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victorian

Sally Lunn's

 (40 reviews)

15 Perry St Chester, New Jersey 07930-2576, United States 908-879-7731 Website

Sun 10:30am – 6:00pm Mon closed Tue 10:30am – 5:30pm Wed 10:30am – 5:30pm Thu 10:30am – 5:30pm Fri 10:30am – 5:30pm Sat 10:30am – 6:00pm
Sally Lunns Tea Shoppe and Restaurant has now been in business for 30 years, eighteen of them in Chester NJ. They are still serving up the best homemade pies, pastries and desserts that you could find anywhere in the State and their mouth watering buttermilk scones -- the recipe still a secret -- are as scrumptious as ever! A Victorian Parlor filled with curiosities, fine bone china and anything and everything to do with tea, is where you will find your self. There are over fifty flavors of loose tea and foods imported from England, and a large variety of food including sandwiches, Cottage Pie, Lamb and Beef pasties, piled high melts and fresh roasted meats all served on home style bread.

Recent reviews

    • Sally Lunns employee

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      We are not closed! Feel free to come in on Tuesday- Friday from 10-5:30 and Saturday and Sunday from 10-6!

    • Donna

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      CLOSED!

    • Molly

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      Attended a baby shower at the Chatham location I was very dissapointed, as staff didn't appear to know basic courtesies while serving. The fact that a need for more forks resulted in the one server to stand in the middle of the room and ask, who neededs a fork while holding a bunch of forks, seriously! May try other location although hesitant based upon this experience.

    • N. Caruso

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      I hate to be so cliche as to say 'when you're here, you're family,' but it rings true for Sally Lunn's (in Chester) where we do often chat with the Gaffney sisters and Mum. Do yourself a favor, have anything off the menu with a pie crust (quiche, pot pie, sausage roll, etc) and a scone (expect something like a shortcake rather than a scone of stone). The teas are always excellent, the soups are delicious. But above all, the atmosphere is quiet and relaxed, comfortable for the men in our party. The waitresses are always friendly and accommodating, and great with children who have come to practice their manners. This is by far the 'British-est' of the tea rooms I visit (perhaps because the Gaffneys are UK natives) and that adds to the charm.

    • Janette

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      We went to the Sally Lunn's in Chatham since we enjoy the Sally Lunn's in Chester. The Chatham location was a bit of a disappointment. The tea was very good. However, the dirty cup replaced with a dirty cup was not, as was the table cloth with crumbs from the previous diners. The scones, which are out of this world in Chester, are under cooked and don't leave you wanting more as do the ones in Chester. The chairs were uncomfortable and broken, so we played musical chairs; and the wash basin, or whatever it was, on one of the tables definitely did not add to the otherwise lovely decor of the rest of the dining area.

    • Noelle Spitz

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      The service was fantastic and the food was scrumptious. Upon entering it felt like a time capsule waiting to be discovered. I shall visit this wondrous tea house many times.

    • The other Janet

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      I would rather have tea at McDonalds than at Sally Lunns. The food is fresher there, and the staff more courteous.

    • Janet T

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      All the people who complain please go home. Maybe there is a reason why you are treated this way; also take your kids to MacDonalds; they would rather be there anyway. If you don't like it don't come back; but as for me I think it is a fine place.

    • sue

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      Absolutely the worst tea room possible. the staff is horribly rude and EXTREMELY SLOW! I have tried this tea room several times over the years and it still just as bad. Apparently who ever is in charge has no clue what they are doing. I am not sure how they are still in business

    • Janet

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      We were curtly told to sit down. We were waiting for the obvioulsy immature waitstaff to come help us. After 15 minutes we left. No one seemed to notice nor care. We will not be back, ever.

    • Claire

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      What a horrid experience! The staff are rude and if you have any complaints their responce is downright abusive. Not surprisingly, we were the only people in the place and it still took forever to be served. The presentation is terrible. Its very dusty and dirty, allergy sufferers beware. The silverware is old and huge forks are the only thing provided to eat the cake or pastries with. Cups and plates are chipped. Looks like all the chairs were found on the side of the road. Cream and jam is served in little plastic ketchup cups and only filled half way. At $6 per bisquick scone I really think they could be more generous with the cream and jam. The tea pots are old, chipped, mismatched lids and dirty. We ordered Ceylon tea but it tasted like they never washed the pots because we could taste all the other flavored tea ie Earl Gray mixed in. NASTY! The prices are astronomical. Plus they automatically add on an 18% gratuity fee for people with a European accent because as they informed us 'Europeans do not know they should leave a tip!' We were a table of four and were charged $50 for 4 cups of tea and 4 aweful scones.

