Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Afternoon Tea in the Boston Public Library

Tea Boston

by Susan Carlisle

I love to have afternoon tea when I travel. This past weekend my mother, my husband and I flew to Boston to attend a wedding. I made our flight early enough that there was time to have tea. My place of choice for tea was the Boston Public Library. The Library was established in 1848. It was the first publicly supported municipal library in the United States. The architect was Charles Follen McKim and he called the library the “palace for the people.” For a writer and book lover I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful place to have afternoon tea.

Tea Boston2I love a library. I love old buildings. I love tea. Can you say perfect place for me? Tea Boston5

Tea Boston6In the older section of the building there is a café. Through the café you enter what had at one time been the lobby of the library. It has a vaulted ceiling, beautiful high windows that look out into an inter-courtyard that includes a fountain, and the floor is covered in marble tile.

The waitress showed us the way to our table with a stack of books in her hand. After we were seated in high back chairs that were big enough and comfortable enough to curl into for a long read, she presented us with a book which tuned out to be our menus. I might have found heaven!

We had a lovely afternoon tea that included with all the sinfully good tiny sandwiches and desserts that we could eat. The tea was excellent as well. If I get a chance to go to the Boston Library again I certainly will.


16 thoughts on “Afternoon Tea in the Boston Public Library”

  1. I would love to join you for tea sometime, Susan! I have had some lovely teas over the years, but it is always a special experience, since that isn’t a common custom in the US. Was in Victoria, British Columbia and talked my husband into having tea with me at the Empress Hotel. Though he went reluctantly, he loved it! There is also a lovely tea house at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, fairly close to our home. Recently, for my mother in laws’ 90 birthday, we took her to a trendy art house/tea house and it was also great! So glad you had a good time in Boston.

  2. Lynne,
    I’ve not been to the Empress Hotel but I have it on my list. Next time I’m out there I’m going to make it a must do. There is nothing like taking time to just sit and be and it is even better with tea.

  3. I drink tea all the time, but confess it hadn’t occurred to me to look for afternoon tea when I travel until reading your post, Susan! Sounds absolutely wonderful. And in an old library, no less! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Just glorious, Susan. I always felt very at home in Boston…probably the hangover of the presence of the British all those years ago and hence the high tea. That’s really popular here too and of course I am an AVID tea drinker. Leaf tea in a pot. I make about four pots a day and my fave black leaf tea is Australian but I do enjoy some Indian teas as well. Not a huge fan of flavored tea but do enjoy Earl Grey and the lemon and ginger mix…great for upset stomachs! Thanks for sharing. A friend flies out for Boston tonight so I sent her the link although AUssies probably don’t see the US as the place to have afternoon tea LOL. She’ll be after more American experiences.

  5. Lovely, Susan – love a good high tea!
    One of my best memories ever was doing high tea at the Ritz in London – we did it twice while we lived there, took two sets of visitors! That was back in the day when they had 2 sittings only and it cost about 17 pound each and you had to book a few months in advance.
    I inquired about doing it a few years ago when we were going to be there with the kids. There were sittings very hour!!! and it cost something like 70 pounds!!!Each@
    So we passed 😦
    But I’ll always have the memories of those lovely heavy silver teapots, the beautiful potted palms everywhere, white-gloved waiters and the grand piano tinkling in the background.
    Happy sigh 🙂

  6. Fiona,
    I love a good cup of Earl Gray but I had a tea from Ceylon or Ski Lanka. I have recently read a good book about tea called Silver Spoons, Mad Baboons and Other Tales of Tea and decided to try something new. I wasn’t disappointed. Boston can be a made house so your friend might want a nice slow place to stop in for a moment.

  7. Amy,
    I’ve not been to the Ritz in London but I’ve been to a number of other places. I have the Ritz on my list. Having tea can be expensive. I try to consider it one of those few special moments in life and not look at the bill too long!

  8. Susan that sounds wonderful! The library in our town is in a historic building as well and attached to it is a gourmet coffee and specialty chocolate shop (they roast and grind their own beans and make their own chocolate). I can never go the library without walking through there and sitting down to have coffee and read. But your tea sounds elegant and special, and I love the book-style menus. What a great idea!

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