Tag Archives: Dickens Fair

Last chance this weekend for tea at the Dickens Fair!

Brochure and complimentary teapot from High Tea at Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe.  Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.

Brochure and complimentary teapot from High Tea at Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace in Daly City closes this weekend, and tea at Dickens is still as popular as ever!  The Dickens Fair runs weekends only, between the Friday after Thanksgiving and the Sunday before Christmas; it’s open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday, December 21).  General Admission is $30 at the gate, but you can get disounted tickets if you know one of the workers or performers. Take a look at these other articles for more information about having tea at the Dickens Fair:

“How to have afternoon tea at the Dickens Fair in San Francisco”
“Review: Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair”
“Take tea with Charles Dickens for two more weekends at the Dickens Fair”

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Christmas teas in the South Bay

Brochure and complimentary teapot from High Tea at Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.

Looking for holiday activities in the San Jose area? The Christmas season is one of the most popular times of the year for special tea parties. Almost every tea shop in the Santa Clara Valley offers a special seasonal menu, and various museums and historic houses also schedule tea events. Enjoy a holiday tea at one or more of the following places:

1. Heritage Holiday Tea and Tours at the Fallon House, Saturday, December 1, 2012. Tickets are $45 and include tours of the Fallon House and validated parking. Seatings are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and tickets can be reserved by sending checks to History San Jose, 1650 Senter Road, San Jose, 95113; by email or by calling Juanita Lara at 408.918.1045.

Thomas and Carmel Fallon House
175 W. St. John St.,
San Jose, CA
(408) 918-1045

From last year’s event: “San Jose’s Fallon House hosts Heritage Holiday Champagne Tea and Tours”

2. Children’s Holiday Tea with Santa at Rosewood Sand Hill, Menlo Park, CA, Saturday, Dec 1 1:30p to 3:30p. “Children can enjoy Holiday Tea with Santa while Santa himself shares holiday stories such as The Nutcracker. As they listen, the kids will sip hot cocoa and tea, and munch on a selection of tea sandwiches and sweets. Champagne will be available for adults. The kids will take home a teddy bear and share their holiday spirit with the children of The Ronald McDonald House in the form of handwritten holiday notes that Rosewood Sand Hill will attach to teddy bears it is donating to the organization.”

Rosewood Sand Hill
2825 Sand Hill Rd.
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 561-1500

3. Children’s Sugar Plum Fairy Tea at Lisa’s Tea Treasures at Santana Row in San Jose, Wednesday, December 5th & 12th, 4:00pm – 5:30pm. For $31.95 per person plus tax and tip. “The SUGAR PLUM FAIRY will visit our tearoom to enchant youngsters (ages 5-10). They will be served tea as the SUGAR PLUM FAIRY visits each table, then gather for a magic show, singing, dancing and a Holiday story. Parents may accompany their children if they wish (they will be served the Victorian Noel Tea) or leave them in the capable hands of the tea ladies.” Call 247.3613 for reservations; credit card number required to make a reservation.

Lisa’s Tea Treasures
1145 Olsen Avenue
San Jose, CA 95128
ph. (408)247-3613

4. Holiday Candlelight Tea at Lisa’s Tea Treasures at Santana Row.  Thursday, December 6th & 13th, 6:00 p.m.  “A perfect respite for busy shoppers and theater goers. Enjoy a complimentary glass of of champagne, soup, waldorf salad, holiday tea sandwiches, scone, holiday dessert and pot of tea.” $31.95 per person plus tax and gratuity. Please call for reservations: 247-3613.  A credit card number is required to guarantee your reservation.

Lisa’s Tea Treasures
1145 Olsen Avenue
San Jose, CA 95128
ph. (408)247-3613

5. Victorian Noel Gala at Lisa’s Tea Treasures at the Pruneyard in Campbell. Friday Dec 7 and 14 at 7:00, 7:15, and 7:30 p.m. Seatings: 7:00, 7:15, 7:30. Featuring “Champagne, candlelight, music and a 5 course dinner (soup, salad, sorbet, entree with side dishes and dessert)” for $44.95 per person.

