Samira and Ed Lotfy believe afternoon tea should be an elegant occasion, and nowhere is that more evident than in their finely appointed New Jersey tearoom, Bon Appétit Tea House. There, cutwork toppers adorn burgundy-clad tables, teapots sit atop vermeil-hued warmers, and harp music fills the air.
“Where I grew up,” Samira recalls, “tea parties had a British influence.” And while those traditions inspired Bon Appétit’s décor, French customs are evident in its food. Working with a culinary school in France, the Lotfys sponsor recent graduates for employment in their adjacent café and bakery, which also provides the food for the tearoom. Flaky croissants, French macarons, and raspberry-almond tarts, along with other delectable bites, fill the tiers of the stands that are part of any of Bon Appétit’s teatime offerings. To accompany the freshly made food, customers may choose from an impressive selection of 53 loose-leaf teas.
Reservations for afternoon tea, served Wednesday through Sunday, are required, as is proper teatime attire. Children 12 and older are welcome when accompanied by an adult.