MMJ | Afternoon Tea | St. Paul Hotel
The Saint Paul Hotel
350 Market St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Cuisine: Tea and hors d’oeuvres
Attire: Daytime formal or business casual
Champagne (additional): $3.95
Afternoon Tea at The Saint Paul Hotel is an exquisite experience that everyone should enjoy at least once a year. It was more relaxing than a day at the spa and the food tasted exponentially better.
A couple months ago I saw a tweet come through about the Afternoon Tea schedule at The Saint Paul Hotel and I immediately knew I had to attend. I asked my friend Kris to join me because she is also a foodie and great for conversation. As the day drew near we were both excited and nervous. Having never been to something like this we didn’t know what to expect or what was expected of us. I even went as far to go to my Mom for help picking out an outfit!
Upon arrival we were greeted by everyone we crossed paths with. Everyone was either in suits or traditional housecleaning uniforms. There was even a gentleman outside with a top hat! We checked our coats and the greeter was there, ready and waiting to bring us to our seats. The tea took place in the lobby where there were sets of chairs and tables scattered around. Even though the event was in the lobby, it felt private. The décor was beautiful and elegant, but not pretentious.
Kris and I at first were very aware of every movement we made. We didn’t want to seem out of place, but I’m sure everyone could tell it was our first time. At the table there was fine china and real silverware – I’m talking real silver here. I had read on their website that The Saint Paul Hotel collects tea sets so they may have a variety used at every Afternoon Tea instead of having everyone match. Immediately there was a waitress there to fill our cups with our first cup of tea. It was a bold dark tea which tasted like an Earl Grey, but I can’t be sure since I was having too much fun to ask. There were sugar cubes, raw sugar cubes, lemon and cream at the table on an adorable silver petit fours stand. I went for the raw sugar while Kris tried each – she is more adventurous than I and said all of them were good.
First Course: Ham & Dijon on Parmesan Short Bread, Dill Cream Cheese & Shrimp on Cucumber, and Egg Salad on Rye.
First I tried the Egg Salad on Rye because I’m the kind of eater who saves the best for last and usually I don’t like any sort of salad that has the main ingredient of mayonnaise. This however was amazing! It had some sort of extra spice to it and the rye bread was the perfect touch. Then I went for the Ham & Dijon on Parmesan Short Bread which was fantastic! The ham was perfect with lots of flavor but not a lot of salt and complimented nicely by the Dijon. The parmesan short bread was an incredible final touch making this little canapé absolutely divine. I then passed on my shrimp and cucumber to Kris, because I don’t do seafood and she said it was fantastic.
Second Course: Turkey Mushroom Spinach Roulade with Risotto & Sage Demi.
The second course was like a mini dinner. The Turkey was very well cooked in that it was still moist and not dry. The spinach roulade inside complimented the turkey well along with the mushroom gravy on top. The risotto was wonderful and different than any risotto I had tasted before. It seemed to be without the saffron flavor that is usually found in risotto but it was very rich, creamy, and delicious.
Third Course: Almond Poppy Seed Scone with Spiced Honey Butter.
After having tried almond poppy seed I will never again be able to eat lemon poppy seed because the almond was so pleasing. The next thing you need to know about Kris and I is that we are constantly in a love affair with honey butter. Seriously. This honey butter did its part to deepen the love we have – for this butter was whipped! The whipped honey butter on the scone basically melted in your mouth it was so delectable. At one point Kris said, “I am so close to licking my plate clean.” Don’t worry, she didn’t lick her plate clean, but it was difficult since we adhere to the ‘no honey butter left behind’ act. The third course was a perfect transition to the second half of our Afternoon Tea – dessert.
Fourth Course: Chocolate Cup with White Chocolate Coffee Cream, Mini Raspberry Cheese Cake, and Orange Mousse Tartlet & Chocolate Ganache.
I started with the mini raspberry cheesecake which was not only darling but delicious. There was a single raspberry on top which was so bold and fresh that it was able to shine through the richness of the cheesecake. The Orange Mouse Tartlet topped with Chocolate Ganache was just what I had been looking for. I have been craving orange chocolate for weeks now and I am so glad I waited for this! It may have been small, but it packed such a flavor punch that it soothed my cravings. Again saving the best for last, I finished with the chocolate cup. This luscious morsel shut us up and we both just sat there, taking in the flavor. The coffee cream was so rich and smooth all you could do was savor the moment.
Fifth Course: Chocolate Truffle Cake with Red Currant & Raspberry Coulis with Peppermint Bark Garnish.
This cake was a wonderful finishing touch – an harmonious combination of textures and flavors. Before today I would have told you that there is no way currant, raspberry and peppermint taste good together, but alas, I would have been wrong. This cake was also the first item on our menu which wasn’t hors d’oeuvres size – and there was no way I was finishing it after everything I just had, but I couldn’t leave it behind. Just as I was ready to push through this fullness I was feeling and clean my plate, a woman appears with Styrofoam take home boxes. I think she had a halo floating above her head too.
As we finished our tea and got up to leave, both of us agreed that we were more relaxed than we had been in ages. I must admit that I didn’t see a single guy sipping tea but I would encourage guys to go. There is no reason that a social gathering with tea has to be exclusive to women only. I highly recommend that you attend an afternoon of tea at The Saint Paul Hotel – I promise you will enjoy every moment.
Category Possible Points
EDR Score 50/50
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