December 28, 2011

The St. James Tea Room

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hands down, The St James Tea Room was the absolute highlight of our trip to Albuquerque. Oh my gosh, I cannot tell you how utterly fabulous this place was. I positively loved every single thing about it. We came here for a traditional English afternoon tea experience — how fun is that? — complete with tea sandwiches, scones, and strawberry shortcakes. What we got was a luxurious, secluded, 2-hour escape from the world, with an unforgettable meal and a life-changing tea I will never forget.

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Here is the entrance when we first walked in. The tea room was beautifully decked out in English country decor, but I loved how the entrance had a little New Mexican flare as well.

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

I had no idea what to expect of our tea, but I was really excited to find out. I had just finished reading a couple of light murder mystery novels set in 1860s London where the main characters sat down for tea every afternoon. Some of the descriptions in the book had my mouth watering! I was delighted to see several of the wonderful things I’d read about on our menu. Our tea made it all come to life.

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

The tea room was all dressed up for Christmas. I loved this tree decorated with top hats! It perfectly set the mood.

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Can you believe this was our room for tea?? You could’ve knocked me over with a feather, I was so giddy at this room. All small parties at the St. James Tea Room get their own private nook for their 2-hour afternoon tea experience. Look at these plush couches!

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

They even had a little welcome note along with our sugar and cream.

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

The wonderfully gracious manager of the tea room, Daniel — who is the sweet owner’s son and who was also an exchange student at Oxford University –  knew we were coming. He had checked out Kevin & Amanda before we got there, saw our NYC Macarons post, and recommended a tea especially for us. It was called Picasso Soiree,  a medium bodied black tea with traces of — are you ready for this? — french vanilla, caramel, creme brulee, chocolate, and vanilla. Daniel just became my new best friend. This tea was so right up my alley, it couldn’t have been more perfect had it been created specifically for me. It was absolutely perfect. I still can’t get over how delicious it was. What I wouldn’t do to get my hands on another cup of this tea, I am still dreaming about it!

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Our little nook had its own curtains to draw for quiet privacy, but oh how my eyes widened when I saw our tiered tray of sweets and savories peeking through!

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Check out this cute tray! Now I will admit, when I first saw it, I thought “No way is this going to be enough food. I’m starving!” But let me assure you, we left completely stuffed and satisfied.

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

Here was our menu for the afternoon.

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

The bottom tray was our savories. Up front is Clara’s Traditional Tea Sandwich of
Orange, Turkey, and Cucumber with Chevre. Oh my gosh, I loved every single bite. The delicious puff to the right of the sandwich was a luscious bite of beef wellington. Such a treat.

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

And oh my gosh! Will you look at this teeny tiny truffled potato?? This has got to be the cutest, tiniest potato I have ever seen! How did they get it so small?? I loved it.

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

The middle tray was filled with delicious breads. Here we have the St. James Traditional Cream Scone, clotted cream, and stollen in the background. This scone was — how do I say this? — undeniably, unequivocally, absolutely, positively, one hundred percent… Life. Changing. I’m from the south. I’ve had a lot of good biscuits in my day. This scone was Life. Changing. How can a biscuit be this good?? I would get in my car right now and drive all day and all night and probably all day again just for one more of these heavenly, melt-in-your-mouth, Life Changing scones.

Okay, that’s all I’m going to say about the scone.

Except that I had one bite of the scone and promptly forgot all about taking pictures for the rest of our tea. Can you believe it? Not even the sweets!

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

When we finished our tea, I had to check out the adorable gift shop we passed on the way in.

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

They had so many cute little tea sets, including one with cupcakes!

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

This room had gorgeous jewelry, some of the most unique I’ve ever seen. It was very hard not to spend my entire life savings here.

The St James Tea Room | Albuquerque, New Mexico

We left the St. James Tea Room utterly and supremely relaxed and rejuvenated, as well as completely stuffed with one of the most delicious and memorable meals of our lives.

