St. Regis San Francisco | A Tea Ritual

The St. Regis hotels are big on rituals. The champagne sabering ritual, the bloody mary ritual, the midnight supper, and even a tea ritual. These rituals (which are more like traditions that reinforce the hotel brand), are not readily advertised, though you’ll come across them during a hotel stay. It’s almost like discovering a little secret. 

At St. Regis San Francisco, a tea ritual takes place each afternoon in the Lobby Bar. The ritual involves the pairing of a specific tea and dish (one savory and one sweet) which changes with the season.

I’ve got a soft spot for tea + food pairings, so you can imagine how excited I was to learn about this. Shall we begin? 

Tea is loose leaf from ITO EN. Did you know has ITO EN two offices in the US? One in Hawaii and the other in Brooklyn. So random and awesome.  Their Honyama Sencha is paired with a Kaisen sashimi salad. Think arugula, hearts of palm and a toasted sesame dressing complete with tuna and such tender scallops.

If you stopped by earlier this summer the sweet pairing featured Egyptian chamomile and apple elderberry pie. This was recently replaced with a bold, malty Assam tea and a chocolate-coconut cake…

…which reminded me of home in Hawaii and Ted’s chocolate-haupia pie. The dark chocolate cake was so rich it bordered on flourless. And that coconut topping was straight up haupia.

P.S. Want to take a peek inside the hotel? 

There are two restaurants inside the St. Regis. On the ground floor is Ame (which has a great sake list). It’s run by the same people behind Terra in Napa Valley.

Vitrine is on the 4th floor and they’re open for breakfast and lunch service. They serve ITO EN teas in the Lobby Lounge, but use Tealeaves tea at this restaurant.

And don’t forget to bring your swimsuit. I love swimming but can’t stand the sun…so indoor pools, yes please. The spa (Rem├Ęde, the St. Regis spa brand) is right across the hall…

…or you just head back to the room for a nap. 

Pratesi linens, deep soaking tubs, beautiful working spaces…and the SFMOMA right next door. What’s not to love?



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