It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen pairs well with tea.
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. Though the tradition of afternoon tea began after Austen’s time, it is well known that Austen was a huge fan of the beverage and mentions it several times in her novels.
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 Emma Woodhouse 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.
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.
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.