Friday, May 26, 2017

Tonia's Victorian Rose Tea Room: New owner and updates to a Rochester favorite

Tonia's Victorian Rose has a new owner: Tonia!

For two decades, the Victorian Rose Tea Room has been a familiar fixture on Third Street in downtown Rochester. Known for its handsome vintage parlor rooms and delicious lunches, it was owned and operated by Loretta Curry for over twenty years. It changed hands last December when Tonia Cartson purchased the distinctive tea venue. After a visit this week, I'm delighted to say, with a refresh courtesy Tonia's touch, the tea room maintains both its charm and truly scrumptious menu offerings.

Victorian Rose holds a special place for me - it was where I had my first tea presentation outside of home parties over ten years ago. (I have a picture from a newspaper article that I will share, once I find it. We recently moved and everything is in boxes!)

Over the years, I also came with friends for afternoon tea. The food was always amazing, including Loretta's legendary chicken pot pie with its generously stuffed savory goodness and gravy wrapped up in a delicate, flaky crust.

Asparagus soup, creamy goodness in a cup.

Frequent guests of the Victorian Rose will be thrilled to know, the chicken pot pie is still on the menu and it's still amazing. On my visit with my favorite cousins, Dianne and Kathy (aka, my "sistahs"), we sampled pot pie, cream of asparagus soup and chicken salad, the latter served up  with fresh fruit and a just-baked cranberry scone. Everything was superb!

Scrumptious chicken salad with fresh fruit and scone.

There were so many tempting items to choose from, it was hard to select just a few. But, we'll be back to try the crepes and afternoon tea offerings very soon.

Victorian decor with a French provincial touch

The tea is served in tea bags, but steeped in teapots brought to the table. We had our afternoon-tea go-to, Earl Grey, which worked well with our scones.

Chandeliers hang from the ceiling and on the wall.

The decor is still Victorian, but with a fresh, French provincial flair. Elegant chandeliers hang from the ceilings and the theme continues with a sparkling chandelier picture mounted on one of the lavender hued walls.

The sistahs in one of the three "parlors" in the tea room.

Each table has a unique centerpiece made of teapots, tea cups and silk flowers, which adds a bit of fun and whimsy to the setting.

Each table has a unique centerpiece.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Tonia's Victorian Rose. Not only is the food and decor something to talk about, but you also meet the nicest people to talk to. We got to know  Candy and Peggy who were at a nearby table. They, too, were out on a "girls afternoon" and are great fans of Victorian Rose.

Tonia's Victorian Rose in downtown Rochester

Tonia's Victorian Rose (tea room and more!) is located at 118 W. 3rd Street in Rochester. Tea room hours are Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 am - 2:00 pm (call ahead to be sure no events are going on during the weekends). Reservations are strongly encouraged.

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