Spot #15 :: The Golden Tea Garden

Our 15th Spot:

The Golden Tea Garden

22630 Main Street  Hayward, CA 94541



Located in historical Downtown Hayward, this spot came recommended from one of my dear friends who frequents here with her mom.  Although I have to say, when I heard the word “garden” I thought more Chinese tea than Victorian tea (and let’s not reminisce about that bad experience from Spot #6).  As I had my husband drop me across the street so I could get my infamous outside shot, I can hear loud conversation.  Crossing the street to the tea house, I prayed + prayed it wasn’t coming from there.  Who wants to enjoy tea around a yelling match!?  It was coming from there.  Even worse, I stood at the front doors of the tea house and no hostess welcomed me for FIVE MINUTES!!?!  Verrry baaaad first impression.  I was so turned off!  I was in a texting convo with my gf, and told her I didn’t wanna go in!!  At first, she told me to leave.  Then, she encouraged that maybe they would make it up to us…

As my party showed up + we walked in, we were fiiiiinally greeted.  It was such a hot day, they had fan towers going.  The table we were sat at, had one right behind my chair.  I felt greedy having it all to myself + blowing just on MY back, so I graciously moved it to share with the other patrons.  When the hostess came around, I mentioned I had moved it and she replied with a snippy “whatever works.”  I was suddenly reminded of the person I made reservations with who happened to also be the owner.  She was not warm + very matter-of-fact about my call, which is maybe why I wanted to walk out when I first got there.  That was her!  She adjusted the fan to her liking and moved on.  O…kay…

The place isn’t bad looking.  Some really cute elements, and some rather tacky ones (I thought).  Definitely a garden scene.  I did like all the white rod iron furniture + chandeliers, even the green ‘grass’ carpet.  But, I could have done without the half pots on the wall and surrounding fake greenery.  Take a look for yourselves…

chandelier          chandelier 2

left          right          balcony



tea sets


The Tea was okay.  LOTS to choose from, with fun + different flavors (and they have small descriptions next to them yay!).  At our table of 4, we chose: Tahitian Vanilla Rose (oolong tea with vanilla & rose petals), Buttered Rum (black tea), Chocolate Strawberry (black tea), and Brandy (oolong tea).  Here are my thoughts:

Tahitian Vanilla Rose – smelled great, in my words tasted like “Dollar Store,” had to have more of it before I really understood the lightness of the tea, it was okay

Buttered Rum – when I finally had some it got strong, in my words tasted like “Chinese restaurant tea”

Chocolate Strawberry – very true to flavor!

Brandy – in my words tasted like “Old School House”, interesting but unexplainable flavor



Here’s where it got better for me-  the food.  I ordered the High Tea Service.  I liked that all the orders came on their own tier.  There is no confusion as to what’s what or who’s who.  And, when I’m taking photos of each piece, sometimes I have to find spots for the food items I’m not that fond of so I can move on to the photo shoot of the next.  That was really convenient for me!



Here’s the tiny bite of English Cucumber tea sandwich I got.  It’s cute + small, but I’m paying 30 bucks for this meal.  I’d rather have substance, than ‘cute + small.’  It’s was fine.


This is their Egg Salad tea sandwich.  In an oval shape.  Okay.  I didn’t really have much to go off of, so…


This Chicken Salad tea sandwich was surprising!?  Lots of flavor packed into this little heart.  Full of rosemary, and I don’t even like rosemary!?  I could have eaten these things all day.


Here is their Shrimp & Crab tart.  Tasted very fishy + artificial, but I liked the texture of the filo.  This wasn’t on my menu, so it was thrown in.


This was their Turkey tea sandwich.  There was avocado in there, which I like.  But, this was below average for me.  It gave me a really nasty aftertaste, so I only tolerated a few bites.  (I bring home my leftovers to my husband + kids…even they didn’t eat this one.)


Pineapple & Cream Cheese tea sandwich.  This was fun to see on the menu.  Nothing spectacular, but a nice sandwich to have.


Blueberry Scone with Devon Cream, Lemon Curd + Preserves.  I liked my scone a lot!  It was thin, so that was neat to see.  Very chewy and good flavor.  I think if I had those chicken salad sandwiches + some scones only, I would’ve been happy.  The fixings were pretty sweet though.

