Friday, July 19, 2013

Day Trips & Destinations: Afternoon Tea at the O.Henry Hotel, Greensboro, NC

Every once in a while, it's nice for busy gals to get together and enjoy an afternoon out together. A friend of ours encouraged my mom and I to visit the beautiful O Henry Hotel in charming Greensboro, NC, which is about an hour north of where we live. We were told that they offered a lovely afternoon tea service, daily, and that we simply had to check it out.

The beautiful O.Henry Hotel in Greensboro, NC

So, visit we did. I decided to treat my mom to a very special afternoon tea for her birthday, back in January. We had such a fabulous experience, that we decided right then and there that we wanted to take my sister, and my grandmother to tea at the O.Henry when they visited.

My grandmother happens to be in town visiting us (she lives in New Jersey), and when we asked if we could treat her to tea, she was thrilled! We couldn't wait to spend the afternoon together, sipping fine teas and enjoying a lovely assortment of treats.

When we arrived at the O.Henry Hotel, we were greeted by their friendly staff, welcoming us to our afternoon tea. The tea is served daily, every afternoon in the social lobby of of the O.Henry. We walked through the revolving door, and were immediately taken aback by the overwhelming beauty of the hotel lobby.


The beautiful social lobby at the O.Henry



The social lobby, set up for afternoon tea.

We were shown to our seats (we did have a reservation), and we settled ourselves and began to look at the beautiful tea setting before us, on the table.


Ready for tea, and looking over the tea menus.

The tea service settings at the O.Henry are so lovely. Upon arrival, there is a tea cup and saucer ready for each guest, set a top a lovely cloth napkin. There are plates on the table, as well as individual stones for keeping the tea pots warm. The table is also dressed up with lovely fresh flowers.


Beautiful tea setting at our table...

The O.Henry offers quite a nice menu for afternoon tea. Guests may choose to just come in for tea with a scone, or select from a variety of combinations of tea and finger foods. We decided to eat a very light breakfast and skip lunch, so we could order the O.Henry Tea, which offers a pot of tea for each guest, and a 3-tiered tray of savory and sweet foods. This option is $16.95 per guest, but well worth the price! You can view the entire Afternoon Tea Menu here.

After we selected our teas (I chose the Rooibos Chai), we relaxed in our beautiful, comfy seats and soaked in our lovely surroundings. From the gorgeous wood paneled walls to the stately lighting and light classical music weaving in and out of the chatter, we felt as if we were in a beautiful dream world. When our server returned with our tea, we were each given an individual pot of tea, which was gracefully poured for each of us.


Cream, sugar cubes and lemon wedges to add to our tea...



Ah, sipping tea in a serene setting makes you feel like you haven't a care in the world...

We sipped our delicious, refreshing teas for a few minutes, as we waited on our tray of treats. It was so nice to be able to sit and chat, without being interrupted by someone needing a snack, to take a potty break or having to jump up to clean up a sticky mess in the living room!


Me, with my mother, Leslie at the O.Henry.

Our eyes were wide with excitement as our server returned with our tray of pick-up foods and sweets. Before we dove into the tray, however, we asked our server if she minded snapping a couple of photos of the three of us, and of course, the beautiful tea table setting before us. She was quite gracious (I have a feeling the servers are very used to taking group photos during tea time), and got a couple of lovely shots of the three of us.


My grandmother, Alice, my mother, and me...



The ladies who take tea... at the O.Henry, of course.

After our photos were taken, we were eager to have a look at all of the delicious offerings on our tea tray. I was starving, but knew that I'd need to start slowly and work my way through each tier of the tray, so I would at least get to try a little bit of everything.



How gorgeous is this tray!?

We began our tasting with the plate of vanilla scones, served with lemon curd and clotted cream, as well as a  spicy cheddar cheese wafer. The scones served at the O.Henry are the best scones I have ever tasted in my entire life! They are so melt in your mouth delicious, and light and fluffy on the inside, and crisp on the outside. Absolute perfection! I can never decide whether I like the lemon curd more than the clotted cream, as they are both so yummy, so I usually have a little of both with my scone.


Beautiful, light and sweet scones make a lovely afternoon treat.



