Spot #7 :: Camellia Tea Room

Our 7th Spot:

Camellia Tea Room

828 First Street  Benicia, CA 94510

http://www.camelliatearoom.com

 

I’m sorta nervous to review this spot…because I don’t want to forget anything!?  This place was terrif-  no, fantast-  no, not that either.  No words come to mind to describe how OUTSTANDING this spot was!  Thank goodness, as the last spot was a complete disaster (to say the least).  We really needed a pick-me-up from the last time, and this tea room was the place to be!!

outside

Our reservations were easy to make.  Most tea houses have a couple prerequisites when making your reservation, because there are a lot of delicate arrangements that are being made for your individual table setting.  Your final headcount is usually required to be submitted no later than 2 weeks before your event, and there will most likely be a charge if someone in your held party in a no-show.  With that being said, even under these typical guidelines, this spot was veeery accommodating with that aspect.  I had two in my party who would have loved to join, but couldn’t make the commitment until closer to our event date.  Wanting to honor the if-you-don’t-show-you-will-pay-a-fee rule, they opted to just be left out of the reservation (even if later proved they would be able to come).  I explained this when I called in for my final headcount, and they were fully cooperative with my guests special needs.  Instantly, this place already got an A+ in my book.

Benicia is such a cute little town!  My SIL made plans to show up early from our reservation, so we can take some time to walk around + explore our new surroundings.  Amazing Antique Mall (yes, I said “mall!!”) on the same side of the street!  When you first walk in, it’s very modern.  Don’t expect the frill + floral when you visit this spot.  It’s kept very minimal, but still warm + friendly.  They do have a back counter with gorgeous tea sets + bone china pieces!  Their walls are lined with beautiful art showcased by local talent, that I understand changes every month.  There’s an awesome story about their ceiling also, but I will leave that off the table so you can have a chance to ask them yourselves when you visit!  ;)  Right away, we were welcomed with kind greetings + loving faces.  It’s a family owned business, and you can totally tell.  It seems THEY should be the one’s to claim Olive Garden’s “When you’re here, you’re family!” tag line!!

china          teas

our table          setting

right

left

ceiling

I won’t give you all the details, because some things are meant to be secrets.  But, I WILL say that they pulled out all the stops for us.  There were a lot of us this time, 11 to be exact.  So there were a lot of tea pots on the table!  Of the ones I can mention, my girlfriend that always gets something with rose in it chose the Lavender-Rose.  I have one that always always loves her Earl Grey.  One of our newcomers on the tour chose their Crème Brulee (black tea with caramel).  Someone chose Blue Lady (coconut creme with strawberry + kiwi and blue flowers), which is their best seller.  And we had Ginger Peach, which is one of their decaffeinated options.  Great selection of teas, lots to try + they were all wonderful!  The water temp wasn’t right when we had our first pours, but they came around with hot water a few times to remedy that.

tea

They have five levels of tea service.  All of us chose the Traditional Tea.  We got 4 finger sandwiches, TWO scones (loved that part) with fixings of course, and an assortment of sweets.  All beautifully presented.  When I say they ‘pulled out all the stops’, I really meant they bent over backwards for us.  When our server mentioned the tea sandwich selections they were offering for the day, my girlfriends each wanted different ones.  She totally took care of us and got each sandwich order just perfect!  I kept thanking her + I just completely commend her for such extraordinary service.

soup

We all started with a soup (which I’m getting used to).  I feel terrible that I didn’t get a shot of their Tomato Bisque, as their kinda known for it.  All my girls loved it.  My SIL even got another order to-go!  I chose the Sweet Potato Soup with Wasabi Creme, becaaaause I’m kind of a wasabi fiend + I do love me some sweet potatoes.  It was SO GOOD.  I didn’t want to fill up on the soup to save room for the tier, and our server so sweetly boxed the rest up for me.

