Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ginger's Tea Room: Add a Little "Spice" to Tea Time

Ginger's Cafe and Gourmet Shoppe is full of surprises, not the least is its location. On a busy section of Grand River, in Farmington, a charming yellow-sided Victorian home, framed in brown trim, stands proud, if not somewhat out of place, between a mini strip mall and a construction zone. But, once you climb the steps of the wrap-around porch and enter the main lobby, you can feel the third millennium peeling away.

My daughter and fellow tea-enthusiast, Rachel, and I were seated in the back dining room. Our table, situated next to the french doors, had a wonderful view of the beautifully landscaped yard with a quaint gazebo, center stage. Our waitress, Laura, was immediately at our service with tea suggestions to start us out. We were given the option of hearing the list of teas or having her bring out samples of loose tea to get personally acquainted with. After hearing a few of the offerings, we were quick to ask for the one-on-one introduction.

Laura brought a tray with about a dozen teas in small, palm-sized containers and after inspecting and sniffing, we decided to start with an afternoon tea favorite, earl grey and, then, perhaps, work our way to one of the tempting flavored teas.

After combing through the menu, and without much deliberation, we opted for the afternoon tea. All the tasty treats and sandwiches are made on-site and all were delicious. Presentation is not overlooked and everything was served on Lenox's butterfly meadow china - as dainty and whimsical as the restaurant itself.

We started with the scones and cream and homemade marmalade, the latter of which Rachel found to be her new favorite condiment. We had a variety of small sandwiches and then the meal was topped off with four miniature pastries. We sipped and chatted for an hour plus. Laura was always nearby to answer any questions or provide commentary on the food, the tea and even the restaurant itself.

As we were wrapping up our afternoon tea, Laura offered to give us a tour of the house, including a walk on the grounds. The tearoom has a number of dining areas with interesting views of not only the side yard, but brightly colored and enchanting murals (the back wall features a peacock with emerald green feathers!).

With a parlor and an upstairs, Ginger's Cafe has many different sized-rooms for groups large or small. There is a place to accommodate any need, be it meeting, book club, or red-hat group.

Barb's TEA Shop gives Ginger's an enthusiastic, two gloved thumbs up!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

We Have a WINNER!

Thank you to all who responded to our First Ever Barb's TEA Shop Blog Contest. Our winner is Dawn A. from Michigan! Congrats to Dawn!

Our unscientific poll of favorite tea revealed Earl Grey was the overwhelming tea of choice. Interesting. . . just like the Queen of England!

We had so much fun with our contest, we're going to run another very soon. Keep "tuning in" for details.

And, to reward all who sent their name in for this drawing, and didn't win, we're going to keep your name in for the second drawing and you can still enter again! You will increase your odds at winning the next contest.

Dawn, we hope you enjoy your new Elmwood Inn tea book!

And, as you know, all tea drinkers are winners. . . an Earl Grey tea toast to all.