Foodie Friday: The Picnic House

Awhile ago, like in February maybe, my good friend and I went out for a night on the town. We decided to try a bunch of different places. For drinks we went to The Picnic House. I’d never been there and neither had she but my mother had said that she’d enjoyed it in the past.


I loved it! It was right downtown near the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall but because it was a quiet Saturday night-there was nothing going on downtown, traffic was non-existent and we were able to park right near the restaurant on the street. The restaurant itself was very cute and made me think of what an old fashioned salon in Paris would be-people coming to discuss high literary items and the such.

Since we were going out for dinner afterwards, we stuck to an appetizer and a drink but the dinner menu looked delicious as well.

Christine got a beer (I am terrible, I don’t drink beer so I didn’t pay attention to what she got!) and I got a glass of Pinot Noir.

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The Happy Hour menu was small, only six items on it but all reasonably priced between $3-$5. I got the salmon mousse crostini and Christine had the half grilled cheese sandwich & small roasted tomato soup. Both were small but nice portions and were quite tasty.


My favorite part was the fact that they put the receipt into an old book!


I will definitely be coming back here, perhaps when I attend an event at the concert hall!

Foodie Friday: Punch Bowl Social

After my amazing hike on Saturday, my friend Christine and I decided to indulge in a great meal through Portland Dining Month (read about my other reviews at Thirst Wine Bar and Gracie’s). This is a great deal here in Portland during the month of March where you can get a three course meal for $29.


We decided to go to Punch Bowl Social which doesn’t have a website but read more about it on Yelp.  There are actually two parts to the restaurants–one is the actual restaurant and the other is karaoke, bowling and other fun stuff like ping pong.  We actually got a call from the restaurant confirming the reservation and letting us know that we had access to the restaurant and not the games section.

When we got there, we were seated relatively quickly and were excited to start with the drink only to find out that technically the drinks were not part of the $29.  Thankfully we weren’t the first to complain about this so they didn’t charge us for the drinks.  Christine got the Heart of the Union which included Union gin, triple sec, beet syrup, lemon juice and orange bitters shaken and served over ice with a lemon wheel.


I started with Monk’s Vacation which included: Portland potato vodka, green chartreuse, pineapple juice, lime juice and simple syrup shaken and served chilled with a lime garnish.


Christine loved her drink from start to finish. I didn’t love mine to start but did end up loving it.

We both started with the Deviled Eggs (tarter sauce, dijon, chives, parsley, coffee bacon jam, piment d’espelette, greens).  I don’t eat bacon so I got mine without.  The eggs were good and Christine said the bacon jam was spicy but good.


For the main course I got Pacific Salmon Creamed Spinach with creme fraiche, fingerling potatoes, sherry butter, and beurre blanc.




I found this to be incredibly good but didn’t love the spinach.  Christine got the Mushroom Stroganoff with crimini and oyster mushrooms, onions, roasted garlic, fresh herbs, and lemon.


She loved it but thought the garlic was a little too much. Dessert was incredible on both accounts.  I got the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake which included Meyer lemon curd, lemon poppy seed polenta shortbread.  It was delicious and light and yum!


Christine got the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar which was chocolate brownie, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate ganache, salted caramel and peanut butter.


All in all, the food was good and the service great.  We both wondered about the decor, we couldn’t figure out what exactly they were trying to accomplish with the choices but I probably would go back to try out the karaoke bar and bowling.


Foodie Fridays: Gracie’s


I mentioned that I went to happy hour at the Driftwood Room.  After drinks we went and ate at Gracie’s, also in the Hotel Deluxe.  When we walked in, I actually realized I had been there years before for a work function and was excited to actually try out the food.


The restaurant itself is full of old school charm-big comfortable chairs and banquette seating.  It definitely seems like a great place to hold a celebration. I went with two girlfriends as part of Portland Dining Month.  This is an awesome deal where you can get a three course meal at over 90 restaurants for only $29!  You can read about my trip to Thirst Wine Bistro where I went last week.

The menu was extensive and there were about four or five choices for appetizer, main course, and dessert.  Each looked incredibly interesting and when I compared them to the regular menu, it was definitely a savings when you did the dining month deal.

