my raTEAng 1-18

Another 6 Spots on the list!  Here’s what I think from “yuck” to “Can I stay here forever!?”

 

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

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

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16. Tea Time, Palo Alto – Awkward dirty café that left me thirsty.

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15. The Golden Tea Garden, Hayward – Bad-mannered + arrogant owner with dollar store décor + tea.

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

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

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

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11. The Rotunda at Nieman Marcus, San Francisco – Matter-of-fact service and expensive teeny tasteless food.

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10. Satori Tea Company, San Jose – Interesting + eclectic, rum butter crumpets, and purple tea.

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

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

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7. Lovey’s Tea Shoppe, Pacifica – Black Vanilla with Lavender tea, asparagus sandwich, and sweet staff.

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6. Camellia Tea Room, Benicia – Impeccable service and an all-around wonderful time.

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

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

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3. Pardee Home, Oakland – A tour in a tour that will feed you until satisfaction and the definition of ‘cuteness overload’.

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

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

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That’s a lot of tea houses we’ve been to!?  And, we’re going to finish off strong!!  Don’t forget to share your experiences with us!  Thank you ALL for continuing to read the blog + follow the Tour!!  Until the next Spot…

Spot #18 :: Lovey’s Tea Shoppe

Our 18th Spot:

Lovey’s Tea Shoppe

4430 Coast Highway  Pacifica, CA 94044

http://www.loveysteashoppe.com

 

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I was looking forward to coming to this Spot.  Who wouldn’t want to stop by the coast!?  We pass this place all the time, so naturally it would be part of the Tour.  I like to create anticipation for myself (always), so I scheduled it closer to the end…which was perfect, cuz after that last Spot, we needed something good.  I will have to say tho-  I wasn’t excited that this tea house was connected to Lovejoy’s (insert rolling eyes emoji here).  I cringe whenever “Lovejoy’s” (said in sarcastic tone) is brought up in the same conversations as ‘good tea houses’.  [Visit our November 2014 Archive for our experience on Lovejoy’s.]  I didn’t form any expectations (because I’m fair!!), and I was really hopeful.

 

I enjoyed the intimacy + brightness of this tea house.  You could probably fit 25 people in there.  Lots and LOTS of lace, which I looove!  There are tea sets + things to shop for (always nice).  Reservations were easy to make.  I spoke with the owner both times I called in, and she was just such a pleasure.  Even their voicemail was nice!

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***Here is my Disclaimer, before I move on with my review: Anything less than positive I have to say about this Spot is only because I always promise our followers + readers my honest truth.  However, it makes it very hard to say aaaanything negative about a Spot when the service is so WONDERFUL!  Any critique is nothing compared to how great we were treated.  Please refer back to this note, if/when I have to say something not-so-nice.  (awkward sorry face).***

 

We were seated right away, and offered a glass of water or to get any pots of tea started.  This was just a preface to the remainder of our visit.  They offer 8 levels of tea service, plenty tea sandwich choices, and at least 40 different teas to choose from.  Lots to read, but not overwhelming.  Our server graciously showed us around the menu, and was just fantastic from beginning to end.

These are the pots of teas that were ordered at our table of 6, and here’s what my girls had to say about them…

Black Vanilla with Lavender – I ordered this one.  I believe it’s a specialty from this Spot.  The Black Vanilla from their sister shoppe is my all-time favorite from the Tour.  I wanted to stick to something close to that, and remembered reading something about this one.  I’m not even going to trrryyyyy to explain what this tasted like, because I would be doing it a disservice!  I’ll tell you this, it’s a MUST TRY in your life and I didn’t taste any other teas (even tho I wanted to + should have)…this tea is that good.  There’s nothing like it!  And, I’m kicking myself for not buying any!!  :*(

Decaf Lady Grey – My girlfriend described this one as “sweet and floral”, she said she had 2 pots and didn’t share!

Chocolate Truffle – I really wanted to try this one!  My girl says it was “very chocolatey” and that it was great with milk.

Decaf Earl Grey – This Spot has 3 different grey’s, so it was cute to see my Earl Grey Gal actually look at the tea menu!  Hehe.  She called this one a “happy earl grey!”  She says the Ceylon was a bit heavy, but didn’t over power the bergamot the way others normally do.

Genmai Cha – Girlfriend didn’t like this one.  She said it “tasted like the kind you get at a sushi restaurant, and felt cheated out of the tea house ambiance drinking it.”  She didn’t think that flavor belonged on the menu.  Says they DID however describe it on the menu perfectly, stating it was a Japanese tradition, so it’s not like she was lied to.  She was attempting to break from the norm, so she guessed she was lying to herself!  She loved the rest of our teas tho, so she was grateful we all like to share!

