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By Micah Askins / November 4, 12:00 AM
Tea Time: Five places to sip
Tea at the Courtyard Restaurant. Photo by Person and Killian Photography.

As the days get colder and darker, there's no better time to indulge in a spot of afternoon tea. Luckily, Boston has a wide array of places you can go for a cuppa without fighting off the coffee fanatics at Starbucks.

The Courtyard Restaurant at the Boston Public Library (pictured) hosts afternoon tea on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 2-4 p.m. Sip classic teas like Earl Grey, Chamomile, Lemon Herbal, and Matcha along with Japanese Sencha, White Wedding Tea, and Dragon Pearl Jasmine. With your tea, try scones with fruit marmalade and Devonshire cream or tea sandwiches like cucumber and boursin on rye. Have a sweet tooth? Reach for petit fours like glazed lemon poppyseed cake, chocolate sinclairs, and French macarons. $29.

The Taj Hotel holds a formal afternoon tea every weekend afternoon in their French Room. Sit underneath glass chandeliers as you listen to the soothing notes of a harp while sipping a cup of Shanghai Rose or Floral Jasmine Green—or a champagne cocktail, if that's more your style. Pair your beverage of choice with finger sandwiches and canapés, scones, pastries, and petit fours. Prices vary by selection. Reservations are recommended.

In the North End, the Fairmont Battery Wharf recently instituted a daily afternoon tea service. Try their signature "grown-up" teas like The Savoy (Berry Berry-infused Gordon's Gin, cherry, and Aperol) or The Princess (high antioxidant tea, Four Roses Bourbon, habañero-infused rum, and bitter lemon soda). You'll also find more traditional teas such as Fairmont Breakfast, Fairmont Earl Gray, and Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling. Finger sandwiches include Harbor Point smoked salmon, Waldorf chicken salad, lobster crostini, cannellini bean puree, and organic egg salad on a croissant. The Traditional Battery Lounge Tea for Two service costs $39 per person and The Captain William Sturgis Tea for Two service is $49 per person.

L’Espalier holds a Fantasy Tea Party during the weekends featuring teas like L’Espalier Anniversary Blend, Gloucester Street Blend, Gunpowder Green, and Boylston Breakfast Blend. Choose from themed services such as Little Red Riding Hood’s Tea Party with sandwiches, pastries, petit fours, and tea ($40).

For a more Eastern-flavored tea experience, try the Japanese tea ceremony at Kaji Aso Studio. Take in the serene gardens and beautiful Japanese art at the studio while participating in this important cultural tradition. Kaji Aso Studio’s Japanese tea ceremony is every Sunday from 4-6 p.m. for $30 per person.
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