I started with the Gorgonzola Cheesecake-fresh bread, whole roasted garlic, fruit chutney & balsamic glaze.  So delicious!  I am of the school that the stinkier the cheese the better and I adore cheesecake so this was a perfect marriage.  The balsamic glaze and the fruit chutney mellowed out the gorgonzola and it was a delicious appetizer.



For my main course I decided to have the Braised Lamb-fruited Israeli couscous, crispy winter greens & mint pesto.  I love lamb and really don’t eat it that often, usually only on vacation so this was a real treat.  I am also a huge fan of Israeli couscous (probably from living in Israel!) because I prefer the larger pieces and the fruit was a great compliment to the lamb.



For dessert I had the Crispy Bread Pudding.  In the past few years, I have fallen in love with bread pudding and this was exactly how bread pudding should be, crisp and moist.  Covering it caramel sauce doesn’t hurt it either!


I am really loving Portland Dining Month and have made sure to go to places I haven’t been before (except realizing that I’d been to Gracie’s before but don’t even remember the menu so it’s ok!)  Tomorrow night I am going to my last Portland Dining Month restaurant for this year and am looking forward to just as great of a meal.

Have you tried out any of the awesome Portland Dining Month deals?

Happy Hour: Driftwood Room

A couple of weeks ago I went out to dinner with some friends as part of Portland Dining Month.  It was within the Hotel DeLuxe and the restaurant was great-I will write about that later this week.  But we got there a bit early so we went to their bar for drinks.  Their bar is called Driftwood Room.  Here’s what the hotel says about the Driftwood Room:

The Driftwood Room is a Portland landmark, serving thirsty revelers since the cocktail lounge heyday of the 1950′s and still today at the vanguard of Portland’s craft cocktail scene. Try one of our signature champagne cocktails. Order a sip from our extensive Manhattan menu. Temper the tipple with our legendary sizzling forest mushrooms. It’s a perfect Hollywood setting for a Hitchcock thriller or romantic romp.

The room was so much fun!  First of all, I felt like I was in an episode of Mad Men the way a lot of people were dressed–for some reason there were at least two tables of people in vintage clothing.  The menu itself represented the theme as well!


I tried two drinks while I was there and was definitely a bigger fan of the first.  Both were champagne cocktails. The first one I tried was the Rose Colored Glasses and was made with gin, rose syrup, fresh lemon juice and champagne.  I think I’m in a floral mode because I’m loving anything rose flavored as well as anything lavender. . . must be spring in the air!\



The second drink I had with dinner but was still from the Driftwood Room so I’m going to include it here.  It was called Elizabeth Taylor and was made with creme de violette and champagne.  Not sure what creme de violette is but it was a little too sweet for me.


It also was the color of a grape Jolly Rancher, which you can’t see particularly well in this picture.  We didn’t get any food because we knew we were having a big meal afterwards but I would definitely go back and try the Happy Hour menu because it looked good and the prices were reasonable.

The hotel itself also has that romantic look of days gone by in the lobby and I think it would definitely be a fun hotel to stay in, along with a fantastic location.



I tried to bring in some retro glam with my red lips.  Something about red lipstick just makes me feel glamorous!

Hotel DeLuxe-Driftwood Room
729 SW 15th Avenue
Portland, OR 97205




Foodie Fridays: Thirst Wine Bar and Bistro

I have been very lucky since I moved back in Portland to become involved with a great group of bloggers here in Portland, Portland Bloggers.  About a month ago they posted the opportunity to win a chance to blog about Portland Dining Month.  As you know, I love reviewing restaurants so I totally jumped on the opportunity.

Yay!  I won!  I got to go with my friend Melissa and eat the amazing three course meal at Thirst Wine Bar & Bistro.  Thirst Wine Bar & Bistro is located in the south waterfront, an area that I really haven’t spent much time down in for several years and it was as beautiful as I remember it.  The restaurant is located along a row of restaurants and shops facing the water and a boat dock.  The day was a perfect Portland day, nary a cloud in the sky so sitting down by the waterfront and looking across the Willamette was perfect.

So Portland Dining Month has over 90 restaurants participating in it and this was my second (I will blog soon about my dinner at Gracie’s!).  A little information from Thirst’s website: “Thirst Bistro opened in 2006 with our main dining room, bar and outside space. Thirst expanded with The River Room (private parties) in 2008 and expanded our menu from traditional wine bar to full restaurant including spirits and cocktails. In 2010 we opened The Cellar, another private dining room where we also hold our wine dinners and classes. Thirst has patio seating for 100 outside on the Esplanade and is the best place to watch downtown fireworks in the summer and The Christmas Ships in December. Enjoy the unobstructed River and Bridge views year-round.”

