Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Imaginary Tea Room

Following up on yesterday's post, I decided to open an imaginary tea room, where I could do things my way.

We'll make a couple of assumptions:

 1) money is not a consideration in the set up or operation. 

2) I won't have to work in it.

 I'll only do the fun stuff -- choosing and designing the space, buying the appointments, choosing the menu. I'll only be there to greet the customers, go around to their tables to ask if everything is to their liking.

I'll be making sure the staff is doing everything correctly and I may occasionally find a little table in the corner to relax, bask in the ambiance, read a book, sample the sumptuous fare I have myself chosen and had someone else lovingly prepare.

Are you with me? Ready for a journey into the perfect tea room?


I'll find an ancient stone structure seeping with the patina of age. 
I'll live upstairs so I'm never very far away from my pride and joy tea room.

(Pinterest images unless otherwise noted.)

Flowers spill from boxes outside each window.

Old wrought iron chairs at the front entryway bid visitors to sit and relax in the sunshine while they wait their turn at the table. The tea room is so popular that there's always a long wait, but diners aren't bothered by that. The food and the dining experience is well worth the wait.

Upon entering, diners are met by the strings of Vivaldi. So soothing and relaxing. The music puts everyone in such a fine mood, to the point there are never unhappy customers and a dish has never been returned to the kitchen. 

The trickling of a fountain is heard when there's a pause in the music.

Scattered throughout the tea room are green topiary and fresh-cut flowers.

The always friendly staff, ladies in black dresses and white aprons, escort diners to tables that are individually appointed.

Each table is adorned with fresh flowers of the season.

My picture 3/2012

Tea -- Earl Gray, Lady Gray, Jasmine, Darjeeling and Lapsong Souchong, served in a  silver footed pot,

a blue and white ceramic pot

or a pot somewhat more modern in design.

After brewing the proper amount of time, the waitress returns to pour.

Since there'll be those who insist, iced tea also is available. (After all, this is the South, and Southerns love their tea, sweetened, no less!)

On a sideboard against the wall sits pitchers of cucumber lemon water -- a refreshing and healing beverage.

See my previous post for details about this drink.
My picture 7/2012

Scones anyone? Yes, and I'll have strawberry jam with mine.

And Double Devon Cream. Or do you prefer Clotted Cream? Expensive, yes, but nothing is too good for MY customers.
What's a tea room without tea sandwiches? We'll be making cucumber, egg salad, chicken salad and cream cheese with pineapple and chopped walnuts.

Oh so many other things to choose from. Victorian Sponge Cake, lemon curd tartlets, banana nut bread, cheese straws and other delights too numerous to name.

But wait, I got ahead of myself. We have to eat a main dish before dessert, don't we?  I think we'll have the following choices:

We must have a soup of the day (seasonal)
Caesar Salad and two other green salads
Pasta Salad
Fruit Plate
Assorted tea sandwiches
Club Sandwich
Chicken Lasagna (hot)
Savory Crepes

All of the offerings must be cooked prepared fresh each morning. No menu items will require cooking after the customer orders (except for the crepe choices, which cook in a flash anyway).

In the entryway, I think I'll carry a selection of items for sale. Tea, tea cozies, tea towels, teapots, cups and saucers, aprons, gift baskets. Anything with a tea connection. And how about these darling  note cards?


I'm still thinking! There will be other additions/changes as we go along.

Now I need your input on any or all of these questions.

Would you visit this tea room?
What additions/subtractions/changes would you make?
Do you have suggestions for the menu?

I look forward to your feeback.

Disclaimer: I am not even THINKING about opening a tea room. This exercise is all in fun!


  1. Hello Sanda
    You have planned your tea room and high tea perfectly. I would like to make my reservation now


    1. Hello Helen,

      Since you are my first customer, the tea is on the house. I do hope you enjoy your visit!

  2. Sanda, I am so happy luxuriating in the atmosphere of the stone building, flowers, wrought iron and Vivaldi, that you could serve me anything in that silver pot and I would pay you whatever you asked!! Such fun to ponder ..

    1. For me, an establishment of this kind would be so wonderful to visit on a regular basis. The atmosphere definitely goes a long way, but of course, the food has to be good as well. Isn't that silver pot nice?

  3. If you could put some high quality arabic coffee on the menu as well, served with that yummy looking Devon cream and I'd move next door to your imaginary tea house.