Lisa’s Tea Treasures
1875 S. Bascom Avenue #165,
Campbell, CA 95008
Phone: (408) 371-7377

“Review: Lisa’s Tea Treasures – Campbell location”

6. Farmhouse Christmas Tea Luncheons at Yerba Buena Nursery in Redwood City. Friday, Dec 7 through Sunday December 9, and Friday, December 14 through Sunday, December 16, at 12:30 p.m. Price: $50 per person, reservations required. “Join us for a hot luncheon at Yerba Buena Nursery. This three course meal is accompanied by our holiday “Tea of Good Tidings,” served within our 1905 Victorian farmhouse. Reservations are required, guests age 12 and over are welcome.”

Yerba Buena Nursery
19500 Skyline Blvd.
Redwood City, CA 94062
(650) 851-1668

7. Sugar Plum Teas at Lisa’s Tea Treasures at the Pruneyard in Campbell. December 11 & 12, at 4:15 p.m. for $29.95 per person. “Children ages 5 -11 take tea with the proprietress Dale Ann, decorate Christmas cupcakes and enjoy special entertainment by the Holiday Fairy!”

Lisa’s Tea Treasures
1875 S. Bascom Avenue #165,
Campbell, CA 95008
Phone: (408) 371-7377

“Review: Lisa’s Tea Treasures – Campbell location” 

8. Holiday Tea of Good Tidings at Thyme for Tea in Niles.  Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16, 2012; 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. seatings. $38 per person. Menu includes: Cinnamon Rose Holiday Tea or coffee, Cranberry scone with raspberry butter, an assortment of tea sandwiches and savories, a Christmas petit-four, Snowball cookie, Holiday truffle and Charlotte’s fudge.

Tyme for Tea & Co.
37501 Niles Blvd.
Fremont, CA. 94536 (510) 790-0944

9. Afternoon Tea at Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace. Weekends, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from the Friday after Thanksgiving to the Sunday before Christmas. Be sure to make your reservations in advance to secure a table! Admission to the Dickens Fair is $25 at the door; afternoon tea is around $29 per person.

The Cow Palace Exhibition Halls
2600 Geneva Avenue
Daly City, CA

“How to have afternoon tea at the Dickens Fair in San Francisco” 
“Review: Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair”

10. The Spirit of Christmas Teas at Lisa’s Tea Treasures at the Pruneyard in Campbell. November 23 through the end of the year. Includes Victorian Noel Spiced Plum Tea, Scent of Christmas scone with cream and preserves, White Christmas Soup, Delight of the Season spiced sweet potato savory, Visions of Christmas tea sandwiches, and Petite Christmas Log chocolate raspberry Yule log cake for $29.95.

Lisa’s Tea Treasures
1875 S. Bascom Avenue #165,
Campbell, CA 95008
Phone: (408) 371-7377

“Review: Lisa’s Tea Treasures – Campbell location”

11. GBACG New York Society Tea at the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, Saturday, December 29, from 1:30 – 4:00pm. Hosted by the Greater Bay Area Costumers’ Guild (GACG); tea served at 2 pm in the Garden Court. “Join the best of New York Society as Mrs. Astor hosts a first class holiday tea at the Palace Hotel. The glowing, golden Garden Court will sparkle with fine china and silver as a delicate parade of tea sandwiches and homemade scones — complete with Devonshire cream, lemon curd and rose petal jam — delight your palate. The Garden Court offers a fine selection of teas, from classic blends to creative, modern infusions. Costumes are required for this event. Please select fashionable attire from 1870 – 1895. Please arrive on time, as tea service will begin promptly at 2 pm. You may want to arrive early to take photos at the Palace. Tickets: Advance tickets are required for this event. The deadline to purchase tickets is Thursday, December 13, 2012. GBACG members $65, Non-members $75, Children $60.

Garden Court, Palace Hotel,
2 New Market St., San Francisco, CA 94105

Copyright 2012, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read? Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my blog, The Cup That Cheers, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea or Pinterest!

For more information:
“San Jose’s newest tea shop: Satori Tea Bar”
“Review: afternoon tea at Satori Tea Bar”
“Tea and San Jose’s Christmas in the Park”
“Review: Afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge in San Jose’s Fairmont Hotel”
“Tea-tasting San Jose area destinations: Peet’s Coffee & Tea downtown San Jose”
“Review: tea tasting at Peet’s Coffee & Tea’s downtown San Jose store”

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Review: Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe at the Dickens Christmas Fair

Commemorative teapot from Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.

