Pinkies Up! Enjoy a Kid-Friendly Afternoon Tea

Winter is the perfect time to create a special tea time with kids

Do you get the 3 p.m. slump, sending you to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and something to snack on? Well, so did Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford in 1840. Afternoon tea was her idea: she would routinely get hungry at 4 p.m. and request a tray of tea, cake, bread and butter as a way to stave off hunger until the 8 p.m. dinner bell. 

This Afternoon Tea concept has become popularized across the world, with many restaurants and tea houses replicating the grand tradition. We have rounded up a few of our favorites across Chicagoland, as well as some tips to host your own special Afternoon Tea at home.

High Teas

The Drake

There is nothing more classic and immersive than afternoon tea service at The Drake in Chicago. It offers a Prince & Princess Afternoon Tea that caters to the younger set, ideal for kids ages 3-12. Dress up to your heart’s delight — the setting here is pure elegance and fit for royalty — the Queen and Princess Diana have graced these tables with their presence. Head to Open Table for reservations.

Russian Tea Time

If you are looking for a little culture and a place that does tea all day every day, Russian Tea Time is the spot in Chicago. It serves tea from open to close Monday through Sunday, with two different tiers: Classic ($44) and Queen ($69). Klara Muchnik, owner and chef, was born in the Ukraine and moved to the former Soviet Union in the ‘60s. She used her culinary skills to make extra money and brought those skills to Chicago in 1990, fulfilling her dream by opening Russian Tea Time. Reservations are accepted. 

Gerri’s Tea Room

High Tea with Gerri in Long Grove will transport you to Victorian times. You will feel right at home in this cozy, intimate setting, with your hostess dressed to the nines in Victorian attire, serving tea from antique silver teapots. It also offers Takeaway Tea if you are interested in hosting at home!

At Home

Worried about chipping the good china? Head to a thrift store and buy secondhand teacup and saucer sets. Mix and match different designs and grab a teapot if you can spot one. This way, you can let your kids (carefully) click cups in a cheers without cringing. 

For caffeine-free tea, try Rooibos. This herbal tea is naturally caffeine-free, and you can use it to make a Sweet Cinnamon Milk Tea. Bring water and cinnamon sticks to boil in a pan, add Rooibos tea bags and steep for seven minutes. Stir in honey or maple syrup, a splash of vanilla extract and milk that has been warmed in the microwave. 

Want a low-prep tea? Hit up the store for pre-made chicken salad, scones and petite pastries. Trader Joe’s even has crumpets, Lemon Curd and Macarons. 

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