Nicknamed "America's Last Hometown," Pacific Grove is known for Asilomar State Beach, the annual migration of the Monarch butterflies and its array of unique and colorful Victorian homes; the city is actually home to more Victorian ladies per capita than anywhere else in the world. With its rich heritage it only seemed natural for Victorian homeowners Jim and Kathy Turley to turn their classic English mansion into an authentic Victorian-era tea room.
“The White Hart” has been a landmark on Lighthouse Avenue for the past 120 years. Dr. Andrew J. Hart built the home in 1893 and it was passed down for three generations. In the last few decades of the 19th century home has been a variety of restaurants, an art gallery, and now a classic tea house.
The grandiose three-story mansion sits high and mighty on the corner of Lighthouse Avenue and 19th Street. The interior is just as breathtaking, the décor is mainly original including the custom stain-glass window above the door reading “Dr. Hart” dating all the way back to when the house was built.
The charm continues throughout the ground floor of the house where the main tea room features colorful stain-glassed windows, crystal chandeliers and imported patterned wallpaper. Picture frames from its yesteryear show photos from the Hart family as well as watercolor paintings of the home’s facade which add a touch of personality to the old-world design.
The White Hart’s afternoon tea is as authentic as it gets. Served every other weekend from 12pm-4pm, guests can enjoy much more than just a pot of tea (click here for upcoming dates). The typical Victorian “tea” is more like a lunch with an array of made-from-scratch sandwiches, scones and desserts all accompanied by specialty teas, of course.
The loose leaf tea selection is extensive including lemon mint herbal tea, gunpowder green tea, ginger orange peach and many more.
Teas also come with a plethora of tasty treats on a three-tiered tray loaded with sandwiches, freshly baked scones and delightful sweets. The key here is to start at the bottom and work your way up.
The lower-tier comes with a variety of petite sandwiches. The smoked salmon on pastry puff and English cucumber sandwich are particularly tasty!
In the middle you’ll find a bounty of freshly baked scones. These tend to go fast with the organic clotted cream and Meyer lemon curd, all made in-house.
Last but not least, the top tray is reserved for dessert. Chocolate-dipped strawberries and bite size desserts are the perfect way to end an incredible afternoon of elegance. Don’t skip the chocolate truffle cream marquise, truly decadent!
All of this tea talk have you intimidated? Don’t be! Proprietors Jim and Kathy are happy to walk you through the process without all of the attitude. The menu also includes champagne, wine and beer to further ease you into the process.
Afternoon tea is $35 per person and includes your choice of tea and a selection of treats. A lighter “Cream Tea” and “Teddy Bear Tea” are also available. Click here to view the schedule of tea times.
Have a special occasion coming up? Live like a king or queen and have your next event at The White Hart. It’s the perfect location for meetings, parties, receptions, or just a proper afternoon tea with a group of friends.