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Apr 30, 2013 08:47 PM

High Tea in Minneapolis?

I am hoping to take an 80-something aunt to tea in Minneapolis or Bloomington next week. Do you have any suggestions?

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  1. I've always wanted to go to the St. Paul Hotel's afternoon tea, but a quick glance at their calendar indicates it appears to be sold out for all of May.

    MN Monthly's run-down of Twin Cities teas (from Jan 2013) came up when I googled on SPH afternoon tea, so I thought I'd link it.

    For posterity (and obviously not for you Ringo), American Girl at the MOA does tea for young children and their dollies, too.

    Please do report back!


    10 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      I rarely wish I had a child, but this makes me wish I did.

      1. re: sheepy

        Patrick Ruesse was just talking on air a week or two ago about how he accompanied his granddaughter to American Girl for tea because he was dying of curiosity.


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          How creepy would it be if I took my 80-year-old mom and no kid?

          1. re: sheepy

            My aunt collected dolls well into her 80's. I don't think it would be creepy at all, just kind of cute.

            1. re: sheepy

              Really, I don't see how they could refuse you. I have no idea how out of place you'd feel, though, as I've never been...

              I do think that part of the charm of the experience is that they wait on your doll. Do you have a doll to bring? (HA! Okay, now I think THAT would be creepy.)

              ETA: Oh! No need to bring your doll! They have loaners.

              Here's some random blog post I found:

              Kathie Jenkins seems to think that "ladies who lunch" would be welcome:

              If you go, PLEASE report back.


        2. re: The Dairy Queen

          Also for posterity, since it's sold out this month, apparently - the St. Paul Hotel afternoon tea is absolutely lovely. Everyone in the party gets a different antique teacup, and the food is dainty and beautifully served. It's completely over-the-top, but in a very good way that's perfect for high tea.

          I've heard that Brit's Pub does a good job, too.

          1. re: gildeddawn

            St. Paul Hotel tea is very nice. You sit in the lobby and get about 4 small courses and bottomless tea. Highly recommend but you do need to plan since they sell out in advance.

          2. re: The Dairy Queen

            The do afternoon teas at the Minnetonka General Store. I don't remember the schedule.

            They used to have lovely teas out at the Arboretum. Here is the current schedule:

            1. re: eastsidegirl

              Lady Elegant's in Como in St. Paul...I've never been but passed by it a few times visiting a bridal shop that is no longer in business (Milton's).


              1. re: eastsidegirl

                Had no idea that the Arboretum did afternoon tea, thank you for the tip! Always thought we had to book way in advance to do this in the Twin Cities, this will make it much easier.

            2. Not in Mpls or Bloomington but, Cafe Latte.


              1. Cafe Latte's tea is good, but it is not really full-service.

                If you don't mind heading into the uncharted terrors of St. Paul, I recommend Lady Elegant's:


                Very intimate and fancy....nice service.

                1. Just an update on high tea options in general, in case anyone is wondering about this topic: went with the family to Maudie MacBride's in West St Paul. It was very sweet; the hosts were charming and the setting was beautiful. The tea service was tasty and fairly substantial (2 kinds of scones, 4 kinds of sandwiches, 3 kinds of pastries plus candies). It's a different, more intimate experience since it's in a private home and garden, vs. a storefront. It felt equivalent to a very nice bed and breakfast.

                  For those with kids- they were very accommodating to my 5year old; there were some nice little presents for her, and they are very doll-friendly. They do suggest allowing a 2-hour timeframe for the tea, and there's a lot of fine china around, so it may not be for all kids.

                  For grandmas: there are stairs to get to the house, so if anyone has mobility issues that might be an issue. Otherwise I think most grandmas would love this place.

                  Would definitely go again.