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Five favorite places to enjoy afternoon tea in the U.S. at the holidays

Damon M. Banks shares his list of the best places to do afternoon tea in the U.S.A.

For many, enjoying afternoon tea is a regular occurrence while travelling, or simply a great opportunity to join friends and family any time. However, it’s at the Holidays that many in the U.S. choose to venture out and enjoy afternoon tea to celebrate this joyous time of the year with their loved ones. In this day and age, we all need to take this time to simply relax in a beautiful environment, explore some new tea flavours and savour the delicious sweet and savoury items served with the tea.

Being spoiled with this tradition perfectly executed in so many locations throughout Europe and Asia, it’s nice seeing this sophisticatedly simple activity gaining popularity with all ages in the U.S. During the Holidays, many of these hotels feature unique offerings to celebrate, which often includes creative masterpieces incorporating the flavours of gingerbread, eggnog, peppermint and pumpkin. It’s no surprise that taking the time to enjoy afternoon tea is a personal favourite pastime, making it very difficult to narrow this list to only five favourites. Happy Holidays!

The Willard

Washington, DC | The Willard Intercontinental

Hosted in Peacock Alley, the historic hotel offers a step back in time while enjoying the soft harp playing in the background. The Devonshire cream here is particularly tasty, as are the gingerbread men cookies at the Holidays.

1401 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 637-7350

Mandarin Oriental

New York, NY | Mandarin Oriental New York

Sitting high above the bustle of New York City, tea in enjoyed in the Lobby Lounge on the 35th Floor with sweeping views across Central Park and onto the Upper East Side. A more relaxed atmosphere without a defined area for afternoon tea, but the alert staff and amazing ginger scones make it a great option.

80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street
New York, New York 10023
(212) 805-8800


Los Angeles, CA | Montage Beverly Hills

Still one of the newer properties for Beverly Hills, the Montage continues to impress with their marvelous guest services and amenities. A wonderful selection of teas combine with traditional items, including the delicious stolen and pumpkin pie tartlets during the Holidays.

225 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 499-4199


San Francisco, CA | Palace Hotel

Especially beautiful during the Holidays, the Garden Court offers one of the most elegant and historical surroundings found in the U.S. for afternoon tea that is a simply stunning experience. The Palace Blend Tea is a very nice option with hints of pineapple, kiwi and plums, which pairs well with the traditional tea sandwiches, including the Dijon Ham with brie butter and apple sandwich that is out of this world.

2 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 546-5089


Charleston, SC | Charleston Place Hotel

Managed by Orient-Express Hotels, this pristine property in one of the most charming cities in the U.S. offers a lovely afternoon tea service in the Thoroughbred Club, when available. The Charleston Tea Plantation is only minutes away and provides several very local options to this very extensive tea menu, including Plantation Peach and Charleston Breakfast.

205 Meeting Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
(843) 722-4900