Jul 30, 2023 - Things to Do

Test drive: High tea and history tour at The Vinoy

Selene and her mother trying The Vinoy's new high tea. Photo: Selene San Felice/Axios

I come from a long line of Turkish tea fanatics — tea potheads if you will. So my mother and I had to check out the new high tea and history tour at The Vinoy in St. Pete.

State of play: A docent took us on a tour of the hotel, explaining its history going back to 1925 through its period of dereliction and shut down from the 1970s to 1990s, up to its newest renovations.

  • The tour ends with a walkthrough of the history gallery, which has artifacts from The Vinoy's beginnings, including original room keys, dishware, and handwritten guest records and postcards. Afterward, high tea was served nearby on the mezzanine.

Details: The experience costs $139 for adults and $70 for children 12 and under, including fees and gratuity. You can only reserve by calling the concierge at 727-404-5251. It’s offered 2-4pm Thursdays through Sundays.

Nice touches: The Earl Grey was mom-approved and they even boxed up what we didn't eat, including the marmalade and clotted cream.

  • Before The Vinoy shut down, someone thought to hide the original silverware from the 1920s wrapped in newspaper in one of the walls. That same silverware is used for the high tea, so you're dining with a piece of history.

The verdict: This was a fun mother-daughter activity, so I don't want to stir the (tea)pot. Everything at a luxury hotel is going to be more expensive, but the experience is a little pricey for locals just looking for something to do.

  • Unless you're treating someone to a birthday or anniversary gift, it might be more worth it to get drinks on the veranda or some treats inside at the new Lottie cafe and take your own stroll along the history gallery.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Tampa Bay.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Tampa Bay stories

No stories could be found

Tampa Baypostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Tampa Bay.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more