Hot water with boiled leaves isn’t exactly my cup of tea. My mother, sisters, and husband are all very into tea, but I land with my dad squarely in the Coffee Camp. I have tried tea on numerous occasions based on pleadings by my tea-loving cohorts and always come up with the same conclusion- no. However, last weekend a friend of mine had a bachelorette party at a tea house and I managed to enjoy myself immensely.
Of course, the company was the biggest reason- when eight young women gather two weeks before a wedding, two of them newlywed, one a bride to be, and one eight months pregnant, the girl talk is bound to be on fire. But surprisingly I enjoyed the food and drink as well. High SocieTea House in Wayne, NJ was a short drive from home, and it was located in a historic house that operated half as a boutique store and half as a tea house restaurant. I enjoyed browsing the cute, girly merchandise while waiting for the rest of the girls to arrive, and then we were brought to our adorable table.
The menu was a bit confusing. Have a look below- most of us found it tough to choose a package that included exactly what we were looking for. Also, things like the “assorted savories” and “delectable sweets” weren’t listed anywhere, and we asked the patient waitress to recite them at least four times. The assortment of teas, however, took up nearly four pages in the menu. I was directed to the chi teas by my tea-loving friends and eventually chose a caramel chi tea to enjoy with the light lunch. Surprisingly, it was okay. Not something I would look for again, but it was good enough to drink on this occasion and not too “tea-ish”.
Once you chose your tea, they bring it to you in a personal quilted teapot, which holds way more tea than I will drink in the entire rest of my lifetime, never mind over the course of one afternoon (worth noting though, a few friends did empty their pots). There is a heavy sieve of sorts that you have to pour the tea through when you are filling your cup to make sure you don’t get any bits of leaves. I’m sure this contraption has an elegant tea name but I called it “the fancy strainer” for most of the day.
Everyone’s meal began with two scones- a caramel and a blueberry. I’ve never had a scone before but the caramel ones were absolutely delectable, especially after adding clotted cream. They were even served warm which made the whole experience even better. I had chosen the Princess Tea option, which began with soup or salad and ended with assorted savories. The carrot ginger soup was delicious, and as for the savories I was so glad they were flexible with their menu. I was supposed to get a cucumber sandwich, a brie phyllo cup, a bruschetta, a mini quiche, and a pizza spread bite. However, they allowed me to trade a few out due to my allergies, and all of the ones I tasted were great.
A few girls got dessert in the package they paid for, and they raved about the cobbler and mini sweets. We hung out long after the teacups were empty and the plates were cleared just enjoying the adorable atmosphere. I don’t think I have ever seen so many floral prints in my life. Many of the dishes in the place setttings were mismatched, which was somewhat endearing, and the room was filled with light and softness. It probably helped that there was only one other table occupied in the small room, so things were quiet and pleasant. Being the coffee drinker at the tea party definitely made for a nice day, and even if I don’t see myself going back again anytime soon I’m certainly glad I went this time!