I have always had an authentic English style tea experience at this place. The feel is very general-store-combined-with-restaurant, which lends to the very homey atmosphere. The building follows the aesthetic of most businesses in this area of Covington, which tend to look like Victorian-style houses—perfect, in my opinion, for a British teahouse.
The decor is quaint—knickknacks everywhere, spindly tables and chairs, pressed white lace tablecloths, hardwood floors, a fireplace, and even a cardboard cutout of the Queen. The tables are set with china and silver, and no two sets of china are the same. You can sit in the main room or one of four smaller side rooms, including a tiny sunny alcove called the Sanctuary, if you desire a more private dining experience (it comfortably sits up to four people), and a room called the Churchill room, which is a little comfier, with several armchairs and a sofa instead of wooden chairs and a coffee table instead of a traditional dining table.
All the food is made from scratch, from the crumpets to the shepherd’s pie to the cake balls. You can have as little or as much food as you like, from their “English Cream Tea” (just tea and scones) to their “High Windsor” (tea, two types of scones, two types of mini quiches, finger sandwiches, cake balls, and chocolate covered strawberries) to their lunch items like full-size quiches, salads, and sandwiches.
But enough about the food. They’ve finally uploaded their full tea menu onto their website. It is extensive, for a restaurant—I count 116 teas, including blacks, greens, herbals, oolongs, pu-erhs, whites, rooiboses, and fruit teas. They have a very wide variety, from straight teas to flavored teas to organics. And of course, you can order any mix of teas you desire. Their menu briefly describes the flavor of each tea, and though it does not tell you what all is in each blend, the manager and the owner certainly can. That brings me to another thing I love about The English Tea Room—the passion of the people who run it. Not only are they avid tea drinkers themselves, they really talk to their customers to find out what people love about their business, and they make sure that those things stay the same, no matter what other changes are made. They appreciate that the tea business is not “just business”, and I have not yet been there when the manager or the owner (or both) did not stop by and talk to us, even just to ask how we were doing. If I have one complaint about this place, it would be that it is too far from my house!