Fantastic flavors in the food. Incredible selection of teas. I loved the international scope of the menu. Russian tea from the samovar was superlative: smoky, complex flavors that perfectly complemented the tasty treats served in the Russian tea service. Modern, 'chic' decor: spare and clean, but without the sound bouncing annoyingly off the walls that we suffer at so many restaurants. Service was extremely nice and helpful, and they let us linger over our afternoon tea. Exciting menu: so many wonderful things to choose from, I'll just have to return.
I visited Lovejoy's shortly after going to tea at the Ritz Carlton hotel in SF. For me, Lovejoy's was twice as nice at half the price. At the Ritz Carlton, there were several doormen and footmen, and a human signpost in the entrance hall, but the portions, though elegant, were miniscule, and left everyone hungry. At Lovejoy's, the food was good (including imaginative sandwiches), the portions big, and the service outstanding. I love the cozy decor with the antique sofas, mismatched cups, and doilies everywhere. Three of us arrived without a reservation on a busy weekend afternoon. They were waiting for a birthday party with a reservation that was already 15 minutes late. They asked us to wait 5 more minutes, and then seated us at the reserved area, which was rather large for just us three. We had looked over the menu (and I had gotten attached to my cup and saucer) when the birthday party finally arrived. Apologetically, the hostess asked if we would mind moving to a smaller table that had finally become available, and offered a complimentary upgrade to our tea service selections. She encouraged me take the beautiful cup in front of me to the new table. At Lovejoy's they really took care of us. I left with a satisfied tummy, and I had a delicious, warm, wonderful time. If you want to pretend to be a Brittish peer with tons of servants, go to the Ritz, but if you want to be treated as family in a place where my English Grandmother would have felt right at home, go to Lovejoy's.