Eat

Winter Tea at Glen Eyrie Castle

 

We should have known it was going to take more than 10 minutes to walk back to the car, but we didn’t notice how far we’d wandered off while following some deer, and then the alarm went off and we started walking back but it was already 2:30 pm by the time we reached the car.

And technically, Garden of the Gods is only 5 minutes away from Glen Eyrie, but the GPS failed to consider that the road out is one-way, and combined with the slow ass cars in front of us, had us crossing the gate and saying hi to the aforementioned cute guard at 2:45. Ugh. Hate being late to these things. 

Lovely Edenjoy, our server, was already expecting us, and the starter was already served on our table. Thankfully, it seemed nobody noticed our late entry.

I believe I know what is on the plate in front of me, but I take a look at the menu just to be sure:

Smoked Pork Belly & Quail Egg

Hoisin Glaze, Sweet Potato Chips, Micro Greens

Citrus Supreme Salad

Arugula, Seasonal Citrus Fennel, Citrus Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Smoked Salmon

Flat Bread, Dill, Crème Fraîche, Pickled Red Onions, Capers

Fig and Walnut Bruschetta

Fresh Figs, Toasted Walnut, Local Honey

Jambon de Paris

Ham, Gruyere, Dijon Mustard

Cranberry Orange Scone

Pecan White Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate S’Mores Tartlet

 Wassail Cider

Raw Apple Cider, Oranges, Spices

I can’t quite figure out where the quail egg is supposed to be, but I’ll assume it’s the small white spheres perched on top of the crunchy pork belly square. As delicate and high-end as pork belly can get, it is crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside, melting into the sweet hoisin glaze as soon as it hits your tongue. The chips are extremely thin and provide a nice crunchy balance without overwhelming.

The citrus in the vinaigrette seems to be grapefruit, and paired with the arugula makes this salad pleasantly bitter. The fennel is juicy and aromatic. It’s a good salad but there’s nothing spectacular about it. I mean, it’s a salad for crying out loud. I’ve yet to be truly blown away by a salad.

On the other hand, Crème Fraîche that is truly fresh, intensely smoked salmon, and pickling that mitigates the red onion’s intensity, make this a minuscule, crunchier version of the best lox bagel you’ve ever had. I’m just sad it’s so tiny and gone in the blink of an eye.

The brioche is very crunchy (a recurring theme today, it appears), and very buttery. I can barely taste the dijon mustard, and I certainly wish there was a bit more cheese, but this is still a great little morsel.

I don’t love figs. I don’t particularly enjoy walnuts. This may have been my favorite bite of the evening. 

As always, the desserts, in general, do not disappoint. The cranberry orange scone is surprisingly moist, and the glaze adds a little extra if it were missing any. I’m also pleasantly surprised that this scone indeed tastes like cranberry orange since more often than not, the flavor is there by name only. The cookie is chewy, the white chocolate is creamy, but the pecan is a bit hidden. The tartlet is crispy and buttery, with a perfect toasted marshmallow-to-dark chocolate ganache ratio. My favorite of the three.

I’m mindlessly stirring my tea when Edenjoy pops up with a steaming mug of Wassail, which is a heavily spiced, Medieval Christmastide cider I’d never heard of before. She promptly informs my inquisitive eyebrows that it does not have any alcohol in it. Oh well. The strength of the spices more than makes up for it, with cinnamon and clove asserting their presence and nutmeg playing coy. Alternating between sips of Wassail and Winter Palace Marzipan Rooibos, my stomach starts to protest and the familiar tiredness of my impending food coma starts to wash over me. It’s best we leave before Edenjoy has to come poke me with a stick.

It’s cold outside and quite snowy (although curiously not as frigid as it was in autumn), so we head out through the heavy main doors, which are closer to where we hurriedly parked earlier.

I’m quite content with lunch. Glen Eyrie continues to surprise and amuse me, and I’m looking forward to the announcement of the Spring and Summer Teas. As much as I personally enjoyed the Autumn Tea, the Winter Tea was objectively better overall. 

On our way out, we drive past Garden of the Gods once more, admiring how the setting sun bounces off the red rocks and white snow. We should do this in the morning sometime.

Food:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Service:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Value:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

 

The tea is $22.95 + tax on weekdays (Monday – Thursday), and $29.95 + tax on weekends (Friday – Sunday) since weekends include 2 or 3 more food items than weekdays do. Tea is served at 11:00 and again at 14:30. Keep in mind the menu is different every season, every year.

Glen Eyrie is located on 3820 North 30th Street, Colorado Springs, CO.

 

Andrea Wintergerst

Based mainly in Colorado. Loves cheese, rain, and starry nights. Can usually be spotted in the wild wearing a Spirit Jersey and balancing two cameras. Often laughs and cries at the same time.

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