Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Welcome to The English Tea Room!
After great anticipation, The English Tea Room at Vintage Square officially opened its doors today. The owners, Rob and Dawn Cork, have been working diligently to restore the lovely turn-of-the-century building. According to the menu, The English Tea Room is " a happy place, specializing in healthy lunches, afternoon teas and devilish desserts." I certainly agree.
My sister and I spent a delightful afternoon sampling some of the authentic English fare. We tried the "egg and mayonnaise" sandwich (a delicious, classic egg salad) on whole grain bread, and thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate cake for dessert. We also really loved the Lady Grey tea with cream and sugar.
There are two menus- one with soup, sandwiches, salads and quiche, and a "special menu" with more traditional tea options, including scones and crumpets. There is even an exclusive room designed especially for guests who partake of the "proper" English tea.
I'm greatly intrigued by the special menu options, which include "Simply Tea" ($3.50 for a pot) and "Buckingham Tea" ($12.95): "A proper pot of tea of your choice served with a slice of one of our homemade quiches, along with two fresh baked English scones served with cream, and your choice of preserves." There is also an amazingly fabulous-sounding option, "The Windsor Tea" ($19.95) which requires a 24 hour advanced reservation. It includes "a proper pot of tea of your choice served with a delicious selection of finger sandwiches, quiche lorraine, four assorted mini pastries and two fresh baked English scones served with a choice of preserves." Wow!
The atmosphere was quite charming and relaxing, and the staff was very helpful and courteous. While they are currently in the midst of a soft opening, there are plans for a more official grand opening in a few weeks.
Because Rob and Dawn are actually from England, there is a sense of authenticity about the place. From Queen Elizabeth's smiling portrait in the lobby, to the use of the word "prawn" in the menu (as opposed to "shrimp"), guests get the impression that they are experiencing tea as it should be. Tea room hours are Monday-Saturday 10-10, and Sunday 12-8. Credit cards are accepted.