Thursday, November 16, 2017
Restaurant News

Here's where to take Mom for high tea this Mother's Day

RECOMMENDED READING


Afternoon high tea is about as Mother's Day-appropriate as it gets. Little pinkie extended. One lump or two, Mother dear? Care for a watercress sandwich? The Tampa Bay area has a number of places to take the lovely lady for an afternoon of crumpets and such.

The Royal Tea Room & Gift Shoppe

(2719 S MacDill Ave., Tampa; (813) 837-3000) was really the first tea room of its type in Tampa, established in 1996 in this location and expanding twice to accommodate the enthusiastic tea-drinking hordes. Part shop (heavy on the Vera Bradley), it is the go-to setting for an afternoon elevated indulgence, complete with flavorful teas and a three-tiered caddy with scones, savory bites and delicious desserts. Traditional afternoon tea is served Tuesday to Saturday with seatings at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. by reservation.

Victorian Grace Tea Room

(616 N Parsons Ave., Brandon; (813) 653-2662) will offer a special Mother's Day tea 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday for $35 per person, including tax. The festivities include a fluted glass of sparkling Mother's Day punch, unlimited tea refills of two premium Harney & Sons teas, a choice of soup, assorted tea sandwiches, a warm scone with fresh Devonshire cream, and two special desserts. As of this writing there are only a few spots left for Sunday, but plenty of room on Saturday. If Mom will take a rain check, Victorian Grace accepts walk-ins Tuesdays to Fridays for lunch or afternoon tea.

TeBella at the Oxford Exchange

(420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa; (813) 253-0222) serves tea from 3 to 5 p.m. daily in a beautiful glass conservatory. You can go traditional (assortment of sweet and savory items, scones with clotted cream and house preserves and your choice of tea ($26 per person); goose it up a bit with a champagne tea ($36) or a more sensible tea with scones and preserves ($20). And if mum isn't a fan of the leaves, she can go for a great cup of Buddy Brew coffee.

Empress Tea Room

(12924 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa; (813) 988-9027) has always been the grand dame, its delicate bone china pots of tea accompanied by sandwiches, pastries and scones served in either a formal indoor space or the "garden room." Set your sights on the sinful Devonshire cream or the Regency chicken salad sandwich with almonds. For Mother's Day, there is a brunch ($15.95) in addition to high tea, and all moms are treated to a glass of champagne. Otherwise, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday; $16.95.

Simply Country Gifts & Southern Belles Tea Room

(2214 Thonotosassa Road, Plant City, (813) 754-5683) has been doing a special Mother's Day tea for the past 12 years. It opened in 1983 as a gift shop, and if Mom gets twitterpated about all things Christmas, this gift shop is for her. They've been serving afternoon tea (top offering: strawberry scones), since 2001 in three seatings, Tuesdays through Saturdays, in two lavishly decorated dining rooms in the first floor of an old house. This year, there are seatings on Friday and Saturday, with spots available as of this writing, but reservations are a must. Unlimited tea is all brewed from loose leaf, the fancy tiered tray features two different kinds of scone with lemon curd and clotted cream on the bottom, tea sandwiches on the middle tier and lovely little desserts at the top.

Tilted Teacup Tea Room & Boutique

(103 S Saxon Ave., Brooksville; (352) 593-4111). From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, they offer both high tea ($22.50) which includes a teacup of soup, an assortment of tea sandwiches, fresh baked scone with cream and a selection of dessert on one of those fancy three-tiered etageres, plus an unlimited pot of tea. Afternoon tea ($19.50) is nearly the same lineup but a little less lavish. They have 39 flavors of loose-leaf tea, so be patient, Mom may dither a bit before deciding. After all, she's the queen for the day.

