Tea Time at the Huntington Library Gardens

Deep in the heart of Los Angeles County, California, lies a beautiful oasis - a refuge from the concrete jungle that envelopes Los Angeles and sprawls forth from its metropolitan center into the city's outer limits. This oasis is a veritable Garden of Eden: beautiful & green, large enough to get lost in, and tranquil enough as to forget about one's responsibilities and the day-to-day drudgery that accompanies life in one of the world's most populous cities.

I'm talking about the Huntington Library Gardens - and more specifically, the Rose Garden Tea Room that is on the property grounds. Over Easter weekend, I took my girlfriend Sarah there to celebrate her birthday. We had an awesome time, and I recommend you visit the Tea Room. Here's how it all went down:

The Rose Garden Tea Room Exterior

Visiting the Rose Garden Tea Room was a real treat. The Tea Room accepts both walk-ins and reservations, but since the building is small I recommend making a reservation especially if you plan on making a weekend visit. We were led through the main dining area and to a back room by the hostess, who briefly touched on the building's history as she guided us toward our seat. This room only had a few people in it (who I assumed also made reservations) and it was well-decorated with rose-themed paintings on the wall. Ambient music played softly through the room. The atmosphere was very cozy.

The Tea Room's Cozy Private Room

Our server, Edgar, greeted us shortly after being seated and politely explained how to order. "It's a simple process," he said. "All you need to do is select your tea, and inform us of any dietary restrictions or allergies you may have, and we will take care of the rest." The tea here is served in the traditional English style, meaning it is served with a variety of delicious sweet & savory snacks. You can also order additional items, such as sparkling wine, on the side. Edgar left us a menu to peruse while he gave us time to decide on our tea.

The Menu at the Rose Garden Tea Room

I decided on the Traditional Huntington Rose tea, and within minutes we were served a scrumptious presentation of neatly arranged finger foods. Edgar provided helpful tips on how to maximize our enjoyment of the meal as he poured our tea.

The tea was quite fragrant and memorable. Milk and sugar cubes were readily available at our table. One sugar cube was all it took for my tea to go from 'good' to 'excellent' - but that's just my preference. We started with the savory items first, which included egg truffles, tuna sandwich slices, and a very tasty salmon and caviar spread on rye bread (this one was our hands-down favorite). Later we moved onto the sweets - featuring key lime tarts, Panna Cotta, and chocolate cups with fresh raspberries.

After taking some time to photograph our food, we settled in and enjoyed our quality time together with the hot tea and the delectable food. Quality time commenced.

I think Edgar overheard that we were celebrating Sarah's birthday, because towards the end of our meal he unexpectedly brought out a cupcake - a very kind gesture. By this point, we were both so full that neither of us wanted to eat it! Being the noble and virtuous man I am, however, I stepped up and took one giant bite out of the cupcake so it wouldn't go to waste.

The delicious cupcake we were too full to eat!

We spent about two hours enjoying our tea and conversation. When the time came to pay the bill, the total amounted to right about $80 dollars between the two of us. Definitely a bold sum for some tea and snacks, but the experience of the Rose Garden Tea Room is what you're really paying for. And I must say, that experience is quite worth it, especially if you want to have a memorable time with a close friend or loved one in a tranquil environment such as this.

Now, in addition to this price, you also need to pay the entry admission into the Huntington Library itself - which is going to be around $29 dollars on the weekend and $25 during the week (they are also closed on Tuesdays, beware). My best advice to you is that if you go, go right when the Library opens at 10 A.M., have some tea, and explore the Gardens after. I'd also recommend booking a reservation so you don't have to wait or miss out on a lovely tea time due to high demand.

After we finished our tea, we set out in the Rose Gardens, and explored the many different roses they cultivate at the Huntington Library. We took many more photos that day, and you can view them here if you want to see more. We hope you feel inspired to make a trip to the Library Gardens yourself. Just don't forget - bring a friend or loved one and experience the Tea Room when you visit!

The Rose Garden Tea Room Business Card


I hope you enjoyed this article about the Rose Garden Tea Room. Have you been to the Huntington Library Gardens or Tea Room? Feel free to comment your thoughts down below, and consider subscribing to my mailing list so you can be notified of future posts! Thank you for supporting me.

-Austen Hunter


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