They weren’t kidding about the view!  We made the reservation through OpenTable because Dine Portland made a donation to the Oregon Food Bank.  The restaurant was not crowded at all and Melissa and I were seated right away at a window side seat.  The server, who was incredibly friendly, brought both the regular menu as well as the Portland Dining Month menu and an extensive drink menu-focussed on wine-it is, after all, a wine bistro!

Clearly we both went for the Portland Dining Month menu–three courses for only $29, can’t beat that!

There were three options for appetizers, of which I could only eat one since one had bacon and one had shellfish, neither of which I eat.  I chose the House Salad with mixed greens, blue cheese, hazelnuts, red onion, cherry tomato, vinaigrette.  I asked for no red onions as I’m not a fan of raw onions.  Melissa had the Hot Crab Dip with baguette.

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I found the salad to be good, crisp and with just the right amount of vinaigrette.  I would have added more hazelnuts and cheese but that’s me loving those two parts.  Melissa liked the hot crab dip but found it a tad spicy for her liking.


We both had the Bistro steak with caramelized onion smashed potatoes and the vegetable of the day which was roasted carrots.  Melissa had it medium-well and I had it medium-rare.  It was delicious!  The meat was perfectly cooked and the potatoes were super delicious.


For dessert we both got the Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding with vanilla ice cream.  Amazing!  I mean you can’t really go wrong with chocolate bread pudding anyway but this was super and a great way to finish off the meal.

I also had a flight of wine-bartenders choice.  It came with three wines-a white, a pinot noir and another red.  Two were Oregon wines and one was a Washington wine.



The wines were the perfect accompaniment to dinner.

Overall, dinner was amazing and for $29/person, we really had a lot of food!  I would definitely plan to go back to Thirst Wine Bar & Bistro, especially in the summer when we can sit outside overlooking the water.

Make sure to Spin the Wheel of Deliciousness for a chance to win a year of free meals!

I was very lucky to be provided with this opportunity by Downtown Portland which provided me with a gift certificate to Thirst Wine Bar & Bistro which covered the meal for two people.





Foodie Fridays: Petite Provence

La Provence

It has been awhile since I did a legit restaurant review and I loved doing them when I was living in New York so I decided to bring ‘em out again!  It has been a lot of fun exploring the Portland foodie community which rivals New York’s and I’m constantly finding amazing restaurants and places to try here.

A couple of weeks ago, I went with my friend, Melissa, to an art class.  I went in starving and knew that we were going to eat afterwards but we hadn’t picked a place.  Melissa mentioned that she had passed a cute restaurant on her way over so we decided to try it out.

Petite Provence was adorable and DELICIOUS!  I would definitely go back.  The restaurant itself is somewhat cramped-we were in between two other couples, an elderly couple that must have been on some sort of date except that clearly they were going dutch and the man was adamant that he wanted some foil to wrap up the bones to bring home to his dog.  He was also very clear that he wanted to pay separately and made sure to slip a $10 bill in for his share and he did not want to be involved with the extra pastries she was purchasing.  The second couple was NOT a date–he kept talking about his boyfriend and they also were very sure to make sure that they were paying separately.  There seemed to be an alcove up above but even though it was quite crowded, they did not want to open it.

BUT the food was awesome!  I was super impressed.  I started with a drink, the Lavender’s Bees Knees-A twist on the classic prohibition-era drink, homemade lavender simple syrup shaken with gin and fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE lavender and this drink was definitely the bees knees!

Lavender Bees Knees

The menu was divided into smaller plates and the server recommended getting a couple of smaller plates so that’s what we did!  I started with the Canapés Francais-a trio of canapés, blue cheese mousse with apple and walnuts; chive cream cheese with smoked salmon and cucumber; and tapenade with roasted cherry tomatoes served on sliced baguette.

Canapés Francais

I personally loved the blue cheese and the salmon but not so much the tapenade–it was a little too salty for me.  The other two, yum!

I then had the Kobe Beef Sliders-topped with sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions, smoked provolone, and basil aioli.

