It’s probably the most cliché of American holidays, but Ian and I couldn’t wait to celebrate Valentine’s Day as it’s our first one together. By a miracle, and at the very last minute, we booked a reservation to the new special afternoon tea at the Disneyland Hotel. Turns out the popular restaurant, Steakhouse 55, is entirely booked for the actual weekend of Feb. 14, so we decided to celebrate a week early. (The restaurant books weeks in advance, so don’t wait until the last minute!) It also helped that we booked the table on Superbowl Sunday, so we had a little leeway (we’re not big football fans either). We got dolled up; I curled my hair and everything. It was a very hot, sunny Sunday in Southern California, so tea time in a cool, air-conditioned restaurant was the best idea ever.
We got the Premium Tea Party package, which is a little pricier but hey, it’s a national holiday we’re celebrating here! The package is just $15 more than the Classic, and includes sparkling wine, freshly-baked traditional scones, a yummy side salad, tea sandwiches, dessert, and an endless selection of high-quality teas.
Throughout the meal, we tried about three or four different teas, starting off with a simple fresh white tea, Japanese green tea (my personal favorite), an herbal/flowery tea, and a strong black flavor that paired well with our chocolate-filled desserts. The scones also came with a marmalade glaze, fresh jam, and the most delectable butter imported from England! The tea sandwiches had fresh slices of cucumber, egg, and a sliver of lox (salmon), but we saved the best for last: the Italian caprese, with a thick slice of mozzarella, a tomato and a perfectly-rounded wheat bread. Oh, my god, it was heaven.
Our server Ashley was extremely gracious and helpful when it came to our tea selections, and she even gave us a few tips on afternoon tea etiquette. It felt like we had traveled back in time to an 1800s English high tea salon.
We finished the meal sharing four delicious, chocolate and raspberry-filled macarons, and were each given a farewell truffle–salted caramel and vanilla bean–courtesy of the Disneyland Hotel. Combining my two favorite things in the world – tea & chocolate – um, heck yes. 10 out of 10 would definitely recommend! If you don’t have a significant other, go with your best friend! Honestly book it early & just TREAT YOSELF!
And of course, the whole thing felt utterly romantical. From getting elegantly dressed up, to the tea party etiquette, sampling different teas and chocolates from around the world, and of course spending quality time together in this setting – it was the perfect, unique Valentine’s Day date; and I hate using the word perfect. But it was. It was exquisite.
So this Feb. 14, forget the expensive dates and frilly gifts, and remember every day is worth celebrating. To you & yours, happy Valentine’s!