Spot 19 :: The White Hart Tea Room

Our 19th Spot:

The White Hart Tea Room

649 Lighthouse Avenue  Pacific Grove, CA 93950




I was toooootally looking forward to this Spot!!  Who wouldn’t wanna come here!?  It’s a gorgeous home AND you get to have tea inside it!  (clapping hands)  It IS almost 2-hours away from my home…but look it!!



We got to try 5 of the fifteen teas they offer.  And, can you see how cute!?  Tall, white teapots, tied with dainty ribbon to tell which is which!  Our table choices were: Earl Grey, Apple Cinnamon Tisane, Ann’s Favorite Blend, Ginger Orange Peach, and #1 Ladies’ Red Bush Tea.

Earl Grey – Surprise surprise, this was ordered!  Hehe.  Actually, it took some time for my Earl Grey Gal to order this one because it had cornflower in it, which isn’t usual.  She says it was “shockingly good” however!

Apple Cinnamon Tisane – I thought this one smelled a lot like body butter!  SIL says it reminded her of apple cinnamon oatmeal.

Ginger Orange Peach – Ugh, this one wreaked (in a good way!) of Burke Williams!  A very light tea that resembled the spa!

#1 Ladies’ Red Bush Tea – Since I’ve been addicted to my red tea at home, this one was my first choice.  I’m happy my girlfriend ordered it!  Even though it smelled cough syrupy, it was still a good choice!  It was caramelly + creamy, and the gf says vanilla-esque.

Ann’s Favorite Blend – If I remember correctly, Ann is the homeowner’s mother-in-law.  Her favorite color was gold, which is why that was the ribbon choice for my teapot marker.  (Tear, I know!)  This one was sooo Michaels Craft Store at Christmastime!  It’s a black tea with orange rind + spices.  It smelled and tasted like cinnamon, and was just such a cozy tea!  It was my second choice to order, but ended up being my favorite at the table!  Yay!



The gorgeous tier of goodies came in no time!  The husband of the homeowner duo is their executive chef!!  You can tell each piece that was served was made with attention to detail and-  LOVE!  There is only 1 tea service offered, and it came with everything!  And, for a good price too.


What a great idea creating their English Cucumber Tea Sandwich around the shape of a cucumber slice!?  It was the cutest little thing, even the tiny chive knot on top.  Only the CRUNCHIEST cucumbers were chosen for these!  There was only slice of radish thrown in the mix, which made for a nice pop of color.  It had a shallot + chive spread, which I usually love both but somehow tasted like green onion (which I loathe).  Brilliant sandwich, though.


I grabbed the White Cheddar with Roasted Pepper & Jalapeno Crostini next.  Since I’m lactose intolerant, I could only have 1 bite.  But, the bite I had was magnificent!  Very crispy crostini (not soggy at all), and the flavors were on point.  Nice sharp taste!


Their Smoked Wild Salmon with Pickled Ginger & Wasabi Aioli was just WONDERFUL!!  Isn’t it pretty??  (Photographed my gf’s next to me, ’cause hers was darling!)  There was a nice amount of salmon in there.  And, the flavors just meshed so well together.  The ginger reminded us of sushi, and I just love wasabi on everything.  You couldn’t eat this one cutily though…messy.  😉


Oh that curry!  They had a Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwich with Mango Chutney, Curry & Almond.  A really good combination of flavors, but that bread-  oh that bread!!  And, the parsley created this nice texture + crunch!  (I had 2 of those!)


Nice Scone.  They had blueberry and currant today.  It was very doughy.  I would have liked mine to stay in the oven a bit longer, but that’s just MY preference.  It was good enough that I had more than one!  (big cheesy face emoji here)  What MADE these scones were their signature fixings.  They make their own Clotted Cream!!?!  Their Lemon Curd and Strawberry Preserves are also made in house!  This is the ONLY tea house from the Tour that has served real clotted cream, and it was D-I-V-I-N-E.


Each of the Sweets were heavenly.  The Hand-Dipped Chocolate Strawberry (that adorably looked like it was wearing a corset!!) was perfect.  As simple as that thing was, it was done RIGHT.  The Lemon Tart with Meringue just melted in your mouth!  The Apple & Spice Miniature Bundt Cake was the CUTEST everrr!!  And, it tasted lovely.  A nice light cake, a bit chewy too.  But, that Coffee Opera Petit Fours.  Every layer was more exquisite than the next!  It’s rare that I make it with enough room to eat my sweets during tea, but theirs were just so amazing I couldn’t stop stuffing my mouth!!