Kobe Beef Sliders

Yum!  I loved these–the only thing I would say is I wish they had been a little rarer because I like my meat on the rare side but other than that, I devoured these.

You couldn’t come to this restaurant and NOT get dessert-they were all over the place and delicious looking.  The little girl next to us had an awesome looking meringue cookie:

Meringue Cookie

I had a trio of petite desserts that was a great way to try a bunch of different ones.

Petite Trio

This included a chocolate mousse cup–an edible tempered chocolate shell filled with creamy chocolate mousse and Lemon Graffiti-dense chocolate biscuit cake layered with white chocolate creme, lemon curd, lemon creme, ganache with chocolate crisps and almond creme.  I can’t remember what the third one was but it was good!

All in all, I have to say I LOVED this restaurant and I liked the concepts of smaller plates so that you could try a couple of different things.  Their brunch menu on the weekends also looked pretty amazing so I will definitely be coming back!

Foodie Fridays-Mesa

I am so way behind!  Right after I decided to move back to Portland, the bestie and the biffle and I tried to go to a few of the restaurants on our must eat at list.  We actually did pretty well, I think we hit four or five of them in about two and a half weeks!

One of them was Mesa, Bobby Flay’s restaurant.  This happened to be right by the biffle’s work so it was easy peasy for her to make it and the bestie and I met her at her office.

Mesa is definitely Mexican food and I am quite sensitive to spice (although I have gotten better with the years) AND I HATE HATE cilantro (so does my mom-genetics!) so it was somewhat difficult finding stuff that I would like and the other two would feel had heat but we did good.

We started off with some drinks (all virgin tonight, it was a work night after all)



The bestie got a beer that I couldn’t describe because I’m not a beer drinker.  The biffle got a lemonade but quickly switched to my beautiful pink drink.  I got a virgin prickly pear margarita and it was DEEEELICIOUS!  I definitely could have had more of these and would have loved the tequila in them as well.

We split two appetizers: Rough Cut Tuna Nachos with Mango-Habanero Hot Sauce and Avocado Crema and Cremini Mushroom Quesadilla with fontina, ricotta, a fried egg and salsa verde.

Mesa Appetizers


Both were really good but I definitely found that there was too much hotness and cilantro in the rough cut tuna which made me sad because I love raw fish.  I ended up enjoying the quesadilla much more.

The bestie went pescetarian and got the side of spinach.  He got the Ancho Chile-Honey Glazed Salmon with a spicy black bean sauce, tomatilla salsa and a roasted jalapeno crema with a side of spinach.  Not my personal choices but I didn’t have to eat them and he really enjoyed them!

Russell Main Course Mesa


Sorry for the horrid photography-I’m working on that one :).

The biffle and I split two main dishes: Grilled Lamb Porterhouse Chops with blackberry-cascabel barbecue sauce and collard greens with smoked chiles and Crispy preserved duck with a pink peppercorn-honey lime glaze served with wild rice tamale and sage butter.

Rachel and Jen Main Mesa


Both were incredibly tasty but I actually fell in love with the rice stuffed tamale.  So good and delicious!

Three of us so three desserts to split:

Mesa Desserts


The one to the left is sticky toffee pudding with salted cajeta and vanilla bean ice cream. The top one is deep dish banana pie with praline wafer and hazelnut brittle and the bottom right one is Chocolate pretzel tart with spicy peanut butter-chocolate swirl ice cream.

I went in expecting to love the last one because seriously, what could be better than chocolate and peanut butter mixed together?  Then I took one bite of the spicy ice cream and was no longer so happy.  I am not a huge banana dessert fan but I ended up LOVING that banana pie.

Overall, Mesa was a good restaurant albiet probably not one I would run back to when I visit.  But I enjoyed.

Foodie Fridays: Cafe Blossom and Molly’s Cupcakes

Last weekend my roommate and I decided, after both working all day Sunday, to go to the West Village and eat at one of our favorite vegan restaurants, Cafe Blossom.  Yum!  We’ve been coming here for over a year now and enjoy every visit!

Cafe Blossom


Cafe Blossom has quite a few locations around New York and we’ve been to two of them, the one in the West Village, on Carmine and the one in Chelsea on 9th Avenue.  My favorite by far is the one on Carmine-I love the West Village and I love the menu at this once.

