Afternoon tea at Jerusalem's Waldorf Astoria - review

The service was excellent, as was to be expected. Overall, it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon and far more fun than working.

 Tea at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (photo credit: Feel the Vibe)
Tea at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel
(photo credit: Feel the Vibe)

There is something very luxurious about sneaking off in the middle of the workday to... Get your minds out of the gutter. I’m speaking, of course, of going for High Tea, a lovely British tradition that is available at several places in Israel.

First of all, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem is beautifully decorated and tea is held in the dairy restaurant in the lobby. At NIS 350 per couple, it is certainly not an inexpensive outing but for that price, you get a tower of sandwiches and sweets, as well as high-quality tea that left us stuffed for the rest of the day. We didn’t ask but I’m sure the tea would be refilled upon request.

There is a choice of nine types of tea: three herbal fruit teas, three black teas and three green teas. I chose the Indian chai, while my husband went for a green oolong tea. The teas were loose leaves, brewed in a lovely white teapot and served with a strainer to catch the leaves. Both teas were delicious.

The sandwiches and sweets were delicious. There were cucumber sandwiches (with the crusts cut off, of course), smoked salmon sandwiches with a generous portion of smoked salmon and small tarts filled with cream and more smoked salmon. There was also a tart filled with egg salad.

The top shelf of our three-shelf tower held four scones, two with raisins and two without. The scones were served with butter and cream but no strawberry jam, although the ladies at the table next to ours asked for strawberry jam. The crestfallen waiter said there wasn’t any but he would try and he did eventually procure some for them.

 Tea at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (credit: Feel the Vibe) Tea at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (credit: Feel the Vibe)

Now for the tiny desserts, each one like a sparking gem. They were beautiful and all made in-house. My favorite was the Ferrero Roche, although the mille-feuille of cream between pastry leaves was a close second. There are six different kinds of desserts and each one is special and worth the calories. There is no higher praise than that.

What was going on at the next table?

The table next to ours was occupied by two well-coiffed and well-dressed British ladies. When I approached their table, the two ladies, Meira and Marion, said they had worked together at Shaarei Tzedek as midwives. Marion had made Meira a quilt as a gift and Meira was treating Marion to tea as a thank-you.

Marion also celebrated her 70th birthday recently by treating a group of women friends to fancy tea. She said that two of her friends were gluten-free and vegan, and the hotel made a special tea tower for them.

The service was excellent, as was to be expected. Overall, it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon and far more fun than working.

Tea at the Waldorf Astoria HotelGershon Agron 26Sunday-Thursday 2 p.m.–5 p.m.Kashrut: Mehadrin

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.