My World Wednesday: Tea Rooms

Victorian Homes is my favorite non-food magazine. I think I have every issue ever published. It focuses mostly on houses and decorating but each month, there are several pages about Victorian life and Victorian recipes. Afternoon tea parties feature heavily.

In this month's issue (August '08) Victorian Homes magazine picked the top 10 tea rooms around the US. I've never visited any of them but it was fun to visit their web pages to see their styles and the food they offer. I thought my readers might enjoy this too. Below are links to the sites covered plus a couple more local favorites.

Paris in a Cup - Visit Paris...In A Cup, a French themed tea salon featuring decadent pastries, signature sandwiches and salads, gourmet coffees, and of course tea. Located in Orange, CA.

Teaberry's Tea Room - Located in a restored Victorian House in Flemington, NJ. An example from their menu shows that the Queen's Royal Tea includes Soup du Jour (cup), Petite Garden Salad, Tea Sandwiches, Scone with Lemon Curd, Clotted Cream & Preserves, Bite Size Dessert Assortment, Sorbet, and a Pot of Tea for $32.95.

De'Tours in Elizabeth City, NC - This tea room offers a guided tour of Elizabeth City and lessons about tea as you walk. Upon returning, guests tour the 1853 restored Greek Revival home and are served tea.

High Societea House - located in Wayne, NJ. Their menu offers a Queen's Tea too which includes Choice of Tea, Quiche with Soup or Salad, Delicious Scones with Lemon Curd and Clotted Cream, Assorted Savories, Delectable Sweets and a Plated Dessert for $25.95 per person. This tea room was opened by three friends who shared a life-long love of tea.

Petticoats and Petit Fours Tea Room - located in Salem, VA. This tea room offers a "Victorian Full Afternoon Tea" which includes a bottomless pot of tea, savory of the day, tea sandwiches, two scones and assorted dainty sweets for $18.95.

AntiquiTea Tea Room - located in Pittsburgh, PA. This tea room is currently moving to larger quarters and will reopen in the Autumn.

Clipper Merchant Tea House - located in Limerick, ME, in a large Carpenter Style Gothic Colonial home built in 1830. Guests can order exactly what they want at this tea room; there is no set take-it-or-leave-it offering as so many tea rooms do.

The Talking Teacup - located in a 250-year old house in Calfont, PA. They offer "High Tea" for $18.95 that includes Scones with Preserves and Devonshire Cream, Cup of Soup, Assorted Tea Sandwiches, Variety of Sweets and an individual Pot of Tea.

And three from my area that should have made the list:

The Gilbertsville Tea Room - located in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. They have three themed rooms, The Garden Room features flowered wallpaper, twinkling white lights, and hanging ivy; The Burgundy Room is reminiscent of an old Victorian parlour in maroon with prints of ribbons, berries, and vines, and an antique clock. Olivia's Room, upstairs, for private parties for adults and children. They have a traditional tea room menu but with a choice of entree, quiche, tea sandwiches or their daily special.

Sweet Remembrances Tea Room - located in a beautifully restored post Civil War era red brick row home in historic downtown Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. One look at their menu page and you'll be swooning. Here are some items that sound wonderful: Aunt Hildegard’s Divine Dip, Triple Lemon Tea Bread, Strawberry Bread with Cream Cheese Rosebuds, Herb Biscuits with Garden Filling, Chicken Salad in Cheese Puffs, Caramel Pecan Bars, Shortbread Teapots. You can see the exquisite care that goes into the food here. Read much more in the blog Rosemary's Sampler.

The Red Brick Bakery - my hometown tea room. Their menu changes monthly. August's selections are: Almond White Chocolate Scone, Strawberry Jam & Clotted Cream, Broccoli Salad served over Mixed Greens, Toasted Roast Beef Diamonds, Honey Ham & Spinach Puff, Pesto & Mozzarella Melt, Fresh Berries & Cream, Mimosa Rosette Cookie, Chocolate Honey Bee Cake, and Amaretto Petite Cheesecake for $17.95. The food is always delicious.