Tucked away from the hustle and bustle that is Bel Air during December, is a quiet spot perfect for sipping tea, eating cookies and enjoying the holiday spirit.
That spot is Tea by Two in Bel Air, which will begin taking reservations for its widely popular Christmas Tea on Friday.
“What I really like about it is that time of year is so busy, and can be so frantic with everybody getting ready,” said Tea by Two owner Erin Bradley. “I feel like when people come in for Christmas tea they take a deep breath and they just enjoy.”
What began 12 years ago when Tea By Two opened at 814 S. Main St., has turned into somewhat of a Christmas tradition for more than 350 people. Bradley said the tea is so popular, people begin lining up outside to make reservations hours before they open.
Besides being tastefully decorated for Christmas, the holiday tea offers a special menu, favors for customers, live music and dares anyone not to fall completely into the Christmas spirit.
“It really allows people to stop for a couple of house and just enjoy the season,” Bradley said.
Christmas tea is only offered on select Fridays and Saturdays in December, so reservations fill up quickly. In an effort to help customers get the seating they want, Tea By Two recommends the following tips:
- Call early — don't wait until afternoon to place your call for reservations. Most seats sell out by 12 p.m. the day they go on sale.
- Have your credit card/gift card ready. This makes the reservation process go quickly and reduces the amount of time you and others will have to wait. Payment must be made at the time of reservation. Payment by gift card will require the 12 digit number on the back of the card.
- Keep your options open. Have two or three alternate dates and times that you and your group are available — this way you won't have to hang up or get out of line to call your friends and family to make other arrangements if your first choice is not available.
- Come in person. If possible, come in person to make your reservation. Most customers who come in person get their first or second reservation choice. Click here for a convenient "in person" reservation form.
- Stay in line. Tea by Two processes reservations of those who come in person in the order in which they enter the tea room. It does not use a numbering system, so to keep your place in line and be prepared to wait.
Those planning to stop by the shop in person to secure a reservation should be aware that many people line up ahead of time. Bradley said the reservation line up has become a tradition for many, who take “shifts” waiting outside. Tea and cookies will be served to those who wait.
Christmas tea will be offered Dec. 6, 13 and 20 and 6:30 p.m. and Dec. 7, 14 and 21 at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. For more information on the event, click here.