babes tea room high tea with petit fours

Pinkies Up, Afternoon Tea Has Steeped Into Colorado Culture

BY Linnea Covington

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Gaining popularity, high tea goes beyond the Brits and jokes about marijuana. 

Bridgerton season three is officially out on Netflix, the first four episodes anyway. And while some of us yearn for some steamy period romance, the tea sets and services seen throughout the show also make us salivate. Luckily, the Denver metro area has solid options for indulging in an epic afternoon tea, with or without a duke in tow. 

One doesn’t even have to like the Shondaland show in order to enjoy high tea, and many places include extras such as Champagne, gluten-free options, and even coffee. These five places offer something different, so try one of these the next time you crave tiny sandwiches and a solid pot of tea. 

The Huckleberry

huckleberry tea service white tea pot
Indulge in afternoon tea from 2 to 3 p.m. daily. | Photo by The Huckleberry

In Louisville an adorable cafe called The Huckleberry does a daily afternoon tea from 2 to 3 p.m. While simple, the setup comes complete with linen-dressed tables, delicate china, and plenty to enjoy. Diners pay $24 each, or $15 for kids under 9, which includes a tiered tower of tea plates layered with fresh pastries and savory tea sandwiches. 

The tea served comes from the parent company’s tea business, Boulder Tea Company. That means when one orders a pot of Lavender Lemonade green, Bamboo Mountain Jin Xuan oolong, or the cinnamon-tinged Boulder Tangerine herbal blend, the staff knows exactly where it came from. Make a reservation by calling 303-666-8020. 700 Main St., Louisville, thehuckleberry.com

Babe’s Tea Room

babes tea room flower front door
You can recognize the tea shop by all the flowers blooming around the front door. | Photo by Babe’s Tea Room

Allison Jannach has created the modern equivalent of a Regency era salon. The Denver shop features a bright, sunlit room perfect for photos and installing sunny cheer with each pot of tea. That’s another thing, the tea selection not only proves massive, but during a 90-minute visit guests can get bottomless pots, even changing flavors throughout. Choose from white, green, black, or herbal, then switch it up if desired. Try Tranquility Rose white tea, Island Zen green tea with coconut, and Of My Dreams, a lavender-chamomile-mint herbal blend. 

While diners can go in and order full meals and sides of coffee drinks too, it’s the afternoon tea spread we’re excited about. For $48 per adult, and $35 per child, the experience comes with a tea tray tower laden with adorable scones accompanied by house-made lemon curd and Devonshire cream, savory finger sandwiches, shortbread, French macarons, and petit fours. 

Jannach plans to open a Golden location too, date coming soon. Tea service starts at 8 a.m. daily, and until the shop closes at 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are required for weekend tea, and encouraged for weekdays. Each seating is for 90 minutes. 2401 15th St., Denver, babestearoom.com

TeaLee’s Tea House & Bookstore 

loose leaf black tea
Enjoy a variety of loose leaf teas. | Photo by Linnea Covington

In early 2018 Risë Jones opened her homey tea shop in Five Points with the idea of giving the community a place to gather, enjoy tea or a cocktail, have a bite to eat, read a book, and talk with neighbors. Over the years it’s become so much more than that. The humble book and tea shop blossomed into a place non-locals seek out, both for the great consumables, line of local goods, and, of course, afternoon tea service. 

Dubbed “a rhythmic tea experience,” afternoon tea is served every day the shop opens for $42.95 per person. The order comes with an array of tea sandwiches such as curry egg salad and salmon with cucumber. Also on the tray look for pastries and scones, which come with the usual line of enhancements. A bottomless pot of tea is also included, with choices ranging from delicate Chinese green to smoky lapsang souchong to caffeine-free vanilla rooibos.  

Visit Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 611 22nd St., Denver, tealeesdenverteahouse.com

Capital Tea

Make a reservation for high tea. | Photo by Capital Tea

Really tap into the world of Lady Whistledown by enjoying a traditional British tea service at the South Broadway cafe and tea shop. Only, unlike the Brits, visitors can get high tea all day long. The only crux, you must make a reservation in order to enjoy the 90-minute repast. Each high tea runs $40 per person, and includes finger sandwiches and/or sausage rolls, mini scones, English cream and jam, and adorable but mighty desserts. 

For that hour-and-a-half the tea is bottomless. Try blends such as pistachio-rose pu’er, Big Red Robe oolong, and Castleton Estate darjeeling. The teas come from all over the world, and the tea sommeliers can direct you to a tea perfect for your palate. 

Open six days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., though Sundays it closes at 5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. 1450 S. Broadway, Denver, captea.com

The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa

brown palace afternoon tea service with tea and tea tray
Every day guests are invited to an epic high tea. | Photo by The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa

It’s perfectly fine to imagine a lavish spread in the multi-tiered atrium of The Brown Palace when thinking about afternoon tea. After all, the historical hotel has been serving it since the early 1900s. While the idea of tea service hasn’t changed much, the menu has been modified over the years thanks to executive chef Kim Moyle. Think freshly baked scones with homemade preserves and luscious Devonshire cream, tiny finger sandwiches, and delicate tea pastries. 

On the tea side, the brews come from the sustainable Rishi Tea company. With many flavors it can be hard to choose, but some favorites include Blue Jasmine, Cinnamon Plum herbal tea, and Lavender Earl Gray. For those looking to tap into royalty a la Queen Charlotte, Crown Jewel black tea leaves notes of dried fruit and gentlemen callers. Prices start at $65 per person, with children’s fees starting at $30. With additions such as Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame for adults, and sparkling cider for kids also available.

Visit The Brown Palace for tea Monday through Friday from 12 to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hear live music each day during service. 321 17th St., Denver, brownpalace.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.
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