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“Delightful!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The St James Tearoom

The St James Tearoom
320 Osuna Rd NE, Bldg D, Albuquerque, NM 87107
+1 505-242-3752
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Ranked #33 of 1,562 Restaurants in Albuquerque
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $25 - $45
Cuisines: British, Tea Room
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Entertaining clients, Doing business, Large groups, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Description: The St. James Tearoom has been delighting guests with its sumptuous three-course traditional Afternoon Tea experience in an elegant parlour setting since 1999. Considered the 'grande dame' of area dining establishments (Alb. Journal), the tearoom has been featured in The Great Tearooms of North America by Bruce Richardson and CNN's Five Great American Tearooms, and has been the subject of articles in Albuquerque A Magazine, the Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican, Tea A Magazine, and many others. The tearoom is by reservation only, and reservations are for two hours. The St. James Tearoom provides for many types of group dining events, 2 people to 100, whether they are a birthday party, business meeting, bridal or baby shower, book club, retirement party, reunion, company event, or association party. The St. James Tearoom also features one of the finest gift shops in Albuquerque, The St. James Market, selling the finest loose leaf teas, tea accoutrements, teapots, china, cards, books, and fine quality gifts.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Delightful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013 via mobile

I absolutely recommend the tearoom for a girls night out with a twist. It is about $40 for food, tea, and tip which I felt was worth the price. Fabulous atmosphere that makes you feel like you are stepping back in time to have tea time in Europe. The food appears to be small portions but I assure you, you will be so full! They encourage tea time fashion which adds to the fun.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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75 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“WAY WAY EXPENSIVE”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Not worth it. Yes it's beautiful - but you really have to be on the rich side of the Abq population to afford this! NOBODY should be charged $32 for tea! Really! The management has been asked to have some things on the menu for those Abq people who aren't rich. But they refuse - claiming they don't make any money - BUT funny thing they bought a building on Osuna! If you're rich this is for you. If you are middle class - forget it - you are not welcome at this place.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eristicus, Owner at The St James Tearoom, responded to this review, August 28, 2013
PRICE COMPARISONS (as of 8/28/13)

* Empress Hotel, British Columbia, Full Tea - $78 PP. (Lobby Tea, tables very close to each other, non-private area, some mass produced food (we know from guests who have told us.)

* Russian Tearoom, Manhattan, Full Tea - $38 PP.

* Brown Palace Hotel, Denver - $31 to $50 PP (Light Tea versus Full Tea.) Lobby Tea, tables very close to each other, Non-private area, some mass-produced food.)

* The St. James Tearoom (Albuquerque), Full Tea - $31 PP. (Private area, two hour reservation, every item hand-made by our chefs.)


* Antiquity Restaurant (Albuquerque), NY Strip Steak - $33.95 per plate.

* Zinc Restaurant (Albuquerque), Salmon or Steak - $26 to $29 per plate (approx. 8 oz.)

* Vernon's Steakhouse (Albuquerque), Full Meal for 4 with wine - $400, or $100 PP. (I know because I went there a few months ago for a big celebration dinner! :)

* The St. James Tearoom (Albuquerque), Full Tea - $31 per person, 3 courses hand-made, private room, full two hour reservation.


I believe these current price comparisons make a convincing statement that we are quite comparably priced for the level of service we provide, the hand-made nature of every food item we produce, and the privacy and intimacy our facility provides, here in the Albuquerque, New Mexico market.

Sincerely,

Daniel C. Higbie
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“Love the St. James!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

I have visited the St. James on numerous occasions and have always enjoyed the experience. I went with a friend to celebrate both our birthdays recently. We had a lovely time. The price is a little high but for the setting, service and specialty foods, it is pretty reasonable at about $40 a person.

The St. James is in a lovely place. The garden area outside the tea room is delightful to stop and take a few photos before of after your tea. The rooms are all so beautifully detailed and very sweet. I appreciate having two hours to enjoy the tea and the food. Somehow every time I visit I think 2 hours is a lot of time but it passes quickly because it is so much fun.

