Boxwood Cafe at The London West Hollywood

I took this week’s post-Oscar drama about Lupita Nyongo’s stolen pearl-studded dress as a sign that I should finally share about my tea experience at The Boxwood Cafe from several months back. In November, I visited on a bright and beautiful late Saturday afternoon when I could fully appreciate the restaurant during a proper 3 o’clock tea time. The restaurant’s modern yet classic style, the panoramic views of LA’s skyline, and a promising review from a fellow SoCal food blogger had me anticipating a good time.

In my humble option, LA’s tea scene is a bit lacking, particularly when it comes the idea of modern tea. For such a culturally diverse city, it’s frustrating how limited the options are. There are a handful of Victorian style and extravagant 5-star resorts for tea-ing, with fewer options in between. Afternoon tea at The London strikes a balance between these two styles, relaxed enough where you can stroll in Hollywood casual, yet finished enough where you still get that sense of vintage tea tradition. I love the restaurant’s comfortably elegant decor, especially their pastel blue and gold quilted couches, which remind me of my recipe for Quilted Petit Fours.
Great service is always a plus. If you’ve ever watched Gordon Ramsay in action, then you know that he’s big on making sure his staff are courteous, friendly, and knowledgable about his restaurants’ menus. Our server at Boxwood Cafe was certainly all of the above, and suggested that I try the Rose Tea with French Vanilla, which tasted elegant and lightly rosy without being too perfume-like.

Another great thing about Boxwood Cafe is that guests can also order off of the regular menu. This helps if you plan on bringing someone along who *ahem* prefers a standard lunch over afternoon tea (my hubby ordered a burger with truffle fries).

So here we go, from top to bottom…tea for one. A beautiful site, isn’t it?The currant scone was tender and buttery, and I actually like that they give you just one, with plenty of tangy lemon curd and Devonshire cream. It may sound strange, but I like think of the singular offering as a form of portion control. A few bites to savor, fullyThe raspberry financier was good, not great. It was a little on the dry side, but I think that’s typical when you aren’t eating these immediately after they’ve come out of the oven. An extra sip of hot tea and everything is solved.
Next…on to the savories! I’ve enjoyed many a tea sandwich and must admit that I found these to be carefully and thoughtfully made. The Smoked Salmon and Cucumber? Predictable in flavor but still very tasty. The Curry Chicken? Spicy and sweet, with just the right amount of curry powder.My favorite sandwich was the Asparagus and Ham, on lightly buttered bread. The asparagus is blanched and peeled into paper-thin strips so that it has texture of lettuce. The flavors are light, fresh, and spring-like. If you are getting hungry and curious but aren’t anywhere near LA to partake, no worries! The sandwich was so good, I’ll be attempting to make a copy-cat version of it soon, so stay tuned!

Last but not least, we have the petit fours–the crowning glory of any tea time extravaganza. The L’Opera Cake was my favorite, mainly because of the rich chocolate. The cake has several lightly boozy layers of spongy cake, and is kind of like a tiramisu. The Lemon Tart was also good, but a bit of a short-cut cheat on the pastry chef’s part since it’s made from the same lemon curd that’s served with the scones. Here are a few final glimpses of The London West Hollywood on my way out. I was delighted to catch a look at the hotel’s stylish elevators, glossed with a black and white image of a dashing gentleman offering tea service. What a brilliant design concept. I can almost hear the butler saying: “At your service, madame.” How very Downton Abbey.Don’t be startled, right outside the café you’ll find an English Bulldog door stop…quintessentially English (the dog, not the door stop) and simply adorable. Too bad he isn’t real. And with that I’ll leave you with my wisest tip for taking tea at The London in West Hollywood: dress comfortable and dress classy, but real or fake, make sure to leave those pearl accessories at home!

Boxwood Cafe at The London West Hollywood

1020 N San Vicente Blvd

West Hollywood, CA 90069

310.358.7788

Tea on Saturdays & Sundays, 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

42 thoughts on “Boxwood Cafe at The London West Hollywood

  1. Oh nice, I didn’t know about this place, I’ll have to check it out as I love Gordon Ramsey too!

    I know, I feel sad telling people that SoCal’s tea scene is less than desired, I wish we have what Chicago has, or at least San Francisco.

  2. I have to say, my attention was caught by that dessert plate. Especially the opera cake. I made one a few weeks back and can’t stop thinking about it. Your experience sounds really nice, Bonnie! You have me craving tea-time right now.

    • Chaya, did I miss something? I don’t remember an opera cake post? Let me know so I can learn your recipe and link back! I just looked up “opera” on your site, and ended up reading the ballet post (it was lovely), but it would be that much better if I could read it while eating opera cake! 😉

    • Hey Amy! Oh wow, thanks for finding me…I love your site too! You have a new follower. 🙂 I’m proud to say that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Finland before. It’s such a beautiful place, and I’m excited to see more of it though your inspiring blog! I have a huge piece of fresh ginger on hand…will be making this in the next 10 minutes…thanks for the link Amy!

      • Hi bonnie! And welcome, glad you have enjoyed my blog! I can’t believe you have been to finland, fabulous! Xxx enjoy the tea

  3. That place looks amazing and I love the look of your afternoon tea snacks! So cute how you nibbled all your desserts first before taking your picture 😉 That bulldog door stopper looked like a real dog for two seconds haha nearly got me!

    • Haha, so funny Beatrice…I didn’t notice that until you mentioned it! How embarrassing, that’s not very good tea manners, is it? Always curious to see if the next treat might be better than the last. If it were a real bulldog, I’m betting it would be taking a snooze and snoring instead of sitting up, attentively smiling. Nevertheless, it’s so adorable! 🙂

    • Thank you so much. If anyone can punch out an awesome lemon curd recipe, I’m sure it would be you, Ms. Frugal Hausfrau! At the moment, I have a big sunny bowl of meyer lemons in my kitchen…now I’m getting ideas too! 🙂

      • 🙂 I love Meyer lemons! I’ve been stuck on chocolate lately, but this is the time of year for lemons. They’re just so bright and fresh when everything else seems dull and dreary – at least in the Midwest.

  4. Hi Bonnie, I’m amazed to find an American who loves their tea. I’m actually visiting London this week and going to go for afternoon tea at Claridges. We went to The Corinthia a few years back for high tea(late afternoon) and spent four hours devouring many plates of food and four different teas.

    If only there was time in the day to have afternoon tea everyday.

  5. Oh my Goodness! This is my kind of place like big time. It looks classy and fabulous, and these treats!! I would be there probably every weekend for the afternoon tea- with the huge damage for my wallet- but oh well, we have only one life right? Fantastic post Bonnie 🙂

  6. I actually didn’t post the opera recipe because I didn’t love the pictures I got. Do you ever feel that way? I have so many recipes that I end up not posting at the last minute, because they aren’t perfect in some way. The opera recipe I used was the one from epicurious, if you want to try making it. Really delicious!

    • I totally know what you are talking about Chaya! I just got a new camera and am trying to get used to it. When I am unhappy with a set of photos, I usually save the files somewhere so that I can look back at them again later. Sometimes, I find that they look better in retrospect and other times, it’s such a relief that I left things as is. I bet the photos are really good and you are just being super picky, but I totally get it. 🙂 I’ll make sure to look up that recipe…sound delish! 😉

  7. Looks that you had lots of fun! Haha, I think Bryan would love to order a regular meal too. The tea set is a bit too little food for a guy. It looks like they have changed the menu and switched a few things. Everything looks delicious! I remember the curry chicken sandwich! Great flavors! I can’t wait to see what you will recreate! 🙂

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