Afternoon Tea Fit for Royalty at Palm Court in Auckland

Delicate flavours, elegant ambience, and five-star service define the Afternoon Tea at Palm Court in Auckland’s Langham Hotel. From the moment hubby and I entered, we were treated like royalty. It was a posh Afternoon Tea, and one which we hope to repeat soon.

Afternoon Tea at Palm Court in the Langham Hotel, Auckland New Zealand

Plush seating at intimate tables give a feeling of privacy while we relaxed and enjoyed Afternoon Tea beneath the Palm Court’s ornate chandelier.

Wedgewood china service is standard at Afternoon Tea at Palm Court in the Langham Hotel, Auckland New Zealand

The tea and food were served on beautiful Wedgewood China

We opted to begin our afternoon tea with a flute of champagne, despite that fact that I am not usually a fan of the bubbles. I made a great personal discovery, I really enjoy a quality glass and the Louis Roederer Rose Champagne is light and bold, a delicate mix of fruit and floral flavours. It was a treat that raised my expectations from the beginning of the Afternoon Tea, and carried them high through to then end.

Pouring a glass of Louis Roederer Rose Champagne at Afternoon Tea at Palm Court in the Langham Hotel, Auckland New Zealand

Our server expertly pouring a glass of champagne

Hubby and I toast to our Afternoon Tea in Auckland's Langham Hotel, New Zealand

Hubby and I toast to the start of a new family tradition.

A Champagne toast in New Zealand

A selfie.

The choices of traditional and exotic tea and blends have been hand picked by the Master Tea Sommelier. Our server guided us to the perfect selection. While the menu is preset, ours was altered slightly to meet our dietary requirements and served on a traditional three-tiered cake stand.

Afternoon Tea seved on traditoinal three-tiered cake plate at the Langham Hotel, Auckland New Zealand

So many choices, and we ate them all. Some of my savoury favourites included chilled cucumber soup with crab salad; hot smoked salmon sandwich with dill; goat cheese, watercress and pecan nut sandwich; and, profiteroles, black garlic, lamb cream cheese.

Some of the food served at Afternoon Tea at Palm Court in the Langham Hotel, Auckland New Zealand

A few of my sweet favourites – the Heavenly Chocolate torte, Strawberry tartlet (already dragged to my own plate), and the plain and cherry scones with clotted cream and jam.

A Bit of History:

The tradition of afternoon tea dates back to Anna Maria Stanhope, the 7th Duchess of Bedford and lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. Suffering a “sinking feeling” at about 4pm, she requested tea and bread/cake sent to her private chambers.  Soon she began inviting others to join. Traditional English Afternoon Tea was born.

High Tea, on the other hand is a term often incorrectly used. Back in the day, it referred to a meat or meal time tea enjoyed by common people who worked until later in the day than 4pm. By the time they were ready for food, they needed more than just tea and cake. Later it was simply shortened to “Tea.” (Since arriving in New Zealand 12 years ago, I have wondered the origin of calling the evening meal “Tea”. Now I know.)

Practical Information: 

  • The Langham is located 83 Symonds Street in Auckland. It took us about 25 minutes to leisurely walk from the downtown ferry terminal. We could have easily taken the green InnerLink bus had we not wanted to walk.
  • Afternoon tea service begins at either 11:30am or 2:30pm Monday-Saturday, or at 11:30am, 2pm or 4:30pm on Sundays.
  • Bookings are recommended.

Afternoon Tea at the Langham is a 140 year old tradition that I look forward to enjoying again soon.

Have you had Afternoon Tea at the Palm Court in Auckland? Have you enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea anywhere? If not, are you going to schedule one soon?

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Afternoon Tea at Palm Court in the Langham Hotel, Auckland New Zealand
This post also linked at:
Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 8.30.17 pmThe Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, Weekend Wanderlust at Justin plus Lauren, Photo Friday at Pierced Wanderings, and Sunday’s in My City at the Unknown Mami.

Disclaimer: Our Afternoon Tea was sponsored by Langham, however the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.

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  1. says

    Lovely. Although my grandmother was Polish, she went to boarding school in London and picked up several English habits. She would have tea everyday at 4:00.

