The Courtyard Tea Room

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4.7
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574 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Afternoon Tea
The Courtyard Restaurant is a hidden jewel steeped in history and overlooking the beautiful Italianate courtyard in the Boston Public Library's landmark McKim building. Serving an elegant afternoon tea, the restaurant offers a sanctuary in Boston's busy Back Bay neighborhood.

Kindly inform us of any dietary restrictions and/or allergies when booking your reservation so that we may best accommodate you and your guests.
What 574 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.8
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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S
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was just lovely. The food was delicious and varied, the service was attentive even though they were busy. There was a table of eight seated next to us and we weren’t bothered by their talking at all. The whole experience was a special time for the two of us.

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PJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

The salad was a disaster. Very hard to eat. Smaller pieces or an actual wedge would have been better. The cheese and bacon fell to the bottom. Just not successful at all.

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m
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Overall great atmosphere in a great location, and finished our tea satisfied with our experience

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JH
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tea was amazing! Such a cute idea to have it in a library!

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HY
New England
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

The ambiance was amazing and the service was excellent. The staff was very attentive and kind. The food was okay, nothing too special but the price was well worth the experience. Would definitely recommend for afternoon tea.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

One of the best kept secrets in Boston! I always enjoy afternoon tea at the BPL!

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JM
New England
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

What a lovely environment in which to enjoy afternoon tea. A beautiful traditional tea with delicious scones a standout.

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The ambience was great and the food was quite delicious. Overall I really enjoyed the experience and will go back for my next special occasion.

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S
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I was with my friend who has a lot of allergies. My friend was assured that everything was made from scratch and would be altered for him. Yet after taking a few bites and asking for all the ingredients he started to have an allergic reaction and ended up in the emergency room. Luckily he’s okay now but it could have been a lot worse if he kept eating without asking for the ingredients. Mistakes are made in busy restaurants with cheap and fast food. I couldn’t count more then five other tables and tea is an expensive meal where you should receive the care you pay for. Overall DO NOT COME HERE IF YOU HAVE ALLERGIES

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SA
New England
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

My mom & I had a wonderful day & enjoy every moment!

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LD
New England
44 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Upon arrival, they recommend you arrive at least 15 minutes early. However, it was confusing because the doors were locked even 5 minutes before and they open them right at 11:30 am for our seating. There should be a sign or something to indicate they don't open the doors, I was worried we showed upon the wrong day. We were brought into the beautiful Courtyard Room and had requested a window seat for my friend's 40th birthday gift. We were seated about to be seated at a lovely table and someone can rushing past the host and set down an enormous flower arrangement on this tiny two seat table and told the host seating us she'd have to move us and there was an event. This was a special present for my friend and were were walked over to another table in the corner looking at the door to the hallway. Later on that flower arrangement was moved across the room to a shelf and two other people were sitting at that original table. It was just a little off-putting as clearly the flowers were for a later seating and the person who said we would have to be moved wasn't well informed or professional about moving us. The food was excellent and while they can make some dietary changes it didn't appear that gluten and dairy were possibilities to exclude because each item on the menu had that. However, my friend is pregnant and she needed to avoid the salmon, shellfish and beef tartare. The food was very excellent. The chilled pea soup is outstanding and all the sandwiches cucumber, beef, chicken salad were flavorful and fresh. The desserts were also excellent featuring french macarons (though mine was a bit salty) and the chocolate cake was very rich. The scones were probably our favorite. The lemon curd, devonshire cream and orange marmalade were excellent. The lemon curd was our favorite. Overall it was a nice experience, we just wish it hadn't started off so weird.

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NG
New England
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great vibe good food, but not as fresh tasting as last year. Also service was slow. Later told our slip got stuck in machine so our drinks were rather late to the meal. Tables were also uncomfortable. We were seated at tables with a bar that goes right across your legs. I’m 4’11” so it wasn’t a height thing. I’d still do it again year-after-year, just not as good as it’s been in the past.

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PC
New England
2 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely room, could have a conversation. Would definitely return.

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J
London
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Beautiful environment and probably the only place to have a proper English tea service. Unfortunately the scones are cold...

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CH
New England
10 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food & ambience were perfect for a special occasion, ie, 75th birthday!

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SW
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great savory treats, it would have be great to have more options for nut allergies and also including cake would have been great! But, overall, great experience.

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C
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I absolutely loved the food and atmosphere at the Courtyard Tea Room!

