PICNIC by the Cafe des Beaux-Arts NOW OPEN

The Flagler Museum's Café des Beaux-Arts offers seasonal refreshment options to visitors seeking a culinary experience, from its signature Tea Service in the Flagler Kenan Pavilion to a new a la carte option called PICNIC. Find details below on our Gilded Age-inspired food and beverage concepts which are available during select general admission hours. 

 

PICNIC by the Café des Beaux-Arts - Now Open!

Open Tuesday through Friday
11:30 am to 3 pm

Grab-and-go fare • Cold beverages
Seating available outside in the Cocoanut Grove

Available for purchase in the West Room at Whitehall, PICNIC's menu of light bites, sweet treats, and ice-cold beverages includes the same black tea served at our Gilded Age-style Tea Service — a Harney & Sons blend made especially for the Flagler Museum. Lemonade is also on the menu with PICNIC's cold and slightly sweet version of the black tea, both served in glass bottles. Hungry guests might choose the Whitehall Turkey Sandwich topped with brie and cranberry sauce and served on a crusty baguette. Sides include a red grape cluster and a creamy potato salad to create a satisfying mid-day meal. The Cheese Platter with its assortment of cured meat, fruit, honey, and artisan crackers or the Crudité tray of fresh veggies with a creamy dip are excellent choices for those who wish to share a nosh. Those with a sweet tooth may choose from lavender cookies, which are inspired by Victorian-era tea cakes, or a decadent cupcake. (Menu is subject to change. Prices range from $3.75 to $16.50.) 

As food and beverage are not permitted inside Museum buildings, crisp white paperboard PICNIC boxes will be given to each guest to carry their fare outside to the Cocoanut Grove, where tables and chairs offer respite in the shade of the palm trees. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Unlike the tea service, PICNIC's grab-and-go-to-the-Grove fare is offered for purchase a la carte; reservations or pre-orders are not required. The iced tea, lemonade, and cookies as well as the savory Crudité dip mix will be available for purchase in the Museum Store during all general admission hours.

PICNIC food photos

 

A Gilded Age-style Tea Service by the Café des Beaux-Arts

Offered seasonally (November through May) - CURRENTLY CLOSED

Prix-fixe menu
Includes Museum admission
Located inside the Flagler Kenan Pavilion

Thanks to all our guests who joined us in the Café during the 2019-2020 season. The Café's Gilded Age-style Tea Service featured an array of delicacies and refreshments reminiscent of the elegance of entertaining at the turn of the 20th century. Located in the Flagler Kenan Pavilion, guests of the Café enjoyed spectacular panoramic views of Lake Worth and the West Palm Beach skyline.

Flagler Museum Cafe table top

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TEA

Gilded Age Americans saw themselves as the most highly evolved western culture in history. Because of this mindset, they felt free to borrow traditions and rituals from previous great western civilizations including ancient Rome and Greece, Italy, and the nation's former ruling power, Britain. One of the most cherished and ritualistic traditions observed by Americans during the Gilded Age came from Britain – the practice of afternoon tea.

While the drinking of tea dates back to ancient China, the practice of taking a formal afternoon tea dates back to the early nineteenth century. In 1840s England, Anna, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford, began inviting friends for tea and cakes in the late afternoon. As dinner was not customarily served until 8:00 p.m., the interim light meal provided a respite from the "sinking feeling" many upper-class women felt during the long wait between lunch and dinner. The tradition of the tea gradually developed, reaching its height of popularity during the Gilded Age.

The fashion of serving afternoon tea evolved into a complex ritual of formality and etiquette. The event could be a simple "Low Tea" of scones, sandwiches ("savories"), sweets and desserts – commonly known as "Full Tea" – or the affair could be very elaborate with meats, cheeses, butter, bread, sandwiches, scones, and desserts known as "High Tea." The equipage of tea also evolved to suit the formality of the event. Kettle drums, mote spoons, tea strainers, bone china cups and cozies all added to the enchantment of the ritual.

The etiquette of the afternoon tea was part of the refined American's indoctrination into Society. Edith Wharton frequently mentioned the practice of having tea in her many literary works set during America's Gilded Age. Both the 1884 book, Manners and Social Usages, and the 1898 book, The Well-Bred Girl in Society instructed young women in the art of serving a fine tea. Everything from baking the proper pastries, to setting the service, to boiling the water ("just enough so the oxygen does not leave the water") was covered in these primers.

Tea was always served loose, necessitating the use of mote spoons and tea strainers. However, when in 1908 New York vendor Thomas Sullivan sent samples of his tea to customers in silk bags, the tea bag was "invented". The commercial production of tea bags in gauze began in the 1920s, and by 1935 the familiar string-and-bag format with the logo of the tea maker was an American staple. American renditions of the popular drink were also invented during the Gilded Age, including the first iced tea which was served in 1904 on a hot summer day at the World's Fair in St. Louis.

PICNIC in the Cocoanut Grove

PICNIC in the Cocoanut Grove

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FlaglerMuseum Macaroons website

 Gilded Age-style Tea Service

Mothers Day website

Whitehall Special Blend Tea

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Recreate our Gilded Age Tea Service at home!

Our black tea blend and Legacy Collection china are part of some unique packages inspired by the Cafe des Beaux-Arts. 

Shop Tea Time in our Online Store