Sunday, February 17, 2008
Tea at the Taj
There are few things in Boston more regal and pampering than afternoon tea at the Taj Hotel. A harp plays, and sunlight streams through the tall windows as a perfect cup of tea is poured.
To begin, I chose the Shanghai Rose black tea to drink, a wonderful blend that had strong floral notes. Usually, black tea can get bitter if brewed for just a little too long, but this didn't have any bitter tones until my very last cup, an hour and half after it was first brewed.
The traditional (and untraditional) tea sandwiches were delicious and varied enough that there were many different flavors and combinations to try. My favorites were the lobster profiteroles, a mayo-less lobster salad with strong lemony flavor nestled in a small choux pastry, and the prosciutto and melon sandwich, with paper-thin melon slices that melted into the prosciutto.
And while I'm never a big fan of egg salad or smoked salmon, leaving the sandwiches as a mixed bag for me, I loved everything on the pastry tray. There were many choices, including the traditional scones (lemon and currant) with lemon curd and Devonshire cream. The pistachio macarons were tender and powerfully flavorful, as were the madeleines. The chocolate-dipped strawberries were juicy and perfect, making me forget that it's actually February.
For $28, this is far from the cheapest cup of tea in Boston, but the service and atmosphere (and, of course, the tea and food) made it well worth the price.