The Courtyard Tea Room

4.6
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672 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Afternoon Tea

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Afternoon Tea
The Courtyard Tea Room 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.

*The Holiday Menu ($60) will be the only menu available for reservations from November 27, 2019 to December 30, 2019.

Tea seating times:
Wednesday-Saturday at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm
Sunday at 1:00pm and 3:00pm

If no reservations are available, please try the Map Room Tea Lounge.

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 672 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.8
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience, good sandwiches and deserts.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We arranged baby shower high tea for a friend. It was an unique experience.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An all around lovely experience! The service was outstanding, the decor is beautiful and the was food delicious.

AG
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

If you want to experience “high tea” for the first time, this setting is extraordinary. The room, with its high ceiling and arched windows, combined with beautiful linens, silver and china, is stunning. The three tier display of sandwiches and desserts was presented beautifully. The quality of the food was mediocre, bread/crackers were rather stale, toppings uninspired. Desserts were delicious. The waitstaff was pleasant but forgot our cocktails entirely. The gentleman who presented the tray had such a thick accent and spoke at record speed describing the contents that he left and we had no idea what he said, sadly. When paired with a tour of the exquisite library (more like museum), this experience was amazing but definitely a one time deal. Quite frankly, the food at the News cafe just through the courtyard was far superior and a fraction of the cost.

L
Dallas
21 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took my granddaughters and they enjoyed it very much

OT
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always amazing when we go. Such a good choice for a date! The staff are all amazing, the food and tea is always excellent. Not to mention they have a holiday season menu that I’m dying to try! Would always recommend.

ME
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

yes I did love to seat overlooking the garden, my last experience was at the Huntington Library, Pasadena California, and this is nicer

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mother Daughter Day!! #downtonabbeyexhibit #hightea

w
New England
20 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Handsdown our favorite tea place in Boston, with excellent food and service. That being said, they have made several changes over the last year that we feel have diminished the overall experience. In particular, their smaller tables for 3-4 people are now very uncomfortable, as they have metal bars near the shin area that prevents you from sitting closer to the table (see photo). The new chairs are also less comfortable than before, but fixing the table would greatly enhance the experience.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great experience! Highly recommend!

k
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

My mother and I had a wonderful time. The ambiance was lovely, sandwiches and desserts were delicious. We actually left very full which is unusual for afternoon tea. The tea reading was a fun addition to our experience!

M
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

It’s getting much worse than last year. Wouldn’t recommend anymore

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The setting was lovely and they accommodated my friends gluten free. I will go back!

D
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Pleasant Great location for afternoon tea.

CC
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A beautiful setting for an afternoon tea. The sandwiches and desserts were delicious.

M
New Mexico
13 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Classic tea service in a beautiful setting. We asked to sit in the window and therefore deserved all of the onlooking passers by looking longingly at the spread. Service was exceptional. They went out of their way to accommodate requests. Food was very nice.

s
Raleigh
23 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Having tea at this restaurant was a delightful experience. The restaurant is located in the Boston Public Library. Beautiful architecture and ambiance with one of the best selections of tea sandwiches that I have seen. The staff was knowledgeable and highly trained— friendly and professional. One of the hostesses came to our table with two glasses of champagne and asked if we were celebrating our anniversary. We said that we were not and that our anniversary was two weeks before. She was trying to find the couple who had said that they were celebrating their anniversary, but after not being able to locate them, she returned with the champagne and gave it to us. We go to afternoon tea frequently and found that this was one of the nicest that we have experienced.

K
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful ambience with the violinist playing mellifluous tune in the background, beautiful setting in the boston public library. The menu cleverly placed in old hardbound books and the food selections listed on a bookmark. The sandwhiches were a delight my personal fave is the lobster, the sweets were decadent especially the dark chocolate. My favorite spread together was the marmalade and the lemon flavored one. I had the peppermint tea which is my go to tea.

MF
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed every minute in the courtyard tea room. The service was presentation, ambiance and food was outsranding! The violin player was the frosting on our experience and played so beautifully! Perfect in every way!

LW
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely tearoom and delicious food! Would certainly come again!

MW
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Oh boy. We left after waiting 15 minutes in line (with a reservation), and 20 minutes waiting at the table for a server. Our reservation was at the beginning of their service that day, and when we arrived the whole room was seated at once. I believe our experience was set up to fail because of that. The decision to leave was based on the long waits, apathetic server who finally appeared as we began to leave, the plain and unimpressive ambiance (you can't tell you're in the BPL or see the courtyard), and the paltry and sad presentation of sandwiches and scones. We thought it wasn't worth price they charge ($40+). Spend your money on a real tea service somewhere else.

MM
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful setting and lovely food but thought it was abit pricey

JS
Indiana
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A lovely way to spend an afternoon tea. The tea selection is good and the tea sandwiches and sweets are good. The setting in the library is very nice.

