Tea Houses & Tea Parties

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Archived Q&A and Reviews


Tea party caterer for baby shower

Nov 2011

I am hosting a tea party/baby shower for twenty adults and I need some help catering tea sandwiches and sweets. Does anyone have a recommendation for someone fabulous in the Berkeley hills area? Creativity with vegetarian items would be a huge plus! Thanks so much! Well intentioned, but in a cast

Best kept secret ... The Culinary Arts Dept at Contra Costa College! They did a wonderful menu for our Moms Group! We had our event there but, they will also do onsite catering or you can pick up and present it yourself they are .... VERY Reasonable for great quality!

Whole Foods also has a menu online that you can check out. I believe they make everything and then you pick up and present it yourself cost is more expensive than above option. Love Hosting Teas!

I have just the place for you - The Arlington in Kensington (not far from the Berkeley Hills) We used them for our son's birthday party last month. They did a fabulous job with the sandwiches (loved the veggie aaram sandwiches), treats (brownies, cookies and lemon bars) and coffee (and yes, they do tea!) It was all vegetarian and very yummy! They have a ctering menu on their website but if you go in person, they will show you pictures. Highly recommend you check them out. Have a fun party! Shilpa

Pastries for tea party

Jan 2011

Would like to order pastries for a tea party. Any recommendations for local bakers? Susan

I heartily recommend Joan's Scones for delicious, freshly baked items such as scones, muffins, pies and cupcakes. She also does gluten-free, egg-free and dairy free options and uses organic ingred. Everything tastes homeade. Her number is 510 563-9396. Jane

For a delightful, inventive and healthy tea party I would contact Jennifer at www.eatmyloveforyou.com Her email is info [at] eatmyloveforyou.com and her phone is 510-280-4091. Eileen

Christmas Tea with a 6-year-old

Oct 2007

Looking for recommendations for a child friendly Christmas tea to take my 6 year old to in either San Francisco or the East Bay. Thanks!

A lot of the fancy San Francisco hotels do an afternoon tea, and some of them, e.g., Sheraton Palace, Ritz, do one or two specifically for children. They tend to be pretty expensive, but if you want a fancy holiday treat in the City, it can be a lot of fun (and the cable car goes from the BART station right to the Ritz if you get off at the Embarcadero station).

That having been said, if that's a little pricey or too fancy for your tastes, Englunds Tea Cottage here in Clayton serves afternoon tea as well, and they have an area in one corner specifically geared towards childrens' teas, if your 6-year old would like to bring a friend. It has a lower table and chairs, a dress up box, and the tea lady will come and read them a story. Lovely place, good food, nice people.

Have fun! (And feel free to email me back if you'd like company at Englunds I have a 6-year old daughter also and live close by!) Denisen

Dunsmuir house in Oakland does a christmas tea for children. Molly

Caterer for a children's tea party

June 2007

I would love to have all the fixings (tea sandwiches, savories, fruit, pastries, etc.) without the tea for my daughter's 3rd birthday. Anybody know any caterers who provide tea party food? Loves tea parties

I would definitely contact Patisserie Lafayette: http://www.patisserielafayette.com They just bought the tea house in Lafayette, about a block away, plus they did all the baked goods for the tea house before they owned it anyway. They do their own kids' tea parties, but I'd bet they'd cater one. Here is the a link to a tearoom site that has info on the Patisserie tearoom: http://www.teamap.com/tearooms/patisserie_lafayettes_maison_de_the_2435.html

I used to be an event coordinator and one of my corporate clients had a yearly event for their VIPs and families where they would have a party before seeing a play. While tea usually wasn't served, they had tea sandwiches, etc. The caterer did a fantastic job on the food and presentation, and it appealed to both adults and children. The caterer was LeftCoast Catering out of SF: www.leftcoastcaterint.com anon

Tea house for birthday and baby celebration

May 2006

Not too many recent reviews on tea houses in the bay area, so I'm checking in with you all. Requirements: -on the cheaper side (less than $20 or $25 per person, hopefully) so the Ritz and the Palace Hotel are out -prefer east bay, but am already familiar with Captain's Cottage (Pinole), Webster House (Alameda) -Also curious for recent visits/reviews on Love Joy's and Secret Garden Tea House in SF **Want to celebrate my birthday and baby two all at once, so send me those recs!! Thanks in advance. :) mss

