I have only recently discovered the joys of tea. A few years back, I finally put milk in my tea, added lots of sugar and went, "Hey, that's not bad!" So while I will never be considered a tea connoisseur, (Tea Snobs: "The milk covers up the true taste!!" Me: "And that's bad because...?") I really enjoy making a cup of tea on a rainy, windy night like tonight and sipping away. My very favorite flavor is vanilla, but I also like English Breakfast and the "Paris" blend from Harney and Sons that my friend Erin gave me as a gift. I am trying to expand my horizons a bit, but those are really my faves.
When I'm too lazy to make my own tea, I like to visit a few of our local tea houses. I am lucky enough to have one less than two miles from my house. The Hawthorn Tea Room is very laid back and the owners are super friendly. They even remembered my name on my second visit. It's not a fancy, Victorian type place, but the food is really good and they have the very best vanilla tea. One time I was admiring their old teacup collection, the ones they have retired because of chips, cracks, etc. and they let me have one! I tried really hard to pay for it, but they wouldn't let me. The tea cup at the top shows the pattern I chose. Now, don't go in there expecting a free tea cup. You have to be super cute, like me. I'm just saying, they're really sweet.
When I'm looking to go a little more frilly and fancy, I haul my cookies down to The Secret Garden Tea Room in Sumner which is a converted Victorian house. It's much more flowery and I feel like a giant around the teeny tiny spoons and teeny tiny cups. But it's where I like to go for the full on, two-hour, how-many-scones-can-I-eat tea party. It's also a fun place to take little girls so they can be all ladylike. I took my nieces Madison and Kenzie during the summer and I've also gone with my fake niece, Claire. They all drank real live tea (without milk) and behaved better than I did.
So, if it's a dark and stormy night at your house, like it is at mine, have a cup of tea for me. Just remember to put in lots of milk and three sugar cubes. Four if no one is looking.