Happy hour is a time-honored tradition in Las Vegas, but every so often the occasion calls for an upscale alternative. The British tradition of afternoon tea originated in the mid-1800s when the Duchess of Bedford found herself in need of a light meal between lunch and dinner. Eventually, this became a social event revolving around scones with clotted cream, cucumber sandwiches, and of course, tea.
For those on this side of the pond, it’s hard to imagine donning lace gloves and heading out into the neon landscape of Las Vegas for assorted pastries and Earl Grey, but the mid-day tradition does exist among the slot machines and showgirls of Sin City. Here’s where to find it.
High tea with a view
Despite its prime location, Mandarin Oriental exists as a sort of antithesis to the Las Vegas Strip. The setting is elegant, serene, and in the case of the resort’s Tea Lounge, high above the bustling sidewalks of the city. The restaurant serves afternoon tea daily in the form of loose leaf tea from around the world, English scones, macarons, cupcakes, and vegan and gluten-free options. The real treat — in addition to the sophisticated tea service — is taking in one of the best views in town.
Tea Lounge, Mandarin Oriental, 3752 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 888-881-9367
Flights from a tea sommelier
Lucky Dragon may have shut down its casino and restaurants, but Cha Garden, the tranquil indoor and outdoor lobby lounge, remains. That’s good news for fans of afternoon tea, who can still enjoy green, oolong, and black tea flights selected by the city’s only tea sommelier. Bourbon and whiskey flights along with boba, bao, rice, and noodles are also available.
Cha Garden, Lucky Dragon, 300 W. Sahara Ave.; 702-889-8018
Afternoon tea served poolside
Tucked away inside Mandalay Bay, the Four Seasons Hotel offers an intimate experience complete with afternoon tea at the bright, contemporary poolside restaurant, Veranda. The tea service is available from 3 to 4 p.m. on weekdays and requires reservations. Diners can savor a wide selection of organic teas accompanied by traditional scones with Devonshire cream, light sandwiches, and pastries. Champagne is available to infuse the traditional event with a little Las Vegas spirit.
Veranda, Four Seasons, 3960 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-632-5000
European tea and live piano
The Bellagio takes the idea of European luxury and executes it flawlessly with afternoon tea at Petrossian Bar. Located in the lobby of the hotel, this 24-hour bar serves afternoon tea daily from 1 to 4 p.m. The menu features imported tea, miniature pastries, open-faced sandwiches, and scones with clotted cream. Live piano lends the experience a classic soundtrack.
Petrossian Bar, Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-693-7111
Tea time in Chinatown
LaPostte is an off Strip afternoon tea option located in the up and coming Chinatown neighborhood. High tea is served daily and includes unique options such as dark roasted oolong tea, lychee black tea, and osmanthus tea. Tiered platters of colorful cupcakes and delicate sandwiches are available for pairings.
LaPostte, 5410 W. Spring Mountain Road #102; 702-710-7374
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