You might check out Tal-Y-Tara in SF. I haven't been there myself, but have heard really great things about this tea house. It doubles as an equestrian shop... http://www.talytara.com/ anon

I haven't been here but want to try the Camellia Tea Room in Benicia, it sounds really nice http://www.camelliatearoom.com/menupage.html

Also Lisa's Tea Treasures in Lafayette, 925-283-2226 is now called Lafayette Circle Cafe. I haven't been there since the change of name/ownership, but it used to be very good. Deborah

I haven't been to Lovejoy's in over a year, (I used to frequent the place quite often)but I have always enjoyed myself there.It's not cheap, but much better priced and much more fun and relaxed than the ''Fancy Hotels'' Do you know about teamuse.com? They have a teamap which lists and rates tea shops all over the US. I looked up a few when I travelled back East a Summer ago and it was very helpful. Wish I was celebrating my birthday at Lovejoy's! Hildy

My friends hosted my baby shower at Lovejoys - I am not sure how expensive but I can't imagine it was too bad. We all loved it and all traveled from the East bay to SF for the shower which wasn't bad (the travel). The food was great and atmosphere very cute. It's smallish but we didn't feel rushed out or anything. I would definitely recommend it. Lara

Lovejoy's is lovely and has tea ''packages'' at a variety of prices.

I love tea time! I enjoy going to the Ritz for a special occasion but, as you say, it's certainly on the pricier side. One of my favorite spots is Samovar in San Francisco. I had my baby shower there and loved it. My friends arranged it with one of the owners, Karter, and he couldn't have been nicer. Note: they charge a lot to reserve a special table but I would just let them know ahead of time that you can't pay that but would like to have the gathering there anyway and want to know if they are still willing to plan things out ahead of time. They'll probably just tell you to show up without a reservation and if you have a big group it might make sense to do so at a time they suggest is less busy to make sure you get a good spot. I really love both the food and the tea there and the atmosphere is really nice. They are in the Castro but have recently opened up a second spot at the Yerba Buena Center which might make an easier trip from the East Bay because it's so close to the BART. http://www.samovartea.com/ Have a great time wherever you go! Anon

Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz

December 2003

Our highly spirited 25 month old daughter is attending a couple of teas this holiday season.She will be atttending one at the Palace Hotel and the other at the Ritz-Carlton.I have some questions like how formal should one's attire be?Also do we bring a favorite Teddy Bear or are we bringing one to donate or both? Was it a fun expierence?Is this too young? I would really appreciate any feedback from those who have attended in the past. Thank you. anon

We go to the Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz every year. Many girls are quite formal in velvet dresses and others (like my daughter) wear leggings and a comfortable top. I usually wear black slacks and a nice sweater. If your daughter enjoys dressing up this is a great venue but she doesn't have to. They supply the bear. Ann

Place for a baby shower to have high tea?

June 2003

I've read the archives on this and the most recent posting is from 99. I'm putting together a small baby shower for my sister- in-law who is pregnant with her fifth and last child - at least that's what she keeps saying:). I'd like recommendations for a nice affordable place to have a high tea that is not in San Francisco. Does anyone know of one in Contra Costa? Lafayette, Orinda, Walnut Creek? Berkeley? Thanks. EA

The Captain's Tearoom in Hercules is a wonderful place for high- tea. They have 1 private room that seats possibly up to 15 or so, and 2 other rooms that will suit smaller parties, or larger. My friends took me there for my 50th birthday and it was so wonderful. I don't have the number. I believe it's on San Pablo avenue in Hercules. Have fun, June
Note from Myriam: I think that this is The Captain's Cottage in Pinole. Their phone number is: 724-1470

There's a tea room in Lafayette, on Lafayette Circle, behind Petar's. It's called Lisa's Tea Room. It's a little house that's been converted into a tea room, very quaint decorations, nice linens, & a fun time! Sorry don't have the number handy but PacBell should! Christina
Note from Myriam: I think this is Lisa's Tea Treasures. Phone number is: 925/283-2226

