To my dearest:
By a show of virtual hands (maybe emojis), who here loves good tea time like I do? I bet it’s a bunch of beautiful ladies! I love tea time, because it’s such a treat and it is so relaxing. I love catching up with friends over a cup of tea and some light sandwiches and sweets. I think tea time enables such quality time with people. Nowadays, we are often to caught up with life, when do we ever unwind with the people around us? Well I’d count tea time as one of those times!
For me, vacation is a bundle of excitement, relaxation, and spending quality time with the people I love. Tea time is one of my favorite to-do’s on vacation, because then I’ll get to sit down, relax, have some heart to heart chatting time, and try out new tea places.
For my Miami Beach trip, I was lucky enough to have visited La Gourmandise at St. Regis Bal Harbor. Now, St. Regis is definitely one of my favorite chain hotels. I have always loved the service and décor — the one at Bal Harbor was no different, and no doubt had spectacular service. The hotel is located a couple minutes walk away from the Bal Harbor Shops, one of the most high end luxury shopping centers (think Beverly Hills). It’s definitely fun to check out the shops there even if you can’t buy much, because the service is stellar and you get to look at everything pretty! Be prepared to be treated like royalty! The location of this La Gourmandise is also perfect, because it’s a great spot to relax at after walking around the Shops.
La Gourmandise at St. Regis Bal Harbor actually only recently opened late February of 2017 in celebration of their 35th anniversary, so I caught it just roughly 3 months after opening. La Gourmandise is a French-inspired lounge and the literal translation of it, roughly means “unrestrained enjoyments of fine food, wines, and the like.” Aside from tea, they also serve breakfast and lunch, all featuring signature pastries and food by Executive Chef Franck Steigerwald. *
It is situated in an open area lounge. There is also a counter area, where an assortment of bon bons, eclairs, pastries, cakes, and macarons are displayed in a large glass case, so that guests can buy the delicacies to go. There is also an outdoor garden area of which guests can opt. to sit outside. That definitely sounds wonderful if the weather is nice. Almost like a garden picnic! Unfortunately, I hit mini-hurricane season during my visit, so the weather is very unpredictable with sporadic heavy rain storms throughout the day. Hence, I stayed indoors.
I ordered the afternoon tea set, which featured the delicacies served on a handcrafted bird cage display, unique to St. Regis Bal Harbor. It was such a beautiful and elegant touch. The treats are beautifully lined like vibrant jewels and captured my heart at first sight. It’s definitely a remarkable experience and one that has to be experienced first hand.
It is priced at $50 per person, plus tax, so it comes out to roughly $57 USD per person. I would not say it’s cheap, but the portion and experience does make up for it. It comes with one big pot of tea per person. They offered chocolate raisins to start, followed by scones with cream and jam, then finger sandwiches, and then finally led to the beautiful bird cage adorned with bon bons, macarons, pastries, and more. The portions were huge and my friend and I got full before the bird cage even came. This was the case for two girls who did not eat breakfast and came to tea at 1pm as a brunch. I believe one order of the afternoon tea shared amongst the two of us would’ve been enough portion wise. However, the bird cage would probably look a bit lacking.
We ended up taking most of what was on the bird cage to go. The staff helped us beautifully package it and I brought it home on my flight as a treat and souvenirs for my family. For the experience, I definitely thought the cost was worth it. I believe a standard tiered afternoon tea selection usually ranges from about $30-$45 on average, so the $50 price tag was not too far off.
I definitely enjoyed my tea time at La Gourmandise. How about you? What do you think of it? Would you visit and take the plunge? Share your love for tea time with me if you’re also a lover of it! Best wishes!
*info by LUXURY TRAVEL ADVISOR