Where: Upper East Side, NYC Style: Elegant Traditional Tea Selection: 18 loose leaf teas by Dammann Frères Teatimes: Daily 2-6 Reservations: Highly suggested Contact: 212-838-1400 Cost:$55 The Classic Pembroke Tea Destination Tea Tips: For a cozy afternoon tea, request a corner table, and bring tip money for the coat check. To reach the Pembroke Room, you will take a lobby elevator upstairs.
Destination Tea Notes: As you arrive for afternoon tea at The Lowell, you feel yourself a true New Yorker, imagining you’ve just finished shopping at the high end fashion houses around the corner on Madison Avenue, and afterwards might pop over to Bergdorf Goodman and Tiffany’s before strolling through Central Park. Built in 1927 and renovated for its 90th birthday, The Lowell breathes refinement and class without being uptight. The staff is inviting and solicitous and the tea selection from France’s Dammann Frères is a rare treat in an American tearoom. We were surprised at the few missteps in the meal, which, based on others’ glowing reviews, seems uncharacteristic of The Lowell. However, all told, we enjoyed making a holiday family memory and luxuriating in the charming Pembroke Room.
Where: Roswell, GA Style: Antebellum Tea Selection: Choice of black or decaffeinated tea Teatimes: Select dates in December Reservations: Pre-paid reservations required (teas sell out weeks in advance) Contact: 770-992-1731 Cost:$50 Christmas Tea (includes historic home tour) Destination Tea Tip: Keep an eye on our Metro Atlanta directory around early fall so that you can reserve your seats as soon as dates are posted. Be sure to allow time for the post-tea historic tour, included in the Christmas Tea fee.
Destination Tea Notes: Non-profit organization Friends of Bulloch gracefully hosts a well-planned annual Christmas Tea at the 1839 childhood home of Mittie Bulloch, mother to President Theodore Roosevelt, and grandmother to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Half of the pleasure of taking tea at Bulloch Hall is imagining American historical figures enjoying the holidays in the very same rooms. Tea here is all about the food — which is plentiful and homemade — and the conversation, as small parties share community tables, which of course, leads to shared stories. We know we are blessed to be seated with an octogenarian whose daughter graciously allows us to pepper her mother with questions about her views on longevity, marriage, career and life balance. Her advice is the true gift of the afternoon. As the tables are gradually cleared away, we gather in the foyer for our home tour led by a knowledgeable docent, marveling at her detailed accounting of family life in this 19th century home.
Where: Laurel, MD Style: Georgian Tea Selection: 2 loose leaf teas Teatimes: Monthly teas with multiple seatings Reservations: Reserved with credit card (teas can sell out weeks in advance) Contact: 301-377-7817 Cost:$30 Holiday Tea (ages 18 and up); $26 Members (includes gratuity and self-guided tour) Destination Tea Tip: Upon entering the Montpelier Mansion grounds, follow signs for the mansion, winding around to the parking lot and then walk up a brick path to the house. Be sure to allow time for a visit to the gift shop and your self-guided tour of this historical home.
Destination Tea Notes: The volunteer staff at Montpelier Mansion has thought of everything to make their afternoon tea events special, from decorations to favors, from gracious service to a masterfully catered menu provided by The Tea Trolley in Delta, Pennsylvania. Celebrating a holiday by taking tea at this 18th-century estate feels like we are properly ringing in the season. A light snowfall envelopes the mansion as we settle in for a scrumptious tea by a bedecked fireplace. Afterwards we dip a toe into the past during our self-guided tour and find locally made gifts at the mansion’s holiday Artists’ Boutique. Wisely, while bidding us farewell, Montpelier Mansion staff announce upcoming teas for the year, and if we were locals, we would be making every effort to miss not a one of them!