Afternoon Tea at the Petrossian

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Last year, I noted there were some experiences in Las Vegas I’d missed out on because there was one reason or another that made doing them alone seem less than ideal. While I didn’t mention it in that article, one of those things was afternoon tea—not just a cup of tea in the afternoon, mind you, but the whole “English Tea” experience of tea, sandwiches and pastries. After doing some research, it just seemed like the amount of food that accompanied high tea was overwhelming.

I’m a light eater. There was just no way I’d be able to eat it all. And after having it drummed into my head about a million times during my childhood that there were “children starving in Third World countries,” I hate wasting food.

Petrossian Lounge

Petrossian Lounge, photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International.

But as these things often go, once you put a thought like that out there for the world to read, the next thing you know, someone is saying “Hey, I’d like to try that too!” In this case, that someone was my friend Julie from San Francisco, who I had met at a Las Vegas Tweetup in December 2010. She happened to be in Vegas at the same time as me in September, so we made a reservation to check out the afternoon tea at the Petrossian Bar at Bellagio.

We made our appointment for 2pm, so that we could consider it a “late lunch”. (We figured we stood a better chance of eating as much as possible if we hadn’t had lunch beforehand. We were right.) When we arrived at the bar, we were ushered to the far right, an area I’d never really noticed before, even though it’s in full view of the casino. I was a little worried at first that its position right off the casino would make it noisy and distracting, which would spoil the ambience of the tea, but that wasn’t the case at all. I’m sure people were passing by the whole time, but I didn’t really notice them.

Casino

The view from our table

If I recall correctly, we were the first to arrive for an appointment for tea (though two other women showed up at a nearby table a while later). Everything felt the way I expected it to: Civilized. The table was covered in a white linen tablecloth (with matching napkins), pretty green-and-white china plates and cups and a silver tea strainer and 3-tiered platter for the pastries and sandwiches. Service was impeccable. I felt like such a grown-up.

There were loose leaf tea selections and bag tea selections. Loose tea selections included Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Jasmine Pearl and Oolong. The bagged tea selection included Monsoon Chai, Chamomile Blossoms, and a peppermint tea called “Relax,” among others.

I was so glad to see the bagged selections. I’m not a regular tea drinker, so loose leaf teas intimidate me a bit. The few times I’ve tried to use a tea strainer, it hasn’t worked out so well. And really, who wants to drink floaters? I ordered the Long Life Green Tea (a bagged tea), in hopes that it was a good omen. It was mellow and delicious, just the way I like my tea. I drank 3-4 cups of it.

Sandwiches

Terrible picture of delicious sandwiches

For sandwiches, we had a choice of 4 regular and 4 open-faced finger sandwiches, all featuring spectacularly creative ingredients. Each of us was allowed to order 4 sandwiches total. I went with all the regular sandwiches. Julie went with two regular and 2 open-faced sandwich selections (the Watercress, Mint Mousse, and Cucumber on White Bread and the Smoked Salmon topped with Transmontanous Oscietra Caviar on Pumpernickel were the two open-faced sandwiches).

I enjoyed my selection very much. My favorites were the Smoked Chicken Waldorf Salad on Whole Wheat Bread and the Smoked Turkey, Brie and Black Grapes on Cranberry Bread. Fantastic! Next on my list was the Chickpea Panelle (more like hummus), Roasted Red Pepper, and Green Olive Mayo on Spiced Bread. The Bayonne Ham and Gruyere Cheese, and Dijon Butter on Rye Bread was surprisingly tasteless. Still, overall, the food was quite filling and the experience satisfying.

Pastries

Equally terrible picture of delicious pastries

By the time I finished my sandwiches, I had little room for pastries, but they all looked so good, how could I resist trying some? The pastry selection was automatic with the tea (we had no choice over what we got) and included 2 scones and 3 pastries per person. Among the pastry selections were some chocolate selections, a creamy lemon pastry, and lovely fruit tarts. The scones were far better than any I’ve had in Vermont, that’s for sure. They came with butter, clotted cream, and lemon curd (quite tasty, albeit sticky).

Tea lasted a little over an hour. It gave us a chance to chat and catch up on our lives. We were in no rush to leave. No one at the Petrossian seemed inclined to rush us, either. There was another table with two women nearby who were also enjoying tea, but it wasn’t packed with people. What a shame. This really is a relaxing experience, so different from the action-packed, sensory-stimulation one normally has every minute in Las Vegas. I loved it.

Condiments

Condiments

We couldn’t finish everything, so I sent Julie home with the leftovers. I was leaving the next day, so I doubted I’d get to them.

Now for the answer to the most important question for you: Would I be comfortable doing this alone?

And the answer is: Yes, absolutely! Now that I’ve seen for myself the quantities of food involved and experienced how serene and relaxing it can be, not only could I do this alone, but I may have to build in “tea time” to every future trip! I think relaxing over afternoon tea while reading a good book on my Kindle sounds like a slice of heaven. But I’d probably want to make sure my hotel room had a refrigerator for leftovers. Because there would be leftovers.

Have you experienced afternoon tea in Las Vegas as a solo traveler? Where did you go? What was your experience like?

Petrossian Afternoon Tea

Petrossian Afternoon Tea

What You Need to Know:

Where: The Petrossian Bar, Bellagio (off the lobby)
When: Daily, 1-4pm (*note the time has changed; it used to be 2-5pm)
Call for Reservations: (702) 693-7111 ext. 6163
Cost: minimum $35 per person before tax and tip.
The amount of food was too much for a light eater, but Julie says she thinks it would be just the right amount for someone with a more typical appetite.