I didn’t take too many photos of this Spot.  I was just enjoying myself and my girls too much!  (I had one doll drive 2-and-a-half hours to be with us!!)  I did take a few shots of the inside, but my photos just don’t do the place justice.  You’d definitely have to come see for yourself.  The staff…oh the staff.  They were just darling + lovely.  They really made you feel welcome, and were so attentive + warm.  They don’t just do this to do it, but really go out of their way to make you at home-  in THEIR home!  I can’t wait to go back.


Spot #18 :: Lovey’s Tea Shoppe

Our 18th Spot:

Lovey’s Tea Shoppe

4430 Coast Highway  Pacifica, CA 94044



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!



***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…



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!


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.


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!


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


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.


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!


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??)


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.


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.



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!

Spot #17 :: Tea Time

Our 17th Spot:

Tea Time

542 Ramona Street  Palo Alto, CA 94301



I was already kind of in an attitude before I walked in.  I had phone calls between the staff from this spot, back + forth, over a month prior.  First off, they originally booked my party on the month before when I requested.  Then called me frantically, looking for us on that day.  I called back, notifying them it was THIS month we reserved.  After that confusion, I had calls + emails from the Manager there, that I felt were excessive.  Confirming the number of our party…having to preorder…  It was just a lot of communication that I think was unnecessary.  Get what you need from me, and MOVE.  ON.

When we walked in on time, our table wasn’t even ready.  We had to awkwardly stand around for at least 5-minutes while they hurriedly prepared for our meal.  NOT something someone with OCD wants to see.  ‘Uh, did you even wipe our table down good?’

It’s a small place.  More of a café, than a Tea House.  This spot was recommended to me, which is how it ended up on our Tour.  25 people tops, would fit in there.  And, that would be quite a squeeze.  It had a few tea cups + saucers in curios and along the walls, some for sale.  But, don’t expect ANY type of shabby chic or antique feel in this place.  A fireplace + a few books…some art on the wall, and that’s about all the décor they had.  My girls were pretty disappointed that our cups were all blue…  No mismatched cutesy vintage floral.


place 2

place 3

place 4

place 5

place 6


After we were seated, it took them FIFTEEN MINUTES before anyone paid attention to us.  Yes, I was counting.  Our server finally brought out some little plates of loose leaf tea, to tell us about the ONLY 3 types of tea our party of 6 was allowed to order.  That was nice.

loose leaf


Of the “130+ fine teas” their website says they have, we were only allowed to try 3.  Three.  If we wanted to try more, we were charged.  CHARGED!!?!  We chose their Wild Berry Tisane, Earl Grey Finest, and Vanilla Black Tea.  All smelled amazing!  Taste, different story…  The Vanilla Black was wonderfully fragrant; but when you drank it, was sooo blaaaand!!  We thought maybe it wasn’t steeped long enough, but no.  My Mom called that one “Lipton.”  Earl Grey smelled like a spa and tasted like a spa!  That one was my favorite.  And I had to confess to my Earl Grey GF, that of all the Spots we’ve been to, this was the first that I tried the earl grey.  (Well!  There were only 3 to try from!?  And mine blew!)  Again, since there weren’t many tea flavors to try, I did make an effort to try em all.  I had the Berry one last.  I’m not a fruity tea drinker, but this one wasn’t half bad.


(Notice the giant hole in the doily they used on our table?  Smh.)



On their menu, they call this their Garden Salad.  You pay an extra 3 dollars for this.  What it really is, is a box of spring mix with a few slices of apple on top and what they think is salad dressing but what I’m calling is: snot.  This was horrible.  My 8yo son could’ve made a better “salad” (sure) than this.  My SIL told one of our other girlfriends, “The trick is to see if you can keep all your lettuce on the plate.”  Omg, who does this??

After they set the 3-Tier down, they walked away.  No plates or anything.  I had to get up + ask for them!?  Like we could fit anything on these rinky-dink salad plates anyway.  I didn’t get a good shot of the tier…not that I necessarily wanted to.  (See, I told you.  Bad attitude.)  I just think after going through all those phone calls + questions, and for having to pay as much as we did-  that we would have better than we did.  That’s where the ugly attitude is coming from.  So, I’m sorry to my readers for this lousy blog post.  I just felt bad taking my girls to this place.  Especially for having my Mom join us, and she’s here from out of town.

Between the 6 of us, we were given only 3 each of 2 different Savories.  That means = if you want to try them both, you have to cut them in half.  WHICH they are already small to begin with.  And don’t get me started on WHY they served a stinkin EGGROLL with high tea.  So, here are the 2 Savories: a Mushroom Tart and (yes) an Eggroll.  And these are the portions I was able to consume.



