Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Enjoying the good life at the London Tea Room

In the middle of downtown St. Louis, there exists a slice of British heaven. Adjoined to a beautiful furniture store called English Living, the London Tea Room (a mother-daughter team owns both the furniture store and the tea room - how sweet is that) makes me want to lift my pinky while sipping my tea - not because it's the proper thing to do, but because the tea is just so darn good, and the atmosphere is super quaint.

As you can see, they have a huuuuuge variety of teas. Many are organic and fair trade, and all are delicious. You walk in, order at the counter, and hope to god that you have enough willpower not to order all the pastries in front of you. Thankfully, Marie and I are regular Tea Room patrons, so we exercised some discipline and knew exactly what we wanted. We ordered: a large pot of Iron Goddess of Mercy tea (an oolong tea from TAIWAN - holla!), two scones with devonshire cream and jam, strawberry salad for Marie, and 1/2 croque monsieur + 1/2 apple cheddar salad for me. This may seem like a lot of food, but... okay fine, it is a lot of food. We have no shame.

Let's start with the tea and scones. Doesn't Marie look like a young and proper English lady? What I love about the tea room is that instead of giving you numbers for your order, they give you different Tube (London's subway system) station signs. A-dorable. I've been to London, but I never knew there was a Covent Garden stop, so in addition to stuffing my face, I learned something new. Score. Another reason I love the tea room is that your tea always comes in charming china. Makes me smile.

The Iron Goddess of Mercy is outta this world tasty. So fragrant, and no bitter aftertaste. Definitely our favorite. I could drink it all day. (You can too, because the tea room also sells their tea loose-leaf in 1/8 pounds.)

The scones are ginormous. I got a black currant scone, because I'll order anything with the word 'currant' in it. Done and done. The scones arrive warmed up, which is a nice touch. I like my scones a bit softer and more moist than their version, but hello: devonshire cream + jam!! Put that stuff on, and any dryness is quickly overlooked.

I can't get enough of the devonshire cream, and apparently the owners bring it back straight from the UK. Book me on the next flight to London, please.

Then came our lunches. My apple cheddar salad - pictured here with my croque monsieur - was pretty good, but I thought the sharp cheddar cheese was a little overwhelming, and I would have preferred more apple. In addition to the few slices on top, I would have loved cut-up pieces tossed in throughout.

Also making a special appearance in the above picture is my beloved Honda CRV, which I plan to drive until I'm 50. You can't see from this distance, but there's a huge scratch on the side. And on the other side. And little scratches all around. Oops.

The tea room makes a mean croque monsieur. I love sandwiches that have just a few slices of meat, because it allows the sandwich to be flat and pressed perfectly. Today's sandwich could have been pressed a little longer, since I like my food to be piping hot and dripping with cheese, but it was still quite yum.

Marie's massive strawberry salad is my favorite of their salad offerings. The strawberries are always fresh, the vinaigrette is pleasantly sweet, and the pecans provide a nice little crunch. It comes with goat cheese as pictured, but if you're like me and would run away at the slightest mention of goat cheese (ewww!), substitute guyere cheese instead, and the combination works great!

I'm sorry. I know how people feel about goat cheese, but I just can't take it. And neither can Han. Hence we are bffs.

Before I leave St. Louis, I plan to hit up the London Tea Room at least a hundred more times. And next time I'd like to try their Afternoon Tea. Bring on the assortment of small cakes! For now, I'll leave you with another picture of scone + devonshire cream + jam. Instant love.

London Tea Room
1520 Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63103

1 comment:

  1. seriously that jam + devonshire cream + scone is just staring at me in the face ANDICANTSTANDIT!