A grand setting
Victorian Manor, housed in a restored, 113-year-old, Queen Anne-style building, serves in five separate rooms as well as a wrap-around porch and a gazebo. Owners Carol and Jim Cox call it an American teahouse, because they serve lunch and dinner as well as three high teas: the Countess Ann (tea, scones, finger sandwiches, julienne vegetables, truffle cookies and dessert), Lady Barbara, which adds soup and salad, and the Empress, which substitutes quiche for the sandwiches. They make scones throughout the day. The strawberry and plum jams are made especially for them in Northern California, and they serve (and sell) 75 kinds of tea. (Countess Ann, $15.95; Lady Barbara, $17.95; Empress, $19.98.)
Victorian Manor, 204 N. Olive St., Orange, (714) 771-4044.
Tea times three
Pasadena's pretty Rose Tree Cottage offers three afternoon tea menus. Edmund and Mary Fry make everything but the Devonshire cream, which they import from England. Their scones are so popular that they had 500 orders picked up this Christmas. Their homemade jams include wild strawberry, raspberry, "summer pudding" (mixed berries), blackberry, plum/apricot and apricot. Following scones and tea sandwiches, the tea ends with English sweets. (Afternoon tea, $22.50.)
Rose Tree Cottage, 828 E. California Blvd., Pasadena (626) 793-3337.
Sip by the shore
Just blocks from the beach in Santa Monica, the Tudor House serves eight afternoon tea menus, from the basic scones with jam and Devonshire cream to one that includes crudites, sandwiches and a glass of champagne as well. The tea list includes 40 teas, and other English snacks. (Afternoon tea, $4.95 to $17.95; Welsh rarebit, $6.95; Cornish pasty, $6.50; shepherd's pie, $7.50.)
Tudor House, 1403 2nd St., Santa Monica, (310) 451-4107.
At Paddington's, which has been serving tea for nearly 18 years, Julianne Tozer and her two sons offers three tea menus and a children's tea. The menus include scones, finger sandwiches (roast beef, watercress with tomato, cucumber with cream cheese) and a variety of petits fours. Paddington's gift shop sells 75 varieties of tea. (Afternoon tea, $20; Paddington's cream tea, $10; high tea, $25; children's tea, $15.)
Paddington's, 355 S. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 652-0624.
-- Jessica Strand