Our 25th Spot:
Eddison & Melrose Tea Room
25 Soledad Drive Monterey, CA 93940
This Spot was supposed to be our 21st…but we missed it. I was happy to include it on our Summer Tea Tour, but after going and meeting the owner- I reeeeally don’t want to review this place!! (expressing my whineyest face right now) I don’t want to say ANYTHING remotely negative, because our time there was absolutely lovely. HOWEVER, I feel like I owe it to my readers and even to her, to share my honest opinion. From business owner to business owner, I’d like to think I’d appreciate any constructive criticism to better my craft. 🙂
When you call in to make reservations, you get a real English accent. I loved that! It really made you feel like you’d be having some authentic tea. I also appreciate that they communicate by text message as well. Hey- if I don’t have to talk on the phone, that’s the option I will always pick! 😛
I always anticipate driving up to new Spots, cuz I’m curious where in town it’s located. When I drive by different places on other days, I often picture perfect spaces for tea houses or tea rooms…so I’m fascinated as to why they picked this destination. Did not expect for this place to be located in a shopping center/strip mall. Driving up to it, I felt like that alone already diminished my expectations of this Spot. (Didn’t get a picture of it [nor did I want to really], cuz I had to rush in to toilet my daughter from our long drive up there.)
You walk in- and it’s- adorable. Lot’s of lacey detail, a soft painted mural on the wall, hanging paper poofs… The décor was minimal, but inviting. There were only 5 tables, which I loved. Tiny space, but you felt exclusive. Our table (not pictured) had wicker chairs that I felt were super uncomfortable, even with the cushions. And, the napkins looked a bit dingy…
We were greeted with huge smiles, and servers that look like they want to be there + your wish is their sole reason for living! Not in an annoying way, but a very sweet + kind way. There are 2 levels of tea service (not including the child one), but today I didn’t feel like getting the works so I chose the very basic one that at least included their scone. I’m glad my partner did tho, so at least we could see! 🙂 They didn’t have a plethora of tea choices, maybe 15. Two of their special blends, then the rest were regular stuff you’d see on most tea menus. Since I’m such a rooibos-lover, that’s what I looked for. Tho, the choices they offered did not sound appealing to me (only cuz I’m not a fruity tea kind of gal). There was one with strawberry and one with mandarin. I chose their Strawberry Rooibos. Sorry I did, cuz it tasted like Robitussin. I had my girl pour it back in the teapot (sorry!!), cuz none of us were gonna try that one again! My 2 other girls that I came with (my business partner The Earl Grey Gal and another darling dear friend) ordered one of their signature teas, Spencer George. It says “Blended in honor of Prince George. A smooth mix of Assam, Bergamot & Raspberry.” Nothing I would choose, but I am so glad they did. It was wonderful! I’m not even sure how to describe it…it was vanilla-y to me, and the fruity bergamot notes were apparent. And, I have to comment on how hot the teas came… Sometimes you go to a tea house, and they are verrry careful about the temperature of your water. So careful, I think, that sometimes they bring it out more ‘warm’ than ‘hot’. My preference is a degree hotter than “just right.” I like my tea hot. I don’t want to drink lukewarm tea. I think they did a good job with this. Even burned my tongue once! 😀
My partner who ordered the tea service with everything, got a non-alcoholic sparkling drink and a salad with hers. I didn’t think the salad dressing looked appealing (and I WON’T tell you what I thought it looked like), but my girl loved it. I think she said it was “the business!”
Mine came with 3 tea sandwiches (which are pre-selected for you), scone with fixings, and a pot of tea. Their Smoked Salmon was sooo simple, but very good. It was on a baguette, maybe some butter, and a tiny piece of curly parsley on top; the salmon tho was so delicate, it made this easy thing so luxurious. The Ritz Cucumber again was ultra simple. But, the crunchy-ness of those cucumbers made it spectacular! Their Curried Chicken Salad tea sandwich, I didn’t like. I couldn’t find anything wrong with the flavor really, I think I’ve just had better. The texture tho- it was like BLENDED meat. 😐 My partner didn’t like her Cranberry Chicken, but I did…so we switched, like we were in grade school or something!? Lol. That chicken had the same smushy texture, but either the smoky-ness of it or the fact that it tasted like mixed together Thanksgiving Dinner appealed to me. Earl Gal also got a savory and some sweets.
Okay, now for the reason why I didn’t want to honestly review this place… (insert monkey covering his eyes emoji here) The owner came out to visit with our table for a bit, which seemed like she did with all her guests. She showed us a magazine she had been published in, and let us know that they were selling copies. What I didn’t mention before was that not only were we interested in checking out this Spot, BUT our company parTEA with me was invited. She sought us out on facebook, and sent a message personally inviting us. Now the way I could tell that she didn’t do this with just ANY tea company- when my partner mentioned that we were actually invited, the owner says “Are you parTEA with me??!!” She said “You guys are famous!”, then she went on about specific social media posts that she loved…she knew about the Tour…and genuinely was a fan. That alone made MY YEAR!! Especially with all the changes going on with our business, her recognition of little ol’ us was validation enough for me that we have succeeded.
Though I don’t think I’ll be coming back to this tea house, I can wholeheartedly say that this was THEE best experience I’ve had so far in the 3-years-old-this-month Tea House Tour. It was that conversation that made it. 🙂