tier

chicken artichoke

All of our sandwiches were open-faced, with the exception of the cucumber.  This is their Chicken-Artichoke Salad Sandwich, which is just as marvelous as it sounds.  The ratio of ingredients is perfect, and it’s not too creamy.  The salad moistens the bread nicely, so you get that gooey chewy bite!  (Don’t mind me, I’m a bread lover.)

cheddar chutney

Their Cheddar Chutney Sandwich.  To die for.  The toast they put it on was addicting!!  And the mixture was just heaven.  I’m so sad I couldn’t have more of this one, since I can’t have cheddar…but I was so happy I tried it!

curry

Here’s their Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich.  Again, ratios: spot on.  It’s super important (to me anyway!) to not have so much cream going on so you can taste what’s actually in the mixture.  Their curry option was again just right.

cucumber

Traditional Cucumber.  Wonderful ending.  It was refreshing + scrumptious.  (My SIL kept laughing at me for trying to get the perfect shot of this sandwich!!)

Their sweets were wonderful!  The scones (I believe we had Cinnamon Raisin and a Walnut) came with strawberry jam + devon cream.  Very good, with a nice crunch.  They also had this Lemon Curd Tart with a raspberry on top.  That was tart, only had a bite.  The Coconut Cake though…I could’ve licked the plate!  It was the most moist cake and the frosting was so creamy + gooey.  (Okay, my mouth just filled up with water.)  Excellent desserts.

scone          lemon curd

cake

I saved the best for last…  The service = IMPECCABLE.  Not a skipped beat.  Our server (and really the whole family!  We even got to meet Momma!!) was just THEE BEST.  Personable, warm, generous + swift.  We really couldn’t have been treated better.  And there were so many of us!?  She thoroughly explained everything, brought us whatever we needed.  Her best friend, who also worked there, came to our table a few times with interesting combos of loose leaf teas to smell.  They really just showed us a spectacular time.  At the end of our meal, our check was broken down precisely to the penny and they took care of each of us (wait for it) individually!!?!  That was just the topping on that miracle cake!!  I can really go on about how wonderful they were to us, but I think you’re getting the picture right?!

Of all the spots I’ve shared with you, please go visit this one.  You will have an amazing time, enjoy some yummy food, sip delicious tea, and just have a great afternoon.  Make sure you stop my that antique mall too!  Okay, until next time lovelies…  ;)

2nd Leg FULL!

scone

We are fully booked for our 2nd Leg of parTEAwithme’s California Tea House Tour!!  We have just added 8 more Tea House Spots!  We look forward to each new Tea House and can’t wait to share our thoughts with you!  Hope you have been reveling in the journey as much as we have been…

 

A humongous  T H A N K  Y O U  to all who have followed + supported!!  We have been getting so much traffic on the site DAILY!  You are wonderful.  See you back in a few days with our reflections from the next Spot!  It’s supposed to be a really good one!?  ;)

my raTEAng

I’ve decided, after every 6 Spots, I’m going to give you my rating (see what I did there ^ ?!) from least favorite spot to my best pick!  This should be fun!!

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

fixed scone

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

table

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

outside

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

teapot

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

Zucchini

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

table

If you have visited these spots or are following us on the Tour, please send us your thoughts + raTEAngs!!

Spot #6 :: Secret Garden Tea House

Our 6th Spot:

Secret Garden Tea Room

721 Lincoln Way  San Francisco, CA 94122

http://www.secretgardenteahouse.com

building

Ugh.  I’m so not excited to review this place…  This is basically how I felt about it:

bites

Period.  But…you know I will ALWAYS give you my honest opinion, and I think it’s only fair that owners know what their business is putting out there.  And hopefully, in some way, my blog posts (and Yelp reviews) help them to better their service.  As a business owner myself, I would welcome the same treatment.

