Shoes: Old (Similar shoes on sale at ALDO)
I have a soft spot for small entrepreneurs, cute cafes, local boutiques, and, hole in the wall food meccas. I will now be extending my support by featuring them on my blog. The minute I heard about English Rose Tea Room from a boutique owner at a fashion event, I knew I HAD to go there. I came back home, looked it up online, and, made reservations even before I checked where it was located! However, the hour long drive was worth it.
We spotted the tea room thanks to the flowing curtains, hanging potted plants, the British flags and of course, the tea cup chandeliers! Soon I met with the owner, Jo Gemmill, a lovely Englishwoman, who not only runs the traditional English tea room but also, a store next door where she sells European antiques. Hailing from Hampshire in the South of England, Jo grew up amidst rolling hills, and, ancient castles. Picture perfect views were something she would wake up to every morning, and, a piece of that is what she has tried to create in this tranquil oasis.
The tea-pot chadelier
We were browsing the store filled with gorgeous pieces of jewelry, antique porcelain tableware, quirky signs, pretty chandeliers, and, had to be nudged more than once to take our seats for tea. Little did we know the tea room next door is merely an extension of the gift shop, quite literally.
The gift shop
Pretty table lamps
Tea pot to go with your dress, anyone?
The necklace I fell for!
The display of unique collectables continued into the tea room where I could wait for hours for a table (which you may have to, unless you make a reservation), and, not get bored. How can one get bored with so much to take in?
The entrace to the tea room
Soon, we were seated in the cozy tea room where it took us five whole minutes to look into the menu. We were lost admiring the corset backed chair covers, glass chandeliers, the exquisite tea cups on our table, the beaded table lamp on every table, and, the adorable paintings of dogs, by a local artist, adorning the walls.
More cozy corners
The formal afternoon tea is served alongside a three tiered cake stand filled with tea sandwiches, scones, and, Petit Fours. We saved this for another day, but, caught the lovely waitress on her way to another table for a picture.
The three tiered cake stand
A quick debate in my head between the English pie, and, soup with assorted tea sandwiches ended in favor of the soup and sandwiches. The cold cucumber soup didn’t have to try hard to please me in the 100 degree afternoon, and, the tea sandwiches filled with smoked salmon, chicken and cucumber make me want to go back.
Effort was put into every detail on the table
Soup and tea sandwiches
We had the Paris tea, whose mild fruity notes were an absolute delight. Jo even has a trunk full of hats that you could wear while you are sipping your tea. I chose this pretty straw hat with pastel roses.
The hat with pastel roses
On our way out, we bought some loose tea, tea time accessories, and, some postcards, and we promised to return. Why wouldn’t we? This time on a Monday, or a Thursday afternoon when the Tea Reader visits. What better than listening to what the future holds for you, while sipping on a wonderful cup of tea?
Go for the tranquility, go for the great food, go for the wonderful teas, but most of all go to feel like a Queen!