Monday, January 6, 2014

English Tea

On my very last trip to Barnes and Noble this summer before I went back to school, a wonderful tea room was having its grand opening across the street.

For those of you who were not aware, having an English tea room in our town* has been one of my heart's deepest wishes for years now. Pretty much since I visited England in high school and discovered that there were magical places where scones, cream, jam, finger sandwiches, and tea by the pot can be had all at the same time.

So, when my mother and I saw the tea house opening its door for the first time, we dropped our Barnes and Noble purchases to the ground, sort of knelt on the pavement, and said a little prayer that the wretched economy would be kind to the little tea house so that it would still be there when I came back at Christmastime.

Last week we ventured back, with fear in our hearts, to see if they had made it. And  . . .


My mother and I went in and sat in wing-back chairs by a fire and drank an entire pot of tea each** out of darling, dainty, mismatched cups. When we waddled out I think we both sloshed a little bit. It was probably the most fun I've had all month. 

Isn't it pretty? My heart sang.

What made the experience even better, was that I had just spent a Barnes and Noble gift card someone gave me for my birthday. So I was drinking fresh brewed tea out of real tea cups and there was a stack of brand new books*** under my seat.


*Actually, there has been a tea room--though not an English one--here for years, but until recently I thought it was probably a front for a pot shop and found the Tarot card reader who guards the door scary enough that I didn't want to investigate further. Thanks to my excellent Googling skills I've discovered that they do, in fact, actually sell tea^, but sadly they've gone all Oriental instead of blissfully English. Instead of lovely crust-less finger sandwiches and scones they sell things like Cayenne Quiche. The idea of Cayenne Quiche just doesn't float my goat^^ the same way the idea of an English cream tea does. 

^ and chocolate!

** Besides my entire pot of tea, I also ate two fresh-made triple berry scones with clotted cream and delicious raspberry jam and four amazing little sandwiches.

*** In case you're curious, I got The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley, Shadows by Robin McKinley, and a really lovely day planner for next semester. 


  1. How quaint! :) I'm sorry, but those little teacups just don't do it for me. My idea of a cup of tea is some PG Tips or Tetley's--or better yet, Assam blend (whatever the brand), in a nice big mug so it lasts a long time, with a teeny splash of milk. The best biscuit accompaniments to this are either Hobnobs or Snap Jacks (which I discovered recently when my Mum sent us some packets from the Mother Land). Scones and/or sandwiches will do fine, though. :)

    Saying that, the tea shop you describe sounds wonderfully atmospheric, and would probably stir this ex-pat Brit's heart.

  2. I would LOVE to have a tea room in my area, the best I can do is a mesh ball for tea leaves.