Thursday, June 21, 2007

The T Room

Hidden in the charming downtown of Montrose, there is a tea room that I never even heard of until I went there for afternoon tea with the girls and I have to say that it was a lovely experience. First, I thought the name of this tea room was really cute. Come on, how can you not smile at a tea room actually called "The T Room." I liked the play on letters and words.

You walk in and you immediately see the back wall with over 30 canisters of tea to choose from. Now that's variety. Inside the refrigerated case, there were two too-pretty-to-eat teapot shaped cakes. They were just darling looking. Both inside and out, the table settings were lovely. The flowers and plants on the tables weren't real, but still added some nice color and refinement.

While the inside of the tea room was nice, I absolutely fell in love with the back patio which is where our group had our afternoon tea. It was just so pretty back there with the potted plants and a wall trellis of vines. It's the kind of place that will make you feel girly, whether you like it or not.

Once we all finished oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over the patio, it was finally time for our tea which consisted of a three tier tray with plates of the following:

1st tier - four different sandwiches (chicken lingonberry, English cucumber, smoked egg salad & salmon on pumpernickel bread)

2nd tier - scone (chef's choice) served with Devonshire cream with fruit preserves

3rd tier - tea cookies, pastries and fruits

As for our tea, our three tables shared Peach Melba (herbal tea), Rooibos Bourbon, Jasmine Monkey King (green tea) and St. Marc.

So let's talk food now. Except for 2 exceptions, I found the food good, if uninspired and of course, there were some things I liked better than others. One thing I didn't care too much for was the scones. I found them too hard. Biting into them was a chore. I was also disappointed in the cucumber sandwich. I felt that the cucumbers were cut too thin and I didn't think they were very fresh either. Personally, cucumbers should have a juicy crunch to it when you bite into it. That was missing in these cucumber sandwiches.

As for the other sandwiches, I liked the chicken and lingonberry jam. Now, I've never heard of or ever had lingonberry jam before that day, so that was a first for me. The flavor of the lingonberry reminded me of cranberries, but not as tart. I liked the combo of the tender chicken and this jam. It was quite tasty. Being a smoked salmon lover, I also liked the Norwegian salmon on the pumpernickel bread, although I found the bread to be dry.

When it came to the desserts, nothing stood out except for the one baklava amongst all the cookies and fruit. I grabbed that right away. As it got on my plate, I noticed that it was unlike any baklava I've ever had. The baklava I'm used to comes with a thicker pastry surrounding the filling. I'm not even sure if my baklava had just a really thin pastry shell or didn't have one at all.
It had a consistency of a grainy cheesecake, but I really liked the nutty flavor and even better, it wasn't overly sweetened with any kind of syrup. With this baklava (or not) being lightly sweetened, it was the perfect way to end the tea. By the way, the teas were pretty good, too.

To see pics, go to:

The T Room
2405 Honolulu Avenue
Montrose, CA 91020
(818) 249-6677

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