Have you ever met a little girl who doesn’t enjoy a tea party?
Mal’s birthday is eight months away, but she has already decided on an Alice in Wonderland-themed tea party. So I’m on the lookout for the perfect way to celebrate. I thought I’d share some of what I’ve discovered about tea time in San Diego.
The Royal Fairytale
The magical castle located within this sweet boutique was the site of Mallory’s 4th birthday party, and we couldn’t have been more pleased with how that party turned out. The staff at The Royal Fairytale is superb, and parties can include instruction on how to properly sip tea, the teaching of a royal dance, a game of “hot tiara,” dress-up time with princess and knight costumes and special hair styles complete with sparkles. The tea is usually apple juice and/or lemonade, and the food includes finger sandwiches and favorite childhood snacks. They use real china, provide place cards for each child and can provide a costumed princess character.
I have not been (yet!), but I’ve heard that the Westgate sets the standard for upscale tea service in San Diego. Traditional tea services are offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2:30 until 5:00 p.m. and there are special teas throughout the year including a Teddy Bear Tea at Christmastime, an Easter Bunny Tea and a mother-daughter tea for Mother’s Day. You’re able to work with the catering staff to create your own special event. I’m excited to announce that on April 29th I will be co-sponsoring a very special “mommy & me” tea at the Westgate with our guest of honor being the illustrator of the Fancy Nancy series, Robin Preiss Glasser. More on this later, but please save the date if you, like me, would like to get fancy with your little girl and meet one of the creative minds behind a favorite book series.
Like the Westgate, the Hyatt Aviara offers upscale high tea each weekend and special events throughout the year. The tea menu is quite extensive, and the holiday teddy bear tea gets rave reviews.
There are a number of tea shops in San Diego, and I’ve been to three that offer a terrific children’s service. The Aubrey Rose in La Mesa is my favorite not only because it’s in our home town, but because it is just so wonderfully sweet…beautifully decorated and small enough to feel quaint, but large enough for a large group. We enjoyed dressing up in the shop’s fancy hats, gloves, “pearl” necklaces and feather boas and sipping their chocolate tea. There is so much to choose from at the Aubrey Rose including a gluten free service. You won’t be disappointed!
Mrs. Burton’s Tea Room in Old Town is another fun place for moms and their daughters. While not as charming as The Aubrey Rose, this tea room is small, quaint and offers dress up fun and great food too. They actually offer a Mad Hatter Tea Party, which would be perfect for us except it’s only available for ages 7 and older after school during the week or on minimum school days. Hmmm…I’ll have to think about that.
We recently attended a small party at Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe (near the airport on India Street), and the tea and food were wonderful. The 6-year-olds had a fantastic time, loved sipping their delicious tea from real china and eating their pastries, tea sandwiches, fresh fruit and clotted cream. While Shakespeare’s is a great and authentic British service, they do not offer the quaint tea room feel or dress up opportunity that’s fun for the girls as well as their moms. We were, however, able to enjoy the beautiful Saturday afternoon on the outdoor porch.
At Home Party
I would be happy to host Mallory’s Mad Hatter/Alice In Wonderland Party in our own home and found a mobile cooking business that will bring the tea party to us. My Cool Kid Cooks can combine two of my daughter’s favorite things…tea party and cooking! They will bring all of the party supplies including groceries to my home, we’ll all cook and play then eat the fruit of our labor.
To help make our at home party more authentic, both The Aubrey Rose & Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe sell their delicious scones and other goodies that I can bring home and bake in our oven. I’m also tempted to buy the La Tea Da tea party set from Posh Party Box or to hire “Alice” to visit from Parties Unique, our favorite character company.
I’ll let you know what we end up doing this November. Until then, if you have any tea party suggestions, please leave a comment here!