We’ve got a few jolly reasons to visit this posh Chicago spot with kids

With a Starbucks on practically every corner, it’s easy to figure out where to go for a decent cup of coffee. But a spot of tea? It’s a whole other story.

That’s where Spencer’s Jolly Posh Foods comes in. The airy Lakeview tea shop and café is the perfect spot to indulge your inner Anglophile—and bring your little tykes along for some culture at the same time.

Owner Nicholas Spencer, himself a father of two young girls (and a native Brit), designed the shop with families in mind. That’s why the store has easy stroller access via a ramp, changing tables in both the men’s and women’s restrooms, ergonomic high chairs, and decidedly British children’s books to keep the kids entertained while they’re waiting for their food.

Spencer also assured us that his staff understands children’s behavior (good or bad), an assertion that was put to the test when a certain 2-year-old I know flung a ceramic plate off the table. The shards were cleaned up in a very no-muss-no-fuss way that saved us from too much embarrassment—although not him from the ensuing timeout.

As far as food, the restaurant offers classic sandwiches and salads with British flair (and names), from the Cheese Ploughman’s to the Cheeky Coronation Chicken Curry. Most selections can be simplified for the younger set, and there are also homemade sausages that are popular with kids.

The real highlight is the afternoon tea, which also has a children’s version. While the adults enjoyed finger sandwiches in some fancier varieties, the kids couldn’t get over their luck in eating “chocolate sandwiches” (aka Nutella) for lunch. We also found the scones with Devon clotted cream to be a delight, as well as the mugs of steaming hot Irish tea (the kids enjoyed a black currant cordial that’s popular on the other side of the pond). At per adult and .50 per child, the afternoon tea might be better for special occasions (or for bringing grandma along).

Jolly Posh also offers typically British foodstuffs for sale, including tea bags, spice mixes and hard ciders. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to check out the extensive selection of popular British candy. The boys would recommend the Cadbury Chocolate Buttons—a perfectly sized treat to end our day in the U.K.

  • Spencer’s Jolly Posh Foods
  • 3755 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
  • (872) 802-3840
  • jollyposh.com

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