Amidst 130th Anniversary, The Pfister Hotel Expands Its Timeless Afternoon Tea Experience to Year-Round

As renowned British-American author Henry James once said, “Under certain circumstances, there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

But do not take his word for it – experience afternoon tea for yourself at many fine tea rooms, restaurants and hotels around the world, or at Milwaukee’s historic Pfister Hotel, which is celebrating its 130th anniversary.

At a time when just about everything seems to move a little too quickly, the welcoming staff at the Pfister Hotel invites guests to slow down and enjoy a sophisticated and decadent respite.

The Pfister, a AAA Four Diamond hotel owned and managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, announced its Afternoon Tea service will now be offered year-round on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The hotel’s Afternoon Tea has historically paused during summer months, but due to increased demand from customers and the rollout of a new online booking capability through Tock, Afternoon Tea will now be available year-round in order to ensure more guests can enjoy this classic, elegant experience.

“Afternoon Tea at The Pfister Hotel is unlike any other occasion, where guests can take in the picturesque views of Milwaukee while enjoying a custom table-side tea experience led by the Pfister’s very own tea butler,” said Brandon Drusch, managing director of The Pfister Hotel. “For over 40 years, generations have visited The Pfister Hotel for this distinguished experience, bringing back their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to enjoy the ritual of Afternoon Tea. Even though times have changed – walking gowns, hats and gloves are no longer required – this beloved tradition continues.”

Held in Blu on the 23rd floor, Afternoon Tea allows guests to be surrounded by panoramic views of downtown Milwaukee and Lake Michigan as they enjoy a tableside tea blending presented in all-silver service, including a replica of an 18th century self-tipping teapot.

During each Afternoon Tea experience at The Pfister Hotel, guests are visited by a tea butler with a gueridon service trolley who explains the tea, discusses tableside blending options and offers tealeaf samples, so guests may enjoy the distinctive aromas of each variety.

The tea butler also educates guests about the varieties of tea, the countries of origin and unique flavors, the ways that tea affects mood and health, while offering food and flavor pairing suggestions to go with each variety of tea.

The Afternoon Tea menu is complete with fresh scones, sandwiches and pastries. A selection of sparkling wines is available as well.

“In my 40 years of serving tea at The Pfister, I have formed so many relationships with loyal guests that enjoy our afternoon tea regularly,” said Juan Rodriguez, tea butler at The Pfister Hotel. “Many of them are so loyal that they began coming as early adults and are now passing on the tradition to their children and grandchildren. Serving the next generation of tea timers is such a special experience and one that I hope makes them guests at Afternoon Tea for years to come.”

And there are even more special treats in store for ladies and gentlemen 12 years and younger – an “All Grown Up” menu, featuring warm sipping chocolate, lemonade, cider or milk, as well as roasted turkey and cheddar finger sandwiches, traditional scones, pastries and more.

The Pfister Hotel offers a fine selection of Rishi Teas in 12 varieties with countless variations of flavors, including its signature blend, Pfister 1893. Exclusively crafted in conjunction with Milwaukee-based Rishi Tea, Pfister 1893 features a blend of jasmine and wild rose-scented white teas infused with rejuvenating peppermint and calming lavender.

Afternoon tea originated in 19th century England when the after-dinner tea ritual was moved earlier in the day to fill the gap between lunch and a late dinner. Though she did not invent afternoon tea, during the Victorian era, Anna Maria Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, set the trend, inviting friends to join her for afternoon tea whether she was at home or staying with friends. It was not until the early 1900s that afternoon tea was popularized by upscale hotels and grand department stores in the United States.

The Pfister’s Afternoon Tea seatings are available Friday through Sunday at 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made through Tock.

At 130 years old, The Pfister Hotel is one of the oldest and most prestigious hotels in the Midwest and downtown Milwaukee.

To learn more about The Pfister Hotel and its Afternoon Tea service, visit

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