    • Pat Van Dam

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      Very disappointed. No kid menu so we didn't know how much it was. They counted two women & three children under 5 as a party of five and added a mandatory tip on top of our bill. Rude cashier, outrageous bill for 3 kids and 2 women of $95.00 for lunch. Needless to say the Manager was not available.

    • Laura

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      No milk or honey offered with tea. Truly rude to my 5 year old daughter who brought her doll in for tea. They refused to let her have a tea cup as I hadn't purchased her a seperate tea service. Worst tea experience I've ever had.

    • Megan

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      Sally Lunn's is lovely, and has delicious teas. However the service is not as lovely. The service is rude and truly believes they are better than you. The great food and tea may not be worth it to be treated like a rebelious five year old.

    • Kathleen San Martino

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      I've been to Sally Lunn's several times and enjoyed it every time but once. They are known for their potato salad which runs out fast if you don't get there early enough. There teas are good as well except that they leave the loose tea in the teapot so that the tea becomes bitter by the end of the meal. This place is in the heart of Chester and is very crowded. They also only have a one-toilet bathroom for all the patrons. Overall, I feel this team room is pretty decent but not one of the finest. However, I would patronize them again if in the area.

    • Susan Velasquez

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      Please see link for my review of Sally Lunn's and the whole of Chester as a wonderful town. Really enjoyed the tea room http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-52388-Newark-City-Guide-Examiner~y2010m6d20-Cherish-a-day-in-Chester?cid=sharing_facebook:52388

    • Aphrael

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      My girlfriend and I were in Chester wandering through and decided tea would be a lovely finish to a lovely day. Needless to say we walked in and promptly walked straight out. The place was run down and downright dirty. I'm sure the scones are delicious...but will never return to find out. After reading the response review by the lady who works there it's safe to say that cleanliness and customer service are not their strong points. What a rude response from an employee..wouldn't you think she would give 5 stars for all? Apparently even she doesn't think the place is all it's cracked up to be!!

    • Nancy Hodulik

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      To Nancy Creeksong: I work at Sally Lunn's and I was working the day you visited. First of all, we do not serve tunafish on our afternonn tea. We serve 2 egg salad & cress sandwiches, 2 cucumber & cream cheese sandwiches, 1 pink salmon sandwich, a homemade warmed scone with homemade clotted cream and strawberry jam, and a pot of freshly brewed tea. Also, our sancwiches are on whole wheat bread, not white bread. My name is Nancy also. Please identify yourself to me should you ever visit again. I will be happy to point out to you how wrong your review was.

    • Nancy Creeksong

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      I have had British tea and high tea in a few other places and was very disappointed with Sally Lunn's. The 'tea sandwiches' consisted of tunafish and egg salad on white bread. You would not find that in a real high tea. And the price tag was very steep for something so mundane. In fact, I found it downright insulting.

    • Noemi

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      We have visited Sally Lunn's a number of times and really enjoyed our time. However our latest visit was very disappointing. When we arrived the place was quite busy but we got seated quickly. Maybe too quickly. Our table was less than clean, there were two paper napkins on the floor and some food bits under the table that I stepped right in. Our server was not very good, no paper napkins, no knives. However the food is really good, the scones are excellent, so it was OK.