Overall, I thought the food was very good.  Lot’s of intricate detail.  My friend’s fruit salad (which she loved) had tiny tiny bits of strawberry cut up in it!  Although pleasing to the eye, I can’t help but think of how much food they waste!!??  Even if I wanted to come back, thinking about that makes me want to skip this place next time.  For every person that doesn’t eat there, is extra tea sandwich from all the leaf + heart shapes SAVED!!


Would I come back?  Hmm.  I’ll leave it at a: maybe.  After we paid our bill and the owner saw our business card for the Tour, she got really nice + conversational.  I felt like she won me over.  However, when I really think it through…  She could have been nice from the get.  And, I really could have done without the table of 8 that was there that decided to have a full on CONFERENCE + Team Meeting at a tea house!!?!  I think they ruined my experience from the beginning.  There’s such a thing as using your inside voice and being CONSIDERATE of other guests at a restaurant.  If I come back, it will have to be a long loooong time from now and I will have to be invited.  I don’t see myself hosting anything there.


Effective October 2015, due to schedule congestion, parTEA with me’s California Tea House Tour will be held bimonthly.

After October’s Tea Party, the next scheduled Tour Spot will be in December, continuing this pattern until our remaining spots have been visited. Thank you for continuing to follow our Tour!

Spot #14 :: Satori Tea Company

Our 14th Spot:

Satori Tea Company

37 N. San Pedro Street  San Jose, CA 95110



If you’re not familiar with Downtown San Jose, this place was kinda hard to find.  It’s tucked away behind this blue wall (that I forgot to photograph!).  Very plain outside, but oh so unique inside!!  Lots of cute tea décor, but the most eclectic tea house by far on the Tour.  I wish I took more photos of my surroundings, but I looove to leave some element of surprise for my readers!  Definitely a must-see tea place.

tea wall




Lots of fun choices on the menu.  Seven levels of tea service, including Tea For Two + a 10 and Under option.  Eight tea sandwiches to choose from.  I always like when I can choose my sandwiches.  And best of all: they offer CRUMPETS!!!  Another thing I thought was VERY COOL-  the offer a Tea Flight!?  A choice of 3 teas you can try!  Isn’t that just ultra cool??  A wide variety of tea choices, with really intriguing names.  But, no descriptions on the menu.  You guys all know how much I looove that (insert sarcasm here).  Our wonderful server however, made herself available for any questions on any of the teas.  And she was really informative + helpful!


This is the Vanilla Hazelnut oolong tea.  It was recommended by our server, after I told her that I’m a black vanilla tea kinda girl.  Great choice!!  I usually don’t order an oolong, so I was happy to try something different.  Had that really deep vanilla aroma (which is my favorite), and tasted equally comforting.  The flavors weren’t as bold as a black tea, but still a yummy choice.



Guess what this one is?!  GUMMY BEAR!  We were all so surprised when we saw this flavor tea there!?  So thankful to my girlfriend who likes to try the unique ones!  She said this one was sweet, but very drinkable.  I didn’t have a taste of anyone’s pot today (I know, tsk tsk.  But, I enjoy mine!), but I did get really good sniffs!  ;)  This was smelled like something you would find near Willy Wonka’s chocolate fountain!



My girlfriend (who loves the beach) ordered their Capitola Coola botanical tea.  I believe it had hibiscus in it.  She said it was very fruity and she enjoyed it very much!  What was really cool about hers-  check out what it turned into after adding cream…





No photos of the Earl Grey Crème…’cause my girlfriend finished her whole pot!!  If you’re new to her story, she’s been looking for the perfect earl grey.  This spot had 2!!  Once again, our server was very helpful with my gf’s tea selection.  The Earl Grey Girl says: “Earl crème was bold, with mellow after taste due to vanilla notes.  One of the best earl grey’s I’ve had!!”


No shots of the Coconut Chai, either.  But, I did get a good whiff though!  ;)  Smelled wonderful.  Her sentiments about it: “I liked my coconut chai tea very much.  The coconut flavor was definitely a stand out, though still having the traditional chai notes of cinnamon and clover in the background.  Perfected with a splash of cream and harmoniously paired with the carrot cupcake …..or crumpet, for that matter!”  She’s so poetic, isn’t she!?