Lisa's Tea Treasures in Lafayette and Webster House B and B in Alameda are both really nice Deborah

There is a lovely place in Lafayette - Lisa's Tea House - that does nothing but TEA!! It is in a lovely old home away from the busy street. It would be perfect for your multi-generational party. Here is a link to a review, with pictures - http://www.teamuse.com/article_011102.html Lisa

I have been to Lisa's Tea Treasures in Campbell for a baby shower and it was wonderful. We had finger sandwiches, and tea and cookies. There is also one in Lafayette, although I have never been to that one. barbara

Try calling Captain's Cottage on old Pinole - 724-1470. I am not sure if they do ''High Tea'' but several people have told me it is very nice. It is located inside an old victorian home on San Pablo Avenue and I know they do parties because my cousin had a small kid's tea party there for her b-day. Kerri

Check out Lisa's Tea Room in Lafayette. It's cozy and has a great selection of teas and sandwiches. Whitney

A few years ago, one of my friends had a small bridal shower at the Webster House Bed and Breakfast Inn in Alameda (1238 Versailles Ave, 510-523-9697). There were maybe 12 or so of us, and we had a very nice tea with sandwiches, pastries, etc. on the deck behind the house--nicer, in fact, than some of the teas I've had in London or Victoria, BC. I don't know what their prices are like, but definitely worth a call to find out. Lianna

We are big tea house mavens, even having flown up to Victoria, Canada to the Empress hotel for a weekend high tea. Ergo, we have done all of the East Bay (and SF) tearooms. The best tearoom in the East Bay is Camelia tearoom in Benecia (really only a 25, 30 minute drive). Their food is much better than either the Captain's Table in Pinole (the slowest service on the planet--2 1/2 hours to get all of our food) and Lisa's in Lafayette (albeit Lisa's is cute, although a different layout--a lot of little cozy rooms as oppposed to the one medium-sized room at Camelia). In SF, the Palace hotel serves the best tea. Ready to don my hat and gloves at a moment's notice.
Finger Sandwich Lover

Where to take a 4-year-old for traditional British tea?

August 1999

Does anyone know of an appropriate place to take a 4-year old for a traditional British tea, preferably in the East Bay? I don't think she is ready for the Fairmont's high tea so I was looking for someplace to practice. Thanks! -Allison

Lovejoys Antiques & Tea Room is in San Francisco, but is an absolutely wonderful environment for people of all ages. My 10-year-old had her birthday party there. It's small, informal or formal (whatever you feel like), and delicious. It runs $10 per person for high tea in a group. The woman who runs it is equally wonderful. It's on Church St. at 24th in San Francisco. The only East Bay place I know of is in Lafayette (forget the name). It's more straight-laced English (with the aprons and environment) but not as child friendly and more expensive. Lovejoys was a great find, and very worth every penny. While we were there, a party of elderly women who all dressed up with hats and gloves were enjoying tea, a younger party of women were having a baby shower in the corner, two couples dressed in jeans, and our group which came in shorts and dresses both. They have a large menu and their house tea is incredible. They know how to please youngsters. I recommend it highly for everyone. Tamara

If you're willing to venture into SF, try Lovejoy's at 24th Street and Church (Noe Valley). It's set up with couches, tea tables, etc; is very low key; offers a wee tea (tea or cocoa, cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, etc, for about $6.00), and is generally a comfy place to go (though not much room to run around). Bart goes to Mission and 24th; you can walk from there, but as it's very uphill, I'd suggest just hopping on a bus that goes along 24th street. And it's a good kid place, with children's stores, book stores, and a little park perfect for toddlers at Douglass or Diamond (I forget which) and 24th. Wendy

I would recommend the Webster House in Alameda for a nice tea. Also the Ardenwood Historical Farm in Fremont has teas in, I think but am not certain, spring and definitly in December. The Dunsmuir House in Oakland hosts 3 weekends of teas in December, that I would recommend as well. Last December, I went to a holiday tea at an eastbay church which was just lovely. I attended a lovely mother's day tea at the UC Botanical Garden's two years ago that I would highly recommend, too.

