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Coffee & Tea 12

Review of Tea at Laurel Court (longish)

Kim Cooper | Apr 22, 200201:59 PM

Hi – We went to Tea at Laurel Court, in the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, Sunday. There were ten of us. The room is beautiful and elegant. The food was lovely – The standard Tea, the Nob Hill ($25), included smoked salmon sandwiches with almost too much salmon, the standard egg salad, cream cheese and a grape on a yummy sweet bread (brown bread?). No watercress though. The pastries were especially good: a miniature maple bar, a layered chocolate and coffee cream bar, a mini creampuff filled with hazelnut cream that was intensely hazelnut (not overly –just right!), a fruit mini-tart with a glaze that tasted decidedly of peach, and a chocolate tulip filled with fresh raspberries and something creamy. That’s what I remember – I didn’t take notes. The other Teas included caviar and toast points – though no sour cream to stick it together and the caviar tried to run away, and /or champagne and some extra cookies and chocolates. The person who got the one with a plate of cookies and chocolates said it wasn’t worth the extra money.
The tea was overly strong, though nice and hot, and good quality.
The server spoke broken English very fast, so I did not understand half of what he said. When he delivered the tiered trays of sandwiches and pastries, we had to ask how things were divided – how many people to each tray etc, --he didn’t offer and seemed not to understand the question at first. Once he delivered our food, he virtually disappeared. He never refilled our water glasses, and never offered more tea. Several of us would have liked hot water added to the teapots because it was way too strong, but the waiter never came by. The dining room was not particularly full.
They added a 15% gratuity to the bill (standard procedure for a group of ten), but we felt that, given the prices the restaurant commands, the service should have been commensurate with the price.
When we received the bill and started estimating what each of us owed, it became apparent that the bill was way too high. There turned out to be charges for thirteen Teas on it instead of ten. One of the extra Teas was the Nob Hill, but two of them were the California. This means there were at least two major mistakes, not one, and possibly three. When we pointed it out to the waiter, he saw and corrected it immediately.

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