Holidays are hectic and sitting down for tea might seem like the last thing you need. But that's precisely the point. Afternoon tea, with all of its refined traditions — the tiny bite-sized snacks you are required to nibble instead of devour, and yuck, the word nibble is annoying — is designed to serve as a respite from the fray.
Christmas tea is most often found at grand hotels, but in addition to those standbys, Dallas has a few other teas from which to choose.
(Note: These sell out fast. For example, all of the seats at the Hotel Crescent Court are already sold out.)
Here's where to find holiday tea in Dallas in 2021:
Wednesday–Sunday (except Christmas Day and New Year's Day) 11 am–2:45 pm, through January 15 - $75 or $35 for 12 and under
Holiday Tea at The Adolphus in The French Room features a glass of Champagne and a three-course menu of tea sandwiches, scones, and pastries paired with loose leaf teas from Zatki, who create a custom tea blend just for The Adolphus. New in 2021 is their caviar service, featuring Regiis Ova Siberian Reserve Caviar, which can be eaten solo or added to buckwheat blini with crème fraîche and shaved yolk.
A special holiday tea will take place December 23-24, featuring the holiday tea menu along with Victorian Carolers, a photo opportunity with The Great Tree in The French Room, and a small gift upon departure.
Book online through Resy.com or call 214-651-3615 Wednesday-Sunday 10 am-4 pm. For parties of 8 or more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alexander Mansion
December 8-9, 12 noon - $65
The historic C.H. Alexander Mansion at 4607 Ross Ave. is transformed into a tearoom with elegant decorations, sweets and treats, tea, and sparkling champagne. This event hosted by the Dallas Woman's Forum is an annual tradition, and is already nearly sold out, but limited openings are still available December 8-9. Catered by The Chocolate Menu, the menu includes white chocolate cranberry scone, egg salad tea sandwich on pumpernickel bread, cucumber on white bread, chicken salad tartlet, ham and Gruyere cheese puff pastry, tomato basil soup, brownie bits, holiday linzer cookie, and meringue drop cookie. Call Holly Hall at 214-751-2300 to reserve.
Daily through December 31, except for Christmas Day - $53 or $63 with Champagne
Holiday tea at Arboretum takes place in a heated tent on the patio, with two seatings at 11 am and 2 pm. (It also takes place in the DeGolyer restaurant, but seating there is already sold out.) It includes soup, assorted tea sandwiches, and a third course of sweets, plus scones with clotted cream, jam, and seasonal tea selections. Price includes tax, gratuity, complimentary garden admission and parking; they recommend you plan extra time to park and get through the garden on time. Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance, and can be made online; some days are already sold out. For info, call 214-515-6511 or email@example.com.
Elm & Good
December 11 and December 18, 2-5 pm - $35
Restaurant at the Kimpton Pittman Hotel in Deep Ellum has debuted a holiday afternoon tea on Saturdays leading up to Christmas. Chef Graham Dodds comes by his tea knowledge first-hand since his mother is English. His menu includes tea sandwiches, Scottish shortbread, and scones. At $35, this one's a bargain. For reservations, call 469-498-2525.
Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas
December 12, December 19, December 26, 1-4 pm - $32 with a 4-person minimum
Holiday tea is held every Saturday in December in the Lobby Lounge, featuring Ikaati hot teas paired with sweets from pastry chef Yudith Bustos and savories from chef Paolo Gama, including caramel apple tart, opera chocolate cake, orange blossom Éclair, holiday cookies, lemon blueberry and brown butter pecan scones, lemon curd, orange marmalade, and tea sandwiches including smoked salmon with avocado crema, cucumber-mint-cream, chicken profiteroles, and a lobster roll. Reservations must be made 48 hours in advance; call 972-717-2420.
Ritz Carlton Dallas
December 11-12 and 18-19 from 1-3 pm - $85
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas hosts a holiday version of its high tea with a glass of Champagne and sandwiches such as roast beef with onion jam, smoked salmon, cucumber-boursin, and egg-truffle-watercress, plus savory bakes like red currant scones, madeleines, cheddar crackers, and parmesan-leek croissant, and sweet bakes such as macarons, opera torte, and Key lime tart. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.