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SB
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to sit and relax. Excellent service and tea was superb. A must do if visiting Boston.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Birthday celebration

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MB
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a delightful afternoon tea. Great food, ambience and overall experience. It was a beautiful afternoon to have tea with good friends. I highly recommend this tea. The food was artfully prepared and delicious. Thank you for a memorable afternoon.

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e
New England
31 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Lovely experience right in the heart of the Back Bay in the historic Boston Public Library. The selection of sandwiches, scones and desserts were lovely and The Courtyard Tea Room is open and airy.

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OT
New England
7 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday dinner tea

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LR
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent sandwiches and desserts. Tequila mockingbirds were fantastic! Tea was delicious! Extremely expensive for sandwiches and tea, however. $300 for four people and only 3 alcoholic beverages.

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DS
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The savories were excellent and I love their scones, moisturized and soft, the sweets however, were too sweet but they told me that next time I could order 3 savories and 1 sweet to balance the flavor which would be a good idea

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BG
New England
2 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brought my mother for mother's day, we were both impressed with foorld, service and atmosphere

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful venue for a nice Mother’s Day weekend tea

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely afternoon tea celebrating a special birthday. Beautifully presented, great tasting food and some lovely cocktails too. Would highly recommend.

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OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to visit. Desserts a bit a too sweet, but the savory items were amazing. Classic and relaxing ambiance, highly recommend and well worth the price.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing birthday celebration! Highly recommend

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CB
New England
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Had a perfect tea with my mother. Such a treat! A beautiful meal by the window, looking out at the lively garden. I could t have asked for more! We will be back!

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CM
New England
3 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My friend and I do tea every year for our birthday and we try a new tea experience every year. I now understand why it's so hard to get a tea reservation at The Courtyard Tea Room at the Boston Public Library; it's very well done! The setting is beautiful and the food was very tasty. I would say this is the best value of all the Boston tea experiences. It is a little tricky to find if you don't already know where you're going. I highly recommend The Courtyard Tea Room!

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AL
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

What an absolutely amazing experience! The Boston Public Library is beautiful in and of itself and their Courtyard Tea Room is no different. High ceilings, white floors and floor-to-ceiling windows let in so much light and overlook the Courtyard. It's elegant but warm and the set up is stylish but quaint. Their menus are inserted into actual hardcover books which is the best thing ever.

With the weekend afternoon tea, you get your own teapot with selected tea and a 3-tiered tower of assorted tea sandwiches, pastries, and scones, complete with whipped cream, pudding and marmalade. And you also select a soup or salad as a starter.

I went with a girlfriend and had the best time. It is a memorable experience and even better because the food is delicious. Highly recommended for a girls' day out! (cocktails are on the menu too!)

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OT
New England
8 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Great setting for a high tea service. The savory sandwiches were great. The petite four desserts were more hit or miss. Beautiful room and there was no sense of the staff trying to hurry us along. Would recommend for anyone who would like to have high tea in Boston.

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L
Seattle
9 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Definitely one of the best afternoon teas we've had. Every bite was delicious as well as the tea and cocktails.

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OT
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Lovely ambience and great food! Even better than the last time I’d been there! The cocktails are pricey but worth it- all were gorgeously prepared and tasted delicious. Not an option for every day, but a fantastic special occasion place with my girls and visitors.

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m
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a party of 5 celebrating my son's new job. The wait staff was excellent. The tea was hot and delicious. The food was tasty. We couldn't have asked for a better experience. I have already spread the word to others telling them of how good your high tea is.

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N
New England
2 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Best place for tea in the city + most affordable. Love this place.

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MA
New England
4 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Overall I loved the tea. The room and courtyard are beautiful!

I suggest not making a reservation for a Sunday at 1:00 when the library opens. You have to wait outside until 1:00, rush in and then wait in line to be seated.

I have to add the bathrooms were disgusting. I'm sure it's hard to monitor but perhaps they can add one for the tea patrons or clean them more frequently.

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SB
New England
2 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

Lovely experience catching up with girlfriends. Spent about 3 hours there. The only feedback I would give is: 1) the library was closed on Sunday until 1 and our reservation was at 1, which is a little misleading, 2) the service was quite inefficient; it took about an hour from the start of our reservation to get tea at our table, never mind food.

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AJ
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

For the amount of money spent per person I would expect the food to be worthwhile and reasonable portions. The salad had almost no dressing and was not worth $6, and the “sandwiches” were one bite each. The food we did get tasted nice, but for the money it was a rip off. The ambiance was very nice and I enjoyed my time there, but the price makes me not want to go back.

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