Several weeks ago I posted a recipe for Garlic Cheese Biscuits, which I thought would make a perfect menu addition in a tearoom where I had lunch.
|The tearoom is a charming little spot, located in an old house. Touches like lace curtains at the windows and unique teapots displayed throughout make it feel cozy and homey.|
|Tearoom interior decor|
One thought led to another, and I devised a plan whereby I would visit the tearoom, ask to speak with the owner, and offer recipes/food samples fitting for such an establishment -- tea breads, finger sandwiches, scones and jam.
|The Christmas decorations really should be taken down!|
First I enjoyed a lunch of chicken salad served in a sandwich, a green tossed salad and a pot of hot tea (English Afternoon).
|The tea was served in a beautiful teapot with matching cup.|
She then freely shared the following information: When she opened the establishment about six years ago, she served traditional tearoom fare -- tea sandwiches (cucumber, egg salad); scones; brie in puff pastry, jams.
So what customers was she drawing? Truck drivers? Farm workers? Don't get me wrong. Absolutely nothing wrong with people in those lines of work.
But where where were the "ladies who lunch?" Apparently they didn't find the tearoom soon enough for her to stick to her intended restaurant format, so she changed it. While she still offers several salads, quiche and a club sandwich, the daily specials include chicken and dressing, fried pork chops and many vegetables such as corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, fried okra.
Again, nothing wrong with those foods, but it's food you can get anywhere.
I can certainly understand her need to make the business successful by changing the menu, but I am so sorry enough people didn't appreciate the tearoom before it changed the menu.
She did tell me that a major part of her business today is catering parties, many for women's groups who request tearoom foods, and selling her homemade cakes. Additionally, she will, by request prepare a "proper tea" in the tearoom if reservations are made for at least five people.
I'm getting a list together of four others who will join me soon for a proper tea in the tearoom that now also serves turnip greens and cornbread.
|Chelsea's Team Room, Biltmore Village, N.C.|
Meanwhile, I'm thinking that we'll have our Thursday tea here at Halcyon Days each Thursday. Won't you join me then? I promise we'll try a new tea each week and the food will be scrumptious. We'll discuss various tea services, look at interesting tea accessories, learn about the history of tea and much, much more.
I'll save you a chair at the table. See you then!