Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Irish Tea Room in Niagara-on-the-Lake: Warm, inviting and delicious!

Niagara-on-the-Lake is well known for its Shaw festival and many picturesque vineyards, but for those looking for a great cup of tea and delicious food with an Irish flair, the Irish Tea Room, on the town’s main street, is a must-stop destination.

Last month, my husband and I stayed overnight at NOTL on the way back from our cousin’s wedding. We had had many testimonials from family and friends (including said cousin) that this was a destination worth seeing, especially for those of us who are patrons of the arts and wines. But, through the internet, I also found there was a tea room downtown and from reviews and pictures, I knew that it would fit in nicely between the galleries and the vineyards.

With an early start and a hearty breakfast, we traveled the Lake Ontario shoreline and stopped at a half a dozen wi
neries. There is a distinctive taste to the Niagara-produced wine that I found I really liked. In fact, it was much like the comfortable fall day we were there - cool and crisp with just the right amount of zing.

But, I digress. . . after the self-directed winery tour, we drove to town and found The Irish Tea Room in the back of the Irish Design store on Queen street, the town's main avenue. The tea room's lace curtains, hardwood floors and shelves stocked with goodies make guests feel immediately at home and comfortable.

We met owner, Pat Henry, who is as warm and charming as her tea room. Originally from Ireland, she came to the America over twenty years ago. A degree in culinary arts and many years of catering experience, her dream of opening up her own tea room came seven years ago with the Irish Tea Room. Everything in the store is made on the premises. Pat told us, with a smile, "I make everything served here but the dishes".

We sampled the tea rooms scones which were amazing - perfect blend of delicious taste and light consistency - not to mention that the portions are extremely generous.We paired it off with a simply wonderful cup of Earl Grey although there's more than tea to choose from. The menu offers a wide range of beverages, including gourmet hot chocolate, specialty coffees and even a selection of the region's fine wines

Aside from scones, the tea room offers a wide variety of tea fare, including Guinness Steak Pie and Irish Whiskey Cake. In addition, the Irish Tea Room sells its own brand of packaged scone mix. We, of course, purchased a few to take back with us to go with our box of Barry teas - and a few Niagara wines we had purchased earlier in the day.

To learn more about this delightful tea room in NOTL,continue reading The Detroit Irish Tea Time in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Cheers to weddings, mini-vacations, and charming Irish tea rooms!

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