I can’t believe I’ve lived in Geneva for a year and never gone to Dallywater’s.
The storefront is beautiful and inviting. A big English flag flies outside. The tables are white and covered in white linen.
Immediately upon entering, a friendly woman with an English accent comes in and seats us in a corner of the restaurant. She comes back with menus, a tier of desserts to look at, and a spinning carousel of teas to smell. There must have been twenty or so. All of them smell delicious.
My friend Ana smells the Vanilla Mystique and immediately decides; my friend Shannon has a bit more trouble deciding but in the end goes for the Ceylon Pomegranate. I can’t decide, and when our waitress comes over, I go with the tea that’s right in front of me: Night Blooming Jasmine.
Each of our teas arrives in an individual pot that pours about 2.5 large teacups of tea. Our waitress expertly puts a strainer in each cup in turn, swirls the teapot, and pours us each a cup. She leaves the pots on the table for us.
As it’s lunchtime, we’re all hungry, so instead of going for a tea service, we each order sandwiches. I went for an eggplant and mozzarella; Ana and Shannon both went for ham, tomato, mustard and cheese. Each panini is named after a different British locale. They were absolutely delicious.
I can’t believe I’ve never been to Dallywater’s before, but I KNOW I’ll be going again. A fantastic place. I managed to hold off this time, but they had a rack of 1oz samples of each of their teas, $3 each… I’ll be back. For sure.
There are two Teavanas within about 30 minutes of me – this one, and the one in Natick, MA. I’ve generally found the staff at this Burlington location to be pushier than the one at Natick.
I usually let the staff show me around and give me their pitches; I go in with an idea of what I want to purchase, but I’m open to suggestions. I was in there one time looking for a few teacups and a little bit of tea to send in care packages. There were three or four employees in the store – what looked like a manager behind the counter, training a new employee; an associate behind the bar showing teas to a customer; and another girl who was showing a couple some teapots. I was browsing.
When the girl finished showing the couple teapots (don’t remember if they bought or not) she came over to me, asked what I was looking for. I said teacups for a gift. I didn’t really need or want her help, but she was nice and we chatted a bit.
Another customer walked in, and she left me to browse. I selected a few cups at about the same time she finished with her customer. I walked up to the counter to pay, expecting the girl who helped me to give me a hand, as she was now free. However, as I got to the counter, the manager training the newbie says, rather harshly, “I’ve got this.”
I felt uncomfortable with this, but I didn’t say anything. When I requested teas, the manager tried to sell me more teas – nothing I was buying was for myself, so I had a very specific list. She tried to over-fill the bags and tried to tack extra teas on, saying that the ones I was buying were “really only good in blends.”
Because that’s really what how you want to be selling things – our blended teas aren’t good unless they’re blended with each others – what?! No.
I think I’ll stick with the Natick Teavana for now.
Brothers’ Brew opened a year or so ago in Rockport. My friend has a house there, and I go up a few weekends every summer. It’s a small place, with a long bar and several tables. The staff are young, friendly and fast (important, as it’s right next door to the new Shalin Liu Performing Arts Center, and gets flooded after midday concerts) and the offerings are all delicious.
They offer loose-leaf tea tied into little sachets, and a fairly wide variety at that. Particularly good are their China Green and Blue Flower Earl Greys. They also have some excellent coffee, in particular, their iced Dark Sin – iced coffee with mocha and cinnamon.
There’s also a good variety of actual food, both of the bagel, doughnut and pastry variety as well as sandwiches and wraps. All of their pastries are homemade fresh. If you’re in downtown Rockport, it’s a great place to stop in, have a bite to eat and a cup of tea. Prices are great as well – nothing is over $10.