Q
What is Afternoon Tea anyway?
A Afternoon Tea is a British ritual and an institution that has been around since 1840, when the Duchess of Bedford used to get a bit peckish around 4:00 in the afternoon. She would have her servants fetch her a pot tea, some bread and butter and a slice cake to keep her going as she rested in her boudoir. No doubt she got a tinsey bit bored all by herself with only a lap dog to keep her company so she invited a couple of girl friends round for a good ol’natter and viola’  tea and cakes at 4:00 rolled into Afternoon Tea! Hoorah for the Duchess of Bedford! Going “out to tea” in fancy hotels in London came about forty years later and is a whole other story. If you are keen to know more than ask Amy when you are in the tea salon and she’ll regale with all the details… way more then you probably even wanted to know!

Q
Are reservations necessary?
A On weekends reservations are definitely necessary. We get booked up in advance by 5 to 10 days before the up coming weekend. During the week it is less crazy but it is always nice to know you are coming, so go ahead and book a table via the website or by calling us directly on 415-771-4252.

Q
Do you do a Gluten Free Afternoon Tea?
A We do indeed! And we may be the only tea room in the Bay Area that has a complete Gluten Free Tea Service! We source the finest gluten free bread, scones and sweet treats from the fabulous gluten free bakery, Flour Craft in San Anselmo, Marin County! (www.flourcraft.com) It will cost you an extra $6.00 per tea service but it is so worth it to not feel icky after eating copious amounts of gluten, if you are in fact gluten sensitive or suffer from the dreadful Celiac’s disease!  Now if you are vegan or have a load more allergies… it can be tricky so ring us in advance to discuss options.

Q
Do have a Private Party room ?
A We have a fab party room, up on the mezzanine, which makes the perfect place to host a lifecycle event. A Wedding shower, baby shower, a grown up or children’s birthday  party will work as well! We host our Planner Par-Teas and craft events in there too. If you have an idea for a gathering of tea loving folk then give Amy a ring and she will sort you out! There is a ten person minimum and a twenty-four people maximum. Click here to get all the info!

Q
Is there a dress code?
A No, but if you feel like dressing up, of course, you are quite welcome to wear whatever you like. However Chris frowns upon flip-flops, but that’s just his opinion!! Amy loves fancy frocks and hats so go ahead and make an effort.. or not.

Q
Can we share an Afternoon Tea service?
A We have designed our tea service to be enough food for one person. If you want to share it, might we suggest ordering an extra scone and crumpet so each person has one of each and there will be no fighting!

If you don’t want to do that, then we will be obliged to charge you a shared plate fee of $6. We really appreciate your understanding of this annoying policy.

Q
Do you do anything for birthdays?
A Do we ever?! We will be happy to bring the birthday girl or boy, of any age, a complimentary cupcake with a candle, blow bubbles and sing to them…badly!!

Q
I want to come with a larger group for Afternoon Tea?
A We love a crowd, the more the jollier as the saying goes! For more than six people we do require a credit card to hold the reservation. We don’t charge you unless you don’t bother to ring us and cancel with in 24 hours. If we have to chase you down 10 minutes after you should be sitting in the dining room and your off on holiday far away then we have to charge you $20 per person!! So ring us if you need to cancel your big group at least 24 hours in advance!! Oh, and a pre-order is a must, read about that below.

If your group gets bigger than 14 people then we may have to book the party room for you which is a whole other story. See here:  Also we strongly recommend a pre order for groups larger than 8 people! See the next question for the reason why.

Q
Why do we need to do a pre order for a group of 8 or more people?
A We need a pre-order for a group larger than 8 or more more because we have a tiny kitchen, a lot of people to serve and a variety of options. What we don’t want is unhappy guests who have to wait ages to get their order because the kitchen gets backed up to accommodate a huge, varied order of Afternoon Tea, Panini sandwiches, chicken pot pies and a couple rounds of toasts without warning… we want you to have the best, service that is timely and tasty! So please let us help with the menu choices when you book a large group! Thank you for your understanding!

Q
Are Children allowed ?
A We love kids of all ages. Please do bring them along if you have any up your sleeves. Afternoon Tea is a excellent experience to remind them of their fine manners that you have been teaching them all along! Our “Nursery Tea” is the perfect introduction to the hows and whys of this loved ritual. We have a selection of non caffeine teas and of course our wacky famed hot chocolate for tots as well!

Just tell’em “no touching the Faerie door.”  Those cheeky fairies are known to bite little fingers that try to open their pink door! But they are welcome to leave a note in the Faerie’s post box. We often feature them in our photo gallery.

