The Courtyard Tea Room

4.6
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804 Reviews
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$50 and over
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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.

*Reservations on 5/10/2020 will receive the special $69 Mother’s Day Champagne Tea Menu.

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

For reservations after February 1, 2020 tea pricing will be as follows:
Afternoon Tea $44 person
Copley Tea $54 per person

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 804 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
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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l
viploveeatingout
New England
7 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was truly wonderful. I can’t wait to go back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tea was lovely!

JG
JayG
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Brought a friend here as a surprise for their birthday, and it was perfection. Service was excellent, staff was on point, food was served in a timely manner (and very scrumptious), ambiance is perfect to unwind, and the overall afternoon tea experience made our day.

Note: If you let them know in advance of the occasion, they will add that little special touch to make it personal.
Definitely recommend, and would 100% come again, in fact- we would make it a tradition!

A
Arria
New England
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I would highly recommend The Courtyard Tea Room for a special occasion. It's pricey but, in my opinion well wroth it.

J
Janecar
New England
4 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

It was a great experience because it's so unusual for Boston - the ambience, the tea concept and the fashion show. We loved it and would do it again. I like that it's not well advertised. One slight slip up. I told the staff beforehand that it was a birthday. They promised to bring a desseet with a candle. That didn't happen, but that didn't spoil anything for us.

LS
LynnS
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cynthia was our lovely server. She made it a most relaxing and enjoyable experience! The tea room was beautiful and the food was very nice too!
And, we were lucky enough to watch a men’s fashion show by designer Daniel Hernandez!
We had such a great time!

NL
NicoleL
New England
10 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday afternoon tea. Food and atmosphere wonderful. Would definitely go again.

Z
Ziggy
New England
7 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I love high tea and I was excited to learn of two venues at Boston's historic and majestic public library. The 2 rooms are very different from each other. We had tea in the Courtyard Tea Room which was bright and light and elegant. I want to go back and try the Map Room which is dark and cozy. We had a such a good time that we lingered for a long time and eventually the manager had to ask us to leave so they could seat the next group!

K
Kathi
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Tea Room was a delight. Service was fantastic everyone was genuinely kind and happy to serve us. We were in no way rushed. I found our time together relaxing and enjoyable. Staff didn’t even bat an eye when I asked if they would take a picture for us. The food was such a treat from savories to sweets; an anticipated journey for the taste buds (as anyone who frequents teas knows) This was our first visit and we’ve already discussed returning. There’s an added something - enjoying tea in such a historical place in the city; the ambiance was classic which made the tea taste even better! Side note: there was a line to check in for our reservation which was a bit confusing. The door was marked Map Room not Courtyard Room but it was discovered you pass through one room to get to the other. All check in is by entrance of Map Room. Complimentary coat check was a nice touch. If you’re curious, do it, the experience alone won’t disappoint.

SV
SamanthaV
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great at the Tea Room the staff was extremely nice, and everything from Tea to food came out at a nice pace. So you didn't feel rushed but you weren't left waiting to eat.

S
vipSophieschoice
New England
74 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Sunday afternoon tea in a stunning room. The food was beautifully prepared and delicious. The tea different and wonderful. We highly recommend the Tea Room and look forward to trying the bar some evening.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful experience! We will definitely be making this an annual tradition.

GO
GesielO
New England
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent!!! Nice place to be when you’re in Boston!

MD
MeredithD
London
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have had many an afternoon tea, and this was absolutely one of the best! The ambiance was charming, the waiters lovely, and the food was incredible. The ‘sandwiches’ were a real treat (not something I usually say!). A true 5 star experience.

C
Court
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

For the price, the food was definitely decent but I expected perfection...one of the cookies was way overbaked and they never offered to refill my tea water, so the tea became extremely strong (and I love strong tea but this was extreme). Also, should be a 2 hr seating instead of 90 minutes for the price.

AR
AlexandraR
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great experience. Lovely set up and good food!

AM
vipAMYL
New England
12 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

So much fun with a bonus fashion show.

JO
JenniferO
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely atmosphere. We were treated to one of their fashion shows during our seating. That was fun.

NF
NancyF
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

very nice tea in a beautiful setting. was enjoyed by all!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We had a terrific time. Food was great and we were v pleased that my daughter was served a vegetarian assortment of sandwiches. I love the tearoom and the spot by the window. Everything was terrific. Soft background music would have been the icing.

Thank you

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Boston Publc Library Tea Room is a absolutely magical. It’s one of the only places you can go for a traditional high tea in the Boston area and it’s just a lovely experience. Definitely the perfect place to go for a special occasion or just a special treat.

D
Doni
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful setting for an afternoon tea!

DK
DKAN
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My girlfriend and I had a wonderful time at tea! The food was delicious and so was the tea. I would recommend this for anyone looking to have a fun afternoon with a loved one.

ER
ERINB
New England
5 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An elegant experience!

RJ
RebeccaJ
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The atmosphere was lovely and the food and tea were delicious! I do feel like it is very overpriced but perhaps you are paying for the experience, not just the food. Would recommend for a very special occasion.

AJ
vipAaronJ
New England
5 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

My family and I have always loved afternoon tea at the BPL. The room is beautiful and the food excellent Our one complaint is that they switched from British- to American-style scones. British scones are light and fluffy. If I wanted an American scone, I’d just eat a hockey puck. They should switch back.

