You’ve just about had your fill of pretending to sip out of the plastic tea cups your little one has set up in the living room alongside her collection of stuffed animals–it’s time to upgrade to china cups and saucers and real tea. While it may take some convincing to have her take off the tutu and put on something more appropriate, at least she can still feel fancy while daintily sipping on a piping hot cup of tea. Check out some of these tea rooms and houses that serve up tasty cups of comfort.

Lovejoy’s Tea Room feels as comfy as your grandmother’s parlor with cozy cushions and a phone booth from merry old England. It’s a long-time bay area favorite to treat oneself to some tarts and warm scones. This is not a fussy or overly formal spot which makes it all the more inviting for children. The tea room is named for Jonathan Gash’s series of novels about an antique dealer named Lovejoy.  The Wee Tea (for children 10 and under) includes a cream cheese and jelly sandwich, or any of the listed sandwich selections, a scone with preserves, fresh fruit, a petit four, and tea or hot chocolate for $15.95. Just across the street on Church, you’ll find Lovejoy’s Attic a charming shop with all your tea accoutrements: teapots, tea sets, tea cozies, aprons, and much more.

Lovejoy’s Tea Room
1351 Church Street (at 24th Street)
San Francisco, Ca

The Garden Court at Palace Hotel promises pure decadence and a wish come true for your little Cinderella and Prince Charming who will feel as if they have arrived at the royal ball. Built after the earthquake in 1909, this historic landmark is an opulent setting for any occasion. Prince and Princess Tea (for children 12 and under) includes children’s tea sandwiches, delicious assorted pastries and a crown and scepter. Your tea party awaits, my lords and ladies. Tea parties are hosted on weekends only. Reservations recommended.

The Garden Court at Palace Hotel
2 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, Ca

Crown & Crumpet was masterminded by the delightful Amy Dean, former owner of La Place du Soleil and a true English aficionado (after all, she’s married to an English gentleman). The two parents have performed something of a magic trick by bringing C&C to Ghirardelli Square. It’s a beautiful, yet hip tea salon decorated with whimsical flourish and not surprisingly, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Birthday revelers will have a jolly good time dining in the colorful and playful drawing room. Children’s tea parties include a full tea party menu, a large fairy cake, a special centerpiece, an activity or craft, and a crown for the birthday girl or boy all for $35 per child. They can even arrange for Alice to visit from Wonderland for an additional fee. Just inside the doorway, the C&C boutique features fanciful gifts. For more details or to make reservations by phone, contact Crown & Crumpet.

Crown & Crumpet
207 Ghiradelli Square, 900 North Point
San Francisco, Ca

Tal-y-Tara hosts private parties for children with a traditional menu (a platter of their famous motorloaf sandwiches, homemade scones and crumpets, and a selection of fruit teas) for $16 per child. The tea party also includes little candies and sweet treats. For an additional fee, a face painter will entertain the birthday party guests. Off-site catering is also available. (415.751.9275 at 6439 California Street, San Francisco)

6439 California Street,
San Francisco, Ca
Online: talytara/

Katia’s Tea Room is well-known for its traditional Russian tea served from a samovar (a highly decorated tea urn). For a more culturally enriching and exotic tea party, you might consider hosting a Russian children’s tea party. Katia’s menu includes savory selections like blini, piroshki, dumplings, and mini sandwiches and dessert options like cookies, fruit tarts and tea cakes or blintzes and pavlova. For children not accustomed to hot tea, she also offers blossom soda drinks (made with raspberry or black currant syrup and sparkling water) and hot chocolate. Contact Katia to plan a party for your little Russian doll.

Katia’s Tea Room
600 Fifth Avenue
San Francisco, Ca

–Nicki Richesin

Photo Credit: Stuart Mackenzie via Flickr.