November 7, 2015

High Tea

     Now, I am not in any way a fan of posts of people's food on their plate in restaurants, especially if they eat half of it first and then get out their phones, but I had to do this. This morning I was treated to a visit to The Painted Teacup, a beautiful, tea-lovers refuge in Upper Darby, Pa. I expected it to be a nice visit since my good friend who had invited me is always wonderful company and she was paying so that would make it more fun. But the tearoom was even nicer than I had imagined. I am a lover of tea and romantic surroundings and The Painted Teacup certainly fit those requirements.

     We arrived a few minutes early for our reservation and the tea shop was largely empty. We were greeted immediately, seated and given a lovely tea menu several pages long that had us oohing and aahing over a delicious selection of teas. My taste buds got a bit confused imagining all the flavorful possibilities. I considered cinnamon and rose teas, lavenders, black and Oolong. They even had a full section of decaffeinated teas. Eventually we decided on a pot of a black rose tea and a spice tea. The setting was stunning and our beverages arrived quickly, and with a warm smile and an aromatic aura. The table was arranged with lemons and oranges, sugars and sweeteners, custom honey and tea flavorings. They had a jar of what looked like over sized after-dinner mints that I am certain had some amazing, fancy name. They came in lemon, cinnamon and other flavors you drop into your tea, gently of course, because they are huge, and they sweeten and tasty up your brew. I was already enjoying the pampering experience when the food began to arrive.

     Each yummy morsel was described by our server and every one sounded more delicious than the last. But, like being introduced to too many people when you arrive at a party, I couldn't remember the name of anything, so I just started with the warm tidbits on the plate. Heavenly. The breads were freshly baked, buttery and rich. As soon as I finished one and moved onto another I had to stop in our conversation and just get lost in the wonderful and unusual flavors of each food. Not much keeps me from talking so you know the food had to be good. Everything was fresh and inviting. This dining experience, on a beautiful autumn day, was the stuff of which dreams are made. By the time I got to the third item on the plate the lovely server had filled my teacup four times. I must have been talking faster and faster because my friend mentioned that the teas here are quite robust with caffeine. Then it hit me. I was high on tea. The place was packed now, but I hadn't noticed people coming in at all. Everyone was chattering away energetically.

     When I thought I couldn’t possibly fit another bite into my mouth or get too much higher on tea, another plate of food arrived, and my cup was filled again. Both my friend and I left with a tiny bag of tasty treats to finish later at home and we headed out to circle the airport without even needing a plane. It was two hours of pure bliss.

     Before we ventured out into the beautiful fall sunshine we took a little peppy tour of the tea house. There are rooms and rooms filled with tea paraphernalia and delicate gifts, pretty jewelry and Victorian style china which I didn't dare touch given my state. I picked up a few unbreakable things for gifts. The prices were reasonable and the selection was unusual. The tea high was great.

     I am thankful for a good cup of tea at any time. But, when it is gifted by a good and beloved friend and served in a beautiful tea house, life cannot possibly get too much better. Once home I wrote four blogs, bathed the cats and dusted all of my lampshades. I saw my friend up the street washing her windows. Now I understand high tea.

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