Jun 4, 2013

Quality High Tea Time - Boxwood Café at The London by Gordon Ramsay (West Hollywood, CA)

Afternoon tea, or high tea in a fancier way is very popular in Taiwan. In fact, that's where I got the habit of pampering myself with tiers of sweet and savory treats during afternoon hours. Every little item on the plate is carefully created to please not only your palate, but also your eyes. Unfortunately, there aren't that many high tea selections in Southern California so I was thrilled when finding out about this place in West Hollywood.

Boxwood Café is located inside a boutique hotel called The London West Hollywood, crafted by a renowned British chef Gordon Ramsay. You might heard of him on the TV shows Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares.

Afternoon tea is only available daily from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. There are mixed reviews about this café on the Internet, but I just have to give it a try myself.

Maybe partly affected by the online reviews and partly due to the lack of "high tea" frenzy crowds like me, there weren't that many people on a weekend afternoon. However, I do enjoy a quiet and peaceful time with my friend at the Boxwood Café. The decor and furniture selection made me felt cozy and comforting. However, it also carries a certain degree of luxury and modern touch in a subtle way instead of shouting out "Look, we come with hefty price tags!"

Our seat was next to the windows where we can overlook the quiet WeHo neighborhood hidden behind fancy shops and restaurants on the street.

Service here was wonderful, our waiter stopped by several times during the short 2-hour time frame checking on our needs.

Afternoon tea menu was $28 per person and $40 with one glass of champagne (Schramsberg, blanc de blancs brut, North Coast). We skipped the sparkling wine and picked our tea instead - Rose with French vanilla, natural rosehip with hibiscus.

Ah I missed you so -

Top tier comes with freshly baked scones with plain and black currant flavors. Served with Devonshire cream and lemon curd. Second tier comes with tea sandwiches with curry chicken and golden raisins flavor, egg and watercress. There are also some canapés including smoked salmon and cucumber, hummus spread toasts. The bottom tier comes with honey madeleines, l'opera cakes, apple crumble, fresh fruit tarts, and lemon meringue bars.

Supposedly there's a certain sequence to enjoy different tiers of food. I personally don't really care about that, just go ahead and grab whichever one you want to enjoy the most at the moment!

You can tell that Boxwood Café really put in some effort in all these miniature items instead of just assemble all the components like a factory line. The flavors were all there despite their petite sizes and every individual dish can stand on its own. Even now I still remember the tastes from my curry chicken sandwich. The curry wasn't too over-powering and matches well with hearty bread. It'll be nice if they offer that quadrupled the size during regular lunch hours.

And the meringue was just too cute to be eaten. They look like clouds floating in the sky!

Online reviews might not be too welcoming for Boxwood Cafe's regular dining selections. However, compared to most of the high tea places in SoCal, I think Boxwood did a pretty good job on their afternoon tea offerings. I would definitely come back every time when the café changes their high tea menu!

Cindy's rating: 7

Boxwood Café at The London
1020 North San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (310) 358-7788
Website: http://www.thelondonwesthollywood.com/gordonRamsay/boxwoodCafe-en.html

Opening hours:

Breakfast -
Monday to Friday 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Saturday to Sunday 7 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Weekend brunch -
Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Lunch -
Daily from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

*Afternoon tea -
Daily from 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Note: Valet costs differ depending on if you're here for dinner, afternoon, etc. Don't ask me, I have no idea why they do that.

The London - West Hollywood
Website: http://www.thelondonwesthollywood.com/gordonRamsay/

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