Spot #9 :: Lisa’s Tea Treasures

Our 9th Spot:

Lisa’s Tea Treasures

167 Main Street  Los Altos, CA 94022

http://www.lisastealosaltos.com

 

outside

It’s really hard to say anything bad about a place, when their service is so terrific!  …not that they deserve anything negative.

sign          outside table

We walked in to this adorable setting!  Just a perfect place to have a tea room.  They had little compartments of uniquely sized rooms for tables.  A charming upstairs for private parties.  Lots of tea kettles and tea cups + saucers for sale decorated the space.  The rest of the décor was minimal, but lined with attractive art pieces.

inside 1          inside 2

inside 3          inside 4

upstairs

art

They already got an A+ in my book, based on the type of cookies (biscuits) they left on the table.  Biscoff Lotus cookies!!  (High-five Lisa’s!)  There are tons of em in a cute little jar, just waiting for you + your tea selection!  The table setting, of course, was totally cute with all matching plates + tea sets.

cookie

The teas were all delicious!  At our table, we chose:

Watermelon Berry – I’m a watermelon flavor person, so I was intrigued to try this one my girlfriend chose.  It wasn’t as sweet as it sounds, which was nice!  Watermelon scented, with berry flavors.

Sweet Peach – I didn’t get to try this one myself, but my girlfriend kept pouring cups of it, so I think she liked it!?

Champagne Raspberry – Liked this one a lot!  You can definitely taste the champagne, which I looove.  And the raspberry flavor makes for a pleasurable cup of tea!

Rose Garden – This one was my favorite.  Reminded me so much of the spa!!  So it was very comforting to sip.  I kept calling it “the lotion one!”

Strawberry Darjeeling – Didn’t get to try this one, unfortunately, because I grew up drinking strawberry tea.  So, it’s nostalgic for me!  But I think my sister liked it.

Butter Truffle – This is the one I ordered.  Flavored like a sugar cookie, with orange peel.  It was yum!

tea

I thought it was really cute that our server had these teapot caddy sort of things to bring all our pots in one trip!  Innovative + smart!

caddy

For our party size, we were asked to preorder.  At our table, we had the:

Mademoiselle’s Creation – a hearty salad with a scone and your choice of a side of protein (egg, chicken or tuna)

salad

 

Lord William’s Promise – a platter of 8 tea sandwiches + a petit fours

sandwiches

 

Tea Time Trio – a salad, scone, 2 tea sandwiches + 2 savories

trio

Everyone enjoyed their food!  I ordered the Tea Time Trio, so I can comment on that one.  A spring mix of greens with fresh strawberries, dried cranberries, sliced almonds + feta cheese.  It came with a mouth-watering vinaigrette, in this darling mini pitcher.  My 2 tea sandwiches were a salmon mousse, and goat cheese with tomato.  I thought each of them were dandy.  A little salty for my taste, but good nonetheless.  My savories were marvelous!  There was a cheese pastry and a mushroom quiche.  I could have had at least 3 more each of those!!  The scone – a cute little chubby scone!  They had 3 flavors today (blueberry, pecan + cinnamon).  My dish came with the blueberry.  Nice crunchy exterior, and warm chewy interior.  VERY GOOD.  The cream + jelly and lemon curd also very comparable.  Again, I could’ve had more!  I did later try the pecan, and…woah, that one was remarkable!  My girlfriend + sister also ordered a side of soup.  Today’s was a broccoli cheddar.  My gf had me try a taste of her’s, and it was delightful!

Okay, the service.  This is why I can’t knock anything from this spot.  Our server was just-  the best!!  Not only did she take real good care of us, but she showed us a fantastic time!  She was super funny, and just very personable.  We felt like we were hanging out with another one of our girlfriends!  She was comfortable enough to joke with us, but still came to deliver any one of our needs in a respectable amount of time.  At the end of our visit, as always, we asked if she minded taking our group picture.  She did not hesitate to take as many as we wanted with as many cameras or phones, even after one of them (camera) wasn’t cooperating!?  We really enjoyed ourselves today, and are so glad we chose this place since we were still grumpy about how bad our experience was from the last spot.  Such a cute tea house, and I hope you all try it out someday!  Tell us how your visit went!? ;)

Spot #8 :: Tal-Y-Tara Tea & Polo Shoppe

Our 8th Spot:

Tal-Y-Tara Tea & Polo Shoppe

6439 California Street  San Francisco, CA 94121

http://www.talytara.com

 

outside

“Oh. You have more people in your party??”  That’s how we were greeted.  Apparently, a couple had walked in right behind us…  But let’s not forget the awkward 90-second stare down we received from the ENTIRE establishment (YES, including all the wait staff) as soon as we walked in, where you can hear the crickets just like in the movies!?  No welcome, no warmth.  That right there, was the discouraging foreshadow of what our future meal was about to entail.

