Out 16th Spot:
672 Eleventh Street Oakland, CA 94607
I was gonna type “GO!”, and leave it at that.
While researching the tea spots that I wanted to include in our Tour, when I came across this one- I couldn’t get there fast enough!! The fact that it was an old home + had a story about it…I’m all about learning how things came to be and of course seeing precious antiques! I was anticipating this spot for a long time, and couldn’t wait to take my Tea Dolls to it. Espeeeecially siiiiince, we were on a waiting list for 2 months!!?! Anytime you have to wait for something exciting, it just makes the place so much more worth it (in my opinion anyway). I was hoping to have this spot be our opener tea house for the 2nd Leg of the Tour (which woulda been in July). When I called to make the reservations in June, it was only POSSIBLY available in September. When September came around, the only available time open was early October. The woman I corresponded with was wonderful to work with, and answered all my emails promptly. Because I had a big group with me (there were 12 of us, which is the max), we all had to pay in full way in advance. Different, but we did it. And after our experience, would do it again!
I’m purposely not going to include anything about the home itself, because it’s definitely an experience you have to enjoy for yourself and I seriously wouldn’t be doing it any justice!
I mean, look at how gorgeous this tablescape + our surroundings are!? You know I had to give you both views! This was the first time we had a private room for our tea party. It was so nice + intimate, and we felt really special + V.I.P.! My favorite part was that our table was OVAL (not circle, as my SIL corrected me!). It was nice that everyone was a part of the conversation, and we were sharing a meal all together. :)
The setting was simple, but beautiful! Mismatched China with delicate embroidered napkins. It just felt really personal and (excuse me, ’cause I can’t think of the word that means they really took the time to make you feel special!? Hehe.).
This is what we were greeted with when we walked into the room. Wonderfully plated, intricately crafted goodies! I think we really didn’t know what to do with ourselves, huh girls?! Lol. It was all just so PRETTY!! Everything was homemade.
Shortly after, our sweet server came around and gave us our first pours. It was only one kind of tea: English Breakfast. My cargroup was talking about this afterward, on the way home. I would have liked a choice for tea, but only because I think that’s what we’ve been used to at every tea spot. It was actually really nice not to have to think this time around!! Haha. The tea was still really good. My girls put different things in it to flavor it as they liked. My favorite part- our server came around often enough that you NEVER had an empty cup or cool tea in your teacup. Awesome awesome service.
You guys all already know, I have my Cucumber first. This little thing took me so by surprise!! That crunch, boy! Lots of really CRUNCHY cucumbers packed into this open-faced tea sandwich. I enjoyed that one very much.
Since I’m lactose intolerant (blah blah blah, for you regular readers you already know this), I only took a bite of the Cheese Wafer. It was fun! My first-timer girlfriend said it reminded her of a Cheez-It!
The Egg Salad tea sandwich was surprising as well. That parsley encrusted side made for a scrumptious bite! This egg salad tasted like it had curry it! Very flavorful, for a supposed-to-be bland sandwich.
I went for the Smoked Salmon next. Totally unexpected the CREAMIEST butter underneath that lox!? And that sprig of dill that you thought was just a nice decoration, turned out to be a sweet citrusy bite at the end!
This Chicken Salad Puff was good. Again, took you off guard with a lemony Asian-esque favor! By this time, the scones came out!! They were all hot + ready, so of course I had to move on to those next!
We were served Orange Cranberry Scones. I could have had a hundred of these!! Nice flakey outside, and warm chewy inside. The Clotted Cream was perfect! And, the preserves just right.
Took only a bite of the Cheddar Artichoke Tart. The filo dough was super crunchy, and the filling was tangy.
I am sooo happy I saved this Mushroom Rollup for last, being the mushroom-freak that I am! As small as it was, don’t let it fool you. This little thing was packed with so much flavor. It had crispy edges, and a nice chewy bite to the bread. The mushroom flavor was bold throughout. Again, if this was all I was served I would have been completely content.
Just when you thought you were filled to the rim with all that food, here came the desserts! It was like a spectacular production as each of the servers came out with a new plate of treats!
The fruit was almost too cute to eat. Perfect ripeness.
Of course, I grabbed the corner piece of Brownie. That mandarin orange, was a nice compliment to that nostalgic bite of chocolate.
We all thought this was apricot, but it tasted more like a Peach Tart. Nice dough, the filling wasn’t too tart, and that powdered sugar added a nice sweetness to that fruit flavor.
How cute is this Lemon Curd Tart?! Ugh, that was lovely. It kind of crumbled on me and fell into my plate, but I didn’t even care. It was so good.
Who would pay attention to this plain Mini Cupcake, when you had all those other fantastic sweets staring at you!? Well, this. Was. Magnificent!! The FLUFFIEST white cake + a rich chocolate frosting. I could have eaten the whole batch.
I didn’t have room for the Sugar or Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I took em home to my kids and they inhaled them (as they usually do if I bring Tea leftovers!).
All the food was chart-topping. It came out at perfect increments of our meal. I had luscious HOT tea with every bite. To think that it was all homemade + prepared by loving volunteers, made everything taste better. EACH piece that was served to us was prepared with TLC, and that made for the most comfortable meal setting. We were very well taken care of by all the staff. The Tour of the home was such a nice added treat to our Tea Party today! The steps built up our appetites, and we were fed so well. This Tea Spot moved up to the top of the list at first pour, no question.
It will be a few months until our next visit. Hope you can be patient with us, as we await our next Spot! Thank you again to the thousands of you who make these blog posts worthwhile!! We love hearing about your visits from the Spots we’ve already been to. Keep em coming! Tea Parties are so much fun!! ;)