Golden Tea Garden is by far my favorite tea house in the East Bay. Today I visited it for the fourth time in four months and once again I had a great experience.
This time I tried the Margaret’s Hope tea (after researching and finding out it is, indeed, black) – and I liked it more than the English Breakfast or Earl Gray. It’s a Darjeeling, but one that can stand up to milk and sugar. It’s particularly good if you let it seep for a while. Mika (my 7-year old daughter and companion) once again had the caramel tea which she loved.
Golden Tea Garden now offers a “wee tea” for children 10 and younger ($7). It consists of a small pot of tea and a little plate of goodies. Today they consisted of a bite-size brownie, a petit four, two mini-sandwiches (the chicken salad one was quite good), two slices of green apple and a bag of gummy bears. Mika was happy with the petit four and gummy bears, but declined to try the rest. Instead, she went for the cakes in my “Tea Garden sampler” ($13), which consists of a large pot of tea and 3 desserts. Every time I’ve gone so far, the 3 desserts are three huge slices of cake – definitely enough to share (or to take one slice back home). Today there was a peach one that I really liked, a pink champagne one that Mika loved, and the perpetual red velvet cake that is a favorite of both of us. Yes, we both ended up in sugar coma.
Service, once again, was wonderful – and once again Mika got to be a princess with a complimentary jewelry set. She also loved trying the hats in a big box by the entrance.
My only concern with this tea house is that it’s so empty on Sundays. I really, really like it, and I really want it to survive – so go!
Feb. 2010 update. I returned to the Golden Tea Garden with my friends Vienna and Lotty a couple of weeks ago and once again we had an amazing experience. The food was excellent, the service first class and the little touches as cute as always. Vienna had the tea with sandwiches this time, a newish option, and she raved about everyone one of them – the chicken salad was a particular favorite. Lotty had the scones, which were also first rate, and I had my usual “garden sampler” which includes 3 huge slices of cakes. This time they featured a no-sugar-added chocolate cake which I found a bit dry and not very chocolaty. Vienna and Lotty really liked it, though, they appreciated it being less sweet than the usual kind. We also tasted their new gluten-free raspberry cream cake which is absolutely delicious.
Of course, Mika was jealous that she didn’t get to go – so I’ll be taking her there soon, I’m sure.
The Kids’ Tea
The Dessert Sampler