Choose Between Two Options
- $32 for historic-mansion tour and tea for two (a $64 value)
- $60 for historic-manison tour and tea for four (a $128 value)
Gather with friends at this historic lakeside mansion filled with antiques, and sip teas fireside while enjoying sweet selections prepared by an award-winning pastry chef. The house butler gives visitors a Tea & History presentation, regaling them with Victorian anecdotes and mansion lore, after which groups spend 20 minutes exploring the historic rooms. Guests are encouraged to don their fanciest hats for their visit or borrow one from the house’s Grand Hall Hat Collection, which boasts more than 200 chapeaus. House tours take place on select Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Advanced reservations required.
Baker House 1885
Mrs. Robert Hall Baker built a lakeside summer residence in 1885 that she called “the Redwood Cottage.” Despite the humble name, Emily Baker’s residence was no quaint bungalow. She commissioned a Queen Anne mansion, now restored, that still houses 17,000 square feet of living space with a peaked turret, 30 lavishly appointed rooms, 13 fireplaces surrounded by hand-carved mantles, antique tiles, and a lakefront garden. Since its days as a summer retreat for Emily and her five children, the house has led a colorful life. It thrived as a Victorian sanitarium for wealthy patrons suffering from nervous disorders, a Prohibition-era speakeasy, and a boarding-house for Playboy Club burlesque dancers, before becoming a restaurant and lakefront hotel.
Today, renamed the Baker House in honor of its founder, the mansion is again a private residence that doubles as a luxury inn, restaurant, and portal through time back to the Gilded Age. Visitors can listen to the house's player piano in the music room, play backgammon in a game room, and sip glasses of wine fireside. In scenic settings lauded in USA TODAY as a romantic destination, guests enjoy dishes from a menu that features artisanal Wisconsin cheeses and charcuterie, filet mignon, and butter-broiled lobster tail. Rather than sitting in one central dining room, guests are seated throughout fire-lit parlors while lounging on wing-back chairs and overstuffed fringe couches overlooking Lake Geneva.
Visitors who want to indulge further in a Gilded Age fantasy can spend the evening in a luxury hotel suite decked in dramatic decor, working fireplaces, ornate woodwork, and SPA bathrooms with steam showers. A personal butler is continually on staff to tend to guests' needs.