Stopped in here very close to closing and they still let us do a tasting flight. Great looking little place in an old blacksmith shop. Very nice staff. The flights are 4 full size cups, so go thirsty or go with a lot of time. I ended up having him pour what was left in my black tea flight into the same to go cup when we left and it was a pretty tasty Frankentea. :) A worthwhile stop to be sure.
Cute store packed with teas and teaware. Several puerh cakes on display and for sale, which is not something I often see. None of their teas are proprietary – they resell for lots of other companies including Silk Road & Harney. A nice staff and their cups of tea are large!
Very friendly staff. Knowledgeable about the teas. Extremely generous tastings. I got the feeling that if we’d been willing to stay another hour he’d have let us try almost everything in the shop. :) He even packaged up a lesser amount than the canisters said was the minimum for us of a couple of teas. Will definitely be ordering from them and if I am ever in their area again I’d go out of my way to visit the shop.
This is a smallish-medium sized tea room that is done up in the Victorian style, though not as over the top as some I’ve been to. The ladies working there and the owner are just super nice folks. The tea I had was their house blend, Duo Sorelle. It is a green-black blend with at least strawberry but I couldn’t pick out other flavors. Fruity green-black and very fine leaves on the whole. They do leave their tea in the pot when they bring it out – no infuser basket. Although the first steep was strong it didn’t get bitter but the second steep might have been more flavorful if the tea hadn’t sat in the pot all that time.
The sandwiches were good but the chicken pecan was the best. I could probably go there and have just that sandwich with a pot of tea! They do offer a unique take on tea service and you can purchase your tea treats a la carte if you wish. You can choose 2 of the same tea sized sandwich or 1 of egg salad and 3 of chicken if you wanted. The brownie was excellent. The scone was, I am sad to say, just not good at all. It was tough, like the dough had been overworked. The lemon curd was great, though.
For the price, this is a great tea room. Exceptionally reasonable pricing and I like the customization available with the menu. And that we didn’t have to call ahead and specifically say which tea service we wanted. We called for reservations the same day we visited, which was a Monday. They do recommend reservations at all times, especially on weekends, so if visiting then, one might be better off with a bit more advance time on the reservation.
I would recommend you go for the flavored tea (they really don’t have but about 2 unflavored options), the reasonable pricing, the friendly and peaceful atmosphere and the chicken salad sandwich. Don’t go for the scones. :)
Picture of the tea service: http://tinyurl.com/nmhjyw8
We went to Miss Spenser’s last weekend for the Black Beauty tea. It is a destination tea room. I say that because there really isn’t anything else to do around the place – just the tea room – though they do have a B&B attached to it. That said, the tea room decor was very shabby chic and very much what most people think of when you say “tea room.” Lots of flowers, lace and somewhat Victorian decor. It is attached to the hostess’ house in a very nicely converted garage. The family who runs the place seems super nice. When the hostess found out that one of our group was unable to attend, she gave us a package of the tea they were serving to take to her. And since she doesn’t give any refunds for cancellations, although we would have asked for take home boxes eventually, she immediately offered them so that we could take our absent friend’s portion to her.
The tea that was served was a spice and fruit black tea blend. Normally I only taste spice in those things but in this one I had no trouble picking out the peach as well. It was really very pleasant. However, my mother is allergic to ginger and that featured prominently in the blend. When Mom asked, the hostess very graciously brought out a pot of plain black tea just for Mom and told her to just let her know if it got about half empty so she could brew more.
The food was excellent. One of the best high tea type offerings I’ve had. The sandwiches were all very tasty and terribly cute. The desserts were all good, though perhaps a bit on the sweet-but-not-really-tasty side of the spectrum. The scones were plain but an excellent vehicle for their fresh cream mixed with jam.
In short, the service, the atmosphere and the food all combined to make this a trip that is well worth the time if you are within a few hours’ drive. You do have to watch the website for tea dates, though, as it is appointment only not a drop in and have tea type of place.
This is a cute little (and by little I mean tiny. They probably can’t seat more than 20 people) cafe. The tea is a little expensive per pot but it was good. I got the Assam and it came in probably a 24-32 ounce pot. They brought milk to the table with it. I figured I might need it by the end of the pot since the leaves were left in, but even after 30 minutes, it was only just getting to be bitter. Far from undrinkable and I didn’t need to use the milk. :) The food was… well… British. If you like British food, you’ll love this place. If not, you’ll likely find it bland and expensive. They do have a $12.50 minimum purchase though the cream tea costs $12.50 so you could go get tea and scone (don’t remember what else was with it) and not have to get anything else. I did not have a scone. I was pushing it already to make my husband eat at yet another tea place on this trip! :) I will be back someday with another foodie/tea person and we’ll do it up right. For now, it was enough to have tried this place out, know where it is and how things work. The shop next door does sell Brit products. I remember seeing PG Tips and maybe Typhoo, but not sure I saw any loose tea. They have adorable teapots but very expensive.
