“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”
~ William Ewart Gladstone
What better way for 5 women to spend a lovely afternoon than to have High Tea at the St. Regis Princeville Resort.
As we entered the lobby (pictured above) we instantly felt welcome with the array of tropical flower arrangements, elegant furniture, water fountain, chandelier and 180-degree view of Hanalei Bay. High Tea is served in the St. Regis Bar where hand painted murals hang and floor to ceiling windows display an amazing sunset. In the evening entertainment includes live music consisting of jazz, adult contemporary and Hawaiian.
We arrived a little early and wandered out on the terrace to take in the gorgeous sunny day and view of Hanalei Bay. There is a seating area with coffee tables so you can relax outside.
While visiting the St. Regis Bar at sunset, enjoy the Champagne Ritual where you can enjoy the art of champagne sabering “sabrage” (opening the bottle with a sword). Sabrage is a technique for opening a Champagne bottle with a saber used for rituals. It is quite exciting to watch! The saber is slid along the body of the champagne bottle and breaks the neck away. The base of the bottle is left open and ready to pour. The saber is turned around to use the backside of the blade, not the sharp side. The cork and collar remain together after separating from the neck.
As we entered the St. Regis Bar, High Tea settings were displayed at the various tables.
Reservations are required 24 hours in advance for High Tea which is served between 3-5 p.m. The price is very reasonable, only $39 per person plus tax and gratuity. The tea includes afternoon flavored iced and hot teas, tea breads, scones, cookies, fresh fruit tarts, desserts and sandwiches. The scones are served with a side of lemon curd, Devonshire cream (a thick cream), and a fresh fruit salsa. My favorite was the chicken curry finger sandwich and the cranberry scones topped with a sugar crust. There is so much food, plan on taking food home. The server provides a to-go box to take your treats home.
Various macaroons were served the day we dined for tea. My favorite macaroon was the coffee flavored one. A vibrant purple, orchid was displayed on the cookie & bread platter. The sandwiches include a curry chicken on wheat bread, salmon-cream cheese-cucumber on a small bagel and mozzarella-basil-tomato on a sliced baguette.
I have experienced High Tea at the St. Regis Princeville numerous times over the past ten years. In previous years, the food was brought out in courses. For example, the scones came first on a tiered platter, then the sandwiches came out as the second course followed by the desserts. Currently, the food is all brought out at one time which I prefer so that you can sample everything. It is easy to fill up on scones and breads when brought out in courses, leaving you too full to really enjoy sandwiches and desserts.
Devonshire Cream, commonly referred to as clotted cream, is a thick cream made by whole cream using steam or a water bath and then leaving it in a shallow pan to cool. As it cools, the cream content rises to the surface and forms ‘clots’ or ‘clouts’. This type of cream is common in South West England and in particular the counties of Cornwall and Devon. Rodda’s in Redruth, Cornwall, is the largest commercial producer in the UK which produces up to 55,000 lb of clotted cream a day.
Recipe for Devonshire Cream
1 package cream cheese 3oz.
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 pinch salt
1 cup heavy cream
In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese, sugar and salt. Beat in cream until stiff peaks form. Chill until serving
History of High Tea~
High tea was once known as “meat tea” because it was an evening meal or dinner of the working class eaten between 5 pm and 7 pm.
High tea consisted of a hot dish, followed by cakes and bread, and butter and jam. Cold cuts of meat, such as ham salad were often served. High tea was eaten by middle- to upper-class children while their parents would have a more formal dinner later. The words “high tea” were first used around 1825. The word “High” refers to well-advanced to signify that it was taken later in the day. High tea would translate into “late afternoon tea”.
The term “high tea” was used as a way to distinguish it from afternoon tea, and was used predominantly by the working class and in certain British dialects of the North of England.
Various ways tea was served~
Traditionally, loose tea is brewed in a teapot and served with milk and sugar. The sugar and caffeine together prevented the working poor of 19th and early 20th century England from feeling down or depressed. Tea was often served with a small sandwich or baked snack. For the more privileged, afternoon tea was served with more luxury ingredients such as sandwiches made with cucumber, egg and cress, fish paste, ham, and smoked salmon, scones with Devonshire cream and jam, and usually sponge or fruit cakes and pastries. Muffins or crumpets are a common item served at high tea today.
Crumpets, griddle cakes made of flour and yeast, are generally circular in shape . The round shape was formed by the dough being restrained in the pan by a shallow ring. Crumpets have a flat top with many small holes with a chewy and spongy texture. They may be cooked until ready to eat warm from the pan or eaten freshly toasted. In Australia and New Zealand, the crumpets are shaped square to fit easily in a toaster. They are often eaten with a spread of butter on the top of them. Crumpets are similar to English Muffins except they are made with milk, cooked only on one side, and served whole rather than cut in half.