Myself and my best friend went for tea this past weekend under a Groupon deal. I have been to multiple teatimes here in the US and overseas. They do things a little different at this location…..they call it more US or Virginia themed. Upon arriving you are welcomed in the carriage house to pay any residual monies, sign up your email, which they use to give away a free future teatime, get your table assignment and sip on "fizzle tea" while you wait. The GM gave a brief description of the lands and told us of the tour planned. We separated into two groups in which one goes to the parlor and "The Roosevelt Suite" and then you go to the portico. Then you find your table in what used to be the library. We were joined by 3 ladies at our 5 top. I personally like to only be seated with the person I came with so we can converse quietly and privately. This was a little off-putting FOR ME because there was no way to have a private conversation....but socializing with other people is fine. The other problem is that when they bring the food out on the typical tiered platters and even though they give you two of each type of finger foods, the other patrons sometimes can be rude or gross....touching your food (tongs were not provided) or "stealing" your portion. Also, I had to flag down the GM because no one at our table or a few other tables had napkins, he looked mortified and we got some about 4 mins later. The first tea was okay, not that flavorful....a black blend. Oh, and you had no choice but to use the milk provided or regular cubed sugar (no splenda)....and that is IF you had enough milk for everyone. The chicken salad on banana bread was delicious and my favorite. I did not like the egg salad it had some herbs or seasonings I could not stand. The cucumber sandwich was very good. The two scones were very good and of two different flavors. Again, the other people at the table had to share the Devonshire cream and two preserves...second time around I got a pinkie of cream and had to use the other preserves. The accompanying tea was my favorite. Then the sweets came out. This was the most disappointing. An apple slice with caramel (I can make this at home), a brownie wedge (again I can make this at home) and a white chocolate rose (I can buy this)....the ONLY good thing about this round was the Lemon Verbena ice cream, WOW, that was amazing. The tea which was a "apple martini" or something was very basic. After the tea was done they announced the winner of the free teatime and introduced the main chef. We were adjourned to roam the manor and rooms then. The suites are all very nice and spacious, my favorite was probably "The Kennedy Suite" but the guestrooms were cramped. I probably would never go back for the teatime again but I may consider staying here one night as a weekend getaway or something...just to see what that is like. Oh, the service was pretty good, not very attentive but she did come around once more with each round of tea to see if we wanted more, although, during the second round, we got our tea almost 10 mins after the food came out.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
October 1, 2012
We appreciate your feedback and your willingness to take the time to write a review. We are glad you enjoyed most of the selections you were served, including the “raspberry frizzle” (a Rosemont favorite!), chicken salad on banana bread, the cucumber sandwiches, the two scones, the Rosemont blend tea, and the lemon verbena ice cream. We are also pleased that you enjoyed hearing a bit of the rich 200 year history of Rosemont.
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I would like to take a moment to address your concerns. First let me clarify that giving your email is entirely voluntary. Even the guests who choose to enter the drawing will not be put onto any mailing list unless they “opt-in” to the one “thank you for coming” email that is sent to them shortly after the tea. For our guests who do choose to opt-in, they are offered special discounts and news about events at Rosemont such as benefit concerts and community open house events.
Secondly, in terms of the seating arrangements, it is typical at an afternoon tea to be seated with other guests. Nonetheless, we understand that some patrons may not be expecting this arrangement, so we have taken several steps to give you a “heads up”. The information is stated clearly on our website, just below the tea schedule that our guests use to schedule their tea. Also, when each guest calls to make their reservation, we tell them over the phone that they will most likely be seated with other guests and have the opportunity to make some new friends. We hope that the situation wasn’t entirely off-putting since, as you mentioned, “socializing with others is fine” and we did our best to notify you in advance of the seating arrangements.
We do apologize that there were no napkins at your table when you were first seated. This is most definitely an oversight on our part. We have a wonderful, welcoming group of young ladies who serve at our teas, and they are very professional and well-trained in tea service. But they are human, and regrettably, in this instance, a rare mistake occurred. We do apologize for that and appreciate you for letting Bill, our General Manager, know so that he could rectify the situation.
As far as not having enough milk, cream, or preserves – I must ask: Did you alert your server to this? We try to estimate how much of these items will be needed at each table, but if there is a shortage, we are certainly more than willing to bring you some more, if we are made aware that more is needed.
In closing, we are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your tour of the manor, particularly seeing the various guest rooms and suites, each named after a famous visitor to Rosemont. Thank you for considering us for an overnight getaway, and again thank you for your feedback. We will take into consideration all of your suggestions so that we can continue striving to provide the very best experience to our guests.
William “Biff” Genda
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.