Arizona Finds: Afternoon Tea at The Phoenician
Recipe included: Gluten-Free Scones
Photos displaying a “*” courtesy of The Phoenician
All other photos by Linda Kissam
I have to share with you that I am one big big big teatime aficionada. I’ve been to “afternoon tea” across the globe. Loved each and every one.
Arizona residents and tourists are very lucky to have an upscale afternoon tea available to them from Wed – Sun, 2-3 p.m. at The Phoenician Resort, A Luxury Collection Resort, located at Scottsdale 6000 East Camelback Road Scottsdale, AZ USA 85251 (480) 941-8200.
Being presented with an assortment of mouthwatering treats and stellar service is guaranteed to get anyone’s taste buds going. Taking tea was once very easy to find in almost every city; however teatime experiences are labor and service intensive for restaurants, so many venues have cut back on offering a full high tea. Thank you to The Phoenician for finding a way to preserve this special dining option.
The best teas, like the one at the Phoenician, include customized nibble specialties, including English scones, tarts, pies, finger sandwiches, a variety of loose leaf teas or champagne-based versions.
Did you know? Afternoon tea is a long-running British tradition, dating back to the early 18th century when it was used to bridge the gap between the two main meals of the day, lunch and dinner. Today, the custom remains an extremely popular pursuit, enacted in tea rooms, hotels and households across the country.
There’s undeniably something fun about using a dainty cup and saucer, not to mention making your way down a three tier platter or across exquisitely laid out platters and nibbling on a whole host of finger foods. The delicate nature of bite-sized sandwiches and tiny samples of cakes offers a unique way to enjoy food, relax with friends and family, and spend a dreamy afternoon in first-class indulgement.
Consistently voted “Best Afternoon Tea” by Phoenix New Times and Arizona Republic readers The Phoenician version of a venerable English tradition includes finger sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream and preserves, pastries and a selection of fine blends. The contemporary music stylings of renowned pianist Alan Comyns provides a charismatic backdrop for this unforgettable experience.
I have come to the conclusion that, for an afternoon tea to truly hit the spot, it needs to be well balanced. It’s as much about the service and setting as it is about the food . It’s true – the food is the cherry on the top but without the beautiful setting and the first class service and the finest and most elegant china– well, it would just be a aristocratic sandwich experience. The Phoenician seems to have mastered the concept.
Special Notes on The Phoenician Experience
Reservations are necessary.
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan and Vegetarian menus with 24-hour advance notice.
AFTERNOON TEA PRICING
Full Tea, $60 per person
Royal Tea, includes sparkling wine, $80 per person
Grand Royal Tea, includes Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, $95 per person
Children 4-12 years old, $35 per person
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Take this tea room for a spin with the delicious scone recipe courtesy of The Phoenician.
Makes 12 scones
The taste and texture of these scones make
it hard to believe that they are gluten-free.
2 cups sorghum flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
6 tablespoons butter
¾ cup cream
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Combine all dry ingredients in bowl. Rub in butter by hand
until mixture is crumbly. Incorporate cream and
egg together, adding to mixture until it becomes
Place on floured counter and roll to
about 1”-thick square. Cut into triangles and
place on greased baking sheet. Brush with
egg wash and bake for 13 minutes.
Serve warm and enjoy with lemon curd.
1¾ cups sugar
10 ounces lemon juice
1 pound butter, softened
Boil sugar and lemon juice in small sauce pan.
In large bowl, mix eggs and yolks together. While
whisking, add hot sugar/lemon liquid. Place
mixture back into sauce pan, stirring constantly
and cooking over medium heat until it coats
back of spoon. Strain into mixing bowl and
place in iced bath to cool. Add softened butter
and whisk gently until incorporated. Refrigerate
Suggested wine: Late-harvest sweet Rieslings
from Washington make a non-cloying match
with the curd.