Winter is the perfect time for tea and scones, and Denver has a quite a few charming venues for a hot cup and conversation. Tea is a great daytime beverage for those times you want to relax and focus on the moment in the midst of a hectic day. Here are some of our favorite stops for a spot of tea — and all the good things that make tea time a little better.
For a Victorian Experience
Castle Marne Bed & Breakfast
1572 Race Street
Castle Marne offers the best high tea in Victorian style, including a short tour of the exquisite mansion built in 1889 and beautifully restored in the late 1980s by the Peiker family, who are as passionate about the restored mansion and its history as they are about serving tea within its walls. High tea is served Thursday through Sunday by reservation. The cost is $40 per adult.
For Modern Tea Drinkers
1450 South Broadway
Capital Tea has a charming and laid-back vibe where you can pop in for tea and a sandwich, salad or pastry. If you want high tea, make reservations. The cost is $27 per person and includes tasty savory and sweet dishes. A wide selection of loose-leaf tea is also available for purchase.
For the Scone Lover
Cano's Collection & Welsh Dragon Tea Shoppe
8400 East Iliff Avenue
Bud and Joyce Mahn serve some of the best scones in Denver. The Cano's gift shop and tea room served Cherry Creek for 27 years before moving to its current home two years ago. Joyce was born in the tiny town of Deri in South Wales and started drinking tea at the age of three, so she knows her tea and cakes. This quaint tea shop is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, when you can enjoy a Cornish pasty or sandwich for lunch or come for afternoon tea. For $6.50, you’ll get two scones or two Welsh cakes, or one of each, along with double Devon cream and jam. Cano’s also carries lovely teapots and other Welsh and English gifts.
If you're a scone lover looking for other places to indulge, England-born Jessica Avery, the owner of House of Commons at 2401 15th Street, also knows how to make great scones. High tea is available, but we recommend the Cream Tea, which includes a scone, Devonshire cream, preserves, fresh fruit and tea for $10.95. House of Commons is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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For a Big Tea Selection
2440 West Main Street, Littleton
Tea cabinets run floor to ceiling at In-Tea, making it a great place to stretch your taste in tea. Try pu-erh, an aged tea that tastes like chocolate, or one of In-Tea's custom blends. In addition to an extraordinary loose tea selection, In-Tea serves alcohol — it’s like two beautiful beverage worlds colliding. We recommend the shop's raspberry herbal blend with champagne. Have an idea for an adult-tea beverage concoction? “Sure, we’ll make it for you,” says Kellie Covert, an In-Tea cha boshi (tea master). In fact, Something Brewery in Brighton works with In-Tea to make tea-infused beer. You can also sign up for tea classes and cocktail classes for groups of six or more. Check In-Tea's website for a schedule of classes.
For Your Tea-Drinking Mom
Denver Tea Room and Coffee Salon
1165 South Broadway
Don’t be deceived by the modern-looking exterior; the inside of the Denver Tea Room and Coffee Salon is an elegant, mom-worthy venue. Owner, chef and tea master Margo Seymour Sparto has a passion for great food and tea. Stop by for a casual cup of coffee or tea, a light breakfast, lunch sandwich or loose-leaf tea to go at the salon Wednesday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. To get into the stylish tea room, you’ll need to make reservations. High tea is offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.