If your winter holidays are anything like mine, with each passing year it seems as if they sneak up on the calendar earlier, yet fly by faster. I’ve barely had time to tinsel – much less bake a batch of my grandmother’s famous kolaches – when the New Year is suddenly upon us, and I look at my long list of “to-dos” and think, “Maybe next year.”
This year, my goal is to stress less and take more time to savor the season. And what better way to do that than spend a quiet afternoon partaking in holiday tea? There’s nothing better than carving out some quiet time during a hectic day to enjoy a piping hot cuppa, buttery cucumber sandwich and sweet cranberry scone topped with smooth, rich Devonshire cream.
Check out these establishments – and don’t forget to make a reservation ahead of time.
Holiday Tea in McHenry County
High Tea at Hickory Hall
406 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake | (815) 477-5871
Every 3rd Sunday, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
$29.99 per person
Enjoy a selection of hand made finger sandwiches, English homemade scones and cream, strawberry preserves, and delightful desserts. Choose from a variety of teas or coffee and compliment with Champagne which is optional. Seatings are 90 minutes and reservations are required.
Nutcracker Tea Party
D’Andre Banquets, 4419 Northwest Highway, Crystal Lake | (815) 477-0033
Sunday, December 8, 11:30 a.m.
$45 Adults and $37 children ages 12 and younger, reservations required by November 23.
Delight in a delicious luncheon with an assortment of confectionary treats while meeting with your favorite Nutcracker characters. Tea includes a reading of The Nutcracker and a mini-performance by Engage Dance Academy.
Worth the Trip
3209 W. Wells St., Milwaukee, WI | (414)342-3210
Tea Service is offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. (6:00 in December) or Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
$20 – 48 per person depending on the service
Reservations are required, no walk-ins. Last-minute reservations may be accepted, just call to see. An experience that is very unique unlike any other. Starting with a lesson of 1800’s table etiquette, a buffet of 7 different ﬂavored teas are offered to sip. During Tea, you will be entertained with history/stories and a Theme of the Month. Lastly, you have the opportunity to do a self-guided tour of the ﬁrst ﬂoor of the mansion. Bring your camera!
140 East Walton Place, Chicago
Holiday Tea dates are November 22 – January 12 with seatings on the half-hour. See the website for hours.
$52 per person for adults; $25 for children ages 4 – 12 years old.
Enjoying afternoon tea at the Drake Hotel is a holiday tradition for many Chicagoans and suburbanites. The elegant atmosphere will make you feel like a king or queen for a day (Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana dined here), and kids will love the elaborate decorations, carolers and a harpist (select dates). Enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, English scones, and festive petit fours.