Tea Rooms in New England
Between this beautiful stretch of weather and the gardens blooming all around us, my thoughts are turning to springtime pleasures and rhubarb and strawberry season, and then, because of the flowers, to decidedly feminine treats like afternoon tea. And we’re blessed to have many delightful tea rooms in New England.
I’ve learned to stop saying “high tea,” because even though people commonly use that term to refer to fancy cream teas with scones and petits fours, it traditionally describes a light meal of meat, sandwiches, and other savories. Brits and anglophiles are very firm on this, so I’ll follow their lead.
I recently recommended the Wenham Tea House in my introductory blog post here. But three other notables come to mind:
- Pairings Restaurant Directed by certified “tea sommelier” Cynthia Gold, this afternoon tea inside Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel serves not just excellent sips, but tea-infused savories and desserts, as well as an Earl Grey/bourbon cocktail infused with orange and finished with a splash of Prosecco.
- Perennial Pleasures On summer afternoons, this heirloom Nursery in Hardwick, Vermont (to learn more about this remarkable town, read this) makes wonderful use of its lush display gardens as a setting for British cream tea. Run by an Englishwoman and her daughter–Judith and Rachel Kane–this tea is the real deal and a good enough reason for a visit to the Northeast Kingdom.
- Teasy Teas This Portsmouth, NH-based company produces some of the most exquisitely delicious teas I’ve ever had, and they’ll ship them directly to you. Some favorites: New England Blueberry Muffin and Green Mint.