Art inspired treats by Paul Kelly, Executive Pastry Chef at the Merrion in Dublin.
Photo: Courtesy of The Merrion

8 High-Tea Services That Come with an Art and Design Twist

These unique afternoon experiences offer everything from pastries resembling works by famous artists to in-museum settings

Many fine-dining restaurants boast a major collection of art, while other culinary destinations are helmed by chefs creating dishes so next level, they can be considered an artistic expression. But some establishments are make the connection between art and eating more obvious with a classic afternoon tea service boasting a delightful design twist.

Rosewood London's afternoon tea includes this confection inspired by David Hockney's the Arrival of Spring series. Photo: Patricia Niven

1. Rosewood London

Rosewood London has long been known for its popular Art Afternoon Teas, which feature talents such as Banksy and Damien Hirst. However, Executive Pastry Chef Mark Perkins’ most recent homage is 1960s pop art icon David Hockney, whose exhibition at the Lightroom, “Bigger & Closer (not smaller and further away),” runs through June 4. The tea experience served in the property’s elegant Mirror Room includes a menu of expertly designed cakes that take inspiration from the artist’s life between Yorkshire and Los Angeles, combining classic British flavors with iconic American desserts.

Photo: Courtesy of the St. Regis Venice

2. The St. Regis Venice

The St. Regis Venice recently introduced a new afternoon tea experience in collaboration with the distinguished luxury Italian porcelain maison Ginori 1735. The avant-garde experience blends the timeless tradition with a fresh approach by pairing guests’ preferred tea blend with a selection of Ginori 1735 tableware inspired by the colors of the light that reflects on the lagoon from dawn to dusk. Included in the visual feast is a delectable menu of Italian tramezzini, scones, chocolate tartlets, cream puffs, and assorted pralines courtesy of the hotel’s Executive Chef Giuseppe Ricci.

Photo: Courtesy of Silo Hotel

3. The Silo Hotel, Capetown

The Silo Hotel in Capetown offers a unique tea experience on the sixth floor, overlooking the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). Guests can enjoy stunning views through the iconic pillowed glass windows, a signature design element by renowned architect Thomas Heatherwick. As you sip your tea, you’ll be surrounded by the captivating beauty of the city, Table Mountain, and the harbor, making it an unforgettable experience that combines epicurean delights, art, and breathtaking scenery.

A pastry inspired by artist William Scott’s Still Life (Yellow Table), 1950. Photo: Courtesy of The Merrion

A pastry inspired by an artwork by Irish artist John Boyd. Photo: Courtesy of The Merrion

4. The Merrion, Dublin

The Merrion in Dublin offers a unique art-tea experience, where guests can indulge in an exquisite selection of miniature sweet creations inspired by the masterpieces of renowned artists such as J.B. Yeats, William Scott, and Louis Le Brocquy. This delightful afternoon tea celebrates Ireland’s rich artistic heritage, featuring intricate pastries and desserts that resemble the artists’ most iconic works. Served in the elegant surroundings of the hotel’s drawing rooms, the service is accompanied by a fine selection of teas, ensuring a memorable and sophisticated experience for art enthusiasts and food lovers alike.

Pastry chef Jessica Prealpato's afternoon tea at the Carlton Tower Jumeirah is inspired by nature. Photo: Courtesy of the Carlton Tower Jumeirah

Pastry chef Jessica Prealpato's afternoon tea at the Carlton Tower Jumeirah is inspired by nature. Photo: Courtesy of the Carlton Tower Jumeirah

5. The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, London

Inspired by the iconic Kew Gardens in West London, the Carlton Tower Jumeirah’s high tea pays homage to nature. To help capture the alfresco theme, the hotel selected dinnerware designed in collaboration with Raynaud, which has been creating poetic porcelain for a century. Guests will enjoyed delectable morsels of seasonal ingredients by Jessica Prealpato, a 2019 World’s Best Pastry Chef, served on Raynaud’s beloved Paradis tea service, designed with birds of paradise, exotic plants, and butterflies, in conjunction with “haute couture” wallpaper atelier Fromental.

Tea service at the Baccarat in New York includes a Faunacrystopolis Harcourt tea set to bring home. Photo: Courtesy of Baccarat

6. Baccarat Hotel in New York City

Baccarat is one of the most storied crystal brands known for creating glassware masterpieces for generations of royal households. Now diners at the brand’s New York City hotel can indulge in a regal tea service conceived by Michelin-starred and James Beard-award winning chef Gabriel Kreuther, presented on a three-tiered Baccarat crystal plate. The hotel also offers an exclusive VIP tea experience enhanced with a Baccarat’s Faunacrystopolis Harcourt tea set to bring home.

Turtle Tea service at Jumeirah Al Naseem in Dubai. Photo: Jumeirah Al Naseem

7. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Dubai

Jumeirah Al Naseem in Dubai is home to the region’s first and largest purpose-built sea-fed turtle rehabilitation facility and its dedication to environmental efforts informs many elements of the guest experience, including the Turtle Tea service at Al Mandhar Lounge. Guests can sample tantalizing loose-leaf tea and delicious vegan treats, served on polygonal turtle sculptures made of recycled and eco-friendly materials by Dubai-based French-Tunisian artist Idriss B. In addition, QR codes are displayed as a conversation starter for guests to learn about Jumeirah Al Naseem’s work with injured sea turtles.

The Trifecta Afternoon Tea at Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street is served in these vibrant pieces from T2. Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel

8. Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston

Embracing a delightful blend of English tradition and New England charm, the Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street in Boston has become famous for its Trifecta Afternoon Tea. This modern take on the classic afternoon tea experience includes eclectic tea sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and unique sweets, all accompanied by bespoke blends from J’enway Tea Co served in vibrant T2 Tea sets that each table gets to mix and match. These beautifully crafted pieces elevate the design-focused atmosphere by highlighting the bold Moroccan Tealeidoscope Aqua Tea and Magic Carpet Remix styles. Then, as evening falls, Trifecta’s art-inspired cocktails take center stage. Drawing from Boston’s rich art, history, and cultural institutions, the talented mixologists have crafted a unique selection of sculpture-inspired concoctions.

Cover: Art inspired treats by Paul Kelly, Executive Pastry Chef at the Merrion in Dublin.
Photo: Courtesy of The Merrion


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