The Grand Afternoon Tea at the famed Arizona Biltmore has been a renowned affair for nearly a century. A cuppa taken in with dainty sandwiches and sweet treats among the luxe setting of the historic resort that has welcomed movie stars and presidents for decades.
It’s truly something remarkable, often reserved for special occasions, and nothing is more special than the Gingerbread Tea offered daily the month of December. A warm, cozy and delicious tradition.
I’ve enjoyed afternoon tea with my own mother for special occasions throughout the years, but never for Christmas. And I have been waiting for just the right time to share the experience with my little girl. No time like the present and no place like The Arizona Biltmore.
The property is all decked out in its holiday best, making the tea experience festive and magical. A huge glowing Christmas tree serves as the focal point in the resort’s lobby and makes a splendid backdrop for afternoon tea.
Everything was absolutely splendid. When Jax is excited about something she shivers from head to toe, so she basically spent the entire time shivering with joy. She ooh’d over the tiny sandwiches, and ahh’d over the petite sweets. She kept her pinkies up with every sip and felt very pampered.
Tea Sommelier, Kevin Doyle and his assistant Brianna kept our cups full and our smiles present. The courses flowed and they took the time to explain the details and made us feel welcomed and happy.
To get things started we enjoyed Lemon Ginger Scones with Kumquat Jam, Devonshire Cream, Lemon Curd and Raspberry Cream. Kevin brought out a pot of the Nutcracker tea blend, steamy and warm with the rich scents of the season.
Jax was extremely pleased that she got her own plate of kid-friendly finger sandwiches that included ham and cheese, turkey and cheese, peanut butter and jelly and Nutella and banana, all familiar tastes impeccably presented for the occasion. My sandwiches were as lovely and they were tasty — Black Pepper Beef Tenderloin and Juniper Berry on Brioche, Turkey and Kumquat with Cranberry Marmalade on 12 Grain Bread, House Smoked Salmon with Tiny Shrimp Salad and Creme Fraiche on a Profiterole (my favorite), Grilled Chicken and Caramelized Apple Jam, Brie and Spiced Pecans and Cucumber and Boursin with Pickled Onion on Pumpernickel. They were delicate miniature works of edible art.
When the dessert tower arrived Jax’s shivers turned into full-blown shakes. She was beside herself with sweet bliss at the mere site of the teeny confections presented to us. A chocolate Peppermint Gateau, Vanilla Cranberry Verrine (our favorite), Cinnamon Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Cake with with White Chocolate Eggnog Cream and Two Frosted Gingerbread Stars. All so tiny and sweet. We both loved them.
It was a truly magical experience. Kevin and his team were gracious and welcoming – the epitome of customer service, all the food was delicious, the setting was exquisite and festive. It was pure enchantment for my little girl, and as if that wasn’t enough she was presented with a keepsake Gingerbread Teddy Bear to commemorate her first tea experience. She shivered and beamed with happiness.
The Arizona Biltmore’s Grand Afternoon Tea is truly an experience to behold, but in December it becomes magical and even more memorable.
I am so happy to have finally taken my daughter to tea and I’m thrilled it was the Gingerbread Tea. She will remember this for years to come and we’ve definitely created a new mommy and me holiday tradition.
Gingerbread Tea at The Arizona Biltmore is served daily through December 24 from 11am-2pm. Call 602.955.6600 or visit https://www.arizonabiltmore.com/holiday-dining/ for reservations and more information.
The Arizona Biltmore is located at 2400 E. Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona, United States, 85016
Disclaimer: We enjoyed a complimentary Gingerbread Tea experience in exchange for this post. As usual all opinions are entirely my own.