Recently, I indulged in Dushanbe’s Afternoon Tea and accoutrements with my good friend Suzan. The English inspired tea is the perfect afternoon activity and I especially recommend it for visiting guests or for those who are researching fun things to do in Boulder.
Before I dive into how the tea unfolds, let’s talk about Dushanbe as it is a special place to Boulder. It’s a cultural milestone through Boulder’s sister city in the Middle East, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. This teahouse was delivered as a gift to Boulder and was built entirely by hand, without the use of any power tools and shipped across the world to re-assemble thus representing the symbol of friendship and cultural exploration.
Rebuilt downtown, on Boulder Creek and alongside where the Boulder Farmers Market occurs twice a week, the teahouse is elaborate, extravagant and a beautiful cultural symbol in Boulder. The ceilings are carved and painted with detailed patters akin to Persian art with bright, vibrant colors and there are 12 cedar columns lining the restaurant; no two columns are alike. You could spend the entire time in there just looking up in awe.
The teahouse gives back in many ways, one of my favorites is their tea festival once a year that I’ve covered before. You can order from a plethora of unique hand blended teas and sit outside on their patio along the creek or join them for brunch, lunch or dinner weekly. Their food focuses on international cuisine, so you’re sure to find something from all parts of the world.
The afternoon tea is one of my favorite things they do.
It’s served from 3 – 5 p.m. and they request you make your reservation 24 hours in advance, as everything is prepared the day-of. You receive a three-tiered tower of sweet and savory pastries, scones, and cucumber sandwiches, sweet cakes and the chef’s special creation. On a small plate they provide jam, lemon curd and Devonshire cream for you to slather on your preferred pastry.
Each person also picks their preferred pot of premium tea to enjoy throughout the afternoon.
There’s a plethora of food and options, so although it’s not lunch or dinner, it’s heavy appetizers and can easily fill each person attending the tea. Most recently with Suzan, we requested a gluten-free afternoon tea so they happily accommodated and replaced every item with gluten-free delights which was great.
The cost is $21.95 per person ($10.95 children under 9). Any party size is welcome.
I loved learning a bit about the history of afternoon tea from Dushanbe’s website, so I wanted to share that here.
History of Afternoon Tea
The elegant ritual of Afternoon Tea is credited to Anna, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford. As was customary during the later 1700′s and early 1800′s, people would eat a huge breakfast, tiny lunch, and then a substantial dinner around 8:00 at night. The Duchess, describing a “sinking feeling” during the afternoon, began to request tea and cakes to tide her over. Soon, she invited her friends to share the ritual with her, and it quickly became a fashionable, treasured custom.
You can learn more about Dushanbe’s Afternoon Tea here. I encourage you to check out this special treat of an afternoon.