It’s somewhat inconceivable to me that I’ve only been to one Samovar Tea Lounge (this one) and then only once though I live in the Bay Area. But such is life when you live and work down the peninsula and have young kids. We hardly ever get up to “the city” and when we do, we are usually on a mission and time is tight.
One weekend about a year ago, we had taken the kids to the SF zoo and were deciding whether to have dinner before heading back home. My BF knew I’d been wanting to pay a visit to one of the Samovar locations for a long time and kindly suggested we make that our dinner destination.
What a lovely place. The atmosphere is so calming despite being full of people having lively conversation. We sat in the back and had dinner and enjoyed our tea. I wish I could remember exactly what we ate as it’s been a while now, but I think the kids had rice bowls (I distinctly remember the one with poached eggs), I had the smoked salmon salad, and the BF had the duck sandwich. I definitely remember the tea: one son had tea lemonade, the other had Moorish mint, the BF had tart peach and I had velvet cacoa pu-erh and golden phoenix. I wrote notes about the teas I drank so I won’t describe them here, but suffice it to say I have been wanting to go back since the minute we left!
This place will always be inextricably linked to the birth of my number 2 son, as it was the venue for my baby shower for that (now four-year-old) bundle of joy. I knew nothing from tea at the time, and I remember being totally baffled when my shower hostess asked me what tea to order. I, of course, being eight months pregnant, opted for something without caffeine. Somewhere I have the emails that would reveal my ultimate choice, but I’m not up to digging through to find it. It was a pleasant berry flavor as I recall.
The event I’ve described is the type of thing this place excels at. A small, intimate gathering of friends to celebrate a life event. I think we had 8 or 10 people, and that was about the size the room we were in could comfortably accomodate. Though others were having events in adjoining rooms, we were sufficiently, and as I recall, comfortably secluded. Of course, this should be taken in the context of my having a 20 month old at the time, so my views on what constituted noise and interruptions were somewhat skewed.
This place is right across from the CalTrain tracks at the Menlo station, but I don’t recall it being noisy. It’s a nice place to sit.
And by the way, I meant to give this 4 stars, not 5, simply because I am a curmudgeon when it comes to standards of perfection and though I’m willing to be swayed up one star for emotional attachment reasons, I am not willing to be swayed up 2. And yet, try as I might, I can’t turn off that 4th star. INTERFACE FAIL!