Tea Time

Last Friday, my mom, sister, sister-in-law, and I took a trip to Spring Grove.  Yes, that Spring Grove with the paper factory that smells like rotten cabbage.  We braved aggression-inducing traffic and the threat of motion sickness to spend the afternoon at the Victorian Parlor Tea Room.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  My preconceived notions of tea time included a cup of tea, cucumber sandwiches and maybe a scone or two.  Not that I’ve ever had high tea in my life.

Well, I could not have been more misinformed.  The “tea” at the Victorian Parlor consisted of six courses and was accompanied by two types of tea and cold beverages.  We were served strawberry and vanilla teas.  Both were very mild and delicious.  The first course was a fruit compote with a sweet dressing.  This was followed by a salad of mixed greens, craisins, and I believe strawberries with a delicious raspberry vinaigrette.  The third course was a plate of baked goods – chocolate granola muffins, lemons bars (yum!), cranberry scones and chocolate scones.  The scones were served warm so the chocolate chips in the chocolate scones were still melty and delicious.  All the items were in mini form which made it very easy to taste everything without feeling too full.  After we devoured the goodies, small h’ordeuver-style sandwiches appeared.  There was not a single cucumber in sight.  The open-faced sammies were either chicken salad on cole slaw or mixed veggies on a red pepper spread.  I personally thought the chicken salad tasted great and I don’t even like chicken salad.  The next course was a chicken tortellini soup with carrots and herbs.  Oh, my!  It was light and flavorful with a delicious chicken broth base.  We refrained from slurping or lifting our bowls and drinking the last drops but it took a great deal of self-control.  Dessert was a white cake with strawberry jello incorporated into it.  It was served with berries and ice cream.  I could have just eaten the ice cream alone – black raspberry with dark chocolate chunks.  It was a leisurely, relaxed meal.  Even though we ate a variety of items, I did not feel overly stuffed when we were finished.  And it was so nice to just catch up with important women in my life.

The restaurant has a very feminine feel  – lace and satin Victorian decor.  Every nook and cranny is accessorized with curios, photos and knickknacks.  There are hats for patrons to wear for tea if they are so inclined.  Mom wore a hat for most of our meal.  Women were the only patrons the day of our visit.  It’s not that men are discouraged from participating.  I just don’t think most men would be that into it – except for the food, of course, because it is so good.  This little trip was a Christmas gift from my mother.  All I can say is, ” Thanks, Mom, for a wonderful grown-up Fun Friday!”

(I forgot my camera  – shaking head and rolling eyes – so I took photos with my phone.  Sorry for the poor quality.)