Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2 California Tea Shops

When my friends from New York were here, I made one promise to my friend Chloe. And that promise was that we would visit a tea room. Back home, she and I used to frequent Harmony Tea Room in Westwood on a regular basis. I had two places in mind, and needless to say I was pretty excited about the idea of two high teas in one weekend.

First up I made reservations at Lisa's Tea Treasures, which I've walked past a few times in Santana Row. I should have listened to the reviews on Yelp, though, which were generally mixed. And I have to say that my experiences were mixed as well.

One of the many reasons I really enjoy going to tea rooms is the chance to try lots of different foods. It gives me ideas for when we have our own tea parties at home. Some of the sandwiches at Lisa's Tea Treasures were very yummy, but the bread was dried out. Our waitress was also not the friendliest. And considering the amount of money we paid, we weren't given a lot of food. Tea rooms are generally not cheap, but at Harmony we would have gotten twice the amount of food. And at the second room we visited we paid less and got more. But on the other side we got free tea refills.

The room itself did its best to be fancy, but some of the things were also tacky. All in all it just seemed like the room was trying too hard and I don't think I plan to go back, although the tea shop had a lot of cute cups and things.

Meanwhile, we had the good fortune to visit Crown and Crumpet in Ghiradelli Square. The first time I visited San Francisco with Nick, we went to Ghiradelli Square and walked passed Crown and Crumpet. I nearly leapt with glee at the sight of it. Brightly colored, frilly tea embellishments, and British. I knew when my friend Chloe came to visit I had to take her there.

Luckily they had outdoor seating so we were able to go on our day in the city with Charlie. It was a little windy because the square is right on the bay, but it was worth it. Sunny, clear skies, and a great view. We got the tea for three (even though there were four of us) because there was so much food we had more than enough. Four different kinds of tea sandwiches (one of which had a roasted red pepper spread that I plan to try to replicate the next time we have our own party), crumpets, two kinds of scones, and four different desserts. Everything was so delicious, my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it.

Compared to Lisa's Tea Treasures, their shop didn't have as cute of tea things, but they did have a lot of cute things for kids and craft-like food projects. Everything was a little pricey, so I don't think I'll ever purchase anything from there. Unless of course they expand their Alice and Wonderland stock and have something too cute to pass up...and I have a job...which technically I do, but that's a long story...

I can't wait to go back with Nick, or just about anyone for that matter. Definitely a new favorite, and I'm glad I have a suitable replacement for Harmony while I'm out here. It's just too bad that it's not within walking distance like when we were in Westwood.


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