The menus were suuuuper confusing.  It seems they have 3 levels of tea service, but are all ‘for two.’  If you want a single serving of anything, it must be à la carte.  No one offered us any explanations either, so we were left to figure this for ourselves.  We did ask, and our assumptions were then confirmed.

setting

How are you a tea house when you discourage your customers from ordering any tea??  Since we couldn’t figure out how or what to order, our server wanted to know if she could get any pots started for us.  She says for our party of SEVEN, that she recommends maybe only 2 pots of tea (get this) “because any more wouldn’t fit on our table”!?  What in the world is that!!?!  Since we had such a limitation, we told her we’d have to discuss these important choices.  She did say we could switch em out during the course of our meal…but still-  really?  Plus, we still needed to figure out HOW to order and WHAT to order.  We were so sorry we asked, since she kept insisting we order this tea sandwich “platter” (wait for it) that they ALREADY MADE FOR US!!?!  They’re supposedly known for this motorloaf bread (we know, we were thinking about ‘motorboating‘ the whole time too!), that she talked up saying it was a hearty bread filled with walnuts, etc.  Welp, they must’ve been unable to be seen with the naked eye as my girlfriend pointed out there wasn’t anything in there!?  The “platter” (there goes that word again) suppooooosedly served two people “maybe even 3″ she says.  We so badly wanted to order single servings of tea sandwiches as opposed to this ALREADY PREPARED infamous platter just to be rebellious, ’cause-  who does that??  Whyyy would we want something that was sitting out for who knows how long and nooo one wants anything that’s being pushed on them.  Even still, the “platter” was the better choice since we didn’t want to pay for any more of what they had to offer in support of a tea house we were ready to walk out of as soon as we were seated.  So it was decided: we were ordering the 2 stale “platters” they thoughtfully (insert sarcasm here) prepared for us.

That took care of the tea sandwich selections, now for the scones.  At 6 bucks for ONE scone, we wanted to make sure not to over-order.  (No we’re not cheap, but trust me-  you wouldn’t feel like you’d wanna give this place any of your money either.)  They had 5 kinds to choose from today: Lemon, Blueberry, Black Currant, Orange Ghirardelli Chocolate, and a savory Bacon Cheddar.  We ordered 1-2 of each flavor except the blueberry.  Okay, that choice = made.

Now the teas…  My earl grey gf who’s on the hunt for the perfect one, wanted an earl grey selection.  But, there were 2 listed on the menu.  I guess they had 2 types from different vendors.  When she asked what the difference was between the 2, our server said she’d have to get her manager to explain that to us.  Ohhh…kaaay…  Of course, the manager never came.  Our server finally comes back with a container in her hands, and says that they’re out of one so my gf can smell the loose leaf tea of the one that they do have.  This particular one had lavender in it, so my girlfriend said she’d try it.  My girl had really good things to say about it.  And, although I didn’t get a chance to taste it, I could smell it and it reminded me of the spa!  It smelled really good.  We also ordered the Wild Strawberries black tea and Vanilla Bean Creme black tea.  Lots of good comments from my dolls about the strawberry, and I liked (not loved) the vanilla.  How-  ever-  when they refilled the vanilla, they made it SO strong it poured out BLACK girrrl!?  I joked that they were mad at us, and my other gf said that they wanted us to be up all night thinking about their bad service!  Lol.

teapot          tea

This is what the “platters” looked like:

platter

WHAT ARE THESE??  And did they really think these 2 lousy things were gonna fit 7 whole people!?  I was livid.  How were we even supposed to eat it?  It’s like they concentrated so hard on trying to make their presentation stylish + cute with all this wax paper, when it really makes you think “where are my sandwiches?!”  We had.  To.  CUT.  These little things.  In FOUR!!?!  20 bucks for each of these plates and we only get a BITE!?  What is that??  How are you a restaurant??  You don’t even FEED your customers!!  You demand they eat something you already made for them and there’s nothing to eat!?  Ooh, I was hot.

four

bite

At one point, I asked my girlfriend how she liked a certain sandwich and she says to me “Oh, I haven’t tried any yet.   They’re still being distributed.”   What kind of mess is that?!

distributing

Here’s the egg and cucumber:

egg cucumber

The egg was bland + dry, and tasted like it had been sitting out ‘CAUSE IT WAS!  The cucumber bite I had (I feel like my reviews aren’t even complete, ’cause I didn’t even have a whole sandwich to base em off of!?) was a dollop of cream cheese (no dill or anything) and a soggy piece of cucumber.

This is the ham and smoked salmon:

ham salmon

I liked the mustard that was made with the ham, but that’s about it.  And the salmon (again) tasted like it had been out for awhile.  Again, with a chunk of cream cheese, but the capers made it better.

When she brought out the scones, she told us which flavors were which the says “SOME of which were made today.” EW!!!

scones

This is all the piece of scone I got to have:

orange chocolate

The orange chocolate was pretty good.  I have to say, I did really like the cream + preserves that were served.  And, the scones had good crunchy edges + nice soft centers.  I ate as much scone as I could to fill my sad tummy.

Here’s what the place looked like, in case you’re interested…

place 1          place 2

place 3          place 4

We basically left that tea house STARVING.  We were scared to ask to use the bathrooms, because the place looked creepy + we were just treated so COLDLY.  So, we all had full bladders upon our exit.  The customer service was really just terrible.  We had very little food, then felt like we were being rushed out.  They quickly bussed our table, and we got stares + hands on hips as we tried to enjoy the last of our limited pots of teas while girl-chatting. Not only will we not be returning, but I will be going a notch further to tell my readers NOT to visit this tea house.  They do not deserve service from any sweethearts as yourselves looking to enjoy some afternoon tea.

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!!