From the BITES I was able to have…  The Mushroom was rather mushy, and the Eggroll was good.  (Only because I’m strange in the way that I actually like your typical generic Chinese buffet eggroll.  Which is what this was.)

Again, because we were asked to preorder our meal weeks before we were going to have it and had to settle on the same of 3 sandwiches to share between 6 different people with different taste buds and different food limitations (really rolling my eyes here now)…  We were stuck with Turkey Cranberry, Chicken Apple Pecan, and Shrimp with Dill and Avocado tea sandwiches.  They were open face, small, and not worth the money you’re paying for them.


Turkey = bland.


Chicken = mayonnaise-y, and smothered with chunks of stuff; very little chicken.  My girls liked this one tho.


Shrimp = this one was yummy.  Still coulda used some salt.  And, it wasn’t 2 bite-friendly.  You had to stick the whole thing in your mouth, or it would fall all over the place.  Not cute for high tea.  The shrimp was cooked perfectly tho.  Okay, I’ll give them that.



Their scone fixings made me MAD.  We’ve had some pretty messed up situations with the scone fixings from previous Spots, but NOTHING like this.  Put them in tiny containers…don’t give them to us…give us bad tasting ones…OKAY.  But this poor excuse of a (I can’t even think of a word) is disrespectful, if I may say so myself.  My Earl Grey GF was just so disgusted, as she’s of the kind that doesn’t like food that touch (Yes, there are ones out there like that and they deserve to be respected for their preference.).  Granted, it tasted good together.  However, I would have liked the opportunity to taste them individually.  And, AND-  we had to share just 2 of these between siiiiiiiiiix people!!  Come on!


Scones were really good.  Pecan, we think.  The server didn’t even know what they were!?  I asked what kind, and she looked at them for a good 45-seconds before uncertainly blurting out “Pecan…?”  But, they were nice + crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.  P.S. I would’ve loved to try their crumpets…if I was allowed to.  #FixedPreorderedMenu


Their Desserts were nothing to rave about.  Standard Petit Fours and Mini Eclairs (most likely from Costco).


To be fair, this place wasn’t quite a Tea House.  But, they did serve high tea and offered many teas so it fit in the criteria of our Tea Tour.  It was just way too expensive for what they serve you.  I’m down to pay for high tea, always.  But at least let us try more of your teas; Add salt to your tea sandwiches; Give us more savories; and please oh PLEASE different containers for your scone fixings!!  They didn’t offer us water, and they didn’t come around + ask if we needed our teapots refilled.  First time ever–  I was super thirsty at a tea party.


Off-Tour Tea

I just couldn’t keep away!

In September, I announced that our Tea House Tour would have to take place every other month as opposed to every.  With our busy family of 4, our Saturdays were slowly becoming a commodity around here!  It was only appropriate that we spread out our Tour Dates…

Meanwhile, I’ve still been living up the Tea Life!!  Hehe.  In early October, I introduced my girl cousins to the tea party experience at my alma mater of tea houses.  It was so cute to see their first experiences!  We chat about etiquette and as usual, had LOTS of laughter!  Late October, for Sunday brunch, we decided to have our first family tea party!  I steeped a pot of loose leaf tea for us, and baked fresh scones!  I even found the fixings at our local grocery store!  Then just last week, for our regular sister-date, my SIL + I thought it was long overdue to visit our favorite tea spot.  We shared stories of our day-to-day, had a really good vent sesh, and moaned over how great our teas tasted there!!  Ughhh, I love tea.

Enjoy the few shots that were taken (the first one was borrowed from my cousin)…I was having too good a time to take pictures!





Spot #16 :: Pardee Home

Our 16th Spot:

Pardee Home

672 Eleventh Street  Oakland, CA 94607



outside 2

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!



table 2

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.).



food 2

food 3

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.




teacup 2

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!

chicken salad

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.


chocolate chip

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!!  😉

Spot #15 :: The Golden Tea Garden

Our 15th Spot:

The Golden Tea Garden

22630 Main Street  Hayward, CA 94541



Located in historical Downtown Hayward, this spot came recommended from one of my dear friends who frequents here with her mom.  Although I have to say, when I heard the word “garden” I thought more Chinese tea than Victorian tea (and let’s not reminisce about that bad experience from Spot #6).  As I had my husband drop me across the street so I could get my infamous outside shot, I can hear loud conversation.  Crossing the street to the tea house, I prayed + prayed it wasn’t coming from there.  Who wants to enjoy tea around a yelling match!?  It was coming from there.  Even worse, I stood at the front doors of the tea house and no hostess welcomed me for FIVE MINUTES!!?!  Verrry baaaad first impression.  I was so turned off!  I was in a texting convo with my gf, and told her I didn’t wanna go in!!  At first, she told me to leave.  Then, she encouraged that maybe they would make it up to us…