    • Donna

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      My sister who loves to visit tearooms wherever she travels was visiting me this weekend from out of state. We looked forward to visiting Sally Lunn's during our afternoon trip to Chester, but our experience was AWFUL! The place has absolutely no ambience, and is very run down. Cheap silverware and paper napkins, sugar packets, less than appealing teapots (mine was actually dirty on the outside - what the heck is a tea cozy - they certainly don't know), food was just ok. How about a beaten up poster board with a marker-smeared list of the specials that the hostess brings over and props against a chair by your table? How about staff who are sloppily dressed? Our server was a young man who did not fit a tearoom image in the least. I could go on and on...The restroom was the pits - not an ounce of decor, a roll of paper towels hanging above the sink. They even stack the tp and paper towel supplies on a rack right outside the restroom door, and we actually picked up and handed a new roll of paper towel to the next patron going in. And how about these? - Lots of hand written signs all over, including a very dirty one which said that gift certtificates were available, with a $2.50 extra charge or the sign (one of three) on the outside of the restroom door which told patrons that tearoom staff could cut in line for the restroom facilities as needed! What a disappointment! Don't waste you time or money thinking that this is anywhere near a tearoom experience.

    • a happy patron

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      My husband and I recently had tea on a busy Saturday around 1PM. When we arrived the tea room was filled, but we had to wait only a few minutes for a table. We were pleased to be seated so quickly, especially since we did not have a reservation. Our server was lovely and attentive. We did not have the full tea but had a scaled-down version. We enjoyed our tea selection and agreed that the food was good, so much so that we bought two scones to take home. Our chief complaint, however, pertains to the ambience and level of cleanliness, together with the very awkward position of the restroom. The tea room is much too cluttered; with clutter, it is hard to keep it clean and tidy. We understand how difficult it must be to change table linens when you are so busy; however, we suggest to the owners that you put glass tops on each table so that all you have to do is wipe the glass clean between seatings. When we sat down, we were horrified to see that the lace cloth was not only badly torn, but also soiled with food. This is unacceptable! We recommend that you upgrade your restroom, which is unsanitary (garbage overflowing) and very cluttered. It was difficult to sit down and even more difficult to get to the sink. If possible, you should reconfigure the tea room so that while patrons are waiting in line for the rest room, they are not in the way of the kitchen staff flying past them with trays of food and pots of hot tea. Very kluge, indeed. Sally Lunn's has great potential, if a few changes are made as noted above.

    • E.S.

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      I don't recommend this place. Service was very slow and I agree with another reviewer that our waitress was not very knowledgeable about the menu. Food was okay but nothing to write home (to Wales) about. Not worth the money.

    • laura

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      oh my gosh i just love sally lunn's I always take my girlfriends there for a nice cup of tea and a sandwitch

    • jennifer

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      I searched for my 'piece of England' in NJ, went to Sally Lunn's and was very disappointed! Scones might be crumbly but sometimes it's because they are old. The cream is not clotted and flakes, sugar mice etc. on the shelves are covered in dust and very old. My kids tried. The owner is unpleasant and rude no matter how hard customers try. She may have a variety of teas on offer but they are not prepared the English way. Authentic? No way! If you are looking for stale, overpriced digestive biscuits it's your place. Otherwise don't bother.

    • misty

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      I know for a fact that this tea room is lacking in every department. If one finds this to be an authentic tea room then they are just your average everyday customer, but for someone looking for class, elegance, and a true tea room experience...this is not the place. The food is not prepared daily although the staff has to say it is, even though it may have been left over from the week before. The place is overly cluttered and in complete mishap, where a person is likely to slip and fall or crash into the goods being sold. The manager has a tendency to be quite rude to not only the staff but also to patrons....I experienced the display when there. I would recommed to anyone looking for a nice afternoon tea to go elsewhere and save this place for the tea room truckers!!!

    • Kathleen Weston

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      I'm going to start out by talking about what I do like. I love the little British import shop they have. Their desserts are impeccable (except for, believe it or not, their scones). I love, love, love the hot chocolate with Cadbury Flake. So if you are going for a spot of tea and/or hot chocolate and some dessert, then I would highly recommend Sally Lunn’s. However, their savory menu has a lot to be desired. I lived in London and love British food, I find Sally Lunn's is not truly authentic. And yes, I know that the owners are Brits but I stand by my statement. As for their scones, they were a bit doughy and tough (not how a scone should be). The ploughman's lunch was disappointing. While the staff is very friendly, they are very slow, inattentive, and unknowledgeable (about the menu) at times. I’ve been to Sally Lunn’s countless time and I want to like them more because of the charm of the place but I feel given its price, it should be so much better.

