1080 Uptown Park Boulevard • Houston, TX 77056
713-418-1104 or 888-472-6382 • granducahouston.com
Fashioned after the 16th-century palazzo of Adalberto Malatesta (the Granduca of Monfallito), the Hotel Granduca, which translates to “Grand Duke” in Italian, is a unique find in Houston’s Uptown Park area. Visitors marvel at the hotel’s distinct Italian influences in style and décor regardless of whether they stay in one of the hotel’s 122 rooms and suites or come to enjoy its serene afternoon-tea service.
Instituted in 2008, afternoon tea was a natural addition, says Mary Grace Gray, who was general manager of Hotel Granduca at the time and now serves as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations of The Interfin Companies, which owns the Granduca. “People come here, and they want to linger, even if they are not hotel guests,” Mary Grace says. Because the tradition of taking tea—complete with white gloves and hats—was instilled in her from childhood, one of her favorite events each year is the annual partnership with the Houston Ballet for a children’s Nutcracker tea held on the first two Saturdays in December.
Although typically hosted in Ristorante Cavour, afternoon tea is not restricted to that space. “We found that guests really enjoy [having tea in] different areas throughout the hotel,” Mary Grace says. “It can be in a hotel suite. It can be in the billiard room. It can be in the gardens, the bar, or even the library.”
The three different options for afternoon tea, ranging from $52 to $85 per person, include freshly baked scones, an array of sumptuous savories, and an assortment of decadent pastries and cakes, with a glass of prosecco or champagne and an endless pot of tea from a collection that changes throughout the year. While the menu also varies seasonally, one or two tea treats are sure to have Italian flair in keeping with the hotel’s namesake.
Afternoon tea is served from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. daily at Hotel Granduca. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the hotel or Ristorante Cavour.