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“Great for a special event!”
Review of Empress Tea Room

Empress Tea Room
Ranked #8 of 35 Coffee & Tea in Tampa
Cuisines: American, British
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed November 10, 2013

Was there for a group lunch and presentation and it was very nice! We jumped right into the presentation and weren't able to hear about the tea room or what we were being served, but it was all delicious. The peach tea was fabulous and there were some great sandwiches/croissants! The scones and desserts were wonderful, especially the chocolate covered strawberries and pumpkin-walnut filled filo bites were awesome! The decor was whimsical and fun - it was all done very nicely. It was a little expensive, over $20 for high tea, including tip and tax, but for a special occasion it's a nice treat!

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Thank Lrichardson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 - 77 of 130 reviews

Reviewed October 28, 2013

I visit tea rooms regularly around Florida, what a beautifully arranged tea room, as most of them are. What separates this one from the others is most definitely the service and fare! Delicious!!!! Savory! !!! Outstanding!!! My experience here was delightful. Thanks to you all at this establishment I now know where I will have my next gathering

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1  Thank thuyeeee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

I wish I had read the reviews before agreeing to go to this tea room. The reviews regarding the poor service are spot on. We entered the tea room and a young lady directed us "to go over there". "There" was a hostess counter without a hostess. So, we waited. After about five minutes, someone appeared from the kitchen door and took our name and asked us to move aside. So we stood in the hallway. After another five minutes without any direction, I decided to look in the dining room thinking they were being slammed with patrons, however, this was not the case. As I was walking back to my party the owner started to pass us. I said jokingly " they are not packed, so that does not explain the bad service". The owner heard this and took us to our table. She turned to me and said" you really can't complain about the service because you have not had service yet". Now that I have, let me offer my experience. First, spend a few hours and finish the painting above the hostess desk as well as replacing mismatched ceiling tiles. This does not make a great first impression. Second, because I'm not the first to complain about the poor service (See prior reviews ) this has been an ongoing problem that you turn a blind eye to and unfortunately it affects your business. With regard to the food, it was actually pretty good. Again, the service could be improved. My plate was delivered without a fork so I had to hunt someone down to get one. The cream and jam were brought to the table AFTER we finished the last bites of our scones, and nothing on the plate was "hot" from the bacon to the waffles. I guess because you include a 18% tip, you could care less about the service you provide because you are assured a 18% tip no matter what. In all, with a few improvements, this could be a really nice place. Its a shame that despite the many years of running a tea room and the SAME complaints from so many different people that this small problem has not been corrected sooner. One last note, the table that we were seated was not ideal for anyone elderly as the metal chairs were heavy to pull in and out.

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3  Thank Vermontseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TeaTampa, Owner at Empress Tea Room, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

Thank you for your recent review of our tea room. It may seem odd for us to be thanking you for a critical review, but I can assure you that we do not turn a blind eye to any review we receive as we genuinely take into account every customer's experience looking for ways we can improve. From your comments it is apparent that you visited our tea room on a Sunday for Brunch and I would like to address each of your concerns and speak to them to the best of my ability. Although it is not often that our hostess steps away from the front counter, I am unaware of any restaurant where the hostess never leaves her station, especially if she is seating other customers as I believe was the case in your situation. I can say that we do strive to give prompt attention to each customer as they walk through the door, but at times we fall short and are always appreciative for any grace given under those circumstances. It is obvious that your frustration set the tone for your experience and for that I am truly sorry. Thank you for the suggestions as to the decor. As any of our regular customers will tell you we are always working on the decor of the tea room, and have recently been under some renovations which you politely pointed out have yet to be finished, and I can assure you we are working hard to make sure those issues are taken care of. We were happy to hear that you enjoyed the food and just wish you had brought any of your issues with food, service, or the location of your table to our attention on the day of your visit. We don't want any customer to leave unhappy and would have been more than happy to do everything in our power to ensure that you felt your needs were addressed. Finally, I would like to explain that 18% gratuity is only added to the bill for customers who (1) use coupons at the time of their visit or (2) are with large parties of 6 or more. In both cases the 18% gratuity is clearly noted both on the coupon as well as on the menu and many times (including the day you visited) we have customers leave extra because they are so happy with their experience. I would love the opportunity to speak with you personally regarding your experience and to offer you an opportunity to come back and visit us, so send me an email at kimnauman@gmail.com at your earliest convenience. Thank you again!

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Reviewed September 29, 2013

The last time I was at the Empress Tea Room was a year ago, for my sister's bridal shower brunch. They did an absolutely smashing job then, yet somehow I didn't manage to make it back over to them for brunch until today. In the year since I had been there, the lobby area had been transformed from a small shop filled with knick-knacks to a lovely coffee and chocolate shop. Unfortunately mom & I had not thought ahead to make reservations and the dinging room was full until High Tea at 2PM. We were just about to leave, when it was suggested that we stay and eat at the small bistro tables in the the coffee shop/lobby. Since I was craving for their scones we decided to give it a shot. We ended up being very glad that we did, we ended up having a "semi private" experience and some wonderful conversation with the staff.

The brunch was different from what I remembered. They have foregone the buffet style for an endless family style service. Plates were brought out to our table piled with a bacon, grand mariner andouille sausage, egg casserole, waffles with raspberries and whipped cream, and of course scones with cream and jam. Tea and coffee was included in the price of the brunch. All of the food was delicious and 2 and a half scones later my cravings were finally satisfied!

I have only ever experienced their brunch, but one of these days I would love to have a more traditional "tea." The service is lovely and the food is delicious, A real Carrollwood gem,.

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4  Thank LMKruger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2013

Charming atmosphere, friendly and helpful staff. The food is delicious and the scones are melt in your mouth awesome!

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Thank YFAJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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