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Holidays made happier

Photo courtesy of The Fox & Hounds Restaurant.

Photo courtesy of The Fox & Hounds Restaurant.

Fox & Hounds
➸ You’ll know you’re very close to your destination when you spot the spire to the majestic basilica at Holy Hill. If the wooded countryside of the Kettle Moraine and the hunting lodge-like structure were not enough, these digs – which have functioned as a restaurant since 1933 – are rife with fireplaces, taxidermy and resplendent holiday décor. Grab a stool in the bar and take in the Christmas finery with a Moscow mule or Wisconsin old fashioned. (1298 Friess Lake Rd., Hubertus, 262-628-1111)

Polonez Restaurant
➸ On Christmas Eve day, the St. Francis Polish restaurant suspends lunch service to prepare a carryout-only Polish feast, 11a.m.-3 p.m. Just as is customary in Poland, owners George and Aleksandra Burzynski prepare a meatless meal of 12 dishes – pierogi, borscht with uszka (mushroom-filled dumplings), krokiety (breaded crepes), herring in onion-sour-cream sauce, baked cod with dill or vegetable sauce, fried cod, sauerkraut and peas, Polish vegetable salad, kluski (noodles) topped with poppy seeds, Polish fruit juice and two cakes – poppy seed and Polish gingerbread. Meals available for two to 10 diners, $45-$125. (4016 S. Packard Ave., St. Francis, 414-482-0080)

Photo by Getty Images.

Photo by Getty Images.

Pfister Hotel
➸ Afternoon tea, served seasonally (Fridays-Sundays, Oct. 21-April 7) in Blu, the bar on the hotel’s 23rd floor, is a proper affair. The tables are set with linen cloths, china and all-silver tea sets. Of four offerings ($24-$49), the full Victorian tea has sweet and savory (cucumber sandwiches, curried quail eggs, macarons). Kids get their own menu. Seatings at 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. (424 E. Wisconsin Ave., 414-935-5950)

Photo by Getty Images.

Photo by Getty Images.

Milwaukee Food Tours
➸ Don your jaunty Santa hat and board a bus departing from Downtown for a three-hour “Christmas Around Milwaukee” bakery tour. You’ll visit six to eight ethnic bakeries to sample (and shop for) treats, including stollen and pecan fingers at National Bakery, Three Kings Cake at La Flor de Trigo, and fig cookies at Canfora. Cost: $55 per person. (milwaukeefoodtours.com)

Photo by Rebecca Kames.

Photo by Rebecca Kames.

County Clare Irish Pub
➸ On the north side of the dining room is the “Saint’s Snug,” a cozy cubby whose focal point is a glowing fireplace. Settle into the warmth, sip a hot buttered rum, Irish coffee or Nutty Irishman (coffee, hazelnut liqueur, Irish cream) and ponder the quote painted above the mantel: “It is impossible to be unhappy if you have a grateful heart.” (1234 N. Astor St., 414-272-5273)

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‘Holly Days’ appears in the December 2016 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning November 28, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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