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.
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.
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.
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.