Forest Berries and Rose Hips – My gf said this one was just like it says: flowers and berries.  She said it wasn’t that bad, but that it did taste like Robitussin…

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We all ordered the Queen’s Tea (highest level of tea service offered).  It comes with two tea sandwich flavors of your choice, coleslaw AND salad, warm scone with fixings, fresh crumpet, fruit, a petit four, and shortbread.  Lots, huh!?  I always order the most anyway, so I can review as much as I can for you guys!  😉  Even tho I’m a salad lover, I wasn’t thrilled with all the greens, but it wasn’t a big deal.  There were 6 of us, and each pair got tea service for 2…so it was nice to try our partner’s sandwich choices too!

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Thankfully, the gf I was sharing with ordered the Cucumber & Cream Cheese, cuz I like to always try that one…but didn’t wanna give up one of my sandwich choices!  Haha.  Their cucumber was pretty good.  Better than average.  Something about that cream cheese tho-  like, it was so creamy!?  There was a lot of it.

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Of course, OF COURSE, I chose the Chicken & Asparagus.  As much as I raved about the one I had at their sister shoppe…  I don’t know what they do with that asparagus, but they do it RIGHT.  Loved that one so much, even tho I was full at the end of my meal-  I still had oooone laaaast asparagus sandwich for good measure!

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Their Chicken-Apple-Walnut Salad was okay.  I liked the consistency…nice chunks of apple in there…but it was just okay for me.

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Anytime I see horseradish on a tea menu, I’ve gotta have it!  Roast Beef & Horseradish it is.  This was my 2nd sandwich choice.  Ugh, really yummy!  There was a good amount of horseradish in there, so if you like it this sandwich is for you.  The only thing I didn’t like, was the whole piece of beef being pulled out with your first bite.  I don’t know that there’s a way to fix that…maybe I need stronger teeth, I don’t know…but, I would have liked to savor my piece instead of forcing the whole thing in my mouth!  Hehe.

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I’m so grateful for my girls that ordered Lovey’s “Daily” Special (LOVE you guys) which was a Chicken Curry with Carrots & Raisins.  Doesn’t that just sound divine!?  My ears perked up when I heard that, but just couldn’t opt out of my 2!  And, I love them even more for sharing with me!!  Best sandwich I had at this Spot (yes, even more than the asparagus).  I coulda had these the whole time + woulda been fine.  With.  That!

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I love when tea houses bring you their scones and/or crumpets warm + fresh!  I can’t remember off the top of my head if any other tea spots did this…but, I DO really like that this place brought our scones + crumpets to table when they were ready.  Nice nice thing.

All my girls ADORED their scones.  I heard: “buttery and delectable”…”Best.  Scone.  Ever.”…”fabulous”…and, “divine.”  I thought they were okay.  Too soft + crumby for me.  I like them more crispy + stiff, but that’s just me!!  Still good flavor tho.  I think these were currant.  (And, how cute is that plate??)

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Love love loooooooooove when tea houses offer crumpets!  I will ALWAYS order the crumpet if you have it on your menu.  These were good.  They got soggy + chewy after being buttered tho.  I like me a crispier crumpet.

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At the end of your meal, they come around with a dessert stand of petit fours, French macarons, and truffles.  How pretty!  And lavish, huh!?  (Wish I got a picture…)  What’s sad is:  you only get one!!  Waahhh!  So hard to choose, cuz they all look spectacular and sound wonderful!  I chose the Pink Champagne Truffle…  I’m not much for sweets these days, so I only took a bite.  I couldn’t really taste the champagne flavor, but my other girlfriend that chose it said hers tasted plenty like champagne.

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We had the privilege of being served by the owner’s daughter.  She was perfect.  VERY attentive to our table, and she had others in the tea house.  She knew exactly how to handle making sure we had a good time.  At one point, my girlfriend even invited her to pull up a chair next to us!  She even offered to take photos of us, and even volunteered to take the same photo from different mobile phones.  I don’t want to compare (even tho I was in my head the whole time!) and have been very careful with this review to not bring up their sister shoppe Lovejoy’s so much, but-  I have to say…Lovey’s is 100% the opposite of that other place!!  And, thank goodness for that!  Go ahead, read what we had to say about them…  Thank you Lovey’s for showing us a good time.  The owner even came out and was very gracious, just as she was when I spoke with her on the phone.  Just an all around WONDERFUL TEA TIME!!  Thank you!