Let’s start with their website.  It wasn’t inviting or appealing to me, so already my anticipation for this spot was lowered.  They communicated very well, when making arrangements for reservations.  The owner (I believe she was), called me within a reasonable amount of time to acknowledge my voicemail message.  She even left her personal cell phone number, and assured me she was available to confirm my reservation whenever I was ready.  We exchanged emails regarding my head count number, and our preordered tea service selections.  I liked that email was an option for corresponding, as being a busy mom a quick email is sometimes preferred than a telephone conversation.

Okay-  this is why they are getting a negative review from me.  Their tea room was F-I-L-T-H-Y.  We are all well aware of those local restaurants that are too dirty to be in business.  This tea house reminded me of one of them.  Décor was cute.  Reminiscent of all the shabby chic elements with that vintage floral print.  The china was right, and the chandeliers were gorgeous.  BUT-  the curtains were disgusting!!  Not just dingy, but outright soiled + offensive.  I WISH I got a good picture of them, but I do not want to remember those.  It was bad enough, they were my view for the afternoon that contributed to my ruined appetite.  They brought our tea kettles with USED labels on them!!?!  Whooo knoooows how many people have put their gubby hands on those!?  It was sickening.  Forreal.

chandelier

room          room 2

room 3          room 4

room 5          room 6

dirty tag

The teas were okay, not the best.  At our table, we had Jasmine Blossom (green tea layered with jasmine blossoms), Cherries in the Snow (cherry flavored), Mango Moon (black tea from India with mango pieces + marigold flowers), Chocolate Raspberry Truffle (chocolate raspberry flavor), Mid-Summer Night Dream (creamy overtones with vanilla + orange flavor), and Victorian Vanilla (black tea + natural vanilla).  Since I’m on this black vanilla kick, I had to order that option.  I was hoping it would be similar to the one I had at the last spot, but not even close.  First of all, it had a ‘curry’ smell to it.  (Yes, I said “curry.”)  It didn’t carry over into the flavor, but it was nothing to rave about either.  I thought it was rather bland.  :/  The others I tried were the chocolate raspberry [very disappointing], and mango [I hurried to finish that one, so I could move on].

teacup

The food…  You saw my first photo, right??  I couldn’t handle more than a bite of ANYTHING!?  Yuck, yuck, and more yuck.  I tasted em based purely on having to tell you guys about it.  Took photos, but those wouldn’t be helping anybody.  I had the Smoke Turkey with Baby Dill and Lemon Capers Cream first.  It tasted like turkey with margarita mix!!?!  I would not do that again to myself!  Next, I had the Egg + Chives.  Egg = yum.  Chives = yum.  Theirs = eh.  Even though it was eh, that was the only sandwich I finished to have some savory breaks in my mouth from all the sweetness.  They must love sugar.  They had a Sweet Orange Cranberry Cream sandwich.  (Yeah, who told you to make a diabetic tea sandwich option?!)  My girlfriend really liked it, but I thought it was really sweet.  Cucumber + Hummus, was my next choice.  I like both of those, they shouldn’t be bad together right?  Right??  “What the mother of crap is up with this stuff?!” -Phoebe.  Uhh, the hummus was oh so wrong.  Please, please add garlic or something to your hummus recipe.  I went for the Sweet (uh-huh, sweet again) Curry Chicken with Raisins.  Not bad, this is the second one I had to finish to ease all the sugar.  Apple Cinnamon and Vanilla Cheese (also had slices of green apple), wasn’t a half bad sandwich.  But, it was just PACKED with the cream cheese…picture a dog eating peanut butter.  Mm-hm.  The Tuna Salad (I was very unhappy I saved that for last, let alone put it in my mouth) tasted like it’s been left out ALL DAY.  It was so fishy, forreal.  Probably should not have been served.  After all this disapproval, my SIL persuaded me to try (their answer to a savory) this spicy curry mixture on a crostini.  It was good, but still something was off about it.  I wanted to have more of the crostini BY ITSELF, then have to eat any more of what was served to me this afternoon.

tier

sandwiches          scones

The service was remarkable.  Each of the ladies that came to our table were very sweet.  The price point wasn’t bad.  We left a good tip, since they were kind.  However, I will NOT be coming back to this spot.

