A Posh Affair: Grand Galvez Hotel’s High Tea

April 17, 2024
2 mins read

Why Are Texans Are Flocking To The Coast For The Elegant British Tradition? Two words: Grand Galvez

By Lance Avery Morgan    Photography courtesy of Grand Galvez/Seawall Hospitality LLC

Feeling more British than usual these days, with all the great British films and streaming series now available? You’re in luck. Grand Galvez, Autograph Collection, the grande dame hotel in Galveston, known as the Queen of the Gulf and renowned for its timeless elegance and luxurious experiences, has now created its own British High Tea tradition. In fact, every Saturday afternoon from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, the coastal destination of the Grand Galvez High Tea promises a refined journey of the flavor palate. The High Tea experience ensures that the splendid tradition is accessible to all guests seeking the finer things in life. Who wouldn’t love that? The popular weekly event has attracted mother-and-daughter duos, bachelorettes, and brides looking to celebrate their special time with friends.

Set against the backdrop of the opulent surroundings of Monarch restaurant at Grand Galvez, guests enjoy a delicious selection of finely cut sandwiches that include classic cucumber, egg salad, and smoked salmon, which are presented on a multi-tiered tray. Freshly baked scones, served with delicious, clotted cream and strawberry preserves, are a signature of this experience.

A mouth-watering range of exquisitely presented pastries and teacakes grace every table. Each bite is designed to tantalize the taste buds and offer a truly indulgent experience as all guests’ plates will be replenished on request. “The manner of eating scones can be a point of contention at even the most civilized British afternoon tea table,” said Darryl Hill, General Manager, Grand Galvez. Hill, a native of London, comes to Grand Galvez with his posh British accent and has designed the Grand Galvez High Tea to be reminiscent of what is found in his home country. He also offers advice to High Tea participants. “Whether to break or slice a scone is one of the first questions asked. However, once the scone has been opened, the next decision is whether to add cream first or jam. Whichever approach our guest selects, we know for certain that they’re equally as delicious.”

Tea enthusiasts may choose from an array of four different types of loose-leaf tea, each carefully selected to offer a unique and authentic experience. For those seeking a touch of extravagance, guests have the option to purchase and sip on a glass of champagne, adding that extra sparkle to this already magical Grand Galvez High Tea occasion. Of course, the tradition of British High Tea dates back to the early 19th century and it is often attributed to Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, who is said to have introduced the practice in the 1840s. The legend states she would become hungry in the late afternoon and requested tea, sandwiches, and small cakes to be served to her in her room to tide her over until the formal dinner. Over the years, this became a regular habit and evolved into a social event. We think that knowing the provenance is half the fun of the event.

Hotelier Mark Wyant and his Seawall Hospitality LLC, owner of the Grand Galvez, purchased the property from the heirs of Galveston Island-born oilman and developer George P. Mitchell in March 2021. Wyant and his wife, Lorenda, have created extensive renovations that emphasize great respect for the iconic architecture and historic design of the property. The focus is on the alluring, luxurious, glamorous, and sophisticated reputation of Grand Galvez, creating an interpretation of modernism blended with the energy of the Jay Gatsby era. The elegant High Tea surroundings are complemented with music by a harpist, making the event the most special Saturday afternoon experience on Galveston Island. Naturally, appropriate smart casual attire is required and is a must to maintain the ambiance and grace of this exceptional experience. Reservations, at $49 per person, can be made by calling Grand Galvez at 409.765.7721. For more information, visit Grand Galvez.

The Gentleman Racer by Michael Satterfield

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