I was starving!!  The food was nice.  Some very regular items, but also some super tasty.  I don’t think I would come back based just on the food, but there are some things I wouldn’t mind having again.

My 3 tea sandwich selections were their English Cucumber & Cream Cheese (because you just have to), the Apple Cranberry Chicken Salad (’cause I needed savory today), and Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese & Capers.  Well…  They like a lot of cream cheese.  :/  You needed your handy dandy magnifying glass to see the cucumbers.  There was some crunch in my bites, but very tiny ones.  Not bad tasting, but cream cheese overload indeed.  Same for the salmon.  There was smoked salmon “flavor,” but not very evident that it was in the sandwich.  The chicken salad wasn’t too bad…but, I didn’t think the ratio of ingredients were equal.  Not up to par for my OCD mouth.  The first one I tried, had major almonds or something in it.  The second one: too much apple.  What was nice was we had at LEAST 2 pieces of each of our sandwich flavors.  So, you couldn’t not be full (I know that’s a double negative, but I wanted to say it that way).  It also came with what the menu calls ‘a bed of delicate green salad.’  Even though it was JUST spring mix with a can of mandarin oranges on top, it was a good compliment to the sandwiches.  Despite the below-average food items, they were all still very edible + filling.



I was very eager to have my crumpet!  it had crunchy edges + gooey middles!  The best thing I ate today, hands down.  What made it, was the sweet RUM BUTTER they slathered on top of em so that they were SUBMERGED by the time you reached for them!!  Ugh, my mouth is watering again just thinking about it.


Scones were cute.  Heart shaped.  (sigh)  But I’ve had waaay better.  They were too hard.  Oh yeah, and we searched + searched for the scone filings, then were reminded they were on the top tier!?  Here’s what they looked like:


(We brought them down on the madeleine plate.)  It’s a gooood thiiiiing no one put those in their mouth!?  You get an ‘E’ for effort on presentation, but-  these just weren’t practical.  There wasn’t enough for 5 scones, and they can be mistaken for a tart.  Someone could’ve easily put a mouthful of lemon curd in their mouth.  Would you want that for your customers?



The desserts were better.  I really liked my Mini Carrot Cupcake.  Sweet with a bit too much frosting, but I coulda easily had one (or 2, okay 2) more.  The Lemon Bar was almost melting.  It didn’t stand up well.  And, much too tart.  Maybe I’m being partial, because, I make a mean lemon bar!!  Hehe.  Okay, and that chocolate thing was GOOD.  It was like a tart of some sort on the bottom + a truffle on top.  Gf said it was much too sweet.  I agree it was rich, but I adored it.


Wonderful service!  Our server did her job well.  Can’t complain about anything there.  Average tea house though, overall.  I would say-  go to see the place, ’cause it’s fun.  Try the tea flight.  Let us know your thoughts!?  See yall in a month!

Spot #13 :: The Rotunda [1st Spot on 2nd Leg!]

Our 13th Spot:

The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus

150 Stockton Street  San Francisco, CA 94108


The 2nd Leg of the Tea House Tour has begun!!?!  We are so excited to see 12 brand new Spots + share our thoughts with you!  Thank you to the THOUSANDS of readers that has made this adventure worth sharing!!  And to my GIRLFRIENDS (Mary, Roni, Tina, Gardenia, Nerresa, Vero, Sarah, Patricia, Melissa, Michelle, Raquel, Rebekah, Alex, Claudia, Amy V, Pi’ilani, Francesca, Vanessa, + Amy L): I am so honored that you wanted to parTEA with me!!


This Spot was not meant to be first on this Leg of the Tour…  The actual first spot I wanted to take my girls to-  we are on the waiting list for September!?  Hehe.  So, I moved up what was next in line.  When I found out they served afternoon tea in Neiman Marcus, that just sounded like such a cool experience!  A lot of us were really looking forward to this one.  Boy, did we waste our excitement…

I try to comment on the ease or ridiculousness of making reservations for each Spot, to give you the full scope of our experience.  Sometimes it’s necessary to say, other times not so much.  Making reservations for this spot wasn’t terrible, but the response I got on the phone I could’ve done without.  I usually make the call at least a month prior to our requested visit date.  When I spoke to the “gentleman” for our reservation, he responded with a heavy sigh about “fitting us in.”  Would that make yall comfortable?!  I even asked: “Are you sure??”  And he replied with a reluctant “yeah.”  Ohh…kay…