  2. says

    Posh is absolutely the right word to use here. We tried going to an afternoon tea thing in Victoria, Canada a few months ago and missed it by 15 minutes. If this is what it’s like, we’ll definitely try again! 🙂

  3. says

    i LOVE clotted cream. I think I’m almost grateful i can’t get it here in the U.S.! I also love the idea of a fancy tea, especially when it starts with champagne. what a fun way to treat yourselves.

  4. says

    Ah, Rhonda, all those goodies made me drool! Palm Court is quite an exquisite place for tea, great choice. We have some nice tea rooms here in Los Angeles too, but we go there very seldom.

  5. says

    It looks very swanky Rhonda, loved the history of afternoon tea versus high tea. Also interesting as all the restaurants in Perth that offer High Tea have actually termed it wrong.

  6. says

    What a fab day and a grand place, looks like summit you see in Mayfair here, loved that photo of you both I must say your royal highness’s heheh!

    Have a poshtastic weekend 🙂

  7. says

    Not a fan of tea, but would go for the treats and the champagne. What a lovely hotel too. I’m glad you have created a new custom.

    Have a fabulous day Rhonda. 🙂

    • says

      For my second cup I had a coffee (because I love coffee). So you could enjoy the entire experience without the tea. Although they have some interesting blends, and you might even find one you like.

  8. says

    Look at all those fancy finger foods! I’m so hungry now. The place looks marvelous. Thanks for sharing … but now I really want crab salad … waaaaa!

    • says

      thanks Alex and Cheers to you too. It was a long, slow, relaxed meal so the alcohol didn’t get to me at all. Just the enjoyment of the flavours and the moments.

  9. says

    I have not had the opportunity to experience the tea tradition. It is something I have always wanted to do. I do know there are several hotels in Los Angeles that serve tea in the afternoons. I am looking forward to experience the tradition too.

  10. says

    I love afternoon tea! I had my first real tea time last May when we went to a small town in England called Matlock Bath! I had been the England many times before because I have family there and I never knew about it until much later! (Mind you, I’m American haha) SO nooow I love going to afternoon tea when we’re in England!
    (BTW- Maybe I’m an idiot, but I can never figure out how to add your badge to my post! eck!)

  11. says

    What fun! For half a second there, the way the brain plays tricks on us, I thought I was looking at the Laurel Court in the Fairmont here in San Francisco. There, our tea was tepid, the pastries stale, and the service dull. We didn’t give them a second chance. But we have enjoyed tea the St. Francis on Union Square three times, and it was just as lovely there as you described, with wonderful bites and superb service each time. Thanks for a lovely virtual visit. I enjoyed the calorie-less treats!

    • says

      Sorry you had such a bad experience at the Fairmont. I wouldn’t expect that. The good news is the Langham is building in San Francisco. I imagine they will have a Palm Court and you can enjoy an outstanding Afternoon Tea. Or come to Auckland.

  12. says

    What a lovely posh place, I remember my nana taking me too tearooms in the old farmers building in Auckland city in the 70s when I was little.

  13. says

    I had afternoon tea in London back in 2010 and it was great, but not like the royal experience you had.

    I was talking to my (Japanese) coworker who lived in New Zealand for several years a few days ago, and she was telling me about how surprised she was she heard that dinner/ was referred to as tea. Neither of us knew why it’s called tea in New Zealand, but now, thanks to this post, I know why. 😀 THANKS! 😀

    Thanks for another great post and for hosting! See you again soon for #ExpatTuesday! 😀

  14. says

    Hi Rhonda – what a great tradition to have added in to your list of ‘to dos’ .. delicious too. All that food sounds and looks just wonderful .. so glad you had a happy time sharing it all and enjoying that champers …

    Tea to me means … tea with a biscuit, perhaps a home made cake or biscuit .. and often more if it’s the weekend with family and friends; High tea was a combination of what I’d call supper with tea, and sandwiches, perhaps pilchards, sardines with some salad items .. and some toast or just buttered bread if no sandwiches … always as you say served later … ie supper or high tea together as a family … then later on a cup of tea or coffee and perhaps a very light snack. We always do tea and then supper … but I had some friends whose father was a vicar and they did high tea …

    Cheers – it looks wonderful! Hilary

    • says

      It’s so good to have British friends who fully understand this tradition, and enjoy it. I guess I could have asked you years ago why the evening meal is referred to as Tea.

  15. says

    We think champagne is very good any time – though tea time is a good excuse! Interesting about the term “high tea” – we also had thought it referred to the classy afternoon tea :-).

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