Ohh, the scone!!  The scone was delightful!!  It was Apple Cinnamon, our server said “she thinks.”  At first, they felt so hard!?  I had to saw it open with my butter knife, crumbs everywhere.  The clotted cream was fine, but whatever the preserves were-  it reminded me of slices of tuna sashimi!!?!  It was so gelatinous, you couldn’t even spread it?!  Funny thing though…it was good!  Best part of the tea service was that darn crispy scone that we “think” was apple cinnamon.  Thanks for the scone guys!

Spot #5 :: Lovejoy’s Tea Room

Our 5th Spot:

Lovejoy’s Tea Room

1351 Church Street  San Francisco, CA 94114

http://www.lovejoystearoom.com

front

For having a 4.5 stars Yelp rating, I expected a lot from this place.  Off the bat, I NEVER got a live person on the phone when I called in.  I didn’t like that.  From wanting to place my reservation, to wanting to change my headcount, to wanting to ask where the nearest Bart station was, to how parking was out there-  every time I called, no one ever picked up my call.  So, I was stuck having to wait for their call back or get tired of waiting + find the info myself somehow.  Are you that busy that you can’t pick up a phone and say “Thank you for calling Lovejoy’s Tea Room, may I please put you on hold?”, before you get a free minute to answer a simple question??  To me, this already speaks volumes about your customer service…

The ambiance was okay.  I thought it was more “old” than “vintage.”  It didn’t have all the cutesie things I wanted from a Tea Room or Tea House.  Their website says “in a most unique and unpretentious setting.  We believe our tea room reflects the diversity if San Francisco, blending together the traditions of tea service with an eclectic, quirky, and playful spirit.”  I wasn’t impressed.  See for yourself…

decor 1

decor 2

decor 3

decor 4

decor 5

decor 6

There was a lot to read when you order.  Front and back!?  (If you watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S, you know what I’m referring to there!)  There are 8 tea service selections to choose from.  I like that we got to choose the tea sandwiches that were included.  We weren’t just given the 4 kinds they made that day, like other tea rooms typically do.  Again, a lot though.  There are 17 options of tea sandwiches, including their Special of the day.  They also have a Pub Fare column of foods, like Shepherd’s Pie + Quiche, etc.  They have a good selection of teas, too.  I enjoyed that part.  Not too many, but a good enough amount that you have the excitement of choosing which one you will enjoy for the afternoon…and not feel like you have homework!

table          setting

sign          tier

The food was good!  Nothing spectacular (that’s the phrase I kept saying all afternoon), but good.  For my two tea sandwich selections, I chose the Special which was a turkey with cranberry chardonnay (I THINK?? It was some kind of wine, that made it sound too good to pass up!) mustard and the chicken + asparagus.  I reeeeally liked my asparagus sandwich!!  I’m a sucker for all things asparagus anyway, but I was not expecting how they prepared it!?  At first, it looked like avocado.  Then, I realized the asparagus was sort of smooshed (that’s the best word I could describe it with sorry!) in there!  I loved it.  I was not a fan, however, of how they served it to us.  So-  3 of us at our table ordered the Queen’s Tea.  We had 1 tier for all of our orders.  Top tier was fruit for 3, middle tier were our scones with fixings, then the bottom-  I mean, look at it!  Can YOU make sense of it??  The server was nice enough to explain who’s was who’s, but once he left we wondered again.  It seemed they put each of our two tea sandwich selections on top of each other, cut that in four, then lined em next to each other on the bottom tier!!?!  VERY confusing.  I thought 2 slices were one sandwich…it was hard.  Once we figured it out, we still had to guess again every time we went back for another slice.  We did get a complete 2 sandwiches, which was nice.  So at least nobody was left hungry.  The scones-  eh.  I couldn’t tell if they were blueberry or currant, but whatever they were there were a ton of em!!  I cut mine open, and barely saw any batter?!  It was speckled everywhere.  I took a few bites, but that was all I could handle.  Could not wait for my crumpet though!!  Since my first time having the perfect one at Crown & Crumpet, that’s what I look for on the menu.  Was happy to see em on this one’s.  They came later in our tea service, and were served fresh.  Even better right?!  Um, they got soggy!  I was so disappointed.  It was like eating an eggy piece of bread.  (Insert sad face here.)  At the end of your tea service, they come with a tray of petit fours, tell you what flavors each are, then you are allowed to choose ONE.  I think for the price we pay, we coulda got two more each!  Just sayin…  And there are no other sweets, just those.

