Afternoon Tea at Laurel Court, The Fairmont San Francisco

This is an example of a not-so-great afternoon tea service.  

It’s at the Laurel Court inside the Fairmont San Francisco. Tea is $39/person. The setting is fine, but service is sloppy and the food is even worse. I always worry that something like this is what people picture when they think “afternoon tea.” Afternoon tea should be like this! And like this

Not like this.  

Heavy sandwiches that are twice the size a correct tea sandwich should be. Chunky, uninspired.

  • Cider Poached Chicken on Brioche with Watercress and Mission Fig Spread
  • Laurel Chanel Chèvre on Walnut Bread with Quince Paste and Cucumber
  • Red Hill Farms Egg Salad on Wheat with Dijonaise, Scallion & Radish
  • Smoked Salmon on Pumpernickel with Chive Cream Cheese & Caper
  • Deviled Hickory Smoked Ham Salad on Sourdough with Artichoke Spread 

Pale, pasty scones. The devon cream, lemon curd, and vanilla bean-infused quince and pear compote were the only saving grace of this tea service.

And a plate of passable sweets. Fruit tarts, chocolate tarts, bonbons, macarons, and mini madelines. First and last visit, at least we can check this off our list. 

P.S. There are nine teas on the menu including a signature Fairmont blend (Assam, Kenyan, Chinese, South Indian, and Ceylon tea) and a Willow Stream Spa Blend from Clearwater estate in Zimbabwe. Menu notes that this is the only tea that’s decaffeinated at the estate while in the green leaf stage.

  • Alan
    August 28, 2013

    I think I had brunch there a few years ago. Beautiful space, good service, passable food and if I remember correctly $50 parking. First and last for sure!

    • Kathy YL Chan
      August 31, 2013

      Yikes! That is ridiculous…

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