While New Orleans is certainly best known for its more boisterous festivities, it also has mastered the art of hosting refined afternoon teas, especially during the holidays. Lest you think I’m jumping the gun on Christmas, this year’s busy season is kicking off early with a Thanksgiving-themed tea tradition. Here is your guide to upcoming holiday teas in New Orleans:
Prim & Proffer Tea to benefit Second Harvest at Windsor Court Hotel
Dates: November 19-20
About: At this Thanksgiving-themed tea, guests are asked to donate nonperishable food items or contribute monetarily to Second Harvest Food Bank. The Windsor Court will match the donations.
Seatings: 2 p.m.
Pricing: Classic tea service is $30. Royal tea service is $38 and includes smoked salmon and caviar canapés and a glass of sherry, house sparkling wine, chardonnay or a Thanksgiving-inspired cocktail. The children’s tea (ages 5 and under) is $19.
Tea For The Holidays at Windsor Court Hotel
Dates: November 25 – December 31
About: Highlights of this decadent tea include featured holiday teas and cocktails, special cranberry-orange and gingerbread scones, holiday sweets, 26 of the finest loose-leaf teas and souvenir holiday menus.
Seatings: November 25 – December 23 & 26-30 – 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.; December 24 & 31 – 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Reservations: Online or call 504-596-4773
Teddy Bear Tea at The Roosevelt Hotel
Dates: December 3-23
About: This tea is for both children and adults. Santa and Mrs. Claus welcome the whole family while fancy tea and tea sandwiches, scones, desserts, and sparkling wine are served. Kids get hot cocoa, peanut butter & jelly and ham & cheese sandwiches, holiday cookies, and other goodies. Kids 12 and under also get a Roosevelt Teddy Bear, Mrs. Claus will read holiday stories, and several holiday characters will appear. Pictures with Santa will be available for purchase.
Seatings: December 3, 4, 19, 20 – 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; December 10, 11, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23 – 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m.
Pricing: General reserved seating: no charge for age three and under; ages 4-10 is $37 ($46.16 with tax and gratuity); adults from age 11 and up is $54 ($67.37 inclusive of tax and gratuity). Limited VIP reserved seating includes Roosevelt champagne flute for adults, one commemorative photo per family and premium seating near the stage. There is no charge for age three and under, ages 4-10 is $47 ($58.63 with tax and gratuity), and adults from age 11 and up is $69 ($86.08 with tax and gratuity).
Reservations: Online or via The Roosevelt Holiday Line at 504-335-3129.
Cajun Holiday Tea with Papa Noel aboard the Creole Queen
Dates: December 3, 10, 17
About: Guests on the paddlewheeler will join Papa Noel, the Cajun Gingerbread Boy, Gaston the Gator and other jolly Cajun characters. This classic tea with tempting treats also hosts storytelling, children’s activities and merriment while cruising the mighty Mississippi. Children can hold a real live alligator and take home a stuffed one.
Boarding: 1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.; Cruising: 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Price: Adults: $49; Children under 12: $34 (includes tax)
Papa Noel Tea at The Ritz-Carlton
Dates: December 3-24
About: Papa Noel reads to the children while they enjoy delicious treats from executive pastry chef Thomas McGovern and his team. Guests will marvel at this year’s extravagant French Quarter gingerbread village.
Seatings: December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17-24 – 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Pricing: $45 each for adults and children (does not include tax or gratuity)
Reservations: Online or call 504-524-1331
Monte the Lion’s Children’s Holiday Tea at The Hotel Monteleone
Dates: December 10 and 17
About: Hotel Monteleone’s loveable mascot Monte the Lion hosts his annual children’s party along with friends Santa, Frosty, Rudolph and the elves. Mrs. Claus will read classic Christmas tales while guests enjoy savory treats, games and caroling as a trumpeter leads a parade. Plus, party favors include photos with Santa and a complimentary stuffed Monte.
Seatings: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Pricing: $50 for adults, $36 for children
Reservations: Online or call 504-681-4452
The Royal Teddy Bear Tea at the Royal Sonesta Hotel
Dates: December 11-23
About: Highlights include a visit from many favorite holiday characters and a parade. Guests get a select assortment of freshly prepared tea sandwiches, homemade currant buttermilk scones and breakfast breads served with lemon cream and preserves. Christmas cookies, chocolate truffles and chocolate-dipped strawberries are just some of the treats to look forward to.
Seatings: December 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 – 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; December 20, 21, 22, and 23 – one seating only at 11 a.m.
Pricing: Premium seats (closest to stage): Adults $68, kids $53; Regular seats: adults $58, kids $43 (includes tax and gratuity)
Reservations: Online or at 504-553-2201