We started off with drinks, Russell had a Sangria and I had the Montague which was had tru gin, fruitlab jasmine liqueur, lakewood pomegranate, prosecco. . . . YUM!!!

Cafe Blossom Russell Drink  Cafe Blossom Rachel Drink

Russell looks all snazzy because he is a principal and had class that day–he’s wearing his American tie in honor of a debate he had for a program  I, on the other hand, look every bit the camp director in my fleece.  I had been up at camp for a tour and didn’t think I should show my camp t-shirt while I was having a drink!

I definitely have two favorite appetizers there.  The first is trumpet mushroom scallops, cauliflower puree, sweet onion jam on potato crisps.  True story, the first time Russell and I ate there, Russell asked the waiter if these were real scallops because we don’t eat scallops. The waiter wasn’t sure what to respond to that!  Sadly this time, the potato crisps were not as crisp as usual.  It was still good though.

Second appetizer was fresh, made to order guacamole with corn chips.  I LOVE avocado and guacamole but cannot stand cilantro or raw onion so one of the things I love about this restaurant is that you can get the avocado (with a touch of lemon juice) and then you can get the pico de gallo on the side.  Perfect because Russell can get his spicy kick and I can enjoy my avocado goodness!

Cafe Blossom Trumpet Mushroom Scallops Cafe Blossom Guacamole

We each chose different main courses.  Russell chose the Seitan Marsala which came with roasted potatoes, sautéed spinach, shallots, beets, jalapeno, figs, marsala jus.

I got seitan and mushroom sliders, caramelized onions, pesto mayo, housemade tomato sauce, mozzarella, salt and vinegar garlic fries.

Cafe Blossom Seitan Marsala  Cafe Blossom Seitan and Mushroom Sliders


So generally speaking I have enjoyed every meal here.  This time was less than fabulous.  The guacamole was really good and the sliders were great and Russell loved his marsala.  My complains were that the potato crisps were kind of soggy and they actually goofed up my main order, bringing something else so then it took another ten minutes to prepare the correct order.

I would still recommend this restaurant because it is generally quite good.

Afterwards, because we were in the neighborhood and because we are huge cupcake nerds, we walked around the corner to Molly’s Cupcakes.  Yummy!  Here are some pictures from there.

Molly's Cupcakes  Molly's Cupcakes


Molly's Cupcakes  Molly's Cupcakes

Molly's Cupcakes

So unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of the cupcakes but we had some amazing ones.  Russell got a Nutella banana cupcake, cookee monster, and the mixed berry.

I had the creme brûlée  dark chocolate something and birthday cake.  Very tasty cupcakes always!


All in all, it was a fun evening and we had a great time hanging out in the West Village.  Now, as I am winding down my time in New York, we are trying to hit as many of the restaurants that are on my list as possible.  You will definitely see a ton of NY restaurants in the next few weeks!



Bumming around Brooklyn

So last weekend my roommate, Russell, and I decided to bum around Brooklyn.  The day was beautiful and we just wanted to take advantage of the amazing weather.  We also had a few things we wanted to do.  We started by walking to BAM-Brooklyn Academy of Music to catch a showing of 42-the Jackie Robinson movie.

BAM-Brooklyn Academy of Music



This movie was especially poignant for me as the Dodgers, especially the Brooklyn Dodgers have a special meaning in my life.  I may have already written about this but my dad was born in Brooklyn and legend tells a few stories about the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The first being that my grandparents had actually broken up at one point and my grandmother had a friend give my grandfather a ticket to the Dodger game and she “happened” to be there.  Second is that my family lasted one season after the Dodgers left Brooklyn and moved to Los Angeles.

The movie did not disappoint!  It was a wonderful story of how Jackie Robinson was the first black player in Major League Baseball and Branch Rickey, the manager who got him there.  I loved seeing different parts of Brooklyn and loved thinking that we were on Flatbush Ave-only a few short miles away from where the Dodgers used to play at Ebbets Field!

Even the walk was beautiful:

Texas Bluebells and Tulips

Texas Bluebells and Tulips


Russell in front of Barclay's Center

Russell in front of Barclay’s Center

We walked back up to Prospect Heights after that and ended up getting some Mexical for dinner–hard to find good stuff in NYC but this wasn’t bad:

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We also just played around with the camera:

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There was another reason I wanted to end up in Prospect Heights  I had read about an Ice Cream place called Ample Hill Creamery.  And let me tell you, the line was out the door and around the corner!

