Why is this grilled cheese so good? Oh, that would be because of the shaved black truffles.  And why is that lox and bagel better than anything anyone has ever eaten at any deli, anywhere?  Because the salmon is house cured, and the bagel, is brioche. You know you’re at The Hotel Bel-Air when the day feels like it’s delivered from the heavens above and your little one is right beside you.  It’s a spectacular treat any time of year, and perfectly perfect for the holidays.  Any of ’em.

Introduce your little royal to Little Royal’s Tea
Her feet are crossed at the ankles. Her napkin is on her lap. And yes, that was the iconic swan that just sailed by. The Hotel Bel-Air’s Little Royal’s Tea is one for the Only in LA file, and it should be laminated.  In rose gold.  This kid-friendly, scone boasting (even comes with a stuffed animal tea) service mimics the grown-up one that’s made them famous (well that, plus the whole haute history of the place).  Have friends in town for a visit?  Relatives?  Make a reservation.  Fridays and Saturdays, starting at 3:00 pm. This will be the thing they go home talking about.  And probably what they return for (so choose your guests accordingly).

But everytime my kid tells me she wants to be a Princess I want to hurt myself.
Preaching to the choir.  But you’ve got to experience this.  Less Cinderella, more Kate Middleton.  About halfway through  your meal you begin to expect them to leave with an accent.  And if they Fancy Nancy the way you do the occasional Grand Marnier cream puff, maybe we can all forgive the princess bit for just an afternoon.  Pass the almond Florentine.

Small hitch.  My kid won’t touch tea with a ten foot pole.
Or so you think.  With two sugar cubes (we’ll wean eventually) and a splash of milk in her Spearmint Leaf Tea (decaffeinated, bien sur), they’ll polish off the whole pot quicker than you can say “Is that raspberry jam housemade?”.  (It is.)  And sure, maybe she’s drinking the equivalent of warm mint chip ice cream, but she’s never sipped ice cream out of china like that.

This sounds lovely.  But my child is not one for cucumber sandwiches.
Toasted. Hazelnut. Chocolate. Banana. Crostini. Enough said.

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The Hotel Bel-Air.  They can handle children?
They handled Marilyn. They can handle yours.

Perhaps it’s not the biggest bargain of the year…
At $36/child and $60 per adult, it’s not cheap.  But with all you’ve saved with your insatiable Groupon habit, the thing’s all but paid for itself.  Plus once you see those pinkies fly up (they do! Is that instinctive?), tiny feet split leaping through the lavender (again, instinctive?), it’s hard to not make another teatime as you bid adieu to those swans.  Particularly as your child cradles her own stuffed version on the drive home.

Told you.  Paid for itself.

Jonesin’ for more of the scone scene? Click here!

Hotel Bel-Air
Little Royals Tea
701 Stone Canyon Road
Los Angeles, Ca
Phone: 310-472-1211
Online: http://www.hotelbelair.com/Afternoontea

Written and photographed by Jolie Loeb

How was your trip to the Hotel Bel-Air for tea? Please let us know!