When we first walked into the Hotel Boulderado for Holiday Tea, I felt like I was a part of the Stahlbaum’s party scene from The Nutcracker. Victorian Carolers sang old and classic holiday songs from the elaborate winding staircase.

Lighted garland lined the railings and a large tree, 24 feet in height, tastefully decorated in a more vintage style rose from the ground level to the second floor where families and friends gathered for tea on the mezzanine level. We enjoyed a carol or two from the lobby area before we headed upstairs for our reservation.

Enjoying a few carols in the lobby

A reservation desk on the second (mezzanine) floor is where headed to check in. We were promptly lead to our table- a round four top decorated with a candle and a wrapped present decoration cozied in among tea cups, menus, jam, lemons for water and place settings. Other tables had similar decor with some featuring a nutcracker instead of the wrapped present. The table reminded much of my parents holiday table with simple decor and red napkins to add a splash of color.

Our table

We enjoyed a few more songs from the carolers while we perused the large menu of teas. When the carolers were off for a break, piped in Christmas music played at a comfortable level, so that you could still have conversation with your party or quietly sing along.

The tea came rather quickly- a decaf Strawberry Fields perfect for littler guests and for me peppermint. Whether you prefer an herbal tea like Chamomile or a black tea like Earl Grey, there were plenty of selections. If you enjoy cream in your tea, or a sugar cube, both were available at the table to add to your cup. If you enjoy a cocktail or wine, festive options were available including an apple cider mimosa.

Enjoying our tea

As we sipped our tea, while discussing our Christmas plans, our first course arrived. The white chocolate raspberry scones were fluffy and a perfect compliment to our tea. Clotted cream and preserves- raspberry and orange. The clotted cream was a rich butter that brought out the flavors of the scones.

A variety of tea sandwiches were available for a variety of pallets. Several vegetarian and one gluten free option were also available. I was surprised with such a vegan crowd in Boulder that at least one vegan option wasn’t available.

My daughter, who considers salmon to be one of her favorite foods, delighted to find a smoked salmon tea sandwich and a shrimp tea sandwich one too. For me, the simpleness of an English cucumber and cream cheese sandwich with tea is just perfect. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the cherry tea sandwich. I wish I could of took a whole box of the gluten free cucumber goat cheese cups home with me.

As we enjoyed our sandwiches, the carolers returned walking around the tables stopping to sing at various spots along the mezzanine area. The entertainment for each day of tea varied from the Victorian Carolers to pianists. Two special days were Nutcracker Teas featuring the music from the Nutcracker with dancers from the Boulder Ballet with a portion of profits going directly back to the studio. I imagine if we had enjoyed the Nutcracker Tea experience, the party scene at the Stahlbum’s would have come completely to life.

At one point, my daughter reached over and squeezed my hand when the carolers sang Christmas Time is Here from A Charlie Brown Christmas– one of my favorites. The beautiful music completely added to the experience making us feel like the holidays were truly here even if it hasn’t snowed yet.

Hoping our tummies weren’t too full from the sandwiches, a tray of desserts soon followed. A mix of macaroons, chocolate covered strawberries, almond croissants and cheesecake cupcakes were the perfect ending to our holiday tea experience.

For our family, the holidays are a bit more casual. But, it is always nice to dress up and enjoy a special event like a holiday tea or performance of the Nutcracker. If you are considering adding a holiday tea to your family traditions, be sure to check out the Hotel Boulderado website in November to book a seasonal tea typically held for two weeks beginning around mid December.