The Huntington's Rose Garden Tea Room

4.5
1418 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Afternoon Tea
(Please keep in mind that admission to The Huntington is a separate fee required for all guests.)

Set within the historic Huntington Rose Garden, the Tea Room is now managed by Bon Appétit Management Company, and offers traditional tea table service, with fresh offerings made from scratch with local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients.

The Rose Garden Tea Room's elegant and memorable experience is inspired by the aristocratic tradition of English tea service with a distinctive California twist. Nibble on scones, delicate finger sandwiches, and seasonal desserts, accompanied by a selection of herbal and Fair Trade teas or sparkling wine. We are happy to try and accommodate dietary restrictions.

Reservations strongly recommended; walk-ins accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

What 1418 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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TG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My daughter and I had a wonderful time!
And they even offer vegetarian and vegan options. It was a cold drizzly day and we felt as if we had returned to London!

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RB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful tea in a beautiful garden area. Nice arrangement of treats and wide variety of teas. Grounds are outstanding when in bloom and view is fantastic. Genuine treat.

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NP
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience. Elegant yet unpretentious. Food was delicious. Tea was superb. Ambience excellent.

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VT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We wanted to try out a fancy afternoon tea experience, and made a reservation for Valentine's Day. Kind of pricey, but the tea and goodies were quite nice, as was the service and ambience. My wife really enjoyed it, so it was all worth it.

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M
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A lovely and delicious lunch in a lovely setting. The sandwich, scone and dessert selection was huge and the 2 of us could not even finish it all. The scones came warm, right out of the oven. We went on a very rainy day and it was the perfect setting for sipping hot tea.

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CG
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very pleasant. It was raining and it was comfortable and charming inside.

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S
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Have to pay an admission to enter the library to the tea room. The weather was bad that day and didn’t make sense to pay for the admission when I was really going straight to the tea room. By the time we were finished, the library is closed already. The price per person is ok for the amount of food you get. The atmosphere in the tea room was ok.

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SJ
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

I go to Hintington Tea room very frequently. This time the experience was a little less pleasant because our server was not very efficient. He seemed to be new at his job but one of the most basic things he forgot to do was tell us which tea pot has which tea. And he put the wrong teas in front of us so we ended up drinking each other’s teas. Not only that we had empty tea pots and had to wait forever for him to come over so we can ask him to add more hot water in our tea pots. But overall as far as the quality of food and tea is concerned it was just as great as it always is.

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b
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

We had reservations but still had to wait for our table. There was no place to wait, just hanging around at the door, no place to sit. The table was right by the kitchen door and servers were going in and out. It was difficult to conduct a conversation. The door was opening and closing all the time. Our server was very nice and helpful.

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JW
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Still had to wait for about 30 minutes even with reservation. But the staff was amazing and services were fantastic. They even gave a complimentary cheese plate

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AS
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

I would totally recommend the experience. I recommend early or later reservations as you will probably have little to no wait time and a little more attentive service. They were very friendly, but so busy that we had to wait a good while before placing our order. While the food is good, some is quite delicious, you are definitely paying for the ambiance and the experience.

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A
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a very enjoyable time ! Me & my friend enjoyed the food , the ambiance , the tea ! Will definitely be back .

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JG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everyone enjoyed themselves tremendously.

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p
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely...have been there many times. Beautiful surroundings

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MM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 1

This was not the traditional high tea atmosphere I was expecting. People were dressed in the shorts and t-shirts. The teas were good. The service was good. The ambiance was felt more like a dinner than a high tea setting. The food was ok. I would recommend visiting the grounds at the library, which were beautiful. I will plan on returning during the spring when the flowers will be in full bloom. However, the high tea did not live up to expectations and there are other places to have a more traditional and positive experience.

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AM
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

Food was way to expensive for what it was worth. Service was great but I was severely disappointed when the food came. Desserts were sub-par and sandwiches were the only decent item on my plate.

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JL
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was in town with a friend from the Czech Republic and wanted to treat her to a special experience. Tea at the Huntington immediately came to mind. I hadn't been in some time and the Rose Garden Tea Room is apparently now run by an outside company, but the experience was just as elegant and special as I remember it! The food was dainty, but filling. The atmosphere was refined, but comfortable. Our server, Kimberly, was attentive and full of great advice!it's not cheap, but I would say that it's well worth the price for a special occasion! I also appreciate that OpenTable makes reservations (and changing reservations—I ended up having to change out reservation at least three times) so easy! And exploring the beautiful grounds of the Huntington makes working off that last scone an absolute delight. Highly recommend!!

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LH
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Tea and the food were very good!

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 3ambience 3

I was informed that while the buffet is no longer available, guests may still have as many helpings as they would like. When I asked for a second serving of the salmon sandwich I was told it’s only limited to one additional order each. So it is NOT unlimited. I was so embarrassed for asking! They raised the price and serve you less food of lesser quality. I would never come back again. Very disappointed. I will end my membership after it expires in two years.

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DH
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

The traditional tea was not traditional. The food was ok but not as good per the cost.

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HS
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Joanna our service was very attentive and made us feel at home. The food and tea were delicious, and you cannot beat the setting. We wish we could come here every day!

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JB
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They have reverted from buffet to 3 tiered tray, a traditional tea as they had before. Enchanting, delicious. We walked through the driving rain and returned where the rivers and lakes of rainwater had doubled. So worth it. Love!

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MA
Los Angeles
27 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful tea room. Celebrate a birthday or just have a fabulous time with the marvelous afternoon tea. Enjoy

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PC
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Impeccable service, excellent food, OK ambiance.

