6 Tea Rooms That Are Perfect for Mother's Day Outings
Tea is to Mother's Day what ties are to Father's Day: a gift that's certainly appreciated, but perhaps a bit expected. If your mom is the type who can quote Hyacinth Bucket and somehow always knows what the British Royal Family is up to, you'd do well to upgrade her usual tea gift to a trip out to an actual tea room. Whether you're looking for the traditional high tea experience or would prefer to catch up in a more informal atmosphere, there's a tea room to match her interests. Here are just a few worth raising a pinky for.
① Queen Mary Tea Room (Seattle, WA)
The quintessential British tea experience can be found at Seattle’s Queen Mary Tea Room, which has the distinction of being the oldest independent tea room in America. Although it's a formal setting, complete with bone china and Victorian decor, it's anything but serious. The service is warm and friendly, while the menu is very approachable (read: sandwiches and scones).
② Gryphon (Savannah, GA)
Housed in a truly stunning circa-1926 building, the gracious café of the Savannah College of Art and Design hosts a lovely afternoon tea. Though the atmosphere is ornate, the tea menu is a simple, unfussy affair consisting of petits fours, tea sandwiches, pastries and scones. Be sure to look up when in the dining room; the stained-glass dome above the antique chandelier is truly a work of art. Afterward, take a walk around the beautiful squares of Savannah.
③ Alice's Tea Cup (New York City, NY)
There are three Alice's Tea Cup locations in New York City, all of which have a casual feel, thanks to their whimsical Alice in Wonderland theming. If we had to pick, Alice's Tea Cup Chapter II (156 E. 64th St.) is a favorite: The turquoise walls make a gracious backdrop, and the menu includes tea-themed cocktails. Plus, it's the largest of the three locations, making it a little easier to snag a table on a busy Sunday like Mother’s Day.
④ Pavilion (Chicago, IL)
This elegant restaurant at The Langham hotel is well suited for impeccable mothers who just have a way with beige. Make the trip for the Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood, a formal tea service inspired by high tea at The Langham, London. Enjoy finger sandwiches and petite pastries on elegant Wedgwood china, then finish with a glass of Champagne.
⑤ Mary Cassatt Tea Room & Garden (Philadelphia, PA)
Philly is a great city for cozy tea rooms, but the garden setting of the Mary Cassatt Tea Room at the Rittenhouse Hotel makes this experience a standout. Whether you're seated among the miniature trees and climbing vines, or overlooking the gorgeous sight from the huge windows of the tea room, the magical atmosphere only adds to the excellent sweet-and-savory pairings from executive chef Jon Cichon.
⑥ American Tea Room DTLA (Los Angeles, CA)
Part retail location, part café, the Downtown Los Angeles location of American Tea Room has a modern-casual vibe that makes you feel like you can chat without side-eye from the next table. It's less "high tea" than "a place to linger over a cup of tea." You can't go wrong with either the indoor tea lounge or the patio, each delivering a different experience. The lounge is situated around a 30-foot bar made of reclaimed wood, while the patio has a 25-foot living wallscape and fire pits. When in doubt, opt for the patio.
Brie Dyas is a contributing writer for Tasting Table and an avid collector of your grandmother's fine china. You can find her occasionally sharing photos on Instagram at @briedyas.
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