Tea in Wonderland

IMG_3235There are certain things that make me really happy to have nieces.  Tea in Wonderland at the Four Seasons (along with little sweater dresses and sparkly ballet flats) tops that list.

Tea in Wonderland is probably the most awesome thing you can take a little girl to.  A few Saturdays in December the Philadelphia Four Seasons welcomes little girls (and a few little boys) for a full afternoon tea hosted by none other than Alice in Wonderland.  I heard about TIW a few years back and was eager to take my 4-year-old niece Maddie (1/2 of a team comprising the world's cutest nieces) this year.

"Full afternoon tea" means tea and/or hot chocolate and lots of fancy little sandwiches and scones (a cute touch: the finger sandwiches were tailored for children - notice the PB&J sandwich on the left):IMG_3201Because this was a big girl kind of day, MKF got a big girl drink: a Shirley Temple.  She especially enjoyed the PB&J sandwich.IMG_3207IMG_3214IMG_3211Don't worry, that's Aunt Gina's glass of champagne.  The fun didn't stop with the little sandwiches and scones.  Our table was set with an entire BOWL full of mini marshmallows for our hot chocolate! IMG_3200IMG_3203That cup of hot chocolate was never less than half full; the staff at the Four Seasons really knows how to take care of its youngest clients.  The place was decked out for the season - the decorations alone were worth the price of admission (which, by the way, was $65/person - no children's discount.  After the Shirley Temple, champagne and tip, the bill neared $200 - we may take it easy on the extra drinks next year). IMG_3278IMG_3275IMG_3273There were little girls in fancy dresses everywhere.  Many of them started warming up for the performance with their own dancing. IMG_3228Young dancers from The Rock School, a premier Philadelphia ballet school, performed a mini version of The Nutcracker.  The little ladies hurried to the front and some screamed "THE BALLERINAS ARE HERE!!" when they caught a glimpse of the dancers. IMG_3240IMG_3258IMG_3247MKF watched the performance in a trance.  After the show, she practiced her own dance skills. IMG_3267IMG_3224It goes without saying that she was the best dressed little woman in the place (and I'm not just saying that because I bought her outfit.  She got TONS of compliments, and one woman even told her she looked like a princess). IMG_3270Her shoes were by far the cutest things I've ever seen in my entire life (dress and shoes both by H&M): IMG_3220 Notice the book Maddie is holding in the photo above?  When we arrived at our table, a hardback copy of "Alice in Wonderland" was waiting at Maddie's place.  She immediately opened it and began reading.  Then, guess who came over to our table to say hello?  ALICE!!! IMG_3198Despite the photo, Maddie was REALLY excited to meet Alice.  Her eyes got really big, and she smiled a lot.  Mads is just really particular about who she permits herself to be photographed with.  Alice (along with one of the dancers) was kind enough to autograph Maddie's book, which I'm pretty sure made the book Maddie's most prized possession.  Oh, and MKF couldn't believe that we were allowed to take the book home with us (I'll admit that made the bill easier to swallow).

Finally, out came the fancy desserts.  The Rice Krispie treat was a special touch. IMG_3237Girlfriend even got a new fancy coat for the occasion (courtesy of CF and JDF, not Aunt Gina). IMG_3283Doesn't she look SO fancy?!IMG_3218I think she had fun :)