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Tea Time


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We know the kids just went back to school, but it’s time to finalize December plans if you want to take your family to holiday tea.

Reservations for some services are already available, and spots are filling up. The Ritz-Carlton’s Cheryl Abugharbieh warns, “On the first day of booking, the phones are absolutely flooded.”

To make sure you’re not left stuck at Starbucks, here’s a guide to some of the best spots to take the kids, their grandparents, and even the teddy bears.

The Lobby Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel
600 Stockton St. at California, San Francisco, (415) 773-6918; $58/person
Although pricey, these teddy bear tea services are filled with skits, Christmas carols, and photos with Binky the Elf and a life-size teddy bear. Reservations opened August 1, but there may be a few spots left.

Camellia Tea Room
828 First St., Benicia, (707) 746-5293; $35/person
This teddy bear tea for kids includes a visit from Santa himself. And every sip helps revitalize Benicia: Proceeds go to the Benicia Main Street Program. Reservations open in October.

Lafayette Circle Cafe
71 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette, (925) 283-2226; $25/child, $30/adult
Not only is this one of the best local teahouses, but it’s also your best bet when bookings elsewhere start getting scarce. Teddy bear teas for tots, more traditional teas for adults.

Shadelands Ranch
2660 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek, (925) 935-7871; $25/person
A fundraiser for the Walnut Creek Historical Society, the Shadelands Holiday Faire offers slightly more grown-up tea services. Enjoy scones with lemon curd made from fruit grown on the ranch’s own property. Reservations open October 3.

The Windsor Tearoom at the King George Hotel
334 Mason St. at Geary, San Francisco, (415) 781-5050; $25/person
During the holiday season, the Windsor adds some holiday warmth—and champagne—to its trademark tea services. Reservations are open now.

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