My friend and I were there during the Boston Tea Party menu. The foods were very fresh and tasty. We appreciated being able to request a tisane as one of our tea selections as we are both a bit sensitive to caffeine. My favorite tisane is Van Gogh, Smiling. It has a gorgeous red color and is very delicate to the palette.

We also enjoyed being able to tell our hosts about our birthdays and have a special birthday welcome along with the sign that welcomed us by name. All in all the St. James delivered a wonderful experience.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“St James is enchanting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

Who would have thought that a world-class tea room would find a home in Albuquerque? I certainly did not. Having been to several of the best tea rooms in the civilized world and being somewhat of a tea snob, I can vouch that you will likely not find a better place to experience tea that at St. James Tea Room. Now, if you want a hamburger and fries or a Starbucks coffee Grande, then this...ahem...won't be your cup of tea. If, however, you want to experience a British pass-time in the Southwestern United States, there really isn't a better choice. Period. The tea is good. The service is impeccable. The Ambiance is beyond reproach. The price...is high. But if you compare it to the Plaza hotel or the Ritz, it's a bargain- at less than half those prices. And it's done better. Not for small children, but exceptional kids over the age of 10 may enjoy themselves.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Just too expensive for what you receive!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

Okay, I've been here twice with my girls. The first time, back in March 2013, we enjoyed ourselves. The service was great, tea was good, food was wonderful and delicious. We returned to celebrate my birthday last week and I wasn't impressed at all flinching as I received our bill this time. If you are paying as much as they charge, service better darn well be fantastic and the food better be wonderful. Unfortunately, this was not the case. They seated us close to another table and they were incredibly loud throughout the entire time we were there. They did not enforce their etiquette rules and we had to ask the server twice to ask the table to be quiet. This did help ruin our afternoon tea. Also, the food didn't seem at all fresh or really that good quite frankly. Granted we did arrive for the last seating of the day, but for this ridiculous price I better be served fresh food. Also, our waitress seemed somewhat new and inexperienced and she took a long time to serve us. Though I can sympathize with this, it was my birthday and I paid for an incredible experience. This means I want a server who knows what they are doing and helps to add to the experience. There were 5 of us at the table they seated us at and it was very crowded with all the place settings making it uncomfortable and difficult to serve ourselves! At any rate, for 5 of us it cost $170.00 and that did not include the tip. I personally do not think it was worth it and will not return. We certainly have a choice these days on where we spend our hard earned money and I can think of many other places to spend it and receive better service and most certainly food!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eristicus, Owner at The St James Tearoom, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
Although this happens rarely, it is terrible to hear when one of our guests' expectations are not met, and especially when something happens to ruin their experience. We always struggle with how far to take enforcing our policies of mutual courtesy when one group is loudly enjoying themselves but inadvertently offending a group that wishes to have deep, quiet conversation nearby, which happened in this case. If you enforce it too hard, the louder group gets offended, which means both groups are then upset! Often if we can, we move the quieter group to a completely different area, but I believe in this case every seating area was booked, and despite our server gently asking the other group to be a little quieter, they just were having a great (and loud) time. Truly between a rock and a hard place!

The one thing I can categorically say is that every single food item our team makes is hand-made every single day, to ensure freshness (I know, because I sign the food bills and paychecks for the kitchen, and they are not low!) This is not to say that sometimes one person's palate just will not match one of our menus, but it does go to show that having the shock of a louder group nearby when quiet and serenity was expected colors everything in the experience thereafter.

But this reviewer is absolutely correct that every guest should feel like it was worth the money they pay for the experience, every time. I just wish that the reviewer had contacted us directly, so that we could have made sure that she left completely content, whatever it would have taken, even had I needed to refund the entire bill! (Hint hint, frodo33) :) We are truly committed to making our guests happy - and we mourn every time we don't quite reach that pinnacle of excellence that we strive to every day.

Thank you,

Daniel C. Higbie
Co-Owner, The St. James Tearoom
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