Our 5th Spot:
Lovejoy’s Tea Room
1351 Church Street San Francisco, CA 94114
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…
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!
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!!