Afternoon Tea at The Phoenician

This article originally appeared in the Experience Scottsdale 2017 Visitors Guide. Note that all photos in the article are courtesy Debby Wolvos.

Every day, The Phoenician serves a traditional British Afternoon Tea in its Lobby Tea Court. I recently treated my daughter-in-law and two granddaughters, Morgan and Zoë, ages 5 and 8, to a girls' afternoon of proper tea. Even with all the elegant china and scones, there were plenty of giggles to keep these three generations going.


When I discovered that the Lobby Tea Court at The Phoenician is open to the public, I did a little dance. And planned an outing for my girls. The elegant lobby, with its creamy marble and comfortable chairs in muted shades of sand and champagne, beckons visitors. The beautiful floral china evokes images of an English garden.

Tea at The Phoenician. Photo courtesy Debby Wolvos

Tea at The Phoenician. Photo courtesy Debby Wolvos

Tea Time

Each guest receives her own pot of tea before the waiter offers finger sandwiches. Morgan, my 5-year-old granddaughter, didn't bother to look at her mother. She was in control for this meal. “I'd like one of each, please.” She tried each one but ended up eating three of the smoked-salmon sandwiches.

Tea at The Phoenician. Photo courtesy Debby Wolvos

Tea at The Phoenician. Photo courtesy Debby Wolvos

The second course is my favorite, with the buttermilk scones. Those sweet buttermilk scones, piled high with Devonshire cream, are pure perfection. I think I purred as I bit into that sweetness. The cranberry scones are also popular, and both work well with lemon curd and strawberry preserves.

RoamRight travel insurance

As the pianist played soft sounds, our waiter offered up a tray filled with sweets and chocolates. Morgan again opted for one of each – except for the chocolate-dipped strawberries. She needed two of those, she explained (and breathlessly added, “I live for chocolate”). The éclairs, strawberries, and coffee opera cakes were her favorites (and probably grandma’s as well).

A Lasting Legacy

Afternoon Tea at The Phoenician is an experience of a lifetime. We were four ladies out for the afternoon. My daughter-in-law and I laughed at the antics of our two little girls and relaxed as someone else served us for a change. Both girls declared their love of Afternoon Tea at The Phoenician, and Zoë promised to bring her own daughter someday.

Written by Susan Lanier-Graham

Founder and publisher Susan Lanier-Graham has traveled the world for the past twenty years, filling a passport or two along the way. She has wandered through the jungles of Thailand, explored the mysteries of the Great Pyramids, and shared the night with a leopard in Zambia. She sailed in the Mediterranean, sipped her way through Burgundy canals and Champagne caves. She followed Rembrandt’s footsteps through Amsterdam. Susan found her center on the red rocks of Sedona and soaked up an exquisite sunset over the Indian Ocean in Bali. Susan is always looking for wow moments around the world or across the street to share with adventure lovers everywhere. She has authored more than 75 books and hundreds of magazine articles. Susan is an award-winning travel writer and member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). She is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan's work still regularly appears in print and online. Susan is an award-winning travel writer, a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan has worked as an ambassador for Travelocity and is currently a travel ambassador for Rocky Mountaineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online in a variety of publications. These include various AAA publications, Postcards for Travel Leaders,,,, So Scottsdale, Uptown, Green Living AZ, Life Refined, Modern Luxury,, WHERE Arizona, WHERE Traveler Phoenix + Scottsdale, and more.

You May Also Like…


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest food, wine & travel updates! We look forward to having you Wander with us.

You have Successfully Subscribed!