For my birthday this year my husband booked a reservation for high tea at the Brown Palace in Denver.
I have loved tea time since I was a little girl. My mom spent some of her formative years living in the UK and as a result, is a big tea drinker. When I was little, I loved getting to hang out with her and her girlfriends while enjoying a cup of tea or in my case a cup of milk with a splash of tea. It made me feel grown up to drink my “tea” and chat with them. The first high tea I ever went to was in London at the Ritz-Carlton while we were there on a family vacation. I remember it being so fancy and decadent. I loved everything about it, the dressing up, the service, the little tea sandwiches. Since then, high tea has been a treat I love to share with people.
When my husband and I moved to Denver six years ago, I never thought to look for a place to enjoy high tea. At the time, Denver and high tea didn’t mix in my mind. Denver, a city known for its casual atmosphere invoked images of micro-breweries and deep POW, not the high class of London’s afternoon tea. But that changed when a co-worker and I met a client at the Brown Palace for happy hour. We walked into the building and he told me to look up. The six story atrium, gorgeous in itself, is completed with a stained glass ceiling. The space was breath-taking. My co-worker smiled at my reaction and just said “Cool, huh? I think they serve afternoon tea here too.” That sparked my interest, so I started doing some research. High tea has long been a tradition at the Brown Palace, guests have been doing it for over 100 years. The menu looked fabulous, so when a friend was in town for a visit, she and I decided to give it a shot. It exceeded our expectations! I’ve been back a few times since then, but this January was the first time I had been with my husband and the first time I had seen the hotel decorated for Christmas.
Starting after Thanksgiving through January, reservations for tea are required and you should plan to make them well in advance for this time of year. My husband called to make a reservation in November, hoping he could get something right around my birthday at the end of December. Unfortunately, they were booked until mid-January when he was able to make one for 12:30 on a Friday afternoon.When the day finally came, I was so excited to get dressed up and head into downtown for our date. When we walked in, we were greeted with the sound of a piano playing. Tea is typically accompanied by either piano or harp.I was thrilled to see the hotel was still decorated for Christmas.We each ordered the Royal Palace Tea which includes a tea of your choice, a glass of Kir Royale accompanied by scones served with Devonshire cream, strawberry preserves, finger sandwiches and pastries. I had the Brown Palace Crown Jewel black tea and my husband had the Earl Grey. Both were delicious. The finger sandwiches were a cucumber sandwich with dill cream cheese (which was my husbands favorite), curried egg salad (which was my favorite) and a ham with apricot preserves.After tea, we took the elevator up to look down on the lobby. If you time your tea right, you can catch their public tour at 3PM every Wednesday and Saturday.Overall, it was a fabulous time! I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Denver or for a special occasion. It is definitely one of my favorite places in Denver!