Play time with kids can often involve pretend ‘afternoon tea’ with their favorite teddy bear. It is believed that this quintessentially British tradition was initiated by the Duchess of Bedford. In 17th century Britain, the practice of having only two meals a day-during the mid-morning and late evening-left the duchess with a ‘sinking feeling’. And so she began to invite friends over in the afternoon for a fashionable drink of tea and snacks like scones, cream, and strawberries served on low tables, which gave this tradition it’s other name: low tea. Eventually, other members of high society, and even ordinary citizens, started hosting their own afternoon tea parties.
This holiday season, kids need not travel to the UK to experience a real afternoon tea party. Several hotels in the US are hosting Teddy Bear Tea parties specially dedicated to youngsters. And they are encouraged to bring their teddy bears to join in the fun.
The Roosevelt (New Orleans)
The Roosevelt is inviting youngsters and their parents this December 7th to the 23rd for an afternoon tea in ‘Santa’s Wonderland’. Parents will get to enjoy some tea sandwiches, scones, and wine while kids can have hot cocoa and holiday cookies. Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Sugarplum fairy, Rudolph, the elves, and many others will make a visit. Mrs. Claus will also read some Christmas stories. Kids will have the chance to get their picture taken with Santa. And if they are 12 years old or below, they will receive a complimentary Roosevelt Teddy Bear.
Ritz Carlton (San Francisco)
Kids and adults will be joined by Stretchy the Elf, Holly Berry, and Ritz-Carlton Teddy Bear for an afternoon of holiday stories, songs, photo opportunities, and of course, tea, hot chocolate, and snacks in the Terrace Room of the Ritz Carlton. All the kids will also be able to take home a teddy as a gift.
Castle Hill Inn (Rhode Islands)
Children can enjoy the tea parties at the Castle Hill Inn (reservations via +001-401-849-3885) for free and are encouraged to bring new and unwrapped teddy bears to be given to youngsters in need.