Q
Can I bring food from outside, like a cake or maybe a lobster?
A

Well, if you want to bring a cake or even a cupcake thats not a problem.. a lobster..hmm probably not unless its on a leash. BUT.. keep in mind if you do  bring a cake or cupcakes from somewhere else you will make us very sad because Miss Amanda, the pastry chef extraordinaire makes the most amazing cakes and sweets ever! And we will charge you a $3.00 cake plating fee per person if we serve up that cake to you and your guests… clean plates and forks and fresh napkins add up! So instead look here for ordering a cake for your special event and you won’t even want to bring something from somewhere else!

Q
Can we choose the sandwiches we will have on our Afternoon Tea Service?
A

So heres a bit of information for when you go to the Britain and order Afternoon Tea in a lovely tea salon or a fancy hotel… you don’t ask the chef…”hey whats cook’in good look’in? ” You get what you get and you don’t get upset! Well guess what… thats what happens here! Because we like to emulate the fine establishments that exist in the UK for Afternoon Tea we carry on the tradition of freshly made, everyday, quality ingredients created by our chefs to serve to you from our tiny kitchen. If we let you choose  your sandwiches etc… it could take you ages to decide, the Trolley Dolly might get the order wrong and you have taken up half your tea time  trying to figure out what sandwiches and sweets you want! Good grief, let us take the pressure off and serve you our latest and greatest options. If you dislike anything we have served then let us know and we will fetch you something else that will please you and we won’t be offended! If you ask us what the tea sandwiches are for the day we are thrilled to tell you and you can pick and choose from them especially if you don’t like surprises or have dietary restrictions. We have over 24 sandwiches in our repertoire but we make up to six different ones a day… surely we will have something you love! Thanks for your understanding!

Q
Can I buy your fantastic Teas to take home with me?
A

Oh yes please! We are delighted that you can carry on drinking our delightful teas at your leisure in your charming homes! We sell  all our loose leaf teas by the ounce in fun, pink bags and a cute label! Just ask your Trolley Dolly or Dandy for the price list and we can whip up an ounce or more for you! Prices start at $8.00 an ounce. If you get back home and you keep dreaming of the delicious tea you imbibed with us and forgot to buy some just ring us immediately and we will send you some in the post. Soon we will have an online shop and you will be able to purchase it that way too!

Q
You used to have a retail shop at your old location.. do you have one in the New People location?
A

We sure did, it was  a doozy of a shop in the Ghiradelli Sq.location and  how Amy misses those glorious days of shopping for it but alas there is not room for one here in the New People building but thank goodness for cyber shopping! Soon, once Jen, (our web master supreme), finishes creating this new web site  and designing a cool “vinyl skin” for the cute Mini car Amy zooms around in, she’s  getting to work on the web shop! So have no fear shopping will be near! In the meantime we do have a small selection of tea related gift items to be purchased at Crown & Crumpet. Look in the antique vitrines on the counter.

Q
What is a Trolley Dolly?
A

We have always thought that the word ” server” is so dull and “waiter” or “waitress” is so very un-pc in these parts.  We rather like the cool 1960’s London  turn of phrase of  “Trolley Dolly” for a delightful, attractive server who mostly pushed a trolley down the aisles of jumbo jets … it has a sort of panache for our guys and gals who look after you in our establishment. However we do call the gentlemen a “Trolley Dandy”. Please be assured the Trolley Dollies of yester- year have assured us they are not offended by use of this title in the modern age, they find it rather quaint.. we hope you do too!

Q
What is the Parking situation ?
A Ah.. Parking, the bain of life in the city… well lucky for you there is a parking garage right across the street. It is the Japantown Centre Garage and you can enter either on Post street or on Geary St. Sadly they don’t extend valedation tickets to us but you can get a validation in the mall!

Q
Do you do any sort of catering?
A Why, yes we do indeed! Of course we prefer to see you and your lovely friends and family here at Crown & Crumpet but if you have to host a tea party out in the world then you have called upon the right tea folks to make that happen! Click here to get all the info.

Q
Do you take credit cards?
A Yes we do, we take all credit cards, and cash of course, but no checks, sorry. Chris will also take payment in vintage cars.

Q
Do you ever make donations to charity?
A

If you are asking for a donation for your school event, non profit party  or old Aunt Millie we are definitely keen to help you out… well, actually Aunt Millie may have to help with the dishes if we donate anything to her… but we are always happy to consider making a donation to your event. Here is how it works: You send us, via an email, the standard letter your school/charity creates when soliciting for donations, we fill out the form that is attached to it and then we arrange for a super fun “Tea For Two” gift ribbon to be picked up by you in time for your event. Keep in mind the ol’ tax man keeps an eye on the quantities of our yearly donations so at some point in the year we have to cap it but it never hurts to ask. Click here to send us that donation letter.