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It took us about 45 minutes just to get into the store and then the line wound around the restaurant.  I felt like I was at a ride at Disneyland.  It didn’t hurt that there was tons of cool murals and stuff on the walls!

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Some really interesting stuff about the owner:



And we finally got the front and by goodness, the ice cream did not disappoint!

I had Salted Crack Caramel: salted caramel ice cream with pieces of Deb’s famous crack cookies (saltines, butter, sugar, chocolate) and Ooey Gooey Butter Cake: The smoothest, creamiest vanilla ice cream with gobs of St. Louis Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Pieces.



Russell had Bananmom: a twist on banana pudding: organic bananas, Saigon cinnamon and vanilla wafers and Sweet As Honey: homemade honey comb candy in a sweet cream ice cream.


At the end of the day, thanks to my handy dandy UP by Jawbone bracelet, we had walked nearly 7 miles.  A very good chill day in Brooklyn!


Foodie Fridays: Tea for Two

I love the act of tea.  I love having a traditional tea.  I’ve been to a few really great places over time.  My biffle, Jen, and I went to The Empress Hotel tea on our Alaska cruise in September, we did a tea at Disneyworld, one of my favorite tea places is in Springfield, OR-Ruthie B’s, which sadly has since closed.  I also have a favorite in Lincoln City, OR-Serindiptea-which apparently is also out of business. . . . thanks internet for dashing all my tea dreams right now!

But living in New York there is definitely no shortage of awesome tea places.  I have had the opportunity to visit two of them this year.  Jen actually went with me to both of them!

The first one was at The Plaza, ahh the epitome of class and style.  When I think of stylish places to go to, this is definitely the first one that comes to mind.  My parents came to visit in October so Jen and I decided to take my mother there for a girls afternoon.  My father had his own great time-attending a football game with his brother, much more his speed anyway!

The Plaza was definitely very elegant and I felt very much like a little girl living her big girl dream.  They had a few different options for tea meals and were very good about changes if needed.

The Plaza

I definitely loved the Eloise plates even though I never really read Eloise growing up.  The ceiling was impressive as were the pillars!

The second tea place in New York that I’ve now been to twice is Lady Mendl’s.  This is located in an inn in Greenwich Village and is very unassuming.  The first time we went, we almost walked right past it.  That was for my birthday in August.

The second time we went, Russell took Jen and I for our Hanukkah gift.  We had a fabulous time!

decorationEverything is super beautiful and set up extremely elegantly.  The services is impeccable-with people always making sure you have exactly what you need.







Of course, being the three of us, none of us wanted the same type of tea.

Our tea types:

Rachel: Lavender Mint

Jen: Assam

Russell: Orange Pekoe

Very reflective of our tastes :)




Every tea starts with a butternut squash tartlet (bottom left) which is tasty.

This is followed by an assortment of sandwiches:

Smoked salmon on pumpernickel with sunflower seeds.

Cream cheese cucumber on white bread

Egg salad on rye-with raw onions-yuck

Turkey cranberry on wheat.

Then then give you a butter scone and cranberry scone with raspberry jam and, my personal favorite, devonshire clotted cream. . . you will see later on, I am addicted to this stuff.



Then comes the desserts.  The main dessert that they are known for is a multi crepe layer cake that is french vanilla with raspberry creme–super yum.

There was also an assortment of tea cakes and cookies as well as a chocolate covered strawberry but the cake is usually more than enough.

The extra clotted cream that may or may not have been brought just for me.






At each setting is a sugar cube with a rose on it.  The tables are elegantly set.

Jen drinking her assam.

Me with my bowl of clotted cream. . . I promise I didn’t just eat it plain . . . not much of it anyway!





The decoration is very much British Victorian in flavor and they do a great job of paying attention to detail.  Both times we’ve been there, there have been private events going on-baby showers, bridal showers, etc.  Definitely a place I love and would return to again!

Tea times are absolutely one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon.  In fact I am currently very jealous of Jen who is in London and just posted on Facebook a teatime service. . . . I wish I was there!!!  What are some of your favorite tea spots?  Are there any good ones on the West Coast I should know about or in New York?