High tea is a social event that goes way back in the aristocratic circles of the former British Empire. But by the 1700s, pairing a light afternoon meal of sandwiches, scones and cakes with tea had become all the rage with working-class English families as well. Today, high tea remains a popular way to warm up on a chilly winter day – even here in Seattle. Dress up in your dapper best or go casual to any one of these places for a delicious winter high tea experience.
Queen Mary Tea Room in Seattle
America’s oldest independently owned tea room, the Queen Mary Tea Room offers brunch and lunch in addition to high tea. Dine on English favorites like bangers and mash or curry beef pastis. Reserve a spot for children’s afternoon tea, great for kids under the age of 10, and nibble on purple cotton candy, royal chocolate fudge tea cake and Queen mum’s shortbread. Round out your afternoon with a visit to the Tea Emporium and stock up on your favorite loose leaf tea.
Graham’s Royal Tea in Bothell
Make reservations to “dine in” for Graham’s Royal Tea service, including tea, a tower of desserts and delicious sandwiches. Or, take a box to go and enjoy a high tea in the comfort of your home. Kids not hot on hot tea? Graham’s hot chocolate and cider fit in those teacups, too.
Paisley Parlour in Issaquah
A modern and chic establishment located in Gilman Village, the Paisley Parlour high tea service is available at a variety of levels to suit small or large parties or appetites. Sugar cookies and pink lemonade are a kid favorite here; adults may have a hard time choosing from the wide variety of baked goods, sandwiches and hot teas. Take your tea in or take a box to-go for a picnic tea at a nearby park, beach or at home.
M/V Lotus in Seattle
Afternoon tea served on a boat? We’re in! Sunday tea on the M/V Lotus, a 1909 cruising houseboat, is served on the covered boat deck or in the Pilot House. The kitchen uses all organic ingredients in both savory and sweet selections. For winter tea, you’ll want to wear layers of warm clothes and a hat. This crew is all about hats — fancy, silly, fun, warm, modern or historic. The M/V Lotus is docked in Lake Union and located to the right of MOHAI.
The Lodge at St. Edward Park in Kenmore
Served every Thursday and Friday from 2:30-4:30 p.m., afternoon tea at The Lodge at St. Edward Park includes a variety of foods fit for a young prince or princess with an adventurous palate. How adventurous? They’ll be feasting on beet-marinated deviled eggs, smoked salmon sandwiches and macarons. A post-tea walk or playground session in adjacent St. Edward State Park rounds out a wonderful afternoon.
More at Seattle’s Child:
“A hot, soothing cup of tea any time: where to buy great teas for winter”