    1. For you, Ana, I shall add the arabic coffee to the menu. Devon cream? Your wish is fulfilled. I could rent you the 3rd floor apartment if you'd like. Perhaps you'd like to consign some of the nice jewelry you make for the gift shop.

  4. What fun,we are so lucky that our county town has a 'old fashion' tea rooms...you have to book in the Summer......takes me back to walks by the sea with my G/mama and then tea out (warm scones with Devon clotted cream & strawberry jam) followed by the waitress bringing an assortment of cakes on a 3 tier cake dish....I was always allowed to choose one only cream puff pastry deliccce.

    Suggest warm scones,3 tier cake dishes to add to your tea rooms.My favourite sandwich is the Scottish smoked salmon with lemon butter on rye bread that the Ritz in London serve.

    Sanda,this conjures up imagines of women in hats/gloves. Ida

    1. You are indeed lucky, Ida. During my visit to the UK I noticed there was no shortage of tea rooms; part of your culture. What warm memories, of tea with your grandmother.

      Those three-tier cake stands are a definite must. I'll add them to my list of things to purchase.

      That tea sandwich sounds delicious, so I'll add it to the sandwich menu.

      Why don't we make one day of the week "hat and gloves" day? All the club ladies could come for lunch.

  5. Should be an 'old fashion'......Ida

    1. Old-fashioned atmosphere and decor would definitely be my choice too.

  6. i just had imaginary tea in your imaginary tea room and would like to give you perfect marks at yelp ;) the atmosphere is delightful

    1. Thank you so much. I have to admit I didn't know what yelp was, so I looked it up THANKS. Glad you enjoyed the atmosphere and I trust the food was to your liking as well.

  7. Imagination is a wonderful thing. I'm going to imagine visiting and being served tea from the blue and white china pot. I think you have everything I could wish for in a tea room. I don't care about the cost, I'll just imagine up a little money for myself.


    1. Your wish to be served from the blue and white china pot is granted. We can all pay the bills with Monopoly money. BTW, I saw on the news tonight that the new token for the game has been chosen: the cat. The iron has been tossed. I believe this was your preference, right?

  8. One of my friends opened a tea room exactly as you describe in Silverton, Oregon. Silverton is a small town in a farming community so all of her items were delivered fresh from the farm each morning. She had hats and gloves to wear as you dined if you choose to and I had never been to a place so perfect. Then she had to close it because it became just too much work!!! She did everything herself. But I love your imaginary projects because all of us can play.

    1. Offering the hats and gloves at the door was such a clever idea. I'm so sorry the business didn't last, but I can only begin to imagine the cost and responsibilities of operating such a place - of any restaurant really. I suppose that's the reason we see them "come and go" so quickly.

      The imagination is a wonderful thing. The Sky's the Limit!!

  9. From the beautiful pictures and descriptions you have provided, I feel like I have actually visited your tea room. The pictures are SO lovely and exactly what I would like to have around me everyday. Sister, you have quite an imagination and coupled with your writing ability, you amaze me. As previously stated, anything to eat would be fine, just to visit a place like this would be wonderful.

    1. We all can visit there as often as we wish! You are too kind and maybe my imagination is a sign I never grew up!!

      Can we meet for lunch there tomorrow? The treat's on me.

  10. Seattle being so close to Canada, we had some wonderful Tearooms - The Queen Mary was one of my favorites - and I miss them so much now that I live in Tulsa. They always had Lemon Curd to spread on the Scones and Trifle for desert. My friend and I used to love to take the Ferry to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada for afternoon tea. They served Cream Sherry with it.
    So having your Tearoom right here will be very welcome!

    1. Mmm. Lemon curd tartlets. Wonderful. What a delightful time you must have had taking the ferry to enjoy afternoon tea. Cream sherry would be a nice addition to our menu. If I ever find myself in the BC, I'll be sure to look up The Queen Mary.

  11. How fun!! Love your beautiful tearoom. You know that dreaming many times turns into reality....brace yourself!! This is just one example of why you're one of my very favorite relatives; sharing your thoughts, surroundings, day-to-day activities. Thanks!

    1. I promised I won't serve you packaged saltines in my tea room, Areeda. Oh my no, I don't have the energy to pull together a tea room business in real life; much easier in the virtual world. Thank you for the kind compliment, and I'm so happy we've "reconnected" to share cousin fun. You are one of my favorites as well!


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