Pinky’s Up! Enjoy Afternoon Tea in Downtown Honolulu

It’s not a tea party until you’re wearing a fancy hat (and maybe a feather boa). Tea at 1024 brings English charm to Downtown Honolulu, and one of the best parts is playing dress up. Before choosing a tea, customers must make the important decision of what to wear. Sort through a treasure chest of costumes and a rack bursting with lacy sun hats, suede top hats and velvet bonnets. No matter what you sport, it’s sure to be classy.

Fancy hats? Check. It’s tea time!

Now, if you thought that was a tough decision, then be prepared to make a few more, like your choices of: tea, finger sandwiches, scones and petite sweets. My absolute favorite tea at 1024 is the Raspberry & Roses, a secret blend with real rose petals. As for sandwiches, chicken curry with apples and cheddar cheese & tomato, please! But those seeking nostalgia might dabble in some fancy PB & J’s. Blueberry & cranberry scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserves make everyone’s mouths water, while the fluffy mousse in cute chocolate cups pack a sophisticated punch for how tiny they are. Continuing with the sophisticated trend, all dishes are served on a vintage tiered stand.

Unlike the Tea Farm Cafe in Moiliili, 1024’s tea doesn’t come in plumped glass bubbles. Instead, each person chooses a different English-style teapot, cup and saucer before the brewing begins. Teas come all the way from India and China; however, it would be nice to see some flavors from our own backyard or maybe even England, to go with the English-style theme. Most would consider Tea at 1024 to be “afternoon tea,” rather than “high tea.” In England, high tea was considered to be dinner since they ate heavier foods, such as meats (on high tables). Afternoon tea was served in the mid-afternoon on low tables and included daintier dishes, like the ones at 1024.

If the afternoon tea’s too hot, then cool off with froufrou fans.

The adorable vintage tea house always makes me feel like I’ve teleported to a secret outdoor garden in England. An assortment of nineteenth-century-looking nicknacks decorate the room and add to the paisley wallpaper and floral table covers, while sunshine floods through the skylights and front windows. If you’re lucky, you’ll get the most sought-after seats near the window, where wicker “thrones” welcome you into the British Royal Family.

It’s always fun to come here with a bunch of friends. Believe it or not, guys love this place, too, or maybe it’s that their girlfriends dragged them along? They may even force their boyfriends to wear the fancy hats. (Both of which I honestly can say I haven’t done. My boyfriend willingly came along and rocked the top hat!) Regardless, everyone enjoys the food and good conversations of afternoon tea in Hawaii.

A lovely tiered stand of dainty decadence.

TEA AT 1024 • 1024 Nuuanu Ave., Honolulu, HI 96817 • Opens Tues-Fri 11am-2pm; Sat 11am-3pm; Sun Private Parties of 20+ • 808-521-9596 • http://teaat1024.net • Metered street parking;Near bus route

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