Here are some unedited views:


restaurant 2


The table setting is really plain.  (That’s all I could really say about that.)  Upon being seated, they bring you a few things.  1) a Chicken Consomme with a nothing piece of crouton (that looks like someone took a bite out of it, I might add).  2) a fresh Popover with Strawberry Butter.  The soup reminded me of something you would pick up at the cafeteria of a hospital while waiting in the emergency room lobby.  The crouton (which I strategically placed in my photo, because it really looked like a bite was gone!!) lacked flavor + texture.  I do like popovers, and the idea of anything ‘freshly baked’ perks anyone up-  am I right?  But again, these just lacked so much flavor!?  The strawberry butter was nice, but you really had to pack it on that popover for it to be something you’d wanna feed yourself.  Oh and P.S. The dishes were FILTHY!  One that was placed in front of my girlfriend should definitely have not passed the approval to be sent out into the dining room.  The others weren’t as bad, but still annoying.  I just turned my cup, so as not to see the nastiness on the bottom of it (brave, for the OCD in me).




I feel like everything sorta came out in a hurry, which made sense since the whole meal felt rushed.  (If you guys are Seinfeld watchers, think of the end of the chocolate babka episode.  Totally like that.)  Before I could take a 2nd bite of that popover, here came our 5 teapots.  And there was no space for aaaanything!!  Our server kept asking us to move things out of the way or he did it himself (which is a big no-no), like he was playing Tetris with our place settings!?  And please oh please  n e v e r  touch the mouth parts of my water glass!!?!

Tea was alright.  Of the slim pickens on the menu, we had 4 flavors on our table.  I can’t even really give you anything about them, because my girls didn’t really have much to say.  We ordered the Gout Russe (Chinese tea and citrus fruits essential oils) which my friend said was “a very regular house tea, like Lipton“; the Nuit A Versailles (green sencha basis, bergamot essential oil, kiwi, yellow peach, orange + violet blossom) which my sister says “a little sweet with a taste of citrus“; the Jardin Bleu (blend of teas from India + China, flavored with rhubarb, wild strawberry + cornflower petals) which my friend says “average with hints of coconut + floral“; and of course I chose the Vanilla (Sri Lanka tea with vanilla aroma).  “Aroma” is spot on, ’cause that’s all my tea really had going for it.  It smelled like it was going to be wonderful, but all you got was a very unimpressive cup of tea.


The food portion was just so uneventful.  I’m so glad I have my girls around when I go to these places, because they always make it fun for me!  If they weren’t around to laugh with + see soon-to-be brides looking at wedding dresses across the street with (our window seat faced Vera Wang!), I do not know how I would get through this meal!?  Here are the best photos I could get of these boring tea sandwiches on these boring white plates…

tier          tier 2


Egg Salad + Bacon – Okay, this sandwich was genius.  Who doesn’t love bacon + eggs!!?!  We agreed, we could have had just these.  ‘Cause the others were nothing…


Roast Beef + Horseradish – These were okay.  Flavors were there, but look at all that roast beef!?  It wasn’t necessary.  I think they just did that because they thought it made it look gourmet…


Salmon Mousse – This thing was so tiny!  The mousse was way too heavy + creamy.  And although pretty, I almost choked on the long chive!  The pastry was dry + crackly.


Chicken Salad – I get what they were trying to do here (be cute), but it just wasn’t good enough for the price I was paying for this meal.  In my best Chandler voice: “Could this bread BE anymore dry??!!”  I think it cut the inside of my mouth, I think it did.


Prosciutto Wrap – (My gf added the grapes on the plate, ’cause this just was the saddest looking thing.)  It had cheese, apples + nuts in there.  Cool concept, but not enough filling.  It made that thing just bites of salt.


Cucumber – Nobody liked this one.  The cheese was not flavored, the cucumbers were soggy, and again with the dried bread!?


Raisin Scone – Very crumbly.  It had nice flavor, but I had to slather a bunch of that preserves on there because it was so darn SALTY for some reason!?  I’m hoping this was just a salty batch maybe!?  And that no one has to go through that again.  I did eat most of it however, because the texture with the crunch edges were my kind of thing.

