Tea with Mrs. B based in Falls Church, Virginia is a must do with children from the toddler to teen range in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Sophisticated open play, tea parties, manners, and camps are all available in this delightfully quirky space.
Nestled in an unassuming warehouse district is a charming little tea house that you absolutely must put on your bucket list. And like most of the experiences I find myself seeking out I heard of Tea with Mrs. B though Instagram. A friend of mine posted a few pictures of her toddler aged daughter at a bonafide tea party; fine china, finger sandwiches, cloth napkins and hats all around. I was intrigued.
I scheduled Ooey and I for two programs which were best suited for a two year old, toddler tea and sophisticated open play. Sophisticated open play was first up on the agenda and I took it as an excuse to dress both of us up. I pulled a dress out from the way back of the closet, grabbed my floppy hat, heels and even put on a little makeup. And Ooey, of course, looks cute all the time but in any dress she really does look like a model for baby gap. We hopped in the car for this adventure and made our way to Arlington, for once not to go to Costco.
The first thing you notice when you open the door at Tea with Mrs B’s is how beautifully it’s decorated. There are no toys strewn across the floor, no kids music blasting from the speakers or even play equipment. You’ve entered a chic room that’s a cross between an Anthropologie storefront and your grandmother’s sitting room. When you spend all day everyday doing kid things you forget that rooms can be soothing, organized and filled with objects that look like they can be easily broken. Ooey loves all the trinkets and she wanders around picking up silver hand mirrors, feathers and porcelain figurines, maybe she’s also sick of the standard issue plastic that usually comes along with kid anything.
Mrs. B welcomes families as they enter and kids love her immediately. Rebecca (Mrs.B) is the model hostess, she greets the incoming moms as if they were old girlfriends and delights the children with the swipe of a feather duster on the cheek or a pinch of glitter on the hand.
Kids are welcome to poke around, but the main attraction is in the back of the room where Mrs. B shows the children the dress up area. Costume jewelry, feather boas, shoes, hats and scarves are all available. The table is set for tea and we all take our seats as Mrs. B pours the children lemonade while quizzing them on manners. I myself am a bit rough around the edges when it comes to social decorum and I sit a little straighter and pull my elbows off the table like all the other kids.
If I didn’t want to leave that feeling was magnified in Ooey. As families were filing out Ooey was making herself at home with the trinkets and dolls in the back while I was helping myself to the remaining finger foods. Prying necklaces and statues out of her hand we made our way to the door, screaming made way to silence a few minutes into our ride home. The hallmark of a good outing, a nap.
Toddler tea was not much different than our experience at the sophisticated open play. There were more pairs of mothers and daughters, owing to the fact that this program is on a Saturday and not on Thursday like the sophisticated open play. Again we played dress up and again I watched Ooey as she became mesmerized by Mrs. B. Talking with her hands in sweeping gestures she calls out to the children about zipping up for good posture and tucking in one’s elbows, and chewing with a mouth closed. Ooey was again reluctant to leave, but we’ll be back. Tea with Mrs. B is so unlike any other program in this area and provides a space to have a memorable moment with your rapidly growing son or daughter. Camps, and corporate events are also offered by Mrs. B, check her website for more details, here.
Rebecca was kind enough to field some of my questions and you can read our conversation below.
When did you start Tea with Mrs. B? Was it before or after your son was born, and was he part inspiration?
I met and married my husband in 11 months. After transplanting my life from Colorado, I was in search of friends. One happened to be 5 years old. We often enjoyed tea together and she asked me to help her host a tea party for her birthday, to teach her friends what I had taught her. It was an organic beginning which blossomed to accommodate requests and I was able to make a business out of what I was already doing for fun! I was inspired to do more boy programs after having my son.
Were you engaged in manners courses as a child?
Oh, yes! My mother was my first teacher.She and my grandmother are classic southern treasures. My grandmother and all her friends were natural teachers of decorum and I had a few serious courses sprinkled in here and there. I was a dancer and pianist throughout my childhood and both of those endeavors lent themselves to a reverence for poise and good manners.
What’s been your favorite part of this business?
Seeing all the children (girls AND boys) sit down to the fanciest tea table and enjoying themselves. Seeing surprised parents appreciate how their child is capable of such sophistication. Having a place to put my fun purchases like hats, gloves, tiaras, swords, dishes, silver, giant diamonds, elegant linens then watching adults and children explore their creativity with them.
How many teacups have been broken along the way?
Surprisingly, I can only recall two tea cups being broken by children. Ironically, it is always my staff, parents or me who break them
Is there anything else you’d like my readers to know?
Manners and tea are for all ages! The tea room can be rented for adult events as well, such as, birthday parties, bridal showers, private group meetings and business etiquette lessons.
Thanks for reading!