Monday, May 19, 2008

Saturday's High Tea

On Saturday I met my mom, grandma, sister and sister-in-law at a local tea shop to celebrate a belated Mother's Day. It was lovely!

I sent out less formal invitations than usual, as I was short on time. Each envelope contained a small note card with the date and time, a business card, and a flyer from the shop with information about their teas.

In honor of the holiday, my gift to each mother was a bundle of blank handmade cards with my artwork. They were bound together with ribbon and included a few small gifts tucked between the envelopes: a flower magnet and baseball card of my son. I decorated each a little differently. I included a special card for my mother and grandmother.

A close up:

The table was beautifully decorated and ready to receive guests!

There was a nice roomy feeling even though the table occupied a large portion of our small room. One wall had a cabinet filled with tea related items for sale. In fact, virtually everything we saw was for sale!

We could have picked a hat to wear!

Grandmother, Mother, and me!

Each of us poured from our own small pot and was allowed one refill. The pots held 2 ½ cups, so we could each drink up to five cups. Most of us picked different kinds and shared. My favorite ended up being one I picked called Vanilla Spice, an herbal tea. Here you see my pot and a "menu" of suggested teas with descriptions. Both sides of the menu was full of options! Plus, our hostess offered to make any of the teas not listed but sold in the store. Talk about choices!

Our meal began with lemon sorbet and a mint leaf to clense our palettes. It was wonderful!

The remainder of the meal arrived on three tier stands. We were to start at the bottom and work our way up. Fresh cranberry scones with cream and jam, tea sandwiches (egg salad and red onion, cucumber, and tuna with nuts) and quiche with relish, and assorted desserts. These consisted of fresh fruit, brownie/cheesecake bars, tiny raspberry muffins, fruit-filled tarts, and cookies. It was scrumptious! Plus, I was so stuffed I took most of my dessert home to share with my boys later!

This was in the adjoining room where there were several small tables for groups of two or three.

Several of the walls had paintings for sale by my watercolor instructor! There was also a rack with handmade cards featuring her artwork and other artists. If I paint some tea scenes, I might someday have cards for sale there, too!

One of the neatest things in the shop is the “hall of teas!” As you can see, there are several shelves with lots of different kinds for sale. Next to each flavor is a container with a lid. This way customers can smell before buying. It is said that if you like the smell of a tea, chances are good you will like the taste. This is logical since most of what we taste is with our noses!

At the end of the hall is a large selection of vintage tea cups and pots for sale.

Here is a close up:

And another:

A marvelous assortment of scarves and purses.

More hats to wear or buy!

At a time when many tea shops are struggling to survive, this one is doing a bustling business. Each of the three times I've visited there have been a steady stream of customers in and out. I believe their main profit comes from their fine selection of top quality teas. I'm sure I will be visiting again soon!


Karla Cook @ Roads to Everywhere said...

What a fun post!

Just so you know. Our "tea" tomorrow won't be that fancy! But we're looking forward to it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Farrah~this is the best post! This tea room is so beautiful! I visited Fortnum and Mason in London~it was nice but not a cozy tea room like I expected. Actually, the best tea room was called Cassandra's Tea Cup across from Chawton Cottage. It was so cosy with lace covering the tea tables~scones with clotted cream and marmalade~I felt like I was really in the English countryside~so beautiful. I wish I lived in the countryside. I would open up a cozy tea room and have pasties as my specialty! Thank you for the wonderful post. It brought back such wonderful memories I thought I had forgotten. Blessings, Rose~from the homeschool lounge

Mississippi Songbird said...

Oh, I love this.. How neat! I wish that we had a tea room in our little town. We've had them, but they always closed after a little while..I guess you need to be located in a larger city..
Anyway. Thank you for the lovely post..
Have a great week..

lauralavon said...

What beautiful pictures! They make my eyes happy! So many pretty things. I'm happy for you to have such a place close enough to enjoy! Sounds yummy too!

Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

how lovely

Unknown said...

I love your photos!!! It looks like it was such a beautiful party! The teacups and teapots are just beautiful! Thank you for sharing!! :)

Patricia said...

How lovely and fun! I would love to see a place like that up here!