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Everything you ever wanted to know about afternoon tea but were afraid to ask

Questions About Tea

What days do you serve tea?

That depends; please check our tea schedule on the main page, or phone us at (831) 375-8090. On tea days we open at 12:00 noon and close at 5:00 PM. Reservations are required, as we book up almost every day. You may request a table at any time from 12:00 through 3:00 PM, on the hour and half-hour.

Do I need to make a reservation for tea?

Yes, reservations are required, as we are filled to capacity on most days. We begin taking reservations 1 month in advance (i.e., the reservation book opens on March 12 for an April 12 table). We recommend calling a week or two ahead of time for the best selection of seating time. Call (831) 375-8090 for reservations.

If your plans change and you are unable to keep your reservation, please tell us immediately so that we may offer the table to other guests. Don’t be a no-show!

How does it work? Is there a menu?

Afternoon tea is a relaxing affair. The hardest decision you should have to make is which day to visit.

The menu is fixed each day, and depends on seasonal availability of ingredients. Every guest at the table receives an assortment of freshly made sandwiches, scones, and desserts. There are no menu choices to make. There are no vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or children’s options.

The flat price of $35/person includes all taxes and tips, so that’s an “out the door” price. Optional extras include champagne, craft beer, wine, sparkling nonalcoholic cider, hand-made sodas, and more.

Do you serve alcohol?

Every chance we get. The White Hart stocks an extensive list of wines from around the world, including French champagne, local Monterey County wines, and interesting imports. We also serve local craft beers by the glass. For teetotalers, we offer sparking organic cider, mineral water, freshly squeezed lemonade, and our own original soft drinks made in-house.

Can I bring children? Do you have a kids' menu?

Yes, you can bring small children.
No, we don’t have a children’s menu.

We welcome families and multi-generational groups, but we do not offer a children’s menu or special kids’ pricing. We serve the same food, and charge the same price, for every single person seated at the table, regardless of their age, appetite, or dietary restrictions. If your youngster’s diet consists mostly of Cheerios and applesauce, he/she might be happier at home.

Can I bring my husband, boyfriend, or brother?

Absolutely! The White Hart is definitely a “guy friendly” place for lunch or a mid-afternoon date. Our chef proudly carries both X and Y chromosomes, so all the food is man-compatible. Did we mention the six craft beers we serve?

How long does the tea service take?

That’s up to you, but we find that most guests stay for about 90 minutes. In some cases, we may limit guests to 2½ hours because we’re expecting another party at that table later in the day.

If you’d like to stay longer than that, just let us know when making your reservation. We’ll try to seat you at a table that’s not being re-booked later in the day.

Are you wheelchair-accessible?

Yes, we are wheelchair-accessible*. There is a continuous ramp from street level all the way into the dining rooms. We even have our own folding transport chair for guests who don’t have their own.

*Because the house is more than 120 years old, our access is not fully ADA-compliant. Some doors and ramp angles are slightly outside of what ADA guidelines suggest. We do the best we can, and it seems to work for all of our guests. 

Do you offer vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, low-fat, low-carb, halal, or kosher food?

No, we do not.

Do you do private parties?

Yes, all the time, 7 days a week, 300+ days/year, daytime and evenings. We host parties and get-togethers for all occasions, from bridal showers to wedding ceremonies to business meetings to club gatherings.

For a private event, you can choose the food and beverage service you want, from a deluxe sit-down dinner party with wine and wait staff, to light snacks, to our signature afternoon tea service. You can even bring in your own food, or hire your own outside caterer. We have a huge 50-page wine list, we serve local craft beers, and we offer our own hand-made soft drinks. It’s your party at our location.

The only requirements are (a) between 12-38 guests, and (b) the date isn’t already booked for some other occasion. Simple!

Can I have my party on a Saturday tea date?

Yes! There are three different ways we can accommodate this.

First, your group can join a regular Saturday afternoon tea, with some limitations. Your party will be limited to 12 guests, you’re limited to two hours of total time, and gift-giving, games, activities, and special decorations are not allowed. Remember, you will be sharing The White Hart with our other guests at adjoining tables, just as with a normal restaurant.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer more privacy or if you have a larger group, you may “buy out” any Saturday tea date. We simply require a month or more of notice, and a minimum fee applies.

Finally, you can book a private event on another day of the week with no buy-out required.

For any private event, you and your guests can stay as long as you like, bring your own music, decorate the tables, play party games, open gifts, order from a much broader menu, request different/special wine or champagne, and many other benefits. It’s a nice and cost-effective way to have a truly special event in an authentic historic Victorian mansion.

Is there a dress code?

We don’t enforce a dress code at The White Hart — “Elegance Without Attitude” is our motto — but guests arriving in shorts or T-shirts will likely feel uncomfortably under-dressed. We recommend “business casual” as a starting point.

At the other extreme, we’re happy to welcome guests who put on their best pearls and hats before coming for tea.

Do you do birthday parties?

Yes, for celebrants aged 16 and older. We’re not equipped for small children’s birthday parties.