A dessert tower in the center of a table crowded with plates and treats

Enjoy a “Cuppatea” in Denver

A dessert tower in the center of a table crowded with plates and treats

Photo courtesy of The Brown Palace  

Whether you call it a “cuppa” like Eliza Doolittle or a proper cup of tea like Professor Henry Higgins, teatime is universally loved. Afternoon tea, also called cream tea, is a thoroughly British tradition started by wealthy families in the 1840s. A lovely pot of tea accompanied by small bites and treats was served around 4pm, between lunch and dinner.

Afternoon tea is not to be confused with high tea, which consists of tea with a heavier, nourishing meal. This was enjoyed by the working class after returning home from a long day in the 1800s. Americans, or anyone unfamiliar with the traditions, often confuse the two because “high tea” sounds fancier. In fact, it was only named high tea after the height of the supper tables. 

If you’d like to feel like Professor Henry Higgins for an afternoon and enjoy a cream tea with a strawberry tart, there are several teatime locations in Denver.  

The Brown Palace Hotel offers a traditional afternoon tea service. There are three price options available for whatever suits your budget. All these options include scones with Devonshire cream and preserves, finger sandwiches, and assorted pastries. To wash everything down, their menu boasts a wide variety of teas ranging from green to black to herbal.

The Brown Palace also offers Holiday Tea from November 14 through January 22. “Exquisitely executed, this revered service is a sought-after Denver holiday tradition,” says the Brown Palace. Guests can sit in the glamorous Brown Palace Atrium surrounded by holiday decor, enjoying their delicious afternoon tea.

If you’re looking for another holiday teatime experience, check out Hotel Boulderado. While not in Denver, this Boulder hotel hosts their iconic holiday tea service on select days through December and is a must-see. Tea is served with sandwiches and pastries, and depending on which date you attend, will be accompanied by carolers.

A group of women are seated at a table with tea and macarons

Photo courtesy of Babe’s Tea Room

Capital Tea is in the antique district of Denver, the perfect setting for a classic teatime. Their proper English tea (which they concede is traditionally held in the afternoon, but they are open all day) includes assorted finger sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream and jam, and mini desserts. Their tea menu lists over 100 different teas, including white tea, Pu’er, Oolong, and more.

For a trendy tea, visit Babe’s Tea Room. This bright and airy space is the perfect location for photos with friends. Their á la carte menu allows you to choose which treats you would like to enjoy alongside a pot of tea or glass of bubbles. You can also choose their preset Afternoon Tea, which includes assorted sandwiches, scones, shortbread, petit fours, macarons, and unlimited tea.

A dessert tower, cups of tea, and a glass of champagne

Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography for the Lumber Baron Inn

The Lumber Baron Inn serves traditional afternoon tea in their Victorian parlors. Teakoe, a Denver-based company, provides the tea for the service. They make their tea in small batches by hand, so your cup is guaranteed to be special. Tea is served alongside finger sandwiches, scones, crumpets, and fresh cookies, all presented on the Inn’s fine china. 

Lynn’s Tea Shop and Café provides a wide range of tea services. Enjoy Afternoon Tea with scones, savories, and sweets. Or maybe you’re in the mood for a Light Tea with just scones and sweets. Or it’s Princess Tea time, recommended for children under 10 years old. Each of Lynn’s Tea Shop’s special tea services come with unlimited tea.