    • Melissa

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      I have to say after reading the reviews here I expected a much better experience. While the variety of tea was sufficient, our tea was brewed without a diffuser directly in the pot and quickly got bitter, just not what I'm used to... Sandwiches were tasty, but there were only two types on our tea tray, like someone in the kitchen got lazy. Service was quite slow, while I don't want to be rushed, I would like to be seated and order my food. Also, almost everything around us (the products and antiques for sale) were covered in a layer of dust...including our 3 tiered tray we were supposed to eat off of.

    • Sadly Let Down

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      The menu is not honest. A sandwich with watercress was actually packed with sprouts. My crab meat salad was made with sea legs --- not crab meat. I used to love the scones, but found them to be somewhat lacking (mine tasted stale.) Tablecloths are not changed between customers and the food is pricey with small portions. Don't reccommend it! Much better tea rooms in the area!

    • Anita Marie

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      Lunch at Sally Lunns Tearoom: Thursday, June 12, 2008 What a delightful experience! Since I was the first guest to arrive, I was able to choose a table for two by a window while waiting for my dear friend Mary. I was welcomed by a lovely hostess and two of the waitresses. While making small talk, another joy-filled waitress came skipping across the room and greeted me as if I were her long-lost friend. Believe me; I was confident that I had come to the right place. When I was asked if I would like to enjoy some hot or iced tea while I was waiting, I mentioned that I was trying to decide between rhubarb or strawberry hot tea. To solve my dilemma, the waitress offered to concoct a new choice. Would I like a half of one and a half of the other? (I'm sure that you can do that only with whole leaf tea). In record time, the serendipity tea arrived for me to taste. Yes, the distinctive taste, back wonderful memories of the strawberry/rhubarb pie that my mother used to make. When my friend Mary arrived, we were not rushed in deciding our choice of entree. Both of us chose a fresh spinach salad generously laden with cucumbers, Portobello mushrooms, and goat cheese. The dressing was served on the side. My companion insisted that we have dessert because it was homemade and her familiarity with these delicacies was unprecedented. So off we went to feast our eyes on the dessert table. I think it was a genius who came up with the idea of pricing each dessert the same. That revelation gave us one less decision to make. Mary had the chocolate pie and I had a strawberry/rhubarb cobbler, which by the way went quite well with my 'Serendipity' tea. Will I return for another gastronomical experience? You can bet your tea leaves, I will.

    • Princess Tara

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      I love the authentic British Style, and the clotted cream with the scones was quite nice. However the service was beyond slow. My group had to wait over 35 minutes to even be shown a menu. If I had not been with my British in-laws I would have up and left. EVERYONE should be greeted, and then seated. Even if you are very busy (which it was not) you can at least acknowledge your patrons. Also, plates were not cleared and the very friendly, but ill mannered waitress actually touched our scones when explaining where each person’s scone was. Seriously, this girl was lovely, and just needed an etiquette lesson. When you call yourself a British tea room with exacting standards, your entire staff should reflect that dedication. Also, the antiques were nice, but needed dusting and one should NEVER have plastic flowers in a proper tea room. Sallie Lunn’s has all the menu of a fabulous tea room and just needs to work on things in this order. 1. Meet all your guests or hire a young lady or hostess to meet your patrons so that they feel welcome. 2. Make sure that everyone has some sort of refreshment once seated. 3. Make sure that the tea is piping hot and arrives in less than 15 min for the entire table all at once, with another server helping deliver the food or visa versa. 3. Don’t ever let the waitress touch the food that your guests are about to eat right in front of them. 4. Check on the tables or at least the flow of the room yourself to scout out any problems before they happen. If you did these things, I am sure you would have an even lovelier place than you already do.

    • Celia

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      The food is excellent - if it's your first visit, I suggest trying the scones. There's a reason that recipe is kept secret! Nice atmosphere, good service, all in all, a pleasant experience.

    • K. Oliver

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      Sally Lunn's has been a favorite ever since my sister-in-law brought me there years ago.They serve a wide variety of teas and the food is amazing. Everything I've eaten there was excellent. Scones and Sausage & Egg Pie are my favorites.

    • Patt

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      I was a bit disappointed by how cream cheesy the tea sandwiches were. Quiche was delicious. Lavender Iced tea is something to try--nice and zingy! Service was excellent and friendly and not hovering. A nice afternoon.

