High tea in an elegant hotel is a posh tradition that feels even swankier during the holidays. Here are some of the best teas that celebrate the season in festive style:
The Peninsula Chicago. The hotel’s light-drenched lobby — thanks to 20-foot windows — is made even more graceful with a huge Christmas tree and lit garlands. Afternoon tea is served daily, but style-setters should book one of the afternoon fashion teas when boutiques stage informal fashion shows while guests nibble on black currant scones. Tory Burch designs will be on full display during the December 9th tea, and the latest from Luca Luca will be featured on the December 16th. Tea is served daily at 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 4 and 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The Plaza Hotel. This historic New York hotel’s Palm Court offers a holiday menu along with its kid-focused Eloise tea, which channels the storybook mischief-maker with dishes such as grilled cheese, pink lemonade and organic peanut butter and jelly. The gingerbread men, pumpkin tartlets and foie gras terrine will put adults in a merry mood, too. (You also won’t be able to miss the pink Eloise tree by designer Betsey Johnson while you’re at the hotel.) Tea is served daily from 2 to 5 p.m.
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. The Four-Star hotel’s annual Teddy Bear Tea is designed for small revelers, with “Stretchy the Elf,” Santa and a giant teddy bear on hand for squeal-inducing entertainment. Tea sandwiches and cookies come with sing-a-longs, storytelling and a take-home bear. The tea is served at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekends until December 11, and daily from December 14 through Christmas Eve.
Bonus tip: Make a note to book early for next year’s Teddy Bear Tea at Four Seasons Hotel Boston. The sold-out extravaganza often features celebrity guests (model Gisele Bündchen read kids a story last year). No ticket? Kids will still love dropping by the Christmas tree in the lobby — every inch of it is covered with teddy bears.
Photos courtesy of iStock and The Peninsula Chicago