   
Comments
No Thanksgiving plan? Head to one of these Tampa Bay restaurants for traditional feasts and more

No Thanksgiving plan? Head to one of these Tampa Bay restaurants for traditional feasts and more

You realize Thanksgiving is just a week away, right? No pressure. If you don’t have a holiday game plan for Nov. 23, let’s do this thing. There are still a bunch of options, many traditional Thanksgiving repasts and some a little less conventional. C...
Published: 11/16/17
A St. Petersburg artist created the labels for this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau wine release

A St. Petersburg artist created the labels for this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau wine release

Every year, there are bad things we can count on: taxes and death. And good things: Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November and on the Thursday before, the Beaujolais nouveau arrives. What is less predictable is just how this vin de l’ann...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Oak & Stone with self-serve beer coming to St. Pete, South Tampa’s Byblos to reopen

Oak & Stone with self-serve beer coming to St. Pete, South Tampa’s Byblos to reopen

COMING SOON: OAK & STONEBeen to Oak & Stone in Sarasota? In early 2018 we’ll get one in St. Petersburg at 199 Central Ave., next to the newly constructed Hyatt Place. The concept is wood-fired pizzas mated with a self-serve beer wall highlighting cr...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17
Restaurant review: NuMex needs to tell its story better to stand out among St. Petersburg’s taco scene

Restaurant review: NuMex needs to tell its story better to stand out among St. Petersburg’s taco scene

ST. PETERSBURGI seldom have been so perplexed about a new restaurant. The prospect of NuMex’s opening in the Grand Central District swirled more than a year ago and I watched the hip little building come together. The spelling of the name itself was ...
Published: 11/13/17
Proper in downtown St. Pete to close as Park & Rec takes over its space

Proper in downtown St. Pete to close as Park & Rec takes over its space

ST. PETERSBURG — Next week, something almost unprecedented is happening in St. Petersburg’s restaurant scene.Park & Rec, the game-oriented concept from Stephen Schrutt’s Hunger + Thirst Restaurant Group, will expand Nov. 17 into a second building. It...
Published: 11/10/17
Don’t want to cook on Thanksgiving? Where to pick up every part of the meal in Tampa Bay

Don’t want to cook on Thanksgiving? Where to pick up every part of the meal in Tampa Bay

Some years you’re feeling it. The peeling of the pearl onions, the procuring of the chestnuts, that one creepy moment when you’re nearly elbow-deep trying to locate the bag of giblets. Thanksgiving is the most important cooking holiday of the year, t...
Published: 11/08/17
Made Coffee’s cold brew creation is brewed and canned right here in Tampa Bay

Made Coffee’s cold brew creation is brewed and canned right here in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURGLet’s start with the actual can itself, a turquoise-tan-orange vessel emblazoned with text and illustrations: "Ingredients: coffee, water, time"; an image of a simple coffee brewing process under "How we made it." The colors pop, the fo...
Published: 11/07/17
Updated: 11/10/17
New Indian restaurant Rasoi now open in Ybor City

New Indian restaurant Rasoi now open in Ybor City

Rasoi Indian Cuisine, launched its grand opening Saturday (Nov. 4) as the only Indian restaurant in Ybor City. Located at 1701 E Eighth Ave., the traditional restaurant cooks authentic Indian food with the finest spices and ingredients imported from...
Published: 11/07/17
Naples is a dining destination worth visiting, rich with newcomers and long-standing favorites

Naples is a dining destination worth visiting, rich with newcomers and long-standing favorites

NAPLES Naples Restaurant Week is a semiannual promotion celebrating the region’s best dining at an affordable price, with lunch and dinner prix fixe meals available for either $25 or $35, depending on the location. This year it’s slated ...
Published: 11/06/17
Calling food fans: This weekend has food festivals in Dunedin, Indian Rocks Beach and more

Calling food fans: This weekend has food festivals in Dunedin, Indian Rocks Beach and more

Let’s hope you’ve been in an abstemious mode, maybe even fasting this past week, because things are about to get real for Tampa Bay foodies. TAMPA GREEK FESTIVAL One of the biggest events this weekend is the Tampa Greek Festival at St....
Published: 11/03/17
Updated: 11/10/17