Happy 200th Birthday to Alice’s Illustrator

Two hundred years ago, on February 28, 1820, John Tenniel was born. He would go on to become knighted for his artistic achievements, chief among them his 50-year-stint as political cartoonist for Punch magazine. According to Alice-in-Wonderland.net, author Lewis Carroll had originally wanted to do his own illustrations for “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” and when he did finally concede to working with a professional illustrator in 1864, was not an easy man to please. Eventually the pair would publish a story with images that are now iconic in the world of afternoon tea. In honor of Sir John’s depictions of a zany tea party whose guest list featured a Mad Hatter, March Hare, Dormouse and Alice herself, we have mined our afternoon tea directories for venues and events across the U.S. that serve tea in Wonderland.

tea party of Alice in Wonderland
“`Take some more tea,’ the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
`I’ve had nothing yet,’ Alice replied in an offended tone, `so I can’t take more.’
`You mean you can’t take less,’ said the Hatter: `it’s very easy to take more than nothing.’
`Nobody asked your opinion,’ said Alice.
`Who’s making personal remarks now?’ the Hatter asked triumphantly.”

Mad Hatter and Alice Tea Parties throughout the U.S.

Below we share pics of fabulously designed tea trays and themed decorations for Wonderland afternoon tea venues and events across the country. This story — written in the Victorian era when afternoon tea was all the rage — has certainly inspired folks to be whimsical and creative, which we love at a memorable tea party. In the list below, you’ll note the Mad Hatter is the standout favorite character, which does make sense if you’ve read the book: he was the host of a never-ending teatime…

mad hatter reciting
“…at the great concert given by the Queen of Hearts, and I had to sing
‘Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you’re at!’
You know the song, perhaps?’
`I’ve heard something like it,’ said Alice.
`It goes on, you know,’ the Hatter continued, `in this way:
‘Up above the world you fly, Like a tea-tray in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle–‘
Here the Dormouse shook itself, and began singing in its sleep
`Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twinkle–‘
and went on so long that they had to pinch it to make it stop.
`Well, I’d hardly finished the first verse,’ said the Hatter, `when the Queen jumped up and bawled out, ‘He’s murdering the time! Off with his head!’
`How dreadfully savage!’ exclaimed Alice.
`And ever since that,’ the Hatter went on in a mournful tone,
`he [Time] won’t do a thing I ask! It’s always six o’clock now.’
A bright idea came into Alice’s head.
`Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out here?’ she asked.
`Yes, that’s it,’ said the Hatter with a sigh: `it’s always tea-time, and we’ve no time to wash the things between whiles.’
`Then you keep moving round, I suppose?’ said Alice.
`Exactly so,’ said the Hatter: `as the things get used up.’

California

https://www.facebook.com/shakespearescornershoppe/photos/a.657297080969463/1912493488783143/
https://www.facebook.com/shakespearescornershoppe/photos/a.657297080969463/1912490445450114/
https://www.facebook.com/shakespearescornershoppe/photos/a.657297080969463/1912493378783154/

Connecticut

https://www.facebook.com/aliceinthevillage/photos/a.1019407254763407/1404255352945260/
https://www.facebook.com/aliceinthevillage/photos/a.1019407254763407/1232822713421859/

Georgia

Louisiana

Massachusetts

https://www.facebook.com/aliceinthevillage/photos/a.1019407254763407/2313810068656446/
https://www.facebook.com/aliceinthevillage/photos/a.1041700205867445/2618207764883340/
https://www.facebook.com/aliceinthevillage/photos/a.1041700205867445/2620383027999147/

Michigan

Minnesota

New Mexico

New York

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkmeY3UjkmQ/

North Carolina

https://www.facebook.com/TheInfusionCafe/photos/a.2789593491056292/2789628671052774/
https://www.facebook.com/TheInfusionCafe/photos/a.2789593491056292/2789628917719416/
https://www.facebook.com/TheInfusionCafe/photos/a.2789593491056292/2789629371052704/
https://www.facebook.com/TheInfusionCafe/photos/a.2789593491056292/2789640661051575/

Ohio

https://www.facebook.com/ClaraJsTeaRoom/photos/a.661667180545632/2203846089661059/
https://www.facebook.com/ClaraJsTeaRoom/photos/a.661667180545632/2203845932994408/
https://www.facebook.com/151647591512725/photos/a.679864595357686/3080506725293449/
https://www.facebook.com/151647591512725/photos/a.679864595357686/3064109453599843/

Oregon

https://www.facebook.com/clockworkrosetearoom/photos/a.1586328058298532/2253103404954324/
https://www.facebook.com/clockworkrosetearoom/photos/a.1586187808312557/2234371766827488/
https://www.facebook.com/clockworkrosetearoom/photos/a.1586187808312557/2234371496827515
https://www.facebook.com/deepwoodmuseum/photos/a.917551014971956/917551071638617/
https://www.facebook.com/deepwoodmuseum/photos/a.868150033245388/882509818476076/

Texas

https://www.facebook.com/117171701673718/photos/a.126684927389062/126690067388548/

Virginia

https://www.facebook.com/BelleGrovePlantationatPortConway/photos/g.856826717854521/2034723903230719

Check Your State’s Afternoon Tea Directory Often

Every month we update all our afternoon tea directories with new tearooms and events as we learn of them, so be sure to check back routinely to see what’s new in the afternoon tea world near you. Could be another mad teatime pops up in your listing!

DestinationTea
Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

We love comments! Destination Tea's comment policy shares a guiding principle with afternoon tea etiquette: please be gracious. We welcome honest comments that are not rude or scathing.