Date: May 20, 2012
Price: $29.00 (taxes and gratuity included)
I've been trying to have a high tea moment here in Canada for the longest time, but the last time I had tried to book was for Mother's Day and it was sold out everywhere, so I was very excited to hear that there were tea rooms for high tea around the area that I was visiting some friends.
Unfortunately, the moment that we got this idea to have high tea together and experience it all for the first time together was the day before. I called and spoke with the owner and unfortunately at first glance at her appointment book, she said it looked like they were pretty booked. CONFESSION: I did something totally shameful, I know, but I totally pulled the traveller card. I explained to her that I was from Canada and that I would REALLY like to have a high tea experience with my American friends and she WAS sympathetic and asked me to call back the following morning at 10:30 am to see if there was any cancellations or depending on the weather, if they were going to be opening up their deck.
Called back the next day and the lovely lady was able to tell me that they would be able to accomodate us on the deck at 12:30 pm. We were SO excited and very grateful that she would try to accomodate us like that at the last minute (I'm a big believer in the whole "fail to prepare, prepare to fail" so I knew it would have been on me if we weren't able to get in and I felt really awful that I pulled such a stunt, but I really don't get to visit these friends often at all, so I thought I would try and if the answer was still no, I would have gracefully accepted that).
We arrived in Ellicott City and discovered that it's a very nice place to wander around. I don't know what to call it really, but the whole street is like...a touristy area? There are parking lots where you can just park your car and wander up and down the entire street going in and out of antique shops and other interesting shops! We were sad that we hadn't arrived sooner to look around.
Upon arrival, we were greeted very warmly by a couple (I'm assuming the owners?) who were looking for the Canadian in the group. They were very lovely and we were promptly seated out in the deck area that "overlooks" the river - it's more like...a small area where you can see a bit of river but it's right next to the street so you can also people watch the folks walking around going antique-ing. We were given a two small round table for 2 that were pushed together and an umbrella to shield us from the hot sun. The tableware is very bright and fanciful, I'd imagine something along the lines of Mad Hatter's tea party? Bright and colorful?
The tea menu is HUGE, but the owner was able to give us some suggestions on what teas are their specials for the day and also what teas they have on ice. It was hard to narrow down but we each got our own pot of tea so we were able to choose knowing that we could share each others' pots of tea. After that, we received our tiered goodies and we excitedly dug in.
I chose the vanilla tea (we were told it tasted along the lines of a cupcake and I was sold immediately) and with my pot of tea I received a lemon scone and some fruit and cheese, a small triangle of apple + cinnamon sandwich, half of a mini croissant with a chicken salad filling and a small circle of tomato sandwich, then a slice of chocolate cake, a butter cookie (a VERY DELICIOUS butter cookie) and a fruit tart square. My plate was pretty full so it was just fine to me.
Overall it was a lovely experience and I had a great time with my friends. For the price, it seemed like a good deal to me as here in Canada, our high teas are more in the range of $35 - $50 (though for the highest cost, I believe it also includes champagne and strawberries), but after reading some of the reviews previous to mine, when you do stop and think about it...it doesn't seem like a lot to have received for the price, though we all left VERY full at the end of the tea party.
It was a good and fun experience and we all had a wonderful time. I will still be looking to have a high tea experience here in Canada though :)
Thank you VERY much for accomodating us on such short notice and for being excellent and gracious hosts :)
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