Our 29th Spot:
Tudor Rose English Tea Room
733 4th Street Santa Rosa, CA 95404
[Most photos taken on my old iPhone 6, a few from my friend’s iPhone X, and one from other gf’s Samsung. Not about that DSLR-Life at the moment.]
I don’t ever go to Santa Rosa, so we really didn’t know what was out that way. As a matter of fact, we live almost 2-hours away. I know this isn’t technically “Bay Area”, but it was within my 2-hour margin of travel- so we visited.
We kept passing by all these great architectural homes, and I was getting excited that the tea room would be in one of them! (For those curious- I don’t like to look up too much about the Spots we visit, cuz I don’t want to have an opinion before I even get there AND I enjoy the element of surprise.) Wheeen I saw us rolling into a busy part of town, I knew my dream wasn’t likely. THEN, when I saw the outside of it…I already felt like it was over. “It had a (air quotes) facility-type door?? Ew.” I didn’t give up just yet.
I was trying to get my outside shot, and my girlfriends already walked inside…so I didn’t get the initial greeting. But as we were seated, I already didn’t like the service. She just wasn’t that ‘warm tea party’ kind of warm, you know? Matter of fact, fake smile. (side eye) And by the way, IT WAS DARK. Like- I didn’t understand if I was at a night club or a tea party? Just wait, you’ll see in my darkest photos ever in life.
I guess all 4 of us were in a rooibos-state-of-mind (woo-hoo! my favorite!), cuz we all ordered red bush-based teas. Chocolate Orange, Mango, Coconut Cream Rooibos, and Pumpkin and Cream. I’m not even gonna give them the dignity of reviewing them individually, and just say they all lacked depth of flavor and were extremely artificially enhanced…according to my palate. [For our new visitors (and sure, for our loyal returning readers as well): keep in mind this is our 29th tea house visited AND I have owned a boutique tea company where I have created exclusive gourmet teas. So, my remarks come with experience…is all I’m trying to say. I know what I like, and mos def know what I don’t like. Mmkaay.] Oh yeah- and please NEVER rush to put tea pots on our table then tell us we need to wait for them to steep!!! (hot air blowing out of nose emoji here) Who does that?? They should have had them properly steeped, then brought them out. Minus 100-points for that, Steve.
They had E-LEV-EN levels of tea service. (rolling my eyes) Which are entirely too many, if you ask me. And they were all so different!? All of us wanted something from one level, but wanted to substitute another thing from another level. It was confusing and annoying.
[Okay, so…I triiiied to edit these ultra dark pictures that I took of each individual item served. But, it just didn’t work out. I’m telling you guys, it was soooo dark in there!!?!]
Since I couldn’t include the shots of the food, I’m just gonna put my notes here and call it a day. I am SO DONE with this place tho!!
Split Pea + Curry Soup – nobody told you to make that combo, 2 entirely separate things that should never be put together, bland, chunky, worst baby food ever, barely took half a spoon bite
Lemon Vanilla Scone – no it’s not, had NO kind of lemon OR vanilla flavor in there, very bready, fluffy insides, crunchy outsides; came with this RIDICULOUS trying-to-be-too-cute what she called “clotted cream” but I KNOW FO SHO wasn’t; and they don’t offer preserves; was later used as my palate cleanser
Cucumber Tea Sandwich – a lot of dry bread, a lot of thick cream
Egg Salad Tea Sandwich – dry, tastes like old egg, no salt, it was really gritty, worst egg salad I’ve had from any Tea Spot
Hummus + Green Onion Tea Sandwich – my SIL spit it out after the first bite!!; yall know I HATE green onions so I took a tiny bite, don’t even know how to explain that one, dry, again no salt
Chicken Salad + Cranberry Tea Sandwich – okay, chunky, the only thing that was decent enough to finish
Veggie Pastie – tastes like mushy frozen vegetables that were chewed and spat out, and NO SALT
Mushroom + Onion Tart – too chewy, took me forever to chew and swallow, blue cheese tasted like throw up
Sausage Roll – basic
It was only after I was almost done with the single bites from each item that I discovered- THEY USE FAKE FLOWERS ON THE TIER!!?!!!?!!!?! That is not hygienic at all guys!! Come on!! Really?? Do you WASH and SANITIZE every single flower you use on each tier??? I don’t even want to go there and think of what kind of OTHER HANDS and LICKED FINGERS were fiddling with the flower that was touching the food I put in my mouth. GROSS, TUDOR ROSE!!
FYI- of the 29 Spots we’ve been to, they are number 28!!! Yes, even after the dirty Chinese tea place.