Monday, January 28, 2008

time for tea

I love tea.

I love the drink. I love the ceremony of afternoon tea. I love the no-rush of having tea.

I love tea.

For the past couple of years, Bo & I have had tea dates:
Sweet Chari-Tea in Burbank, Chado Tea Room after the King Tut exhibit, The Vintage Tea Leaf in Long Beach on a blustery fall day and, today, The Scarlet Tea Room in Pasadena. Oooh, all kinds of good!

Scarlet Tea Room is in a great Pasadena location. Based in a huge old building, the space is deceptively small. The back room, with its mirrored wall, is mainly for large groups/parties. We were seated in the front room, in front of the door. That sucked. Luckily, not many people came in, as we had one of the later seatings. The owner is lovely! She greets everyone as 'doll' or 'dear' or some other term of endearment. Though it grates on my nerve, it seemed to suit her and the place.

We started with a glass of Wilson Creek's Almond Champagne. Oh. My. I love this stuff! G & I found this a few years ago in Temecula - it is yummy. Sipping champagne and perusing the menu (tea choices, sandwich choices, choices, choices, choices), our waitress brought our first course - strawberry sorbet to 'cleanse the palate.' A little difficult to cleanse the palate *and* drink almond champagne; somehow I managed.

We selected our teas (Jade Prince for me, Amour for Bo) and sandwiches (egg salad - of course, green apple & cheese, chicken tahini and turkey & cranberry for me) and settled into conversation. Our teas were brought out fairly quickly, in small white pots. Jade Prince is a loose leaf tea, so I had a leaf strainer (the more acoutrements the better). No cream or milk on the table, which disappointed me; somehow I managed. The tea was very sharp - I loved it. Very flavorful, didn't need sugar (or milk, for that matter).

As we finished our first cup, our food was brought out. Like most tea places, presentation is everything: 3-layer tea service tower with one cinnamon scone and one pumpkin scone on the top; our sandwiches on the plate in the middle; and our dessert assortment - mini tiramisu, mini raspberry mousse in a chocolate tea cup and 2 marzipan petit fours. Heaven on a metal serving tray! The waitress brought out homemade 'Scarlet Cream,' lemon curd and strawberry preserves (yay - more acoutrements). The food was delicious! The pumpkin scone, green apple & cheese sandwich and the chicken tahini were the highlights for me. After eating, having another pot of tea and one more round of champagne, we were brought a cup of fresh strawberries with 'Scarlet Cream' - damn that was good!

Three hours later, Bo & I walked out - mellow, satisfied and caught up on life's happenings. Like Morrissey says "Everyday is like Sunday..." If was like today's Sunday, I'll take it.

No comments: