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Raise a Pinky to Afternoon Tea at the Brown Palace

The experience is a classic bucket-list item for tradition-loving Denverites and visitors.

Tea Time at the Brown Palace
Tea Time at the Brown Palace
Courtesy of the Brown Palace

In a town that skews toward casual like Denver, venues staking a claim on formality can be hard to come by. But at the Brown Palace Hotel—which opened in August 1892—you'll find both tradition and a reason for fancy attire, especially during afternoon tea.

Offered daily from noon to 4 p.m., high tea is and has been served in the lobby since 1986—though it's also been held in various locations beginning in the historic hotel's early years—surrounded by the opulent atrium while a harpist or pianist provides the background music. Whether you channel Kate Middleton or Downton Abbey, it's an occasion that mandates business casual or Sunday-best dress.

Secure a reservation and then choose from a few different experiences. The signature tea package is $36 per person ($42 if you want to add a glass of champagne and a Brown Palace truffle), which includes homemade scones with Devonshire cream shipped straight from England, preserves, pastries, finger sandwiches, and of course a choice of tea served from a sterling silver teapot. Each person gets their own selection, ranging from jade oolong to organic green and organic Earl Grey to herbal chai. There's also an option to swap the add-on champagne for a Kir Royale, or go for the Veuve Clicquot for two: everything you'd get with the signature display, plus a half-bottle of bubbly and a truffle for $128.

Bonus: If you finish up by 3 p.m. you can make a hotel history tour on Wednesdays and Saturdays to learn more about the classic Denver institution.

The Brown Palace Hotel

321 17th Street, Denver, CO 80202 303-297-3111