Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sweet Shalom Tea Room

Priscilla was happy to be buckled into her seat belt for another adventure.  Sweet Shalom is one of my favorite tea rooms and I was looking forward to sharing it with her.  I usually visit this tea room alone.  When Chris and Sara, the tearoom owners, named their tea room "Sweet Shalom", they were inspired by the Hebrew word "shalom."  The definition of shalom includes peace, harmony, completeness, wholeness, wellness and perfection.  The tea room was the dream of these long time friends. Both led busy lives and enjoyed quiet moments over tea.  Eventually, sharing the tea experience became a passion and they lovingly moved and restored this 140 year old small farm house and opened Sweet Shalom Tea Room. 
Sweet Shalom Tea Room
As soon as you pull in the driveway, you feel the demands of the outside world loosening their grip.
This morning, Chris and Sara greeted us at the door.
First Impression:  The lovely gingerbread trim and decor at the door show these ladies' attention to detail.  Being greeted at the door was the perfect welcome.
Red Parlor
Yellow Parlor
Tea Room Setting:  Guests are seated in the red or yellow parlor.  Both room's decor changes monthly to fit the theme.

My Table
The Table:  The fabric tablecloth is covered with a lace topper.  Vintage dishes match at each table.  Silver tea warmers, silver dishes for scones and silverware add to the elegance.  The small centerpiece changes each month.  Salt, pepper and a sugar bowl are also on the table.

Tea Offerings
Tea:  Harney and Sons tea is properly made and served in unlimited pots, with a warmer. Selah  is the special house blend.  It is a black tea with orange zest and ginger.  The tea list changes monthly and several teas to fit the menu are always included.

Menu Cover
Tea Menu
Menu:  The menu changes monthly.  They are open on Friday and Sunday, offering two seatings each day.  They are a reservation only tea room.

Salad with Shanagarry Cream Dressing
Tiered Server
Guess who wants to sink his teeth in  Irish Apple Crumble with Whiskey Cream Sauce?
Tea Tidbits:  At this tea room, referring to the food as tidbits is deceitful!  The scones alone could satisfy a normal woman.  The food is served in courses, beginning with the wonderful scones.  And hands down, theirs are the best I have tasted.  (You can see the scone on the picture above of the table.)  They offer a class on how to make scones.  I have taken it twice and picked up new tips each time.  The main course is served next.  This month it was a salad.  In the past they have served soups, quiche, and other dishes.  Then, the "tidbits" arrive on a tiered server.  When you think it isn't possible to swallow another bite, the featured dessert arrives.  Of course everything is accompanied by endless pots of tea.  Fresh flowers always garnish the tiered server.  On one of the rare occasions I allowed a friend to accompany me, she commented "If the flowers are fake, the food usually is too."  Nothing is fake at Sweet Shalom!  Libby, and now Krissy, prepare everything in house!

Entertainment:  A program is presented at each tea.  This month we were treated to a harpist.  Other times, it may be a reading, a soloist, or another musician.  

Sara serving my tea from Priscilla
Service:  Chris and Sara often serve the tea and other goodies.  The rest of their staff is as sweet as the owners.  Brenda, LaRae, and Edie are attentive and efficient.

Gift Shop
Gift Shop:  The gift shop offers Harney and Sons tea as well as dishes, books, stationary, accessories, etc.

Price:  21.95 (I have not included tax and tip in the other tea room prices.)  As you can see, Donna Hardin and Miss Spenser had arranged a gift certificate surprise!  In many of the pictures, you can see I didn't really have tea alone, they were there all the time.  (But, they were so quiet!)  A huge thanks to both of them for a lovely afternoon!

Edie with Priscilla
Extras:  Edie's manicure always sparkles!  This is the perfect tea room to visit alone.  Bring a book, journal, etc. and enjoy a mini vacation.  They also offer various classes, fundraisers for the local PBS station, Sit and Sip on Wednesdays and Thursdays, private functions, etc.  Check out their website

Chris and Sara
And tell them, Teresa sent you!

My favorite dish this month was the salad.  They were happy to share the recipe:

Shanagarry Salad Dressing

2 hard boiled eggs
1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 Tablespoon malt vinegar
1/2 cup heavy cream

Press egg yolks through sieve.  Add sugar, salt and mustard.  Blend in vinegar and cream.  Finely chop one egg white and add.  Cover and chill.  

Until we "tea" again . . .

Sips and Smiles,


La Tea Dah said...

I enjoyed seeing Chris and Sara ---- and beautiful Sweet Shalom. What a delight! And how very FUN that Donna and Spenser sent you a gift certificate for this lovely experience. I saw their pictures there by the tray and wondered about it and then read your comment. Very special! I enjoyed this tea room visit with you, Teresa! Thank you!

Marilyn said...

My oh my, but this was a treat just to see. I can't even imagine sitting in this lovely tearoom. This has been on my list of tearooms to visit and I was sad not to make it there last year. How lovely to have a gift certificate from Donna and Spensir too.

Karen's Place said...

Really enjoyed reading about your visit to Sweet Shalom Tea Room. Nice to see tea done so right.

Sparkly Engineer said...

I wish I could visit this tea room it sounds so sweet and peace filled.

Thanks for sharing the recipe. I prepare salads daily for lunch so this will be a nice addition.