Harney & Sons does tea with Class- yes, that's a capital C. The atmosphere is a perfect blend of farmhouse coziness and Zen simplicity. Given that they are one of the largest tea importers in the country, their selection is truly spectacular, and the staff is fantastically knowledgeable. The best reason to visit H&S is the FREE tea tastings they offer at any time. They always have a 'tea of the moment' to try, and then they allow you to select two additional teas to try- any two in their whole catalog! You can't beat that. In retrospect, I probably owe my appreciation and love of fine teas entirely to H&S, and their tastings allow me to try the truly fine teas that I probably couldn't afford otherwise. Three cheers! Oh, just a warning. If you go on a weekend in the summer or fall, expect a total zoo in their tasting room. Weekdays are much better in these seasons.
My all-time favorite tea house! AMAZING food, especially the great selection of delicious scones. Great atmosphere- kind of like visiting grandma's house. Tea is always prepared flawlessly and the waitstaff is extremely knowledgeable. Prices can range from extremely reasonable to a tad overpriced, depending on what you order. I recommend ordering one of the spreads for two or more people to keep the bill in check. The only drawback I can think of is that this location can sometimes become overcrowded with waspy/yuppie women on a 'girls day out,' and that pompousness can rub off on the waitstaff a little (only sometimes). But, it's to be expected in this neighborhood, and a small price to pay for the incredible food and tea. At least Alice's has a no cell phone rule which helps keep the atmosphere nice and civilized. Overall, Alice's is not to be missed, and I try to make it there with my girlfriend at least twice a month.
Only went once, but it was a pretty bad experience. Zero to no atmosphere. Tea selection was average. The biggest complaint I had was that the oh-so-trendy hipster waitstaff didn't seem to care about service, and didn't know their tea very well. Our waiter actually didn't know the difference between an Oolong and a Green. The pot of tea we had had about 1/2 as many leaves as it should of for a proper brew. Further proof that hipsters suck.