Review: The Teapot Tea Room
The Teapot Tea Room
61 Stow Road
Boxborough, MA 01719
Guest Review submitted by: Melanie Turpin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rating: Four Gold Leaves. Very good.
Three and a half years ago, Boxborough locals Sharon Hood and Leslie Drew aptly noticed that "It's hard to get a good cup of tea anywhere; you usually get a Styrofoam cup and lukewarm water." In the spirit of revival and New England tradition, they determined to re-infuse tea with its former dignity, opening the Teapot Tea Room among the tall, fragrant pines of rural-suburban Massachusetts.
Tranquil and homey, the Teapot shares its three, combined 18th-century homes with a quirky antique shop, greeting guests on their way in with its cozy clutter of motley tea service items and hand-me-down crafts.
A harmlessly amateur mural of cheerful flowers opens into the small but comfortable dining room. Tableside windows look out on a wild, woodsy backyard; shelves display colorful assortments of teapots, tea bags, teaspoons, tea strainers, tea cookies, teacups, and tea cozies, all for sale. A quiet, conversation-friendly atmosphere is maintained by accommodating only a handful of tables. Limited space and even more limited hours make reservations a necessity.
The menu is simple, but the food is scrumptious. Sandwiches change daily and include egg salad with mint, chicken salad with chunks of apple and nuts, and an unusual Cobb Salad sandwich with ham, avocado, and boiled egg. Soups change daily as well; look for the creamy, buttery Carrot-Ginger; the Butternut Squash and Apple; and the popular Tomato Rice. For the heartier appetite, there's an old-fashioned Plowman's Lunch with a downhome hunk of cheddar, a "taste" of green salad, a roll, and Branston pickle--a spicy English chutney.
Portions tend to be on the modest side, so opt for the full sandwich instead of the half, a bowl of soup instead of a cup, and don't skip
dessert. The homemade desserts change with the lunch specials and are alone worth the trip from crowded, busy Boston. Refreshing sorbets are a
frequent feature, cranked out right there in the tiny kitchen. The pastries, a combination of old
New England stand-bys and modern twists, are divine. Among the highlights are the
banana chocolate chip cake, Pavlova (Australian crisp-on-the-outside,
loving-on-the-inside meringue with fresh fruit and whipped cream), and my own personal favorite, the expertly
light lemon cream pie.
A visit would not be complete without a sampling from the international tea list, served in your very own fat, generous little teapot. I myself am a fan of "Russian Caravan," a black tea with layers of vanilla and caramel. My mother prefers the simpler Strawberry Vanilla.
The Teapot's service is pleasantly unrushed, if somewhat inattentive, and the careful attention to detail and presentation justifies the slow pace. In addition to lunch, the Teapot Tea Room also serves a traditional afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches, shortbread, and scones. There are occasional tea tastings and monthly themed teas, including one for Mardi Gras, one for Mother's Day, and a Colonial Tea. The restaurant's quarterly newsletter, "The Tea Leaf," provides dates, times, news, and specials.
Dress is casual. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a themed tea one Sunday
each month at 12:30 and 3 p.m.
If you plan to pay a visit to the nearby Lexington Green or the historically charged Concord Center, take a detour into quaint and equally patriotic Boxborough for a leisurely, European-style afternoon break and a real New England culinary treat.
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