As my party showed up + we walked in, we were fiiiiinally greeted.  It was such a hot day, they had fan towers going.  The table we were sat at, had one right behind my chair.  I felt greedy having it all to myself + blowing just on MY back, so I graciously moved it to share with the other patrons.  When the hostess came around, I mentioned I had moved it and she replied with a snippy “whatever works.”  I was suddenly reminded of the person I made reservations with who happened to also be the owner.  She was not warm + very matter-of-fact about my call, which is maybe why I wanted to walk out when I first got there.  That was her!  She adjusted the fan to her liking and moved on.  O…kay…

The place isn’t bad looking.  Some really cute elements, and some rather tacky ones (I thought).  Definitely a garden scene.  I did like all the white rod iron furniture + chandeliers, even the green ‘grass’ carpet.  But, I could have done without the half pots on the wall and surrounding fake greenery.  Take a look for yourselves…

chandelier          chandelier 2

left          right          balcony



tea sets


The Tea was okay.  LOTS to choose from, with fun + different flavors (and they have small descriptions next to them yay!).  At our table of 4, we chose: Tahitian Vanilla Rose (oolong tea with vanilla & rose petals), Buttered Rum (black tea), Chocolate Strawberry (black tea), and Brandy (oolong tea).  Here are my thoughts:

Tahitian Vanilla Rose – smelled great, in my words tasted like “Dollar Store,” had to have more of it before I really understood the lightness of the tea, it was okay

Buttered Rum – when I finally had some it got strong, in my words tasted like “Chinese restaurant tea”

Chocolate Strawberry – very true to flavor!

Brandy – in my words tasted like “Old School House”, interesting but unexplainable flavor



Here’s where it got better for me-  the food.  I ordered the High Tea Service.  I liked that all the orders came on their own tier.  There is no confusion as to what’s what or who’s who.  And, when I’m taking photos of each piece, sometimes I have to find spots for the food items I’m not that fond of so I can move on to the photo shoot of the next.  That was really convenient for me!



Here’s the tiny bite of English Cucumber tea sandwich I got.  It’s cute + small, but I’m paying 30 bucks for this meal.  I’d rather have substance, than ‘cute + small.’  It’s was fine.


This is their Egg Salad tea sandwich.  In an oval shape.  Okay.  I didn’t really have much to go off of, so…


This Chicken Salad tea sandwich was surprising!?  Lots of flavor packed into this little heart.  Full of rosemary, and I don’t even like rosemary!?  I could have eaten these things all day.


Here is their Shrimp & Crab tart.  Tasted very fishy + artificial, but I liked the texture of the filo.  This wasn’t on my menu, so it was thrown in.


This was their Turkey tea sandwich.  There was avocado in there, which I like.  But, this was below average for me.  It gave me a really nasty aftertaste, so I only tolerated a few bites.  (I bring home my leftovers to my husband + kids…even they didn’t eat this one.)


Pineapple & Cream Cheese tea sandwich.  This was fun to see on the menu.  Nothing spectacular, but a nice sandwich to have.


Blueberry Scone with Devon Cream, Lemon Curd + Preserves.  I liked my scone a lot!  It was thin, so that was neat to see.  Very chewy and good flavor.  I think if I had those chicken salad sandwiches + some scones only, I would’ve been happy.  The fixings were pretty sweet though.

Overall, I thought the food was very good.  Lot’s of intricate detail.  My friend’s fruit salad (which she loved) had tiny tiny bits of strawberry cut up in it!  Although pleasing to the eye, I can’t help but think of how much food they waste!!??  Even if I wanted to come back, thinking about that makes me want to skip this place next time.  For every person that doesn’t eat there, is extra tea sandwich from all the leaf + heart shapes SAVED!!


Would I come back?  Hmm.  I’ll leave it at a: maybe.  After we paid our bill and the owner saw our business card for the Tour, she got really nice + conversational.  I felt like she won me over.  However, when I really think it through…  She could have been nice from the get.  And, I really could have done without the table of 8 that was there that decided to have a full on CONFERENCE + Team Meeting at a tea house!!?!  I think they ruined my experience from the beginning.  There’s such a thing as using your inside voice and being CONSIDERATE of other guests at a restaurant.  If I come back, it will have to be a long loooong time from now and I will have to be invited.  I don’t see myself hosting anything there.


Effective October 2015, due to schedule congestion, parTEA with me’s California Tea House Tour will be held bimonthly.

After October’s Tea Party, the next scheduled Tour Spot will be in December, continuing this pattern until our remaining spots have been visited. Thank you for continuing to follow our Tour!