Having afternoon tea at Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe at the Dickens Fair is a popular holiday activity in the Bay Area.  The tables are full of Dickens Fair patrons from the time it opens in the morning until the last tea seating in the late afternoon, and for good reason: having tea at Cuthbert’s is a wonderful way to spend some time at Dickens. The staff, and many customers dress in Victorian costume, and add to the seasonal atmosphere, making the people-watching inside the tea room as much fun as it is outside the tea room.

If you want to have tea seated inside the tea room, you’ll need to make a reservation first thing upon arriving at the Dickens Fair, or make your reservation in advance, online. Otherwise, you can take your chances that they’ll have room for walk-ins, or order your tea and treats a la carte from the take-out window at the back of the shop.

The English afternoon tea in the shop is a fun way to refresh yourself at the Dickens Fair, however. Pots of tea and treats are available a la carte, but the most popular choice is to order the afternoon tea for $21 per person. This includes: a pot of tea (regular, decaf or herbal), scones or crumpets with butter, cream, lemon curd and jam, assorted tea sandwiches (choice between salmon, cucumber, watercress, or egg salad), English trifle, and a commemorative teapot to take home.

The San Jose Tea Examiner met with some members of the South Bay Ladies’ Tea Guild, the Greater Bay Area Costumer’s Guild and the San Diego Costumer’s Guild, for tea at Cuthbert’s. Several of us ordered tea and sandwiches a la carte, but most of us chose the prix fixe afternoon tea.  The food quality is good, it is tasty and filling; most of it is purchased, but the tea and sandwiches are made on site. The tea is loose-leaf, served in individual teapots, and you get a choice of lemon curd, cream, or jam with your scones or crumpets (you get two small scones or crumpets).  The sandwiches are large; basically they make a whole sandwich with two full slices of bread, cut off the crusts, cut the sandwich in half, and serve you both halves. You get two large tea sandwiches, both with the same filling; I usually order the smoked salmon, but the other fillings are also tasty. Although it’s not listed on the menu, the Rum Cake served at Cuthbert’s is apparently famous for its richness and flavor, and you could probably ask your server to bring you some rum cake instead of English trifle! Your take-home teapot is brought to you with your bill, and it’s a small 2-cup teapot with the Cuthbert’s logo on it. Altogether, the tea is a good value and worth $21.

There is some room for improvement, however. Since Cuthbert’s is so popular, it is always crowded, and the servers often get flustered with all the customers and are not entirely organized. The last time I was there, we had our food order mixed up several times, and we seemed to have three different servers waiting on us. Also, the lemon curd, jam and cream are served in tiny bowls, containing one spoonful to share with everyone in your party, and you have to flag someone down to ask for more. I briefly considered bringing a jar of my homemade Meyer lemon curd to the Dickens Fair with me just to avoid this! Also, the tea leaves are left in the teapot when it’s served to you, so the tea tends to get bitter by the end of your tea time. A tea strainer comes to the table with the teapot, so try to strain and drink your tea quickly! However, these are small quibbles compared to the fun of participating in the whole scene, especially if you have dressed in costume! It is also a wonderful photo opportunity.

To get to the Dickens Fair from San Jose, take 101N, towards San Francisco, and take Exit 426 A/Brisbane. Merge on to Bayshore Highway, and take Bayshore to Daly City. Make a left off of Bayshore and onto Geneva Ave. once you get to Daly City, and follow the signs to 2600 Geneva Ave. Parking is $10 per car.  You can also take BART to the Dickens Fair and use your BART pass for a discount on your entrance ticket!

Copyright 2011, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read? Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my blog, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea

For more information:
Dickens Christmas Fair website
Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe website
“By Dickens, a Victorian Pacifican serves up delectables at Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe”
Review of Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe on Yelp!
“How to have afternoon tea at the Dickens Fair in San Francisco”
“When the exhibits are people: first-person cultural interpreters at Dickens Christmas Fair.”
“Favorite tea-time recipe from Gourmet magazine: Meyer lemon curd”
“Where can I have an English or European-style afternoon tea in the San Jose area?”
“Tea 101: what do we mean when we talk about tea?”
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea”
“Tea and San Jose’s Christmas in the Park”
“The Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco (photos)”
“Victorian costumes at the Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco”
“The Great Dickens Christmas Fair launches SF’s holiday season”
The official Dickens Fair costume guide
Food booths at the Dickens Fair
“Take BART to the Great Dickens Christmas Fair”

 

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How to have a Victorian Afternoon Tea at The Dickens Fair

Victorian ladies at Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe, 2009. Photo: Valarie LaBore.

