Pop on a posh vintage hat and get the kids decked out – it’s holiday tea time! From high tea at one of San Francisco’s fanciest hotels to a teddy bear tea party celebrated in French, you will feel the holiday spirit as you nosh on tiny sandwiches, clotted cream and mini cookies. Don’t miss out – holiday teas are super popular so you need to add one of these celebrations to your holiday calendar pronto!


photo: The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz
The Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz has become an annual tradition for many Bay Area families. The classic event, which tends to tip towards the fancier end of holiday teas, stars Stretchy the Elf, his side-kick elf and the super cuddly Ritz-Carlton teddy bear. Petite party-goers can indulge in hot chocolate, teddy bear cookies and assorted sandwiches, while the grown ups can snack and enjoy some tea or champagne. There will be holiday stories and sing-a-longs to keep the kids entertained. Each child will take home a photo with the giant Ritz-Carlton teddy bear and a teddy of their own. $115-125/guest.

Bonus: A portion of the proceeds benefits Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area.

When: Nov. 25-26; Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 & 21-23. See website for times and tickets.

The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco
600 Stockton St.
San Francisco, CA

photo: InterContinental Mark Hopkins

Magical Tea at Top of the Mark
It’s that time of the year again! The Top of the Mark hosts a family-friendly tea time that is more than your average afternoon tea. While you sip, your kids will enjoy face painting, balloon artist creations, as well as the chance to make their own edible art at the cookie decorating station. Grown-ups will love an array of tea sandwiches, scones and special eats from the hotel’s Executive Chef. For the kids, the chef will serve up kid-friendly bites like pigs in a blanket, mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. An elaborate dessert station includes an array of sweet delights including Christmas Yule logs and homemade marshmallows. $75/guest.

Bonus: Guests who donate a new, unwrapped toy to the San Francisco Fire Department toy drive will receive a $5 discount on the price of the tea service.

When: Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 21-23 & 26. Noon and 12:30 p.m. seatings.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
One Nob Hill
San Francisco, CA

photo: Palace Hotel

Santa Claus Tea and Prince and Princess Tea at The Palace Hotel
It’s tea time at The Palace Hotel and you are invited! Join the big man himself for Santa Claus Tea in the Garden Court that includes a fixed price tea service and visit with the man in red ($95/adult, $65/child ages 5-12) Or, head to the GC Lounge where they offer the Holiday Prince and Princess Tea service which includes children’s tea sandwiches and pastries, jeweled crown and a candy scepter ($90/adult, $60/child).

Santa Claus Tea
When: Dec. 7, 14, 21 & 24. Seatings from 2-4 p.m.

Holiday Prince and Princess Tea
When: Daily, Nov. 24-Dec. 31. 2-5 p.m.

The Palace Hotel
2 New Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA

photo: Westin St. Francis

St. Francis Holiday Tea
Your little guests will be dazzled upon walking into the lobby by the two handcrafted castles. The “St. Francis Enchanted Castle” is a one-of-a-kind rotating 12-foot-tall winter wonderland of elaborate gift boxes, gingerbread trees and brilliantly colored candies, all intricately handmade with sugar and pastry. The “Medieval Sugar Castle” resembles a French chateau and features grand circular towers, individual rooms and colorful illuminated windows. Tea service includes a choice of fine Artisan teas from Mighty Leaf or Red Blossom Tea Company, followed by a selection of English tea sandwiches, freshly baked black currant scones and seasonal berries with Devonshire-blend cream, preserves and assorted petit fours. Adults can opt for the Royal Tea, which includes the complete tea service with a glass of Gloria Ferrer Brut sparkling wine. $60-75/adults; $40/kids 12 and under.

When: Sat. & Sun., Nov. 25-Dec. 17, noon-4 p.m.

Westin St. Francis
335 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA

photo: Fairmont

Gingerbread Tea at the Fairmont
A stroll through the Fairmont’s massive gingerbread house (standing 22 feet high created with thousands of home-baked gingerbread bricks and 1,500 pounds of royal icing) will definitely make your little elves’ mouths water. So head to Laurel Court for the hotel’s annual Gingerbread Holiday Tea, where the famed kitchen will turn out plenty of delicious treats alongside your tea. $99-119/adults, $69-89/children.

When: Daily, Nov. 24-Jan. 1, 2018, 1-3:30 p.m. (except Christmas Day)

Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA


photo: Erin Feher

Tea Under the Tree at The Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Guests big and small will be invited to sit by the fireplace under the festive 27-foot Christmas Tree and dig into a sweet feast of tea sandwiches, savories and sweet treats. Adults can sip on tea and champagne, while the kiddies can choose from caffeine-free tea, hot cocoa or sparkling cider. There will even be a make-and-take craft for the children to take home. $95/adults, $48/children 11 and under.

