Pink, sweets, and HELLO KITTY–all things that my daughters dream of! We are lucky to be local to the Irvine Spectrum Center which is conveniently located where the 5 and 405 meet in Orange County. We visited the Hello Kitty Truck when it was just a temporary fixture and have been to the new permanent Hello Kitty Grand Cafe located by the Grand Wheel for pastries and drinks. But did you know there is an entire exclusive tea party room behind that elusive white Bow Door? We are so grateful to Hello Kitty Cafe and Irvine Spectrum Center for providing these services for free for our family so we could celebrate LittleGray’s birthday!
I was researching unique birthday celebration ideas in Orange County and Afternoon Tea at the Bow Room felt like the perfect special occasion spot. The girls felt so special as they were escorted past the Bow Door into a pink room decorated with the finest Hello Kitty decor. The table was set with Hello Kitty dishes and everything was so Kawaii! We had a reservation for 5 people and our group had the entire room to ourselves. It was the perfect environment to catch up and have a private birthday party just for LittleGray.
The Bow Room Afternoon Tea Experience
When we were seated, our host asked us if we were celebrating anything and if we had any food allergies. She also went over the tea selection and let the girls know they could also get lemonade or strawberry lemonade instead of tea. We chose lychee peach, pomegranate green, and the birthday tea which was a blend of raspberries and hibiscus. I definitely recommending each person picking a different flavor tea since they come in big Hello Kitty pots meant for sharing. The tea was served with the cutest Hello Kitty shaped pink sugar!
The first course was fresh strawberries in chocolate whipped cream. LittleGray got a special birthday edition with a birthday cake design on top while the rest of us got the classic Hello Kitty design. They were huge and the girls had a hard time finishing!
Next up was the main event: the Hello Kitty tier of treats! I wasn’t aware of this going in, but the tea sets are only served in multiples of two. Even though we had five people, we only got 4 of each pastry. Since the girls shared some of the items, we didn’t have a shortage of food and even had some to take home. They do have options for dietary restrictions if you notify them in advance. A couple of the items had tree nuts (almonds) but we were able to eat around them. Here’s a quick rundown of the treats that were offered:
- cucumber sandwich with dill cream cheese on a Hello Kitty milk bread
- creamy egg salad in a miniature cone
- pesto tart with mozzarella and tomato
- buttermilk scone served with jam and Hello Kitty butter
- Hello Kitty raspberry and almond mini cake
- raspberry macaron
- lemon tart with Hello Kitty white chocolate
- miniature chocolate cake with Hello Kitty Chocolate
Our Afternoon tea ended with a palate cleansing lemon flavored Hello Kitty gummy. We made sure to box up all our leftovers so we could enjoy Hello Kitty at home!
Hello Kitty Grand Cafe
If you don’t want to reserve the full Bow Room Afternoon Tea experience, you can also visit the front part of the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe for free without reservations. There, you can purchase a variety of sweets and drinks to-go. They are best known for their hot mini donuts made fresh in store! For birthdays past, we’ve gotten the signature square cake that is covered with sprinkles. The walls are beautifully decorated for the perfect instagram pic and there’s even a Hello Kitty statue to pose with as well!
Bow Room Cocktail Service
On select evenings, the Bow Room gets transformed into a 21+ cocktail lounge. This is a separate experience from the Bow Room Afternoon Tea, so unfortunately you can not order signature cocktails during the Afternoon Tea (other alcoholic beverages like mimosas and champagne are available during Afternoon Tea for an additional fee). I’m hoping to return to the Bow Room for the Cocktail service for an adults only night out!
Know Before You Go
- It’s best to make reservations in advance for the Afternoon Tea in the Bow Room so you can ensure service at your preferred time. Some walk ins may be accommodated on a first come first serve basis.
- The Afternoon Tea experience is $55 a person (no discounts for children). Children 3 and younger are complimentary, but they will not get a dedicated seat or serving. Most places had booth seating on at least one side of the table so it would be very easy to fit in a toddler.
- The tiered tea treat service is only served in multiples of two. This means if you have an odd number of people, they will round down to the next multiple of two. For example, even though we had 5 people, we only got 4 of each treat.
- The entire experience is about 45 minutes to an hour long. The Bow Room does close around 4:00 so they can transform the space for Cocktail Service.
- Food allergies (gluten, nuts, etc.) can be accommodated, but be sure to let them know when you check in.
- Some alcoholic beverages like mimosas and champagne are available during the Afternoon Tea for an additional fee. Tea or lemonades are included in the price.
- The Bow Room is located in the secret back portion of the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe. The closest parking lot at the Irvine Spectrum is by Nordstrom. When you arrive, walk straight through Nordstrom until you get to the huge white Great ferris Wheel. The Hello Kitty Grand Cafe is to the right of the wheel if your back is to Nordstrom.
- There is one restroom located inside the Bow Room. Be sure to visit it because it is super cute!
- Exclusive merchandise is available at the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe. You do not need a reservation to shop or get pastries and drinks to-go.
This was the perfect way to kick off LittleGray’s birthday week! Huge thank you to Hello Kitty Cafe and Irvine Spectrum for hosting us. More information about the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe can be found at sanrio.com.