Ughhh, I’m so glad I’m done with this review!!  That was like pulling teeth for me.  You know I will ALWAYS give you the stone cold truth about each Spot…I don’t know how to be any other way!  It’s just hard when some of these places (excuse my language) suuuuck.  I will never beat around the bush, so it is what it is for this Spot.  It wasn’t an actual tea house, but they serve afternoon tea so we went.  Probably wouldn’t go back to try lunch, because the service wasn’t that great either.  It was just a snooty place, with people who were very matter-of-fact about your visit.  “Here, here’s your cake.  And your wine.  See ya.”

my RaTEAng 1-12

It’s been another 6 Spots!  Here are my choices from least favorite to ‘you have to go there right now’:


12. Tal-Y-Tara Tea & Polo Shoppe, San Francisco – Outright rude and has no business being a tea house.


11. Secret Garden Tea House, San Francisco – Filthy place with yummy scones.

fixed scone

10. Linde Lane Tea Room, Dixon – Snooty but pretty with fun sorbet intro.


9. Lovejoy’s Tea Room, San Francisco – Pretentious area with spectacular Black Vanilla tea.


8. Quail & Thistle Tea Room, Capitola – Adorable building with overwhelming all-in-one plate.


7. Afternoon Tea at The Ritz, San Francisco – A definite must-experience with exceptional service.


6. The Palace Hotel Garden Court, San Francisco – Breathtaking surroundings and flawless food.


5. Camellia Tea Room, Benecia – Impeccable service and an all around wonderful time.


4. Lisa’s Tea Treasures, Los Altos – Like going to your sister’s house and having delicious food + tea.


3. Crown & Crumpet Tea Stop Café, San Francisco – Unforgettable crumpets and scrumptious tea sandwiches.


2. Dartealing Lounge, San Francisco – Best sandwiches and cutest ambiance.


1. The English Rose Tea Room, Pleasanton – A hundred delectable teas and textbook shabby chic décor.


Spot #12 :: The Ritz-Carlton

Our 12th Spot:

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz

600 Stockton Street  San Francisco, CA 94108


I didn’t get a pic of the building, ’cause it was huge and we were right next to it…  But I did however, take a shot of the spectacular view!


[Taken with a Canon DSLR, not filtered.  Pretty proud of myself, actually!]

I didn’t take many photos during this visit (Sorry!!), as I was taking it all in.  It was all just so regal + fancy and our server showed us a wonderful time, I was really living in the moment!  This trip also just included me and my 2 sister-in-laws, so it was intimate + special.  Take a look at our surroundings…



place 2

Our table was small + cozy.  I thought the chairs resembled something you would see in the Despicable Me movies!  We had a good laugh about that.  The table was small and although our chairs reached ergonomically, I still felt a little hunched over while I was having my meal.  It came equipped with sealed personal serving jars of honey + strawberry preserves (I loooove personal servings of stuff!!), and a neat half lemon wrapped in cheesecloth (thought that was so cool).  The hostess was especially welcoming.  She was patient + understanding with me picture needs!  Hehe.  She offered to place your napkin on your lap, and asked if we wanted flat, Evian, or sparkling water.  (We chose sparkling, then later found out we were charged $3.00 each for it!?  Ha!)



Ordering was easy.  There were a selection of a dozen teas on one side of the menu, then a description of the tea sandwiches + pastries and for tea service options on the other side.  Be prepared for the investment, because this is a luxury afternoon tea.  All 3 of us ordered their Traditional Tea, which came with an assortment of tea sandwiches and pastries.

