Sunday, February 10, 2008

Once Upon a Tea Cup with "Mr. Big"

Hello Friends!

After a fairy tale tea time with Christopher Noth this weekend, today's tea selection was a no-brainer, "Earl Grey" straight up! No need for additions, when the contents hold all the right ingredients for a perfectly attractive delight for the senses - and with just a hint of spice. (Am I still talking about the tea?)

On the heels of last week's blog entry of a "super-sized" afternoon tea, I continued on my theme of tall orders this Saturday after meeting, "Mr. Big", aka Chris Noth, at the absolutely charming "Once Upon a Tea Cup" tea room in Windsor, Ontario. Noth is part investor of this tea establishment and it provides a truly unique offering: children are not only welcome, they are encouraged to visit!

While the grown-ups can enjoy a tranquil afternoon tea time, the kids can take a visit to the "closet". Here, little girls can find frilly dresses and tiaras to dress like princesses while sipping pint-sized lattes. And, in a previously ignored market, little boys can also join the fun by selecting from many of the superhero costumes in the collection and defend the enchanted tea room during their stay.

Being a mother to two boys and a girl, I can really appreciate the concept. Back in the day, I would have loved to have had such a place to enjoy the afternoon-tea experience and still bring the little ones. At "Once Upon a Tea Cup", one no longer precludes the other.

Now while one may come to "Once Upon a Tea Cup" for the Hollywood Connections or the original premise, you will come back for the tea, the delicious food and the welcoming service. We also met with Tina, one of the other owners, and she and her staff were as warm as our pot of Earl Grey. (In fact, I was so fond of the Earl Grey they served, I purchased a bag to take home. Hence, my little cup of perfection for today's afternoon break.)

But, don't think you have to have children in tow to visit. You'll find the trip is well worth it, even if you just come with your contemporaries. Although the room was quite full, the children in attendance were all well-behaved. They were focused on their tea-room persona or the tea-time treats set before them at their tables. At our table, there were four adults and we could enjoy our conversation with no distraction. I do believe, however, I've found the perfect place to go when my sister-in-law visits with my two young nephews from out west. We won't need babysitters to get out tea fix this time!

For all our Canadians Friends, we're told that the interview with Chris and Tina (that took place right in front of our tea table!), for "Entertainment Tonight - Canada" will air this Friday, February 15th.

For those of us who visit from the Detroit area, I'm happy to say, it's a direct, relatively short trip across the bridge for an international get-away.

BTS gives this tea room, two gloved-thumb's up.

Happy Valentine's Day to all. Treat yourself to some tea and chocolate this Thursday and we'll see you here next weekend. . .

Tea and friendship,


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Afternoon Tea - Supersized!

Hello Friends,

With February hosting Superbowl Sunday and Super Tuesday, Barb's TEA Shop wants to join in the fun. So, today, I'm having an "extra- grande" serving of tea for my afternoon tea break. And, with a freshly brewed pot of "Strawberry Kiwi", it's an easy - and delightful - thing to do.

In addition to the big events mentioned above, February is also Valentine's Day month (although it has avoided the "Super" title-trap, so far). The upcoming holiday has inspired today's tea selection as Strawberry Kiwi not only tastes wonderful, it has a beautiful rosy red color, too, that's perfect for all romantics. I chose one of my favorite pink-flowered tea cups for serving (see top left insert). As I am fond of saying, it really is "too-too"!

BTS had a terrific week. Thursday, I had wonderful time at the Troy Historical Village. Met some of the nicest ladies, many who stayed afterwards to share some of their own, very interesting, tea stories. And, what a turnout! One hundred women were in attendance and the church pews were filled to capacity with lovely guests and teacups. Another fine example of "tea as an occasion" - a reason cited in the presentation for the ever growing popularity of tea.

February is sure to be a busy time as well. We'll be wrapping up our Super Month with "Tea Tasting - Beyond the Teabag" at The Community House. We appreciate "Strut For Women" - the monthly magazine in The Detroit News - for selecting Beyond the Teabag as one of their "February, 2008 Enrichment" class choices (February 08, page 19).

Before I close for the afternoon, I invite you to vote in our new poll. Tell us what your "cup of tea" will be for tomorrow's (Sunday) night viewing.

And, I hasten to add before my departure, all the "super-fluous" talk will be gone next week!

Tea and friendship,