I’m not very good at rating places. I think I’ll probably just end up giving them all the same rating, because I’ll be afraid Five Stars is “Too Perfect”, but that the place is still pretty awesome, and deserves a four at least. Edit: Bumped up to five after my second visit.
I went to Murchie’s today, and then made my way here—a little nervously, I might add. But I stepped inside and within no time was greeted by an impossibly friendly older woman who gave me a tour of the whole place (and poured me a sample black tea, which was quite nice). She wasn’t intimidating (surprisingly!), and left me alone to browse—she returned once to give her opinion on some teas, and showed me how to open sample tins to take a sniff.
The retail area is fairly small, but I have a thing for wandering in tight circles for hours on end when browsing (I’m very indecisive). Off to one side they have a setup where a tea representative reviews and answers questions about tea (apparently I’d missed him/her, because there was no one there). I ended up ordering Place Saint Marc to go, which was pleasant. I didn’t end up buying anything else (Jillian was right, stuff’s EXPENSIVE)—I think I’ll have to try a few teas and pick a favourite before I commit to a thirty dollar tin.
I actually came home and resteeped the teabag of Place Saint Marc. Mm.
Edit: I wish you could write more than one review, like with teas. Gah. Anyways, made my way here after hitting up Value Vintage and Chapters. I got Madame to go, a delicious smoky berry tea, and bonded with the employee who did the transaction, because he is apparently a fan of smoky teas as well. Awesome.
His shift finished soon after that, so I hung around the place, browsed, and spoke to the other employees. I was also the only direct witness when a scruffy man came in and very obviously shoplifted a fancy lighter. And then I did something stupid!
I confronted him and politely asked him to put the lighter back. He waved me off, so I asked him again, “what lighter?” “the blue one you took from that shelf”. It didn’t really work out very well, and I couldn’t understand what he was saying, really—he pulled out a different lighter at one point, silver, and said something like “my lighter is right here”. Waved it at me, but by now the employees were looking. He rushed out of the store after that, and I didn’t stop him. He was scruffy and thin, but still bigger than me (which isn’t hard, I am a small man). All I’ve got going for me is a sharp left hook, not a strong one.
The employees came over after that and I explained what had happened. The lady made a few calls, but we concluded there wasn’t much that could be done.
In retrospect, it was kind of a stupid split-second decision, especially since I think it was a combination lighter and wickcutter. And after I bought tea and left, I was fairly on-edge and paranoid until I got home.