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teddy bear tea timeThink traditional afternoon tea is limited to elegant women sipping from porcelain cups and nibbling cucumber sandwiches without crusts? Think again, says a recent article on The Daily Meal’s website. Just in time for the holiday season, hotels across the US have created family-friendly tea rooms that also welcome that beloved, huggable member of the family, the Teddy Bear Tea.

The idea of Teddy Bear Tea is to give young family members a fun introduction to the sophisticated afternoon tradition of taking tea, the article states, where scones, petits fours, tea sandwiches and other yummy treats are served. Fun activities that particularly appeal to younger children are also offered, from book readings to visits from Santa Claus.

For a fancy, yet non-stuffy, Teddy Bear Tea, The Daily Meal recommends these four hotels:

1. The Roosevelt, New Orleans, LA

At the classic, premier luxury hotel in New Orleans, Teddy Bear Tea will be served December 1-23, transporting guests of all ages to a “holiday journey to Santa’s Wonderland.” While enjoying fancy tea sandwiches, scones, mini teddy bear cakes, truffles, hot cocoa, sparkling wine (for the over-21 set) and more, guests will be visited by Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will read holiday stories and pose for pictures. Kids can bring their own teddy, and those 12 and under will also receive a commemorative Roosevelt Teddy Bear.

2. The Rittenhouse, Philadelphia, PA

From November 29th through the end of December, the Mary Cassatt Tea Room at The Rittenhouse in Philadelphia will be serving a classic tea lunch for children and teddy bears alike. Young guests and their stuffed companions are invited for a leisurely afternoon tea service, featuring sweet and savory petits fours and teddy bear cookies in the recently renovated tea room. Each child will also receive a complimentary teddy bear.

3. The Plaza, New York, NY

Each Friday in December, young guests are invited to the Eloise Shop in New York’s Plaza Hotel for a holiday-themed tea party. After enjoying a traditional teatime spread of tea sandwiches, fruit, and an assortment of desserts, children and their teddies can visit Santa in his workshop for story-telling and picture-taking. Photos are theirs to take home, along with a special gift bag from Eloise.

4. Castle Hill Inn, Newport, RI

On December 7th, 14th and 17th, Newport’s Castle Hill Inn will host its traditional Teddy Bear Tea, a leisurely event for families and bears, with tea, petits fours and readings of classic holiday books. Families are also encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped teddy bear (in original packaging) to donate to Newport Child & Family Services.

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