    • Heidi

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      My bridal shower was recently hosted at Sally Lunn's and it was truly a wonderful experience. The staff was extremely prompt and courteous to all guests. The food was pleasing to the eye and delicious. Many of the guests commented about how lovely the tea house was and thoroghly enjoyed everything. Top-quality service was offered and Sally Lunn's helped to make a memorable experience even more pleasurable. I can't wait to go back and take some of my friends!

    • Lynn Anne Cutler

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      After finding Sally Lunn's on this site, I drove to Chester (a half-hour's drive which took an hour due to traffic) to take my daughter for a 'tea room' lunch on a Saturday. The place was busy but not full, and we were seated outside next to the front door, with a menu and a tea list. We settled on fresh salmon sandwich with dill mayo and butter rum tea, but no one came out to acknowledge us or to take the order. After twenty minutes, I poked my head in and asked the hostess who had seated us if someone would come take our order. She said yes, of course, and I sat back down. No one came out. We left about 10 minutes later and got lunch elsewhere. We walked back past Sally Lunn's on our way to the car, so I stopped in to let the manager know what had happened. An assistant manager came out and apologized, made an excuse about the 'kids' who work there, and offered me a couple of scones to take home, saying that's all she could do. I accepted her offer, and she walked away. She came back a minute later and said, 'I didn't know the owner was here, and she's standing right by the scones. I don't want her to see me giving them to you!' Confused, I told her I didn't need scones if she was going to be stealing them, I thought this was an accepted policy at the shop. She said no, the owner trusted her, she'd been there eleven years, but she still didn't want the owner to see her giving me the scones. I said I didn't care about scones, I just wanted the owner to be aware of what had happened - then I asked the manager, 'You are going to tell the owner, right?' She gave me a look that told me she hadn't planned to. She said, ' You can tell the owner yourself, but I don't think she'll do anything for you.' I repeated that I just thought she should know, and said I'd just go tell her myself. I introduced myself to the owner and repeated my story. Guess what she said to me. No, you never will. She said, 'You know what you should do? Go get a job in a restaurant, then you'll be more understanding!' She then told me that it was my fault I hadn't been served, because I hadn't been there when the waiter had gone to serve me. (Note: I had waited at the table for over half an hour.) The complete contempt in the owner's voice was just remarkable. I have never met a restaurant owner who didn't give a hoot if patrons (or attempted patrons, in this case) enjoyed their stay or service or not, and certainly not one who would chastise me for receiving poor service! She clearly does not care that we will not be returning, and I'm sure she will not read this review since she does not care what customers think or experience at Sally Lunn's. But for the record, SOMEone ought to tell her that if a customer takes the time and effort to let her know when something goes wrong in her restaurant, the proper response is, 'Thank you for telling me. I'm sorry you experienced this. I will take steps to make sure this does not happen again.' No one deserves the contempt this owner dishes out when all the patron wants is something off the menu.

    • Leigh

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      Large list of teas unfortunately not always available but they do have a store across the parking lot that does have them all. Food is excellent but the menu is only for a tea room type of food, not good for a dinner menu.

    • CV

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      Worse service ever. Food was average. The Upper Crust in Boonton ... so much nicer!

    • Diane

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      My mother and I ate lunch here the day after Christmas and loved everything about this tea room. The food is delicious. I found the waitstaff to be both friendly and attentive. There is an impressive selection of teas and desserts for diners to choose. The mincemeat pie was fabulous. This is without a doubt the best tea room in NJ!

    • Pat W.

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      My wife and I have visited Sally Lunn's many times, and it is always enjoyable. Besides tea and scones, they offer a variety of lunch items, such as chicken pot pie and tiddy oggy (a vegetable and meat mixture baked inside a pastry crust). There is also a nice variety of desserts, all of which diners can see at the counter before ordering. Sally Lunn's serves a large variety of loose leaf teas. The atmosphere can vary from quiet to bustling, depending on the day and time. Even when crowded, though, Sally Lunn's is a relaxing spot. We have always found the staff to be cheerful and helpful. Be aware that Sally Lunn's does not take reservations during regular business hours. The shoppers in Chester certainly know where to go for their refreshments, so you will probably have to wait on line if you arrive in the early afternoon on a holiday or weekend. However, it is worth the wait.