This Iconic California Wine Country Train Is Adding a Luxe High Tea Experience
The new service will be offered every weekend in April and May along the historic tracks dating back to 1864, on Napa Valley Wine Train's trademark three-hour, 36-mile roundtrip route between downtown Napa and St. Helena. Available to guests who are at least 10 years old, the experience departs at 11:30 a.m. from the McKinstry Street Station (check-in is at 10:30 a.m.).
As the train pulls out of the station, guests will first see an industrial part of Napa before riding past views of sprawling vineyards. The traditional tea service then kicks off with a glass of sparkling wine, or cider for those under the age of 21, served with a cheese plate.
The tea cart then passes through, serving up fine teas in ornate cups. Next, a demi-tasse portion of soup is presented along with a petit salad, before a classic tiered platter arrives with finger sandwiches, warm scones, and strawberries with Chantilly cream. The tastings are topped off with petit fours and other mini desserts. The train then arrives back in Napa at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $165 per person for the standard service. For guests who'd like to upgrade their experience for an additional $135 per two-top table, they'll also receive caviar, along with housemade chips, mini blinis, diced eggs, green scallions, and crème fraîche. A selection of more than 40 mostly local wines will also be available for purchase, along with wine flights and non-alcoholic drinks.
"We've created our new tea service as a perfect way to spend quality time with loved ones over a comforting cup of tea and flavorful treats in a luxury atmosphere," Napa Valley Wine Train general manager Nathan Davis said in a statement released to Travel + Leisure. "There is no better setting to transport guests to the glory days of afternoon tea than our train's antique Pullman railcars, which have been beautifully restored with Honduran mahogany paneling, brass accents, etched glass partitions, and plush armchairs."
In addition to its new afternoon tea service, Napa Wine Train also offers specially themed rides during the holiday season.