Move over, coffee shops — tea rooms are on the rise! As of late, tea rooms have been growing in popularity and they have been giving me major inspo. These tea rooms not only offer tea and delicious bites, but they often have spectacular interiors. They have been especially popular in California. One of my friends even opened one up in the Golden State. Join me as I explore the most charming tea rooms around the world.
The History of Tea Rooms
There are different theories on how Tea Rooms came to be. Some historians attribute the “afternoon tea” ritual to Anna Russel, the Duchess of Bedford. She would often complain about a lull in energy between lunch and dinner and would request tea, bread, and cake to be sent to her room. It became a habit and she soon invited her friends over to join her.
At the turn of the century, many women in the U.S. were starting tea rooms in their homes or by setting up tables in their gardens. Serving food was one of the few ways women were able to join the workforce. This created opportunities for many single women who desired careers. Now, the modern tea rooms may look a lot different than the originals, but the concept of “afternoon tea” remains the same.
The Peninsula – Beverly Hills, CA
It’s common for upscale hotels to provide their own tea room experience. The 5-star hotel, The Peninsula in Beverly Hills, CA is one of them. For a set price, you can enjoy a quality selection of teas and a tower of delectable bites. There are both savory options like lobster rolls or sweet options like strawberries or truffles. For an extra fee, you can enjoy endless champagne by Laurent Perrier.
Sketch – London
This stylish tearoom in London is set in the former headquarters of Royal Institute of British Architects. It was also the London Atelier of Christian Dior. In addition to a tea room, this gem also serves as an art gallery. It’s also a two-story Michelin-star restaurant with multiple rooms with different designer themes. The ballet shoes on the patterned chairs give the space an extra level of whimsy.
Cha Bei – Hong Kong
This dreamy tea room is in Hong Kong located in a World-Class Asian Resort, and it’s giving me all the spring vibes. The name of the tea room “Cha Bei” means teacup. Not only is the interior stunning, but the treats and presentation are gorgeous as well.
Claridge’s – London
Afternoon tea is served at another exclusive hotel in the Mayfair neighborhood of London. It is served in their regal foyer and quaint reading room. The elegant ambiance is paired with soft classical music for the ultimate experience.
Russian Tea Room – NYC
The Russian Tea Room in New York City offers a fancier experience with its opulent design and decor. It was founded by member of the Russian Imperial Ballet in 1927. The red leather banquettes and gold details create an ideal atmosphere for the social elite to be seen. Madonna even worked here as a coatroom clerk before she reached stardom.
Boulder Dunshabe Teahouse – Boulder, CO
Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado is The Boulder Dunshabe Tearoom. It’s exterior is just as beautiful as its interior. The building was completely built by hand without the use of power tools. The woodcarved pillars and handpainted details are striking.
The Tea Room Experience – Orlando, FL
Lastly, we have our own delightful tea room in Orlando, FL. True to its name, they definitely create a unique experience. The most fun part about it is you get to choose from their selection of fancy hats to wear during your visit. This local spot is popular to rent out for fun events like baby showers and bridal showers.
From cozy and laidback to regal and classy, there is a tea room experience for everyone. Some new tea houses are taking inspiration from current trends like Cottagecore or JAPANDI. I hope you enjoyed exploring these adorable tea rooms with me. Which one was your favorite?