Here's my tea cup, and my scone...

After the first tray was gobbled up, we moved onto the savory tray, which offered cucumber sandwiches, brioche toast with ham, herb madelines and tiny quiche puffs. Each of these were very delicious, and the madelines might have been my favorite of all, as they were bursting with the flavor of fresh rosemary in every bite.


Savory plate from our lovely tea tray...



Look at the size of that pretty puffed madeline! A lovely plate of savory bites...

After we enjoyed our savory delights, we had to give ourselves a little break from nibbling, as we were becoming quite full. So, we gabbed and took notice of a group of women, dressed in their Sunday finest, and donning lovely hats. We noticed a family taking tea together, celebrating a young girl's birthday. I enjoyed watching her father and grandfather enjoy their tea, as well. There were baby showers taking place in the social lobby, as well- a lovely idea and wonderful way to celebrate!


My grandmother and my mother, enjoying their lovely afternoon tea experience at the O.Henry.

We decided that we really were too full to consume anymore food that afternoon. So, we asked for our sweets to be packaged up, so we could take them home with us to enjoy for an evening dessert.


A look at our plate of sweets: cookies, coconut cake, shortbread and lemon pound cake.

Spending an afternoon at the O.Henry is such a wonderful experience! My grandmother noted how extremely elegant it was, how wonderful the service was, coupled with the friendliness of the entire hotel staff, and how the simple act of stopping for tea, made her feel like a lady. We live in such a fast-paced world, that we often forget to stop and take some time out to enjoy the simple things in life. Afternoon tea at the O.Henry will make you feel like a pampered princess, and the experience will last you a lifetime. If you're like me, you'll want to celebrate special occasions at the O.Henry again and again. I can't wait for my next trip to Greensboro for afternoon tea!

O.Henry Hotel Lobby, Greensboro
Image courtesy of the O.Henry Hotel

The O.Henry is also well known as a wedding venue, and has been featured in The Knot as one of the top 10 NC timeless wedding venue locations. The O.Henry features special classes, such as cooking classes, they have a top-notch grille for brunch and lunch, and they offer special teas throughout the year, as well. Their famous Mad Hatter Tea will be hosted on August 11, 2013.

For more information about the O.Henry Hotel, please visit their website.


Stay tuned for our next adventure...

My MBP Signature







15 comments:

  1. This is somewhere I know I would love to visit some day. Thanks for sharing your day!

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  2. Wow, this hotel is really impressive. Your pictures are beautiful and I think I can almost taste these desserts. Having a family get together at this hotel would really make it special.

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  3. It looks like a really nice place to stay. I would love to stay there one day. The food looks yummy too.

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  4. I am so very jealous! I would have loved to have done something like this! The scones too <3

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  5. Oh what an amazing time... I need to make a trip here. Love your photos... Thanks for sharing

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  6. Everything is so pretty, the food, the teacups I love it all! I want to do tea with the ladies sometime... maybe it will be our next girl's night!

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  7. Wow! This looks so pretty, great pictures!

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  8. Sometimes you really need grown-up time! This looks like so much fun. The lobby is gorgeous, the food looks amazing, and I love all the different tea cups! You're really fortunate to have gone there!

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  9. looks like a lovely place and like you all had a wonderful time.

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  10. What a gorgeous hotel! When I lived in North Carolina, there were several tea houses in the historic district. I loved going to them. It's such a fun thing to do with girlfriends or as a special event for a mother and daughter.

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  11. looks like a wonderful relaxing place to just go and relax and be ladies with no worries for sure. Thank you for sharing and your detailed review.

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  12. Wow, I didn't know there were hotels that did this kind of thing, how awesome.

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  13. Looks like fun! I'm a sucker for scones with cream! My best friend and I try to do a girls' day of high tea at Disney's Grand Floridian at least every couple of months. Nothing like catching up over mass amounts of sugar!

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  14. What a lovely place to have tea at. I would really like to visit the O'Henry if I'm ever in NC. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Tasty. Great service. Perfect location to Downtown Marriott. Highly recommend for business if in town during the week.
    http://www.neworleansbarandgrill.com/event-center-greensboro.html

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