My favorite cozy tea house is Lovejoy's in the Noe in San Francisco. It is a very relaxing place that is both an antique shop and tea house. The tea and all matter of accompaniment is delicious. The china is mismatched which is very charming. It is very easy to get to from the East Bay, by taking BART and transferring to the N Church Muni line once in SF. Lovejoy's is on Church just north of the intersection with 24th.

There's a woman in Orinda who runs an antique shop who I have heard teaches seminars on tea and hosts actual teas at I believe the Orinda Community Center. (I know this is vague.)

Chez Panisse is supposed to be good, but what I've read doesn't indicate that it is British.

A very reliable source recommends Chai in Larkspur (Marin County) which is easy to get to via the Richmond/San Rafael bridge.

There are guidebooks and resources on the internet about tea & tea houses in Northern California.

for a couple check out:

http://www.metroactive.com/dining/sanfran/tea-rooms.html http://www.travelguides.com/inns/full/CA/7498.html

For Asian teas which are fun in the East Bay I pesonally recommend: Tin's in Oakland for dim sum, Ochame in Berkeley, and the new Far Leaves which is fun and way, way cool! Of course I just love the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park which by the way is the birthplace of the fortune cookie!

Please don't let my suggestions limit you. I consider myself to be an intermediate tea enthusiast. Check out some Northern California travel guidebooks, telephone books, and whatever else you can think of. Ask friends.

Also, I am looking for new places to take tea and would love more ideas & recommendations.

http://outland.cyberwar.com/~opisica/teatime.htm http://dmoz.org/Recreation/Food/Drink/Tea/

directions to Lovejoy's Tea from East Bay

Take BART to SF; transfer to MUNI J Church (there's no such thing as an N Church.) Get off at 24th. Lovejoy's is on the east side of the street in sight of the platform.

Have fun! Holliday

For tea, I would call Lovejoy's in SF and ask if they have an East Bay store (or could make an EB recommendation). If you want tea in SF, Lovejoy's is at 24th and Church in Noe Valley. Eric

Last year I found, quite by accident, a place for tea in Niles, the little community west of Fremont. Actually, it is an antique shop that also serves tea. As I recall, it did serve sandwiches in addition to desserts. My then 8 year old niece was with us and no one seemed to mind. I'm afraid I don't remember the name, but it won't be hard to find since it is on the (historical) main street in Niles across from the train tracks. The other interesting thing about Niles (which all of you probably know already) is that this area was considered the original Hollywood. Several of Charlie Chaplin's (and others) films were made there. In fact, every year they have a Charlie Chaplin festival of some sort. Anyway, this might be a good place to practice. In addition to having tea, you can walk off the wonderful desserts by going in and out of the shops and checking out the small railroad museum. Enjoy! Jeanette

I saw the previous postings about tea places and just wanted to add some details. I'm a tea fanatic! I recommend the following:

Lisa's Tea Treasures in Lafayette, 925-283-2226 Webster House in Alameda, 510-523-9697 Chai of Larkspur, 415-945-7161 Ardenwood Historic Farm (East Bay Regional Park) in Fremont has two tea events coming up: Saturday, Sept. 11th Victorian Tea and Fashions: Saturday, Sept. 18th Melodrama Tea For some reason, the flyer I have lists two different phone numbers for these: 510-797-3161 for the 11th and 510-636-1684 for the 18th. Susan Leech in Orinda does workshops and tea parties on Taking Tea in the English Manner. Her number is 925-254-2206

The Sheraton Palace in S.F. is also fantastic! I've been several times and can't wait to take my kids for the Prince and Princess tea. Each child gets a crown and a scepter (huge spiral lollipop).

Lastly, I don't recommend the Dunsmuir House teas. The building and grounds are lovely, especially at Christmastime, but the tea was very expensive and skimpy. Sharon

Try Captain's Cottage in Old Town Pinole on San Pablo Ave. I haven't been inside yet but it looks charming, quiet and appropriate for a young lady. Tea is served during specific hours only. I missed the Saturday tea time by a few minutes so call ahead before you go. Sharon