Charming Art Deco design and feminine touches instantly set the mood at Velverie Café and Teahouse in Beverly Hills. Inspired by European café culture, owner Chloe Strumpf has given a touch of Old Hollywood glam to the lovely setting. It’s a family affair, with Strumpf’s father helping build the space, and her mother adding interior design influences.
Strumpf’s mother greeted us and seated us at a table adorned with bright pink velvet chairs. Purple is Velverie’s signature color with gold accents, chandeliers, and a large separate bar area with windows overlooking Little Santa Monica Blvd.
Strumpf is a native of California who incorporates her love of pop culture, art, and music into her café. I hired Executive Chef Junior Perez, who worked with Chef Celestino Drago and Executive Vice Chef Oscar Correas to create an accessible, elegant brunch and afternoon tea service.
The high ceiling in the dining room creates a beautiful space for afternoon tea. We sipped pretty pink iced tea with lemon slices, and enjoyed avocado toast with thin slices of radish and cucumber with a sprig of mint and a dusting of sumac.
My friend and I also ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, made with chicken marie, melted manchego, lascinato kale leaves, caramelized lemon and harissa aioli with long, crispy French fries.
My Niçoise salad was served on a white Chinese plate with purple edges and the name Velverie in the middle. Young lettuce greens were tossed with red wine vinegar. On top were sliced boiled eggs, roasted potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and red onions. I enjoyed the baked beans, a sprinkle of Nichoise olives and a generous slice of seared albacore tuna. Other menu items include cacio e pepe on toast, poached egg tartine with onion jam, French ham, frisee on croissant toast, BLCT sandwich with smoked bacon, Little Gem lettuce, Dungeness crab salad, and heirloom tomatoes. Hearty items include steak and Tunisian couscous with charred vegetables, a Velverie burger made with Crexton Farms beef, Gruyere confit garlic aioli, slow-roasted tomatoes, bed and breakfast pickles, and half a roasted chicken with mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and pickled vegetables.
Velverie offers three different tea experiences starting with The Regency Tea. Guests can choose from 10 different types of infused tea or a cup of brewed coffee. A glass of Brut or a cocktail can be added at an additional cost.
The tower has two different types of tea sandwiches to choose from such as smoked salmon, cream cheese, turkey and pesto or Provencal tuna salad. There are also some pastries, fresh fruit, mini scones, cream and homemade preserves.
Canapes & Conversation offers a variety of dips, snacks, Velverie eggs, cucumber, lemon cream cheese, and artisan bread, as well as tea or coffee. The latest is the Beverly Hills afternoon tea that includes mini avocado toast, coleslaw, golden leaf lobster rolls, and Belgian waffles with olive oil and balsamic caviar, plus macarons, silky crème brûlée, and a milk-chocolate bowl. This comes with a flight of three drinks including a flute prosecco, a glass of green juice and iced tea. Afternoon tea ranges from $50 to $64 per person and is served daily from 2-5pm.
To get into the fall mood, they’re now making a seasonal Latte Érable that contains espresso, brown sugar, maple syrup, and evaporated milk sprinkled with cinnamon.
Visit Velverie Café and Teahouse for a modern European dining experience. As the neon sign on the purple wall states, “Je Ne Regrette Rien” – I have no regrets – and you never will. Opens daily at 9am and closes at 5pm $$ 9737 S. Santa Monica Blvd. , (310) 402-2296.