My tea choice was F A N T A S T I C !!  I chose the Black Vanilla (vanilla oil and pieces of vanilla pod give this mellow tea its light, sweet taste).  I love me some black tea.  And the vanilla part of it sounded intriguing + comforting.  SO GLAD I chose what I did!  It smelled heavenly!!  I joked to my girls that I just wanted to set my nostrils on the rim of my teacup and stay like that forever!  But-  sometimes teas smell delicious, then taste horrible.  Nope!  Not this one!  I got a two-fer.  I think I was the only one at our table that asked to be topped off (meaning they add hot water to your loose leaf pot of tea) 3 times!  I didn’t even taste anyone else’s, for the simple fact that I felt I would be missing out of more of my precious Black Vanilla tea selection!  Let’s see, the other girls chose their: Passion Fruit (dried passion fruit gives this tea its tropical flavor), Mango (Ceylon tea and pieces of ripe mango merge to create this fruity treat), Strawberry (black tea, flavored with pieces of dried strawberry), Decaf Chocolate Truffle (this rich and creamy decaffeinated tea contains actual bits of chocolate truffle), and Earl Grey (its unique flavor comes from the natural oil of Bergamot).  All my girls were happy with their choices!  They came to top off anytime you wanted, and each pot of tea came with strainers.

*Note: tea descriptions are taken directly from Lovejoy’s menu.

Customer service was good.  Not bad, but not fantastic either.  I mean, they did their job.  But, I didn’t see any extra efforts made for my enjoyment or for a better experience.  Maybe I’ve had better treatment at other tea houses, I don’t know.  But for a 4.5 star place, I thought they could have been a bit warmer.  Our server did take several shots, from each of our cameras (I know, and there were 6 of us!).  But not without making a snarky remark “Maybe you all should exchange phone numbers…”  He. He. He.  #jokingnotjoking  So what, we each asked you to take our group picture?  “Photographer” may not be in your job description, but we asked nicely + thanked you nicely.  Coulda done with out that comment babe.

Overall = nice experience.  Would I come back?  Maybe not.  Would DEFINITELY visit their sister antique shop across the street again though!  And for sure pick up some of that loose leaf Black Vanilla tea!!

The English Rose – part 2

Every month or so, my SIL + I have a date.  After visiting The English Rose Tea Room last month, we couldn’t wait to go back.  Why not for our date!?  I’m SO GLAD we did!!  We got to try more of the teas we were curious about the last time, but didn’t get to have.  And I starved myself, so I had an appetite ready for ALL the tea sandwiches + savories this time!  :)

[Disclosure:  I wondered if I should bring my professional camera for this visit, even though it was an off-Tour stop.  My husband discouraged me from bringing it, since it was just going to be a casual date with my sister.  So-  SORRY in advance!!  These pics are all taken with just my iPhone 4!]