If you are ever anywhere near the area, you absolutely must make a reservation for afternoon tea here. You will love it!

The St. James Tearoom
320 Osuna Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107
(505) 242-3752 • stjamestearoom.com



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28 Comments





1
Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 28, 2011 at 5:26 am

Gorgeous pics and all of a sudden I feel the desire for some tea and fancy desserts :)

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2
Southern Gal December 28, 2011 at 6:14 am

I’ve always secretly wanted to experience a true English tea time. Thanks for taking me on the tour. It looks heavenly.

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3
Stephanie December 28, 2011 at 6:37 am

The tea room looks beautiful and the food looked yummy!
Stephanie @ All Artful

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4
The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh December 28, 2011 at 6:53 am

I want to go there *now!* That looks like a heavenly way to spend part of an afternoon and given I’ve never been to NM, I certainly wouldn’t expect some place like this to be there! Perhaps a trip is in order. :-)

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5
Lori @ RecipeGirl December 28, 2011 at 9:28 am

What a cute idea and a fun experience! Definitely on my list of places to check out in Albuquerque!

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6
JoyceB December 28, 2011 at 9:35 am

Wonderful….I’ve been through Albuquerque but had no idea there were so many exotic places to visit! About that tiny potato….I buy “fingerlings” because they’re so small….there are four or five kinds of potatoes in the bag; including the one in your picture. Never occurred to me that they could be dressed up that way…love it!

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7
Beth December 28, 2011 at 10:52 am

what a great place to visit when in NM. i will have to write that down. looks like you had tons of fun. looks delicious. (:

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8
Kristen@PrettySweet December 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Oh! My very, very favorite thing to do when traveling is to visit tea rooms! This one looks truly amazing…WOW! I can’t believe how outstanding that private tea party room is…and the Christmas decorations are awesome. =) I’ve just pinned it on my “Places I’d Like to Visit” board. I’m so glad you guys had a good time there!

And you’re totally right – scones are life-changing. I’ve made hundreds of scones in the past 10 years and even though I’m a Tennessee girl, I’d still take a scone over a biscuit almost every time! ;)

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9
Elizabeth December 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm

This place looks amazing! My fiance and I love tea :) Unfortunately, we are no where near NM. Any tea recommendations in the NY/NJ/PA area?

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10
Denise December 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm

In Mullica Hill, NJ is the lovely Amelia’s Tea & Holley. PA – there are tons! Which areas are you looking for?

11
Denise December 28, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Now that’s a tearoom, wow! I was just at an exquisite British one but this looks amazing. I love going to tea and do so frequently. Funny how you never think it’ll be enough to fill you but leave stuffed!

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12
Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl December 28, 2011 at 7:10 pm

What a gorgeous place. I wish I had their knack for decorating. I LOve daring red walls. Had a living room with that color accent wall. Miss that. Now I am jonesing to take the hubby on a couples retreat to Albuquerque. ;)

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13
LaWanda December 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

As one who is a collector of teapots, I absolutely loved their collection of tea sets… beautiful!

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14
Rosann (aka Rea' ) December 29, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Aah Thank you for sharing your visit … loved the tour!
Must put that on my Bucket List … I could stay in that gift shop forever !

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15
felicia nguyen December 29, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Hi Amanda
I remember one of ur post about macaroons….that u were making that…do u have a good recipe for macaroons??
thanks
I love reading you blogs
felicialetran@yahoo.com

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16
Natasha@Bite and Sip December 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm

What a lovely place to visit! I wish we had similar tea rooms here in Munich. Thank you for sharing

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17
Diane {Created by Diane} December 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Everything looks so wonderful what a fun place to get “lost” in :)

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18
Rachel December 31, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Moving to “Albecooker” in July of this NEW year. I was already excited but am now even more so after seeing your beautiful photographs. I have never been myself, but I trust my husband when he says I will love it. Now we just need to work on mastering the pronunciation with the little ones. Thanks!!