The Christmas countdown in the Bay Area has officially begun, not because of Black Friday, but because of the opening of The Great Dickens Christmas Fair! And of course, given the fact that tea became England’s national drink near the beginning of Charles Dickens’ lifetime, there are several places where you can get a nice cup of tea and a treat at the Dickens Fair. Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe, the only sit-down tea room at Dickens, is the most popular place.

Tea at Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe is so popular that it is almost impossible to walk in and find an empty table. Advance reservations are highly recommended, and the traditional plan is to arrive at the Cow Palace at least an hour before opening time so that you can get in line near the front. That will enable you to walk through the Fair to the Tea Shoppe without having to waste too much time stuck in the crowd at the entrance. This year, opening time is 11 a.m. Once you’ve entered, immediately head for Cuthbert’s and get in line to make a reservation for later!

This year, Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe is also offering an online reservation service for customers, and they have expanded the Shoppe to include a Solarium dining area! Reserved seatings for afternoon tea in the Solarium are 11:45 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 4 p.m., and online reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. There is a $5 per person deposit required for online reservations, or you can pay for your afternoon tea in full, through PayPal. Once Cuthbert’s is booked, they don’t open the shop for walk-ins! Once you have your reservation, you are free to walk around and see the Fair, and come back when it’s your time for tea.

You’ll need to check in and confirm your reservation around 15 minutes before your reserved tea time; if you’re running late, they’ll only hold your table for 10 minutes! Once you are seated at your table inside the shop, you can choose from a menu of a la carte items, or order the full afternoon tea, which costs $21 without tax; this is a prix fixe menu that includes one pot of tea, two scones or crumpets with butter, honey, whipped cream, lemon curd or jam (you can ask for more than one topping), one kind of tea sandwich (you get two sandwiches, both the same flavor) and one dessert item, plus a small commemorative teapot to take home. The a la carte menu enables you to order each item separately. The High Tea is served at 4 p.m. and also includes a fixed menu and a teapot to take home.

If you can’t get a reservation, you can buy all the a la carte menu items from the take-out window at the back of the tea shop, and there are a few small tables and chairs outside the shop windows where you can sit to eat your treats. There is also a tea booth – Mr. Brown’s Fine Coffee and Tea — elsewhere in the Fair, but seating nearby is on the regular picnic tables scattered throughout the venue.

To get to the Dickens Fair from San Jose, take 101N, towards San Francisco, and take Exit 426 A/Brisbane. Merge on to Bayshore Highway, and take Bayshore to Daly City. Make a left off of Bayshore and onto Geneva Ave. once you get to Daly City, and follow the signs to 2600 Geneva Ave.  You can also get to the Cow Palace on BART, and take the free shuttle from the Glen Park station.  Admission is $25 per person – although there is a $3 discount if you purchase your tickets in advance online – and parking is $10 per car. The Dickens Fair runs on weekends from the Friday after Thanksgiving, to the Sunday before Christmas.  Having tea at Cuthbert’s – especially if you are dressed in Victorian costume – is an experience not to be missed!

Copyright 2011, Elizabeth Urbach

Like what you read? Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my blog, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea

For more information:
The 33rd Annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party website
Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe
“When the exhibits are people: first-person cultural interpreters at Dickens Christmas Fair.”
“Where can I have an English or European-style afternoon tea in the San Jose area?”
“Tea history: what type of tea did American founders drink?”
“Tea 101: what do we mean when we talk about tea?”
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea”
The official Dickens Fair costume guide
“By Dickens, a Victorian Pacifican serves up delectables at Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe”
Food booths at the Dickens Fair
“Take BART to the Great Dickens Christmas Fair”
“The Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco (photos)”
“Victorian costumes at the Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco”
“The Great Dickens Christmas Fair launches SF’s holiday season”

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Filed under Events, History, Holiday, Party Ideas, Tea, Tips, Vendors and Shops