Being that there weren’t that many teas to choose from, my decision at this spot wasn’t hard.  I went with what I love, and chose the Vanilla Bean black tea.  Menu says ‘A full bodied black tea infused with the rich and smooth flavor of the vanilla bean.’  Once again, I chose right!!  Ughhh, at first pour (which they do for you) I already knew I loved it.  It resembled the same black vanilla tea I fell in love with at a previous tour spot, and nostalgia just came throughout me!  I was very happy.  As a matter of fact, I loved mine so much I didn’t taste the others…  (Sorry again!!)  I did have a sniff, and asked my sisters for their thoughts.  I can tell you this-  each of the teas we ordered were extremely rich + high quality.  What was nice was when I asked what teas our server liked, he offered for us to try his favorites next.  Next!?  We asked if we could switch out flavors during our meal, and he replied “You’re here to have tea, and I will make sure you get as much tea as you want!”  (LOVED HIM, btw.  I’ll tell you more in a minute…)  My SIL that always orders something chocolate ordered their Chocolat tea [‘A tea blended exclusively for chocolate lovers.  This tea is a black tea blend with cocoa nibs.’]  She says “The Chocolat tea was undeniably chocolate, from the aroma to the very first sip.  I always like to add milk and sweeten my tea before I drink it, but it was pleasantly sweet by itself.”  (I asked if I could quote her, so she wouldn’t sue me for plagiarism!!)  Her next tea selection was the Imperial Green tea [‘Exceptional Dragonwell possesses a mild taste and pale celadon liquor notes.’]  She says “The Imperial Green tea had a bold and earthy flavor.  It was the perfect compliment to delectable desserts we enjoyed after our “savored” savories.”  My other SIL (who says she’d like to be known as ‘the English Breakfast girl’) ordered their English Breakfast [‘Blended true to the origin of “English Breakfast”, our connoisseur-grade is mostly Keemun with just a hint of Ceylon to sweeten.’]  She says it was very comforting to her + smooth as she sipped it.  She ordered the Eros tea next [‘In this sensory delight, sweet Mandarin orange and warm vanilla embrace medium bodied Ceylon tea leaves.]  She loved that one too.  I appreciated that the teapots were small enough to keep hot + not be wasteful if/when you wanted to try another flavor.  The wait staff was very courteous and would come around and fill your teacup when they saw that it was low.


Ahh, the food.  Interesting flavors and lots of fun.  I think the table favorite was the Cucumber Melon + Mint tea sandwich.  It was more than just refreshing, it really offered a well complimented flavor in your mouth.  There was one with cheese in a tart topped with fig.  That one was good also, but I felt the tart lacked seasoning.  There was a puff pastry that was filled with what we thought was some sort of pesto cream.  (Sorry guys, our server did give us details to each, but I didn’t remember all of them and I thought they were all written out on the menu but didn’t seem to match…)  The pesto one was good, but I couldn’t have much of it (allergic to pesto) so I had a bite or 2 to tell you my thoughts.  ( I know!?  I out my health on the line for yall!!  That’s dedicated!  Hehe.)  One had green beans, a cucumber + SQUASH CUSTARD on top of brioche.  That custard tasted like blended Chinese food made into a flan!?  (I’m making the sour face right now just thinking about it.)  The last one you have to taste to understand.  It was like a Mediterranean hummus on a cheese crisp with a green olive and crunchy garbanzo beans.  I didn’t think the tea sandwiches was worth what we paid for, but I’m still glad I got to experience it.  The website did mention things like lobster mousse + caviar, so that’s the kind of cuisine we were expecting.  Of course, I’m sure the menu changes.  But, I don’t think they should have such specific foods listed if they’re not going to serve those.


The pastries were a better experience for me.  I started with their Cherry Scone.  Cute + small!  But they give 2 person, so that was nice.  They were very crumbly + crispy.  I’m not a big fan of cherry-flavored things, but these didn’t have an overwhelming cherry taste.  My other SIL brought out that she liked the occasional bite of tart cherry.  I think the scones were my favorite part of the meal.  There was cream + lemon curd that was one the table upon being seated, but no utensils for them.  I don’t know if they were forgotten, or purposely like that.  It was a good thing we were family, and neither of us minded putting our own knives in them each time we wanted some.  My next favorites were the Chocolate Cream Puff and the Strawberry Tart.  Decadent flavors, but not too sweet.  Luscious, for sure!  They also had a Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake, Brown Sugar Shortbread, and Almond Financier (small French cake).  I only took a bite each of those, so I can make my mentions of them.  Good, but forgettable.  My SIL loved the lemon blueberry, and my other SIL did really like the almond cake.  They also didn’t appreciate that we weren’t brought a clean plate for our sweets.






We didn’t think we’d be so full!?  There was a harpist.  You think harpist, you think-  eh.  But this one was great!!  She played music that you knew!!  We’d get to reminiscing when we heard which songs, it was great!  I also found out whay they had the chairs they did.  They were PERFECT for lounging in after your meal!!?!  I was sooo comfortable!

