To begin, please know that I do not claim to be an expert on tea.
Tea has always been a part of my life. Growing up in the deep south, sweet iced tea is unavoidable. It is a staple at every function at which food is served. Up until my teenage years, this was the only tea I had ever tried. In an effort to branch out, and much to the amusement of my family, I ordered hot tea at a restaurant one Sunday at lunch. I also asked the waitress to bring the accompanying lemon and milk and proceeded to add both to the wonderfully fragrant cup that steamed before me. Puzzled by what occurred in my cup, I quickly asked the waitress to bring me another, assuming that the milk had gone bad. Unfortunately, this second cup yielded the same result when the lemon and milk were both added, so I set the cup to the side and kept to my water for the rest of the meal. Of course, I have since learned that tea may take lemon or milk, but never both.
Again, I do not claim to be an expert on tea.
The notion of a tea party never appealed to me as a child. This was something that grew over time, with the aid of volumes of classical literature depicting women in their parlors taking tea with friends. It seemed to be such a relaxing ritual; a time to refresh, retreat to a simpler time, connect with friends or oneself, or enjoy the beauty that comes from one's surroundings, be it in the great outdoors or around an elegantly set table. My grandmother also inspired me with her knack for being a great hostess and ability to design and create beautiful events, from parties and showers, to simple family dinners. My father called this "putting on the dog." He has accused me of such a thing now and then, but it is an accusation I gladly claim to be true.
I visited my first tea room my sophomore year in college. It was a wonderful experience, and one that would have to be repeated again in many different locations all across the country. Now, any time I visit a new city, one of the first things I look for is a new tea room to explore. At the urging of my best friend, I have decided to put my thoughts - good and bad - together in a collection of reviews here in this blog. I also hope to have some good tea stories to share as well.
I hope you'll find the reviews helpful and the stories entertaining. Thanks for reading.