food

Our server was a sweetheart!  She had just started working there a month ago.  She was very swift with her service, and tended to us so lovingly throughout our visit.  I forgot to mention in my last post about this spot: an OCDers dream!!  They bring you hot towels!!?!  So nice huh?  During the month of November, the tea room was celebrating their 10 year anniversary.  She brought us a complimentary celebratory sparkling cider and offered us the tea of the day.  Today’s was Lisa’s Sweetheart Tea (I think??), it was a chocolate raspberry rose tea.  Smelled delicious, and tasted wonderful.  We ordered the Pumpkin (again OF COURSE, pumpkin-freaks we both are) + Birthday Blend first.  The Pumpkin obviously was just as perfect as it was when we had it first.  In heaven with that one.  We were so happy with our decision in ordering the Birthday Blend.  It was so nice!!  It was what you would expect a ‘birthday cake’ flavor tea to taste like.  It was so creamy + comforting.  I could have had that one exclusively for the rest of the afternoon, and would have been content.  But, we had more teas to try!  The other 2 pots we exchanged for were my sister’s choice, the Almond Joy (I absolutely adore the creamer, so I thought this one would be similar), and my pick the Lavender Lace (I’m fond of lavender, and then “lace” makes it just sound so pretty!?).  The Almond Joy was a fail!  It smelled like playdough!!?!  I mean, it wasn’t BAD.  We just didn’t like it.  I even told my sister to pour the rest of hers back into the teapot, since we knew we wouldn’t be having any more of it.  :/  The Lavender Lace was just delightful!  It smelled like the spa And you were about to get a massage!?  Hehe.  But it tasted incredible.  Perfect for our finishing tea.

Okay, the food…  I was stuffed!!

roll

This was the stuffing roll.  Yes, I said STUFFING!!  It was remarkable!  I’m a stuffing FAN, so when she described this one I knew I was going to have it first.  It was interesting + delicious.  Wrapped with a spinach tortilla (I’m guessing), and -BONUS- the stuffing had cranberry in it!

sweet potato

When our server said “sweet potato tart,” my eyes became big like that one emoji with the huge circle eyes!?  I looove sweet potato.  This was as yummy as it sounds.  A nice mix of sweet potato in there, with a nice flakey tart.

croissant

This was their salad sandwich.  A perfect mix.  Very filling + a wonderful addition to the tier of tea sandwiches.

There was also an egg + black olive on wheat.  Awesome combo right?!  Tried it, but only had a bite.  I thought it was bland.  And the cucumber option had green onion in it.  I don’t do green onion, so I stayed faaar away from that one.  My sister liked both of hers though!

I of course had my scone.  Plain scone with clotted cream, lemon curd + strawberry preserves.  The crispy edges of their scone makes it addicting!  The sweets tier had so many GOOD THINGS!  I liked everything I had.  Ate em so fast, no picture!!  I started with the French macaron that was staring at me the whole time.  I believe it was lavender flavored.  I joked with my sister that it smelled/tasted like shampoo!?  It did!!  But, even so, I ate the whole thing!!  The texture + filling was perfect for a French macaron.  Then, the petit four was calling me!  I have these things once a month, at every tea party.  They’re pretty much all the same, in my book.  But this one, this one was terrific!!  I inhaaaaled it.  Ugh-  so they had this pecan bar.  So chewy + crunchy + gooey!!  I made out with that thing!!?!  I was sad that my sister didn’t have hers, but so happy that I had another opportunity to relive that pecan goodness!  :)

my cupcake          her cupcake

They sent us home with these lovely lemon curd cupcakes!  (We coulda had em there, but we didn’t have anymore room!?)  Another complimentary celebratory treat!  Oh these were good!  Not too sweet + not too lemony.  The sprinkles on top were nice too!  ;)

All-in-all, a SPECTAULAR AFTERNOON!  They got all A+’s from me.  Still maaaaany more teas to try (I mean, they have over a hundred of em), so I’m sure we’ll be back again.  Just 2 more weeks and I get to have Tea again!!  Check back for our thoughts on Spot #5…

Spot #4 :: The English Rose Tea Room & Gifts

Our 4th Spot:

The English Rose Tea Room & Gifts

163 West Neal Street  Pleasanton, CA 94566

http://www.theenglishrose-pleasanton.com

front back

We walked in just as a baby shower party was being seated.  I think the hostess thought we were with them, so we were kind of ignored + left to be standing around.  I was beginning to be perturbed, when our server caught eyes with me.  I told her we weren’t with the big party, and she took care of us right away.  There was 6 of us.  We were sat in the corner to the left of the place.  By the way, UL-TRA CUUUTE!!  It’s a tiny place, very intimate.  All the decorations were gorgeous and ‘to the T’ with respects to tea houses.  (Or ‘to the Tea!’  Hehe.)  However, I was slightly uncomfortable as we were so squished!?  I felt like both my knees were touching each of my girlfriends’ to the left + right of me.  And my boobs-  preeetty much resting on the table.  LOL.  I wasn’t sure where to put my purse.  They also have really cute pillows on each chair (that were comfortable, but more in the way in my opinion).

chandelier          table inside          shop

As you sit down, your server comes and gives you some sort of sugar biscuit then offers you their feature blend of the day.  Today’s was: Victoria’s Harvest Blend.  A mix of apricot + almond.  Right off the bat, you can smell the almond.  Oh my it was delicious!!  She then explained we get UNLIMITED TEA!!?!  We were allowed 2 pots of tea per table (we had 2), and we can exchange the pot for another flavor at any time.  And boy, did they have a LOT of flavors!  I thought that was good + bad, as there are plenty to try but it does make it hard to select.  They offered close to a HUNDRED TEAS!!

teas

At our visit, we tried:

Chocolate Mint – Smelled incredible!  A table favorite, but I thought the smell was stronger than the flavor.  Not bad though!

Pumpkin – My all time fave of the day!!  I’m a sucker for pumpkin-flavored stuff, and this tea was delectable!!  It was ultra “clovey” (word of the day: had a strong clove flavor), and made for a very interesting tea!

Strawberry Kiwi – I didn’t taste this one as I’m not much into fruity teas, but my girlfriend said it was good.  Not great, as it was rather bland.  But, not horrible either.

Passion Fruit – Didn’t try, but gf said it was lovely!

Crème Brulee – Gulped my last cup of the almond one down to make sure I tried this one!  It was nice smelling, and a perfect finishing tea.

Mango – Again, didn’t try but the table said it was good!

teapot          teacup

The food came out in the usual 3 tier set up.  Sandwiches on the bottom, a few savories in the middle, and scones + petit fours on top.  I went for the scone first.  Fluffy middle + crispy edges, still warm.  Plain scone, which I’m starting to really enjoy (I can appreciate the fixings more!).  The clotted cream was thick + firm.  I’m used to a looser consistency, but I liked this one.  The lemon curd was homemade!  Nice touch.  Then, they offered strawberry jam.  I can’t give a fair review on the food, because I wasn’t really feeling having too much of it.  I tried to at least take a bite out of everything, so that I can comment.  There were new flavors than the saaame ole sandwiches, but nothing that really excited me.  They offered one with sundried tomato, an egg with green onion (love me some egg salad, but I despise green onion), a chicken salad with cranberry, and of course the infamous cucumber.  The savories, I liked.  They had one with mushroom and a quiche-like one with butternut squash (…I hope I’m getting these right, because I totally forgot everything that our server explained as soon as she walked away!?).  The sweets were alright.  The highlight of that tier was this mini pumpkin cheesecake thing.  Again, I really only had BITES of stuff.  Take it for what it is.

food          bites

Their service was impeccable.  Our server was just lovely.  Explained everything as it came, was prompt in our requests, and just a total sweetheart.  The owner came to our table, and we had a nice little chat about the tour.  The service really impressed me.  At first I was annoyed that we weren’t seated right away, but as our visit continued the service just kept getting better + better.  It was really hard to say anything negative in my testimonial, as they were just so wonderful to us.  But-  I will always be HONEST with you (my readers!  ;)  ), as that’s what you deserve.  I would come back again for the teas, definitely.  Actually, I can’t wait to come back, as there were lots more on their tea menu that I really wanted to try!  I hope you all do, and please share which ones you enjoyed!?