Monday, September 12, 2005

The Scarlet Tea Room

Have you ever actually done a tea? I never had either, until yesterday for Beth’s bridal shower. I have to admit, I had many preconceived notions. Bridal and baby showers are generally NOT my idea of a rockin’ good time. And the idea of doing a tea always conjured up images of stuffy, highfalutin’ people in uncomfortable, straight-backed chairs, sipping from dainty little china cups and nibbling from itty-bitty little tea biscuits or whatever those people eat, and talking about how Muffy and Bitsy will be attending Westpoint and how Thurston and Annabelle-Suzette will be summering in Nantucket, all whilst wishing you were either A) In a dingy bar by the beach somewhere with your new best friend Bubba, downing shots with beer chasers; or B) Dead. But the angelic and beautiful women who were throwing this shower right off the bat got up and announced first and foremost that there would be no goofy bridal shower games here today. I stood up and applauded. Probably a little too enthusiastically. I think I also high-fived my mom. And decided I could endure doing a stuffy “tea”.

But this was nothing of the sort. Yes, there are straight-backed chairs, but they are quite comfy. Yes, the surroundings are uber-over-the-top girly frou-frou, complete with the chandelier overhead that makes you feel underdressed even if you are wearing your best Donna-Karan-you-got-on-sale-at-Ross. But there is this very personable and sweet woman there, walking around offering you a choice of different teas, iced or hot. They all sounded fantastic, but I decided on the green tea infused with fruit, and was happy I did. They start you with a course of just-freshly-picked strawberry sorbet that is really yummy, and served in a cute, teensy little bowl with a cute, teensy little spoon. Yes, you could eat 16 times the amount they give you, but there are many courses to come, so you can live with just the little bit.

Next, they bring out a giant, 4-tiered platter with fresh scones, and every type of cute little sandwich you can think of – salmon and dill, mozzarella and tomato, red pepper and prosciutto, etc. There are probably ten different kinds. The scones are served with fresh preserves and fresh whipping cream. I’m not even normally a big scones fan, but this was my favorite part. Then comes the first of TWO dessert courses. Yeah, hearing this news was when I really started to dig this place. They bring a platter full of adorable little desserts, some chocolatey, some fruity, all different flavors, each decorated so cute that it is almost a shame to eat them, ALMOST. They refresh your tea constantly and then….just when you think they couldn’t possibly understand chicks any better, they whip out the CHOCOLATE COURSE. No, I ain’t kidding. I thought stuff like this only existed in my wildest, wettest dreams. Each of us was served with a bowl made entirely of chocolate. Did you allow that to sink in just now? A freakin’ bowl made entirely of chocolate. It is filled with some kind of strawberries, creamy, liquer-type goodness that you can either eat first, or just start eating the bowl and leaving the strawberry goodness on it as you eat said bowl. I swear the memory of it now is making me a little…. frisky.

And the thing I noticed about doing tea, socially speaking, is that it does induce a sort of contemplative, easygoing, sharing environment where you can just be yourself. You have nowhere to go mingle since you’re fixed at a table, nothing to do but drink tea and nibble things, and so conversation becomes relaxed and a bit uninhibited, even without the presence of alcohol. I felt like the women at my table had become old childhood chums by the time the event was over.

I officially LOVE doing tea now. What’s not to love?

The Scarlet Tea Room
18 W Green Street
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 577-0051

1 comment:

Beth May said...

Thank you for the raving review! I passed it along to my new sisters-in-law. I know that they will love to hear you were so pleased! The place was truly amazing and I was so impressed with everything! Thank you for being a part of my special day! Much Love – Beth