HW
HappyWhenWellFed
New England
12 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

You are going there for the atmosphere, which is romantic, elegant, and somewhat whimsical, with the particularly nice touch of menus served in well-loved books: a nod to the Tea Room's inherently bookish setting. The tea was good, the food yummy and filling. I'm not certain you really get your money's worth for the amount of food served in comparison to other tea locations, but again, you're paying for the experience.

Service was fine as long as you were seated early enough. It was difficult to get the attention of any server after you were given your food and drink. The check-in process was also confusing and would've benefited from additional signage. The whole process might have been simplified if they had a single line with each guest submitting their coat for the required coat check-in, and then being able to immediately enter the tea room for seating. Instead, the coat room opened in advance, but the tea room remained closed for a period, and this forced guests to mill about in a secondary, un-cordoned line in two hallways, intermixed with guests who consciously or unconsciously were not checking in their coats.

HD
vipHDD1
New England
22 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great afternoon tea. Service polite and timely. Delightful food and teas. Loved it!

RC
RogerC
New England
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A very elegant tea. The food was wonderful, the tea selection was great, and the service was perfect.

F
vipFoodie
New England
51 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

The host and some (not all) of the servers are in need of training. Two of my guests waited 10 minutes to be seated, and eventually seated themselves, at the table where I was seated, also after a wait. When I asked to be moved to a table not adjacent to the only children in the dining room, my request was rebuffed. The alternate table I requested was empty during the entire time my guests and I were in the dining room. I had to ask three times for a wine by the bottle list, and the service was slow, even though the dining room was only about half full. The setting is stunning, and the food is very good. Please give the generally well-intended staff some training.

L
Lena
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Beautiful setting! Nice tea offerings, including authentic Devonshire cream and lemon curd! (I hate it when places “cheap out” and use some faux cream using cream cheese.) i really missed having a raspberry or strawberry jam to pile on top of the Devonshire cream, however. I wish they’d ditch the marmalade and go for a good jam. Scones were good. Sandwiches and treats were nothing spectacular... but fine. It’s all about the atmosphere here!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

The food and tea we're delicious! Service was a bit slow but considering how hectic it is in there I can understand. I will certainly be going back.

C
vipCathy
New England
27 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It’s a wonderful special occasion place. Venue is exquisite!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday celebration

C
Christy
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

My girlfriend and I were really looking forward to having the Copley tea at the Courtyard; however, we were underwhelmed by the experience. While our waiter and food runners were attentive at the beginning of service, we couldn't find our waiter after he dropped off the tea tray with scones, petits fours, and sandwiches (which I don't think you can call sandwiches if it's just a tiny piece of bread or cracker with a dollop of the chicken salad/lobster/cucumber/etc. on top). Despite the small portions, the food itself tasted pretty good and filled us up. The tea was delicious, and I would have ordered a second pot if I could find the waiter. The ambiance and decor of the tea room was pleasant, if a little sterile, and the tables are far enough from each other that you can't hear your neighbors' conversations. Overall, the Copley tea was nice, but we didn't feel like it was worth $54 per person, not including tip. I might recommend it to a friend, but I wouldn't set their expectations too high.

AS
AlejandraS
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Over priced for rations
Not particularly tasty food but an okay experience if you have time to waste

MP
MarionP
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Absolutely beautiful afternoon tea experience in elegant surroundings. The sandwiches, scones and petit fours were delicious and exquisite. Exploring the Boston Public Library afterwards was an added thrill.

J
vipJane
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience2

The waitstaff are extremely nice, and the room is pretty. The receiving line for people who have reservations is handled slowly, everyone is required to check their coats. The way guests with reservations are checked in is time consuming and odd. People in the line behind us were seated before we were. The food was good, portion sizes were small for $60. Once we ordered our initial tea, it was difficult to get service. My companion had to ask several times for honey for her tea. About 60-90 minutes into the 'seating' an alarm blared and lights flashed in the courtyard dining room to indicate that we had to pay up and leave. (This may have been a general alarm for all library patrons signaling the closure of the library, but there was a lamp flashing and sound blaring right in the dining room, which was a very unpleasant way to end what should have been a relaxing event.) It seems some kind of data-driven algorithm has been applied that drives this restaurant experience in a kind of cold, sterile, manner that minimizes cost and maximize profits. It felt very uncomfortable to me the way guests were manipulated on the way in and the way out.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
5 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice afternoon tea experience. Meal started with a wonderful small Brussels sprout salad and tiny portion of butternut soup, which was a nice touch because there was a lot of food to follow. I would have never thought that I would be full leaving there, but it was a lot of food. Pretty heavy on the sweet stuff, I only wish there were more savory things and fewer sweets. Even for someone like me with a big sweet tooth, it was very rich and sweet, sadly we couldn’t even finish it all. The ambiance was great, the tea selection was good, and most importantly they welcomed our 3 young girls sweetly rather than treating them as a nuisance. We were charged only about half the cost for them, and they were given slightly different things than us (no soup or salad, substitutes were different sandwiches and fruit, which was perfect). Will definitely head back, maybe next time will try the more casual Map Tea Room which is just next door.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely lovely and the tea sandwich was delicious

FAQs

The Courtyard Tea Room is rated 4.6 stars by 804 OpenTable diners.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.