Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Royal Eagle: Russian afternoon tea in The D

The Royal Eagle tea room is located in Harper Woods, bordering Detroit and the Grosse Pointes

A Russian-themed tea and an afternoon of serenity can be found just outside of Detroit and as the "Barbs-at-Tea" discovered, what a find it is!

The Royal Eagle is part of a monastic campus of Easter Orthodox influence

In a quiet neighborhood in Harper Woods, The Royal Eagle delights visitors with a Russian afternoon tea, but that's not the only surprise that awaits guests. On a residential street, in city that borders Detroit and the Grosse Pointes, there's not only a restaurant, but a monastery, both housed in Eastern Orthodox-style buildings. Although, it looks as though this sanctuary has been there for centuries, it was formed only nineteen years ago in  1999.

The Royal Eagle is filled with antiques, including a collection of samovars, and a painting of Tsar Nicholas II

Great tea friend, Barb Tabb, suggested we visit The Royal Eagle last month, since it is a destination  that has been on both of our tea-places-to-try lists for quite some time.

Barbs-at-Tea, enjoying Russian tea fare, with main course of paprika chicken and fresh greens salad

There's a feeling of tranquility as you enter the tea room and that's by design. Cell phones are not allowed (except for picture-taking) and a modest dress code is required.

Tea cups with gold handles await guests 

But there's a regal-ness to the interior design as well. Chairs and drapes are a deep red hue, bordering tables, with crisp white tablecloths, where gold trimmed tea cups rest, awaiting guests.  Along with an impressive collection of antiques that are showcased around the tea room, including an amazing variety of samovars, there's a large picture of Tsar Nicholas II to remind visitors where The Royal Eagle derives its inspiration. The tea room was built to honor the memory of this last Tsar of Russia who was also a great patron of the Orthodox church.

One of the samovars on display

The Russian afternoon tea is a seven course meal which starts with tasty borscht soup and ends with a special pastry of the day.

The afternoon tea begins with tasty borscht soup.

Tea sandwiches are served on a silver, three-tiered tray. Along with the traditional cucumber savories, there's also salmon salad and brie-cranberry-chutney canapes, the latter being one of my favorites.

Three-tiered tray filled with savories

The main course was paprika-infused chicken served with a fresh green salad tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette. The chicken was off-the-bone tender and packed with flavor and the tangy dressing on the baby greens provided just the right balance to the meal.

Scrumptious lemon tart for dessert.

The grand finale - dessert - was an absolutely scrumptious lemon tart. It was a divine creation of  lemon curd in a flaky crust.

Waiting for tea to steep. 

Of course all of this is accompanied by a fine selection of tea. I had the lavender earl grey, which I liked a lot, once I let it steep long enough (patience is a virtue - and what better place to practice but on the grounds of a monastery). Each guest is given their own pot of tea to enjoy with the meal.

Gazebo on the grounds of St. Sabbas Monestary

The total cost of the entire Russian afternoon tea is $22.00 -  an incredible price for all the delicious food served up in such an attractive and unique environment.

Be sure to make reservations in advance, however, as tea is only served on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Guests can enjoy patio dining and pond viewing when temps get warmer

Although we were there on typical Michigan spring day - rain, wind, snow, sun -  I plan to be back when the weather warms up. When the flurries subside,  guests can enjoy meals outside. There are  ponds and gazebos and a small winding path to walk the grounds.

 The Royal Eagle is literally in the neighborhood. Enjoy Russian flavor without the passport,

If you're in the tri-county area and  want to experience a bit of Russian flavor and tea without updating your passport, you only need to embark on an expressway or two to reach The Royal Eagle.  It's a Russian tea room in the neighborhood and that just adds to its charm.

1 comment:

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