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19
Amanda January 3, 2012 at 9:03 am

I am sure I say this everytime I comment, but I really want to just hang out with you! You go to the best places!

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20
Angie January 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I’ve always found the idea of a formal tea kind of intimidating. Not so much anymore. I may actually be willing to give it a try :)

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21
Melissa Holt January 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I am lucky to live in Albuquerque and enjoy afternoon tea at the St. James Tearoom a few times a year. It has enriched my life tremendously! The beauty, civility, gentility, and other virtues that grace their lovely china are exemplified in every part of the experience without it becoming overly formalized and stuffy. It is an oasis of serenity and refreshment in a busy world. And yes, their scones are fabulous – light as a cloud and delicate in flavor. They are the perfect accompaniment to the fragrant teas the Tearoom serves. The St. James Tearoom: yet another reason to call New Mexico the Land of Enchantment!

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22
Cheryl January 6, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I live here in Albuquerque, and everything you wrote and more is why this is my favorite place to go as well. Daniel’s mother, Mary Alice, is the epitome of love, grace, and beauty, and her vision for this place is born out of such a heart–and we are recipients of such blessings! Every visit is a surprise to my palate and a visual delight. It’s my place to escape, stop and smell the roses, and renew with friends. I highly recommend anyone visiting to not miss this gem in the Southwest–no matter your gender! There are dining spaces with decor that are suitable and very comfortable for men.

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23
kelly January 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm

I have the pleasure of calling Miss Mary Alice a dear friend. =0) Picasso soiree is my favorite tea too and the scones really are the very best. I am glad that you enjoyed your tea and I love that they make it so special for each and every guest. You are right, it is a 2 hour respite from the outside world. =0)

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24
Cheryl Valadez January 9, 2012 at 1:05 am

Fantastic write up! I am lucky to live in Albuquerque and frequently visit the St. James Tea Room to celebrate special occasions and to fill the periodic need for tranquility and grace. It is an experience like no other and one of my absolute favorite ways to while away an afternoon. I am so happy to see this Southwestern gem receive such glowing commentary on your blog.

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25
Robin January 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm

That is beyond cute!

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26
Angela March 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

I live in Washington state and have a dear friend (Cheryl, comment 22 above) that lives in Albuquerque. Each time I have been able to visit her in ABQ she has treated me to your lovely and delicious (only begins to describe it!) afternoon tea. I have never visited such a special place for afternoon tea, and I have yet to visit ABQ since you have moved to your new location. My last time there was just prior to your move. I can’t wait to visit your new location in the future! Thank you for providing such a wonderful, memorable experience for your guests! The outstanding review you received from Amanda puts it so well … What we got was a luxurious, secluded, 2-hour escape from the world, with an unforgettable meal and a life-changing tea I will never forget.

Read More http://www.kevinandamanda.com/whatsnew/travel/the-st-james-tea-room.html#ixzz1qKw6Ofq5

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27
Angela March 27, 2012 at 11:56 am

Oops! I realized I was a bit confused on the context of the comment section as I do not typically comment on things, but I had to share my experience with the St. James Tearoom. Hopefully the message is not lost in my confusion! Bottom Line … do visit the St. James Tearoom whenever you are in ABQ. You will be so glad that you did! Your taste buds will be so satisfied and you will have created such a wonderful memory to be treasured forever! :)

28
Joslin Walker April 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Love the pictures! I’m so glad you had an amazing time at the tearoom! I just went to a special event there last night, The Downton Abbey Tea!! It. Was. AMAZING!! I was introduced as The Honorable Mrs. Humphrey Beaumont by Carson, the Butler, and received by Cora! Or tea was brought by Daisy and we were served by Alfred and William! Everyone was decked it according to the era, and we all got a chance to participate in a variety of Downton Abbey activities! We had an amazing time! We also attended a Masquerade Ball last year that was utterly magnificent!

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