Ever since my nephews arrived on the scene in the last few years, my family has decided to buy Christmas presents just for the little ones. We don’t have to stress about getting more stuff for each other and can enjoy the kids’ reactions when they open their gifts. It’s the best part of Christmas anyway. My friends and I have adopted the same kind of thinking too and for the holidays we find a fun experience to do together instead of exchanging presents. Which is especially nice when you have been friends for decades and have no idea what to get each other anymore. This past weekend my best friends, Dee and Sasha, and I went to a holiday tea at Crown & Crumpet in San Francisco.
Crown & Crumpet is located in Japantown close to all of the Fillmore Street shops. The decor is every little girl’s dream with lots of pink, polkadot table cloths, framed illustrations of Alice and Wonderland on the walls, and a photo of Prince William at the register. Maybe that last one is just my dream.
Their special holiday tea includes three assorted sandwiches, warm savories, scones and crumpets with clotted cream and jam, sweets like chocolate covered strawberries, meringues, and chocolate mousse, and a pot of loose leaf tea. Some of the loose leaf holiday teas on offer were a white tea with white chocolate and a black tea with cherries, apples, citrus and toasted almonds. I got the “Naughtea & Spice” black tea with lemon, clove, cinnamon, and chocolate.
While we waited for our food to come out we popped traditional English Christmas Crackers that had paper crowns inside, jokes to read a loud at the table, and knick knacks like a nail clipper and silver lock. The crackers were first created in the UK in the 1840s by Tom Smith. Smith was a sweet maker and one night was inspired by his crackling fire and decided it would be a unique twist to sell his sweets and fun toys in these crackers.
We were so ready for the food when it came out. It all came out on the traditional tiered plates. We had cucumber and cream cheese, ham and cheese, and chicken and curry sandwiches that were delicious but the scone with clotted cream and jam has always been my favorite treat whenever I enjoy a traditional English tea. It may not look like a lot of food but it definitely filled us up so that we couldn’t finish all of the sweets on the top tier.
I am always up for tea service here in San Francisco whether it’s at Lovejoy’s or The Rotunda and while Crown & Crumpet wasn’t my favorite out of all them I loved it simply for the tradition and the ambience. What I love the most though is that my friends and I took the time to hang out together for a few hours admist the holiday bustle. Friend time is very important and that time is more memorable when we can share an experience together during the most festive time of year.
The holiday tea at Crown & Crumpet goes on until January 3rd but you can always partake in a regular tea year-round if you are ever in San Francisco.