The service…oh, the service.  I specifically leave out names in my blogs, for various reasons.  But this time, I have to tell you: RAMESH was above accommodating.  I loved his service so much, I teased that he was my new boyfriend!!  (Yes, I’m happily married and no, this is in no disrespect to my husband.  My husband actually thought that was funny!)  He thoroughly took care of us…and some!  We were definitely shown a good time at this Spot.  When we couldn’t finish our sweets, he came back with to-go boxes filled with new pastries-  1 for each of us!!?!  And because I loved those personal serving condiments, I kindly asked if he could give me one to take home.  He came back with 3 of them for me + my sisters and said he didn’t want us to fight!  Loved that guy.

I’m glad I saved this place for our last Spot on the 1st Leg of our California Tea House Tour!  It was the perfect ending!

Spot #11 :: Linde Lane Tea Room

Our 11th Spot:

Linde Lane Tea Room

140 N. Jackson  Dixon, CA 95620


When I first put this one on the Tour, I wasn’t quite sure my girls wanted to travel an hour + a half for tea…  If no one was interested, I would’ve taken it off the list and just went with the next place.  Surprisingly, a lot of em were super stoked to go!?  With scheduling however, it ended up being an intimate group this time around.  There were only 4 of us today, but we all appreciated the sweet road trip.  I am soooo glad I kept this one on the Tour though.  Definitely a sight to see!!  Everything was so LUXURIOUS.



table 2

When making reservations, UNLESS THEY ASK if there is any occasion, I don’t say anything about the Tour.  I want authentic + organic exchanges, when arriving to new tea houses.  With that being said, I didn’t care for the man I made reservations with nor the man at the front today (I’m not certain if this is the same person).  He was very matter-of-fact, and didn’t offer any warm smile or pleasantries.  That was definitely a turn off regarding my first impression of this place.  And if I may be frank, I thought he was very SNOOTY (there, I said it).

With that being said, the lady that sat us and our server that took care of us during our visit were very nice.

The menu was easy.  Only 3 tea services to choose from (1 being for children), and about 50 types of tea.  What I did NOT like was that there were no descriptions of what the teas were.  My OCD was very bothered by that.  You were left to guess.  Our server did make herself available for questions and she knew right away what was in each tea…but, I didn’t feel like asking her to describe 50 individual tea flavors.  We each ordered the Royal Tea tea service, which came with a scone (with fixings), soup + salad, 4 tea savories (which were tea sandwiches), and assorted desserts.  At the bottom of the menu, it says that we get sorbet and shortbread.  SORBET?


Apparently, sorbet is a palate cleanser.  Buuut, we didn’t have anything to eat yet!?  Was it preparing my palate??  Anyhow, in my opinion this tiny scoop of frozen fruit juice was the BEST part of tea today!  I believe it was peach flavor, if I remember correctly.  But (my mouth is totally watering as I type this), it was just so nice and icy and refreshing!!  We weren’t quite sure HOW to eat it, so we just used the shortbread cookie to scoop it up.  I could’ve had a whole bowl of that and just call it a day.

Since I didn’t know what to expect from any of these teas, I just ordered what I knew.  I took a Black Currant today.  I absolutely am infatuated with black currant iced tea, but never have had the pleasure trying it hot.  I was very happy with my choice.  My Earl Grey girlfriend was with us today, so of course of the 4 pots at our table that was one of them.  As many times as we’ve had tea together, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted her earl grey!?  (Oh now you guys are going to look back at my previous posts and call me out huh?  I don’t think I have!?)  I made sure to try some today, as she raved about the strength of the bergamot in this one.  Smelled like that spa, and the flavors were very rich!  I liked it!  My other girlfriend tried their Sunset tea.  I’m glad she did, ’cause that one intrigued me.  It was an herbal tea with lemon grass, orange peel + marigold flower.  (I know because I asked and made notes, okay!?)  Hers didn’t smell good AT ALL.  But hey, sometimes they stink + taste good; other times they smell wonderful + taste foul!  It was nice though!  Light + creamy almost.  My SIL had the Mocha Rocha, very her.  It was red tea with coffee beans + dark chocolate.  Meh, it smelled like Robitussin (my friend said Nyquil)!!?!  But it didn’t taste that way, thank goodness!  I’m not sure what it tasted like, actually.  But, it wasn’t bad.  I wasn’t impressed with the teas.  Moving along…  (Oh and P.S., the tea kettle’s were labeled with what looked like DOG TAGS!!?!  Cute, a little bit, but not appealing at all.  You could’ve at least chosen the bowtie or heart shape-  not the HYDRANT one!?  Yuck.)