20 thoughts on “Afternoon Tea at the Petrossian

  1. Tracy Antonioli

    Oh I am SO doing this the next time I’m in Vegas! I didn’t even know it was an option. I LOVE tea. And by ‘tea’, I do mean ‘the whole experience’, not just the beverage.

    And favorite line from this post–“I felt like such a grownup”. Ha! Love it!

  2. Dave Wang

    I am totally psyched to hear that this is solo-friendly. I’ve only ever had a full-blown tea service once, and I had a blast. I can totally see myself sitting with a good book for an hour or so while injesting an unhealthy number of calories!

  3. Nate

    This definitely sounds fantastic for two people, but I’m not sure I’m sold on the idea of it being great for solos. I feel awkward enough eating at the buffets by myself, and afternoon tea has just always struck me as something that’s meant to be a social experience. Of course, I’ve never actually tried it before, so maybe experiencing it would change my mind. I might have to see if I can convince someone to join me next time I go down there.

    (Hopefully whoever joins me is planning to give me all their dessert, because if those pastries are as good in real life as they look in those photos, I will fight to the death over them.)

    1. Gray

      Note to self: Do not have tea with Nate. LOL.
      No seriously, Nate, just bring a book with you, it’ll be fine. I’m totally going to do it next time and then you’ll see!

  4. BarbC

    Hi Gray – I am so pleased to read that the Bellagio has afternoon tea. As you know, I have traveled to many places and if I can find an afternoon, I will be partaking. I have traveled to Victoria, BC, CA and have had tea alone at both the Empress Hotel and at Butchert Gardens. I had lots of fun at Butchert as I was seated in a room with three couples and they treated me like they had always known me… Even invited me to share the various teas that they were having. When I was in London, I made sure I had afternoon tea and again no one treated me weird. I never miss the afternoon tea on a cruise even if my cabin mate is not interested. Of course, on a ship, no one really knows who is alone and who is not. Even if you are on a tight budget, I suggest that you always find the $$$ for an afternoon tea – whether it’s just you by yourself or with a group.

    1. Gray

      I love that, Barb! Especially the collegial nature of tea-sharing. 🙂 I suspect in cultures where tea is pretty much a daily occurrence, we would not even be questioning whether or not it’s “comfortable” to do alone. We’d just be doing it every day.

  5. BarbC

    How right you are – in New Zealand, everything stops for “a cuppa.” Those Kiwis must have their tea. 🙂

  6. SueB

    I’ve been looking for a ‘tea’ experience for my group. I live in LV. Alas, 35.00p/p is definitely out of my league, although this one sounds great.

    1. Gray

      Yeah, it’s pricey, but for the occasional “special” experience, I’m willing to pay it. If you find a good afternoon tea in Vegas that’s cheaper, do be sure to let us know!

  7. Shelly Youwakim

    I can’t wait to do this. Coming to Vegas in March and this is definitely on my itinerary. Also coming back next April for my daughter’s 21st and already she is excited to have afternoon tea with her “mum” ,

    I play a game of FB called myVEGAS slots. Great game with REAL rewards, and let me just add, High Tea is one of those rewards. They have many other rewards as well, including free food, entertainment and rooms (just to name a few.) Check it out, definitely worth your while if you plan on going to Vegas.

    1. Gray

      I’ve heard of myvegas, Shelly, it’s a good way to get freebies. Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to play it. Maybe before my next trip….

  8. Shelly Youwakim

    Gray, yes, it is a great way to get freebies. The best part is, there is definitely something for everyone. Last time got Love tix. This time the rewards include: High Tea, 2 night suite at Mirage, tickets to Zarkana, dining at NYNY, CC and Monte Carlo. We will be there soon enough and, I myself, may just wind up paying $3.50 for those cupcakes; they looked sooooo yummy. : )

  9. Shelly Youwakim

    Hi Gray,
    Honestly it depends on which reward you are wanting. All rewards have a number value on them, some of them are low (deck of cards is 2500 Loyalty Points and they go all the way to the extreme end 1,000,000 Loyalty Points to choose The Fountain Songs at Bellagio) There are many factors involved to earning lps, like how many friends you have, how long you play the game, how much you bet (the higher the bet the faster you rack up the points) so with that said High Tea 18,500 Loyalty Points…..a few weeks. A deck of cards, two days maybe. I hope this helped.
    PS: If you or any others decide to play the game, feel free to look me up and friend request me. : ) I’m addicted to the game.

  10. Tisha

    Hi Gray,

    At your recommendation, I tried this on my first solo trip last week. It was one of the rewards on the mLife myVegas game so I decided to redeem points and give it a whirl. I LOVED it. The sandwiches (Chicken Salad, Turkey, Ham/Cheese and Crab) were all delicious although I had spent all morning at the spa so I was starving by that point! My favorites were probably the Chicken Salad and Turkey. After swallowing the sandwiches whole, I finished off the scones which were also very good with the lemon curd. You are absolutely right about leftovers. I never even touched the pastries which might have bummed me out if it weren’t free.

    I will definitely do this again. I had my Kindle with me completely prepared to enjoy this experience with a good book but there was another solo woman there and we chatted the whole time. I appreciated the conversation but could absolutely see myself enjoying this alone. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

    1. Gray

      I’m so pleased to hear this, Tisha! And how serendipitous that you weren’t the only solo either. I love hearing stories like this, thanks for sharing! So glad you had a good time.

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