Good to know: This year’s tea will be put on by SF’s ultimate tea party hosts, Crown & Crumpet. For questions and reservations, please contact Crown & Crumpet directly (reservations can only be made by phone). You can also enjoy festive holiday tea at their Japantown location. 

When: Nov. 25-26, Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-23 & 26-30. Seatings from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Sir Francis Drake Hotel
450 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA
415-771-4252 and ask for Elissa or Chris

photo: Le Petit Jardin

“Un Thé au Petit Jardin”! Teddy Bear Tea
You and your little ones will have a merry ol’ time dressing up and joining the friends over at Le Petit Jardin for their 8th Annual Teddy Bear Tea à la française! With traditional holiday music in the background, children will enjoy tea service, fireside story time (in both French and English) and even a chance to take a holiday photo. Tea service will include tea and hot cocoa, finger sandwiches and holiday cookies. Don’t forget to bring your child’s favorite Teddy Bear for this fun-filled morning. Cost: $14/guest.

When: Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m.–noon

Red Hill Church of San Anselmo
921 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
San Anselmo, CA

Heritage Holiday Champagne Tea
Enjoy History San Jose’s traditional tea with scones, finger sandwiches and sweets, featuring exclusive blends by Satori Tea and  champagne by Guglielmo Winery. It will all be served by the players of Silicon Valley Shakespeare. Later, tour historic houses decorated for the holidays. $40-45/person.

When: Dec. 9, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. seatings

Renzel Room at the Pacific Hotel
635 Phelan Ave.
San Jose, CA

the ritz

photo: Shadelands

Victorian Tea at Shadelands Ranch Museum
Be a part of this East Bay holiday tradition and visit the 34th Annual Holiday Faire at the Shadelands Ranch Museum. Admission to the faire is free and it’s the perfect place to get your holiday shopping done. Stay for a three-course tea luncheon surrounded by holiday Victorian finery. Tea is $35/person.

When: Nov. 25–Dec. 10, 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

2660 Ygnacio Valley Road
Walnut Creek, CA

Christmas Fairy Tea Party at Lisa’s Tea Treasures Los Altos
Feel like you’ve escaped to the old world at Lisa’s Tea Treasures in Los Altos, with their dainty tea ware, embellished silverware and servers that are dressed the part. At this year’s holiday tea, children ages 5- 10 years old will be entertained by a Christmas fairy while enjoying tea and snacks, decorating gingerbread men and making ornaments. $30.95/child.

When: Dec 15; 4:30-6 p.m.

167 Main St.
Los Altos, CA

photo: Lovejoy’s Tea Room

Winter Wonderland at Lovejoy’s
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten path holiday tea experience then take the fam out to Lovejoy’s in Noe Valley. This cozy room offers a quaint tea experience with tons of quirky decorations and decor that will delight the little ones. And, during the holidays the folks at Lovejoy’s transform their tea room into a winter wonderland and offer extended hours so be sure to check their website or call ahead because reservations are recommended. There is an extensive menu, including a dedicated “Wee Tea” (for kids under 10) that features cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, a scone, fresh fruit, a petit four and tea or hot chocolate, all for $17.95.

1351 Church St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: lovejoystearoom.com

Holiday Victorian Teas by San Francisco Heritage
This holiday season take a trip back in time to the formal dining room and parlors of the Haas-Lilienthal House for a proper holiday tea. Inside this San Francisco historic mansion, guests will enjoy scones, savory finger sandwiches, an array of desserts and a pot of tea. $50-55/adult, $25-30/kids.

When: Dec. 8-10

The Haas-Lilienthal House
2007 Franklin St.
San Francisco, CA
415–441–3000 ext. 22

photo: Hotel Healdsburg

Worth the Drive

Wine Country Holiday Tea at Hotel Healdsburg
Support our Sonoma County friends this holiday season as they rebuild after the devastating fires. The Hotel Healdsburg is open for business and looking forward to welcoming guests to their sixth annual holiday tea service. Live piano music plays in the background while guests enjoy a variety of delectables including lemon cured salmon, roasted peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches and chive-cheddar buttermilk biscuits to name a few. Tea service includes tea from Mighty Leaf. A specialty cocktail menu is also offered. Children have their own food and beverages, like hot chocolate with marshmallows or apple cider. $14/child, $34-43/adult.

When: Sat.-Sun., Nov. 25–Dec. 24, plus Dec. 22. 2-4 p.m.

25 Matheson St.
Healdsburg. CA

What’s your favorite place for holiday tea? Let us know below!

—Kate Loweth and Jennifer Yco