Can a hot cup of tea cool you down on a scorching afternoon in the desert? Several studies say it can, which means elegant afternoon tea services at some of Las Vegas' classiest hotels are perfect for chilling out.
Wynn Las Vegas is the latest resort to offer a calming afternoon tea, a British tradition that typically includes sweet pastries, petite sandwiches and plentiful pots of tea.
Guests can indulge in sweet and savory offerings at Wynn's recently opened Terrace Lounge, located near the main entrance. The menu includes sandwiches that merge curried chicken salad with red grapes, plus freshly baked scones. (In keeping with the British custom, diners should first cover the scone with jam and then top it with clotted cream.)
The tea service is offered daily from 12 to 4 p.m. It's priced at $47 per person, with optional Champagne pairings at an additional cost.
Tea-infused cocktails are also available a la carte. The Tea-jito, for instance, combines Cruzan rum infused with herbal citrus-mint white tea, lime juice and club soda.
Reservations: Wynn Las Vegas, (702) 770-7000
Afternoon tea is a long-standing tradition at the Four Seasons Las Vegas. For $35 (or $50 with champagne), guests enjoy tea service at Verandah from 3 to 4 p.m.
There are organic black, green and herbal teas to sip while noshing on bites such as a sandwich of cucumber, grilled artichoke and olive tapenade on sourdough bread, plus pastries such as fig upside-down cake.
Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance. Info: Four Seasons Las Vegas, (702) 632-5000
There are seatings for tea from 11:45 a.m. through 4:15 p.m. at the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas.
Guests are sure to be tempted by savoring offerings such as chicken curry, trumpet mushroom and Asian pear served in a sesame cone.
The service, priced at $40 (more with Champagne), comes with stunning views of the Strip.
Reservations: Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, (888) 881 9367
But back to those studies about tea cooling you off. Ollie Jay of Canada's University of Ottawa told Smithsonian Magazine that drinking tea on a hot day "… does result in a lower amount of heat stored inside your body, provided the additional sweat that's produced when you drink the hot drink can evaporate."
The practice of afternoon tea was started in the early 19th century by the seventh Duchess of Bedford after she complained of having a "sinking feeling" in the late afternoon. That's according to the British website Afternoon Tea, which lists tea places throughout Britain.