I should preface by saying that since I have about 5 years experience doing English style teas for groups of 2-20 I have become very picky about my high/cream/English teas. So know that my review may be much more judgmental than others. :)
Overall, this place was okay. The tea I had was very good, well steeped and the leaves were not left in the pot (yay!). And they do have an extensive tea menu. The teas they sell loose (quite a lot of them) are reasonably priced, though the menus are outdated – they do not offer 1 ounce sizes, only 2.
The room itself (the downstairs room) was sticky and close. It was a very humid day, raining off and on. It was a moist lunch.
The meal (Mad Hatter) was okay. The sandwiches I chose were egg salad (very, very bland) and lapsang chicken (pretty good). There were 3 fingers of each which was a whole lot of food for just me, but I wanted to try more than one sandwich and more than one dessert. :) The lemon tart I chose for dessert in addition to cookies (guessing store bought cookies) was really, really tasty with a great crust. The scones were just okay. The blackberry lemon sounded like it would be great but it was actually fairly tasteless. The cream is not clotted or devonshire but the sweetened whipped cream served on top of the jam. An interesting way to serve both and only use one dish. :) The service was passable until the end where we had to eventually ask for our check as our waiter had not checked in with our table for about 20 minutes. They missed sending my husband’s order to the kitchen and as a result of the delay they did give us 10% off, which was very nice of them.
Apologies here to those who are fans, but I’m going to be a picky Wonderland fan about the decor. It seems like they went halfway to Alice and then quit. The mismatched cups, saucers and pots with chips (some very substantial chips) were mostly a good choice. Carrying it further to included the plates for the tiers would be better. The tables need cloths that don’t match or something else to make them jumbled. Different styles of chairs would be a cute addition. There were little girls waiting for a tea when we left and they sprinkled fairy dust on them, much to their delight. It was a cute thing to do for kids.
When I left I waited for probably 5-7 minutes for the front of house staff to even notice I was there so I could buy tea. They were just chatting amongst themselves and one of them looked directly at me a few times but didn’t bother to tell the girl he was chatting with that I was waiting. It was a little frustrating but it may just be part of that New York thing that I don’t get since I don’t live here and this is my first ever visit.
It’s worth going, but get the small tier Nibble service and just add a dessert other than the cookies, especially if you are on your own. They aren’t kidding when they say “if you are hungry!” And do make reservations. If we hadn’t had them, we would not have waited the 45 minutes it was taking for others to get in.
And you are right around the corner from Kusmi and I understand there is a David’s close by as well. :)
Prices for afternoon tea is on the high side but they bring a LOT of food and all of it pretty good. The tea is good as well. If you are traveling with a man (or are one yourself) and can stand the very flouffy decor, they do offer a regular menu. We went for breakfast. I had the full tea and he had bangers & mash with bacon on the side. The staff is very nice. Our waitress told me that they blend some of their teas and sone they buy blended. They do bring a large teapot with a large infuser basket full of loose tea. There is a timer on the table and while she made a suggestion for time on my choice of Nilgiri, the steep time is ultimately up to you. Which can help prevent bitter tea or give you no one to blame but yourself if you get it bitter. :)
I got some Ambootia Darjeeling here. It was served in a glass mug with an in cup strainer packed with probably a tablespoon of tea. A lot for an 8-10 ounce cup. The water was about boiling at least and I think I let it steep a bit long looking for some more color in my cup. It was a bit bitter.
But that I chalk up to my error as they give you the cup with water and the infuser with tea and control over steeping time is up to you! The tea was good quality I believe, despite the bitterness. I wish I had had time to stay longer. I’m sure this would have been more than up to a second steeping.
Would love to come back and try a crumpet as well. They make them fresh there in the store.
The food was very good. If you are accustomed to actual Thai heat, you need to go on the high side to get heat here. This is a very Americanized heat level. The service was slow but courteous.
The jasmine tea was excellent! It was a bagged tea, and I have no idea what brand it was. It had Chinese characters on it and it said TEA across the top of the tag in orange letters. The flavor was full and well rounded. Not bitter and not overpoweringly floral. Almost a buttery character. I would happily have had another pot of it had we not been so tired and ready for bed.