AE
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

There is a fix menu, all carbs. What you get for $48 per person is just the ambiance, food is sub par. Limited cocktail choices.

KC
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful venue and I loved all the touches that alluded to its location of being in a library, like the menu being pasted in old books. We went in not super nice clothes so don’t let that scare you off.

FM
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great for a light lunch with girl friends or with your daughter. The tea was awesome and the food was delicious. Soft violin music plays and everyone speaks in low voices.

JP
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Our hostess was very accommodating! I had to freshen up my little one and the hostess identified a private room. We were seated at prime seating near the live music. The dessert was ok. Mini sandwiches were great and so were the scones. This is a great place to dress up and have tea out with the girls.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Solo trip and wanted to treat myself.

KF
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A perfect setting for afternoon tea! The food is delicious, and there is a wonderful selections of different teas and add-ons if you're so inclined.

K
New England
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am an "English Tea" lover after first experiencing this many years ago in London. Since that time I continue to enjoy this with family and friends as the occasion permits or not. Having enjoyed "high tea" in other venues in Boston and elsewhere the ambiance, very tasty sandwiches and other delectable treats was to me exceptionally noteworthy.

The room's gorgeous chandelier enhanced the architecture's beautiful design that overlooked the courtyard and the ornate black structure of the T's subway station on the opposite side. The plastic table flowers and a shelf with assorted Martha Stewart pottery seemed to me a distraction though.

Tasty food served on the elegant 3 tiered serving dish (the bottom plate was even chilled for the finger sandwiches) by friendly wait staff, the room's ambiance and low level noise made this late birthday treat a most wonderful time. I definitely will go back as often as there is an occasion to do so or not.

Go, check this place out, go....

MD
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you for offering a lovely venue to make a special memory with my granddaughter. We were celebrating her 13th birthday, and her recent move to the Boston area. A grand time was had by all, and I thank you again!

DW
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Not enough dressing on the salad - much of it was completely dry and the greens were bitter without it. Everything else was absolutely delicious! My only other complaint is that the menu was a little misleading: it said $48 and then listed everything including a choice between soup and salad, however, the bill showed that the menu was $42 and the salad was an additional $6. I would have skipped the salad (I wasn't that hungry) had I known it wasn't actually included. Otherwise, great food, lovely location, and very nice service.

s
New England
91 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

The room is stunning and classic, in cream and gold, but not over the top. There are big palladian windows looking ot to Boylston Street on one side, and onto the Library courtyard on the other. The teas, while not particularly inventive were good representatives of their types (earl grey, darjeeling, etc) and came in the expected categories of black, green, white and herbal, and well as tea-based cocktails for an up-charge.

Food was (for weekends) a choice of salad or soup (in this case, summer strawberry salad, or gazpacho -- both were fine). Tea sandwiches included lobster salad, egg salad, chicken salad, cucumber, salmon and a couple others. There were the assorted pastries and chocolates, and two small scones each with clotted cream, lemon curd, and orange marmalade.

In short, a classic, well executed high tea spread, with plenty of nibbles to go around, which we couldn't finish, and they insisted we take the leftovers home.

Service was solicitous, friendly, and everything was well explained. The only reason for a star off was inability to follow instructions on how to split the bill despite it literally being spelled out for them. It was a frustrating end to another wise lovely afternoon.

I wouldn't hesitate to go back, the setting is unique and charming.

HG
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

High tea at The Courtyard was absolutely lovely - there was a wonderful tea selection, the ambiance was phenomenal, the food delicious and the service perfection. You cannot ask for a more lovely location than the Boston Public Library. Thank you for an unforgettable experience!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Pretty good, worth it for a ~*fancy*~ weekend activity

TO
New England
7 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Lovely tea in a beautiful room.

JB
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Courtyard Tea Room is a real Boston treasure. The ambiance is superb, the service is friendly, the tea sandwiches are like miniature works of art and the scones and desserts are surprisingly filling even though the individual items are small. I went last month with friends end enjoyed the experience so much I returned with family members. We had the included hot tea with our meal but cocktails, soup and salad are also available for additional fees.

D
New England
3 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I posted a photo of my girlfriends and me, in Boston on the Swan boats. I said we were on our way to Afternoon Tea at BPL courtyard. I already have two other sets of girlfriends, who want to do this experience, at another time!

AS
New England
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This is a lovely location and pleasant way to spend time with a friend. Very relaxing.

JC
New England
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great special occasion place. Lovely high ceilings As a Brit I appreciated the culture touches such as the presentation of the tea menu in old books and old newspaper plate decor. The tea is a set menu. We were able to have two generous pots of tea each with the option to change the tea selection for the second. The food was nice especially the sweets and the lobster topped sandwiches. Don’t come expecting big portion meals. Everything is dainty and beautifully presented. My only food critique was the bread base on some of the sandwiches was a little dry. Highly recommend for a special occasion outing.

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