features black, green, and herbal teas; tea sandwiches; cream-filled cakes; homemade scones; and other pastries. Reservations are required. This downtown afternoon tea destination is a 10-minute walk from AMLI’s downtown Austin apartments.
Afternoon tea service is The Steeping’s Room raison d’etre. Guests choose from a traditional British-inspired tea service, an eastern-inspired Zen tea service, and the Middle Eastern-themed Kasbah Express tea service. The Zen tea service includes Napa rolls, edamame, and matcha-dusted brownies. Highlights of the Kasbah Express service are dolma, hummus, flatbread, and rosewater honey-drizzled fruit. The Steeping Room has two locations, one of which is a five-minute drive from AMLI 5350 on N. Lamar.
The tea room at this Buddhist temple hosts morning and lunchtime tea ceremonies off and on. The ceremonies are free, but a donation is suggested for those who wish to eat the accompanying vegetarian cuisine. The Fo Guang Shan Xiang Yun Fragrant Cloud Temple is a 10-minute drive from AMLI’s Allandale apartments.