Entrance fee to the garden (required) makes sense only if you are visiting the gardens. If you are just going for the afternoon tea, it's not good value. I would recommend to a friend only if they are visiting the garden as well.

The signs in the Huntington gardens that guide you to where the tea room is are poor, so it is inconvenient just to get there.

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JK
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous place for a tea, with sweeping views of the rose garden. Service is professional and intuitive, and the selection of items is excellent. The only possible suggestion I could make is to offer a starter, such as a sorbet or a small herb salad. Otherwise, it is my “go-to” location for high tea.

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RS
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Always love tea at the Huntington, even with the changes and increase in charges.

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LK
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Hostess, waiters and waitresses are extremely rude, condescending, and clearly unhappy with their jobs. Worst service I’ve ever received - food trucks and fast food restaurants offer better customer service. Food is substandard. Decorations are nothing special and you don’t get a view of the rose garden as is advertised. The only thing you might enjoy are the teas but you can find better elsewhere. Go to the Langham Pasadena for high tea instead!

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MC
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my top favorites. We plan on going back soon. Only suggestion is you should limit the age on kids. There was a birthday party there and it was horrible. The adults left food every where and the kids wrote on the table clothes. It took the staff a while to clean the carpet, tables, etc. Felt so bad for them.

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AB
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I still prefer the buffet they originally had years ago, but the served tea is Ok too. It's expensive for what you get, but the room is lovely and it is a nice treat once I a while or for a special occasion.

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c
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 4

This used to be a very special place, and it still is, in some ways, but they have changed their service model and it is now WAY more expensive than it should be.

The default tea service is $47 PER PERSON. A few years ago, it was cheaper, and it was all you can eat. They had a self serve section with tea sandwiches, salads, fruit, and sweets. You could eat as much as you wanted, which was nice.

Now they bring you a tray with scones, sandwiches and sweets. Each person gets two scones, one type of sweet (four in all, plus a single strawberry), and one of each kind of tea sandwich. They will replenish one sandwich type, if you request it, but they do not offer that, or explain it ahead of time. You have to ask. The service model is so confusing, I watched as servers at nearly every table had to graciously explain how it all worked.

You can order other foods, but it is extra.

Of course, you also get tea, and the tea selection is as good as the tea itself, but let's break this down.

For $47, plus tip, you get:
- a pot of really, really delicious tea
- six tiny sandwiches (that are also delicious)
- two tiny scones
- three sweet things (a mini-cupcake, a chocolate mousse thing, a tiny tartlet)
- a single strawberry

If you are comfortable paying the same amount for an afternoon snack as what a really nice dinner in Pasadena would cost you, by all means go to this place. If money is not a thing for you, enjoy yourself. If you're anyone else, avoid this place and go to the other side of the building, where they serve up pretty decent sandwiches and salads and quesadillas for a lot less money.

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J
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wait staff professional, friendly, attentive! Tea sandwiches and scones absolutely fresh and delicious! Tea selection excellent. As always, bright and welcoming tea room interior. We try to come regularly . . . .

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SB
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon tea! The selection and service were outstanding. We will definitely visit again and again. (The Library grounds and museum are a treasure)!!

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S
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

The Huntington has refurbished their tea room. It's not remodeled just painted and newly decorated. The decor is very sparse and minimal, not the traditional Huntington or tea room decor. They have a good choice of tea. I chose Rose, which was a mild black tea. The new option of alcohol is very fun and great for celebrations. I can recommend the Blushing Rose, prosecco with a splash of rose liqueur. The tea tray is the expected finger sandwiches and sweets. Nothing out of the ordinary here. The cheese tray could use more crackers, the nuts were a grocery store mix with fruit and a dot of fig jam. No English cheese here. What makes this special is the service and the setting. Makes an enjoyable afternoon.

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely table, pretty view of rose garden, beautiful food presentation and great tea selections.

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B
Palm Springs
20 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Felt hurried by our waiter.
Got 4 of the same sandwiches. Less variety.
Miss the all you can eat, miss the cookies...
Overall not the same as before.

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MM
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service! They had provided me with a delicious birthday cake dessert. They made my celebration memorable.

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PP
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very attentive and friendly staff; great tea service!

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MH
Toronto
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A fabulous restaurant. Much enjoyed. A great place for brunch, afternoon tea.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Kimberly the waitress I had was amazing. She was very knowledgeable about the teas and had such a funny energetic personality which I enjoyed very much so. I enjoyed the menu, the scones were delicious and I would say try the salad! I would definitely recommend the Tea Room. Give it a try. Totally worth the trip.

Know it’s $36 minimum per person.

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IC
Los Angeles
69 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

For decades, visits here are ones of merit realizing "The Huntington Library" to be a respite for witty exchanges with UCLA/USC mavens, family, friends, interviewees, business and personal acquaintances. Many lovely starts happen in the "merveilleux jardins" of Henry and Arabella Huntington.

Little kindnesses by Executive Jeff Thurston and Rose Garden Tea Room Chef Claudia Engle were "petit apples diced topped with cinnamon." Seating was in the West Room---close to the fireplace with natural light flooding our table as red roses lay silently in water caressed by a shiny white china teapot.

Traditional English tea was presented in a metallic pot and the tiny morsels of hand-crafted excellence came on a three-tiered tray. Scones were at the top and warm. Condiments in china ramekins are raspberry jam, lemon curd and clotted cream. Hope to meet/photograph Jeff and Claudia. Bravo!

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