desk         shelf

stove          stove 2

dog tag

Because that mouthful of sorbet was so appetizing, I was expecting the rest of the food to be spectacular.  When the salad came, I wasn’t disappointed.  You may be thinking-  ‘how do you mess up a salad?’  But, some salads are so plain dull…  This one was really good though!?  It was put together well, and the croutons were so flavorful!  I’m still not convinced of having soup at tea.  It’s just-  I think the only thing I want to be sipping at a tea party is well TEA…champagne (of course!)…and okay, water.  That’s it!  I don’t like any savory sort of liquids in my tea service.  That’s just me.  But soup came with ours, so I had some.  SOME.  It wasn’t bad.  Potato Chowder with Ham today.  I had half my bowl…to be nice!  Hehe.

salad          soup

We always get excited when the tier comes!!  Don’t you?!  On today’s: there was Cucumber, Turkey + Swiss, Chicken Salad in a Wheat Basket, and Strawberry Harvest.  For the desserts: a Chocolate Brownie Cake, Mini Lemon Cupcake, and Orange Meringue.  Today’s scone was Vanilla.



I like to go with the Cucumber tea sandwich first, because it’s usually my least favorite.  Love me a cucumber, but the ones we are served at tea are frequently bland.  I was sooo wrong today, so wrong!  That Cucumber flower sandwich was the best of the 4!!  It came open-faced (in a flower shape), so I folded mine over and ate it like a taco!  It had some sort of horseradish or wasabi kick to it!  Very mild, but you could tell it was there.  And the bread was nice + fluffy, but gave you a chewy feel at the end.  The cream was a nice consistency, and there wasn’t too much of it.  Very good, I was very happy with it.  Wanted more.


I went for the Turkey + Swiss next.  Booorrriiinnnggg.  It wasn’t a big piece, but I was really dragging my feet having to finish that thing.  It was just so plain and (I like a lot of lettuce in my sandwiches…but this one was just so) dry!  NEXT!!  (Later, my SIL almost died laughing…and crying…when she noticed my sad leftover piece of turkey sandwich off to the side just on the tablecloth while I was photographing my other foods!!)


Chicken Salad in a Wheat Basket.  Okay.  Looks better than it tastes.  I don’t really even want to review it, that’s how I feel about it.  The salad was good, a bit more creamy than I prefer.  My gf kept mentioning how messy it was.  I think if it was thicker, it might’ve been better; but, it was so runny.  And the basket part of it was this overly toasted biscuit/cookie that just crumbled all over the place.  (I’m making the sour face now.)  Wasn’t a fan.


I had overheard one of the girls at the table saying how they thought the Strawberry Harvest one was the best of the sandwiches.  Tried it, nice, but couldn’t finish that one either.  It was a bit sweeter than what I like.  It had some sort of honey cream cheese with it.  But-  They put it on raisin bread!?  Why?  Definitely an intriguing tea sandwich.  Sounded like a good idea…  Lol.  That’s all I can say about that.


Had more of my tea, then moved on to desserts.  I was happy to see the Meringue.  I like meringue!  It had an orange swirl.  I usually like it plain, but the orange was nice (There’s that word again.  Can you tell I’m not really motivated to rate this place?).  Meringue is always fun to eat though!  I made sure my girlfriends all tried theirs.  “She’s asking us to try the meringue!!”  Hehe.  Just tried a bite of the chocolate and didn’t even sniff the lemon.  Didn’t even take em to-go.

Service was good.  Our server, like I said, was really sweet + attentive.  But overall, I thought the staff was there to be there-  not necessarily to make our visit the best we can have.  It’s definitely a “must-see tea house!”  There are really cute things about the place, that I don’t want to mention because I want you to experience for yourself!  Please tell us if/when you visit!?  Hope you are treated with a bit more love than we were.  ;)