Built as a Gilded Age grande dame in 1903, The Mansion at Noble Lane welcomes guests with ornate iron gates and magnificent Norway maple trees. A 25,000 square-foot bed-and-breakfast, the inn features elaborate fireplace mantels, intricate moldings, and exquisite details like coved ceilings, webbed windows, and completely oval rooms. Afternoon tea is served by reservation Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Leaves Tea Room, a glass-enclosed sun porch with pillow-tossed window seats and hairpin bistro chairs at white marble bistro tables. A separate, oval-shaped room with a wall of curved glass is available for private tea parties.
A 30-minute tour of the estate is included with the experience. Each guest is served a proper pot of tea with a cute, stackable, bone china set with saucer. The tea variety includes blacks (English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, orange), herbals (mint, mango-passion fruit, lemon-ginger, wild berry), greens (classic green, raspberry-pomegranate, jasmine blossom), and novelty (white chocolate mocha, red velvet, salted caramel). A specialty iced tea is always offered as well.
All finger sandwiches and pastries are made in-house and served on a three-tiered tray. These selections include cucumber with herbed cream cheese on farm white bread, honey-smoked turkey and Muenster with homemade honey-mustard on a butter croissant, and tuna or chicken salad on whole wheat. Pastry items include scones (orange-cranberry, chocolate chip, and blueberry rotate) with lemon curd and Devonshire cream; brownies; cheesecake; and carrot cake cupcakes.
High tea also includes a Noble Lane Salad (mixed field greens with heirloom tomatoes, sunflower seeds, blue cheese crumbles, and citrus salad dressing) and homemade soup (tomato-basil or kale and corn) or quiche (broccoli and Cheddar or spinach and Swiss).
“Many of our overnight guests add tea service to their stay, while day visitors also enjoy the tea and tour experience,” explains Monique Greenwood, owner of The Mansion at Noble Lane. “Afternoon tea further enhances our efforts to fully relax and rejuvenate our guests. It’s an opportunity to disconnect from high tech and enjoy high touch at high tea.”