Afternoon Tea is a lovely way to spend time, relaxing and nibbling on delightful food as you sip cups of tea and chat with friends. And it’s also a great activity to share with your kids. The food already comes packaged in kid-size portions, hot milk or cocoa can be substituted for the tea, and who can resist scones, clotted cream and adorable little pastries? (Not me, or my kids, that’s for sure.)
I’ve taken my kids (two boys) out for tea several times and it’s always fun. I highly recommend it. While there are at least a dozen places in Los Angeles to have Afternoon Tea, the following spots are the ones that cater best to children.
American Girl Café at the Grove
189 The Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90036
The American Girl Doll empire caters to children, and of course their café does as well. Kids are always welcome there, and the Afternoon Tea is very fun, with each item named after a different American Girl Doll. Children are welcome to bring their dolls to tea, as special seats are provided just for the dolls – and loaner dolls are available if anyone has forgotten theirs. And although it doesn’t sound like it, boys will enjoy the tea as well. (I have first-hand proof.)
Tea is served at 4pm daily and costs $20 per person; reservations are required; parking available in the nearby shopping center lots for a fee.
Mission Inn Hotel
3649 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501
High Tea is served in the Presidential Lounge at this historic and storied hotel in Riverside. Dining where actual Presidents have stayed may seem a little too fancy for kids, but in fact the Mission Inn offers a Prince and Princess Tea, which has been “tailored to suit the tastes of the tiniest travelers.”
Tea is served between 2 and 4pm, Monday – Friday, and costs $29 for adults, $14 for children; reservations are required; valet and self-parking is available on site, and there is ample street parking nearby as well.
The Huntington Library Rose Garden Tea Room
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
Afternoon Tea at the Huntington’s Rose Garden Tea Room is perfect for children, since there’s no dress code and the food is served buffet-style. That means no waiting, which means no crabby children (or hungry adults). Plus you can enjoy the beautiful view of the gardens while you dine.
Tea is served weekdays from 12 noon until 4:30pm (closed Tuesdays), weekends from 10:45am until 4:30pm (Summer hours vary – please check their website), and costs $27.99 for adults, $14.99 for children ages 4 -8. Reservations are required; separate entrance fee required for the Huntington Gardens. Parking available on site.
1403 – 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
This combination grocery store and tea room caters to the British community in Los Angeles and has a down-to-earth atmosphere sure to put both you and your kids at ease. The food is very tasty but you won’t find anything overly fancy here; just basic Afternoon Tea goodness. Plus, where else can you search the grocery store aisles and find Spotted Dick? (wiki link)
Tea is served every day between 10:30am and 5pm and costs $19.95 for the Victorian Tea, $16.95 for the Afternoon Tea, and $9.25 for the Cream Tea; reservations recommended. Parking available in nearby City lots.
Trés at the SLS Hotel
465 South La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
The SLS Hotel is known for its avant-garde décor and Trés is known for its avant-garde menu. You won’t find any scones at this tea, but I bet your kids will enjoy the unique take on peanut butter sandwiches its famous chef José Andrés has conjured up, as well as his chocolate pop rocks. The décor is so fascinating, it’s sure to keep your kids occupied playing I Spy while your tea is served.
Mommy and Me Tea is served daily from 3pm – 5pm and costs $29 per person. Valet parking is available on site.
Langham Hotel Chocolate Tea
1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106
The Langham Hotel’s Chocolate Tea is what I imagine we would reserve for those of our children who’ve done all their homework, cleaned their rooms, helped with the housework and haven’t fought with their siblings – for at least a couple of months. Served in the Langham’s elegant and comfortable lobby lounge, this tea is well-known for its signature chocolate fountain and course after course of chocolate-y deliciousness. The sheer abundance of scrumptious food they serve is sure to appeal to the kid in all of us.
The Chocolate tea is served Sundays from 12pm – 3pm and costs $59 for adults, $29.50 for children; reservations are required. Valet parking is available at the hotel, and there is ample street parking nearby.