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The Empress Tea Room & Event Dinning

 (115 reviews)

12924 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618, USA 813-988-9027 Website Owner?

Sun 11:00am – 3:00pm Mon closed Tue closed Wed 11:00am – 3:00pm Thu 11:00am – 3:00pm Fri 11:00am – 3:00pm Sat 11:00am – 3:00pm
The Empress Tea Room is an experience. From the moment you arrive to this elegant and luxurious location your senses are intrigued. What awaits you beyond the crystal chandeliers? Serenity, charm and the comforting aromas of an Old World tearoom. Visit the Victoria Room for formal settings of crystal, linens and fine bone china. Or experience the cool comfort of the Garden Room, an outdoor setting without the Florida heat and humidity. Whether you need a quiet place to get some work done (yes, we have Wi-Fi), meet with a client in a unique setting, or share a meal with someone special,The Empress Tea Room is the experience you are looking for. The Empress is also available for special events and catering. Evening events can be booked for 80 people with a dance floor and banquet style seating for 100. Schedule a free consultation to create a menu suited for your event.

Upcoming events

  • For The Career Girls

    On the 3rd Tuesday of every month, from 11am-1pm we are partnering with For The Girls International to host For The Career Girls and event with Special Speakers, Fabulous Food and a Vision to provide much needed support for women in leadership roles all over the Tampa Bay area! For more information on speakers and ticket prices, head to our website at http://divinemenusevents.com/for-the-girls-international/

  • W.I.N.

    Women In Networking Come join us on the 2nd THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH along with Sharon Less and enjoy networking. Lunch is $11 (Cash or check please). Bring a Friend and WIN a Door Prize!

Recent reviews

    • Odette Baker

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      A friend and I dined at the Empress Tea Room on Sunday, June 19,2016. I had visited the Tea room once before and the food was fine. However, not this time! Every item on our table was was cold, greasy, and tasteless. No silverware on the table. no sugar for our tea. had to ask for syrup for the cold waffles. We asked for more scones because it was the only item on the table that we were able to eat. We both left the restaurant feeling sick.

    • H S Michelsen

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      Have been to Empress Tea Room many times. Have enjoyed every time. Love High Tea. Food is delicious. Can't wait to go back. Thanks for providing such enjoyment.

    • Amanda C.

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      I LOVE the Empress Tea Room! It's been a family favorite for years. The gourmet sandwiches paired with delicious soups and savory salads are quite a treat. My favorite menu item is the Higher Tea. It's a great venue for parties and celebrations, but my all time favorite is to escape for an afternoon tea with my daughter.

    • Chaustre

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      I have been going to the Empress Tea Room since it was at its old location. It continues to be the best tea room in the tri-county area. The food is yummy, the atmospheres is sublime and the service is impecable.

    • Dale

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      I have celebrated to of my Birthdays here with my girlfriends. Always so lovely!!!

    • Marian Wolfersteig

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      I have been to the Empress Tea Room on many occasions with my two daughters. We love the atmosphere but above all the High Tea is to die for. It is our go to place when we want sit and talk and be pampered.

    • Becky Pearson

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      I have been going to the Empress Tea Room for years. I take all my out of town guests there as a unique experience. Every Valentine's Day I treat my daughters and granddaughters to lunch/ high tea at the Empress. The teas are superb: they always have a tea of the day, and the food is delicious. The soups, salads, and sandwiches that they offer in addition to high tea are absolutely delicious. . You often see men in there enjoying lunch also. They have a small, but very elegant gift shop where I have bought many gifts. My favorite of all is their scones served w/ clotted cream and jam. I even order their scones for breakfast or tea at my house. It is a wonderful experience.

    • Pat Driscoll

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      I recently entertained a group of eight as a thank you gesture. All the ladies commented that they enjoyed this pleasant experience. If you want to treat yourself or others, this will be a special occasion.

    • Brandi Santos

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      Each time my daughter and I come here it seems to get better. The ambience, the yummy tea, the delicious food and the relaxing atmosphere all come together to create a wonderful tea time. The ladies are always so nice and attentive, but don't hover and allow you to enjoy your tea. I highly suggest going to enjoy :)

    • sandra streator

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      The selection of tea is awesome with different flavors being offered through different times of the year. The food is just as great and the value of the tea with the food is amazing! You get a lot for your buck and are REALLY full from the amount of food you receive!! We enjoy each and every time we go to The Empress Tea Room and so will you!

    • Penny

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      My Granddaughter and I went to the Princess tea and were astonished at how wonderfully the event was handled. The pink lemonade, tea and food were terrific. My granddaughter talks frequently of her happy memories of that day. We have been told by another tea room that she is too young to participate, (She was 3 at the time) but you are never too young for a tea party!

    • Tom Reinhart

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      My wife and I have visited the Empress Tea Room several times over the past years. We have always found the experience pleasurable. The food, atmosphere, service and friendliness of the staff has always exceeded our expectations. Highly recommend to all

    • Celinda Evitt

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      Delicious soup but tea average. The room is lovely and bright and large but so noisy you cannot have a conversation when raucous bridal and baby showers are in the same room. Service folks are lovely but spread thin and so slow. Have to ask more than once for cream and a glass of water. Best for large loud parties.

    • Pat Greene

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      I have been going to The Empress for some time now for family celebrations. The food is excellent as is the service. I highly recommend it!

    • Brandi S.

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      I am a serious tea room junkie and I tried this tea room for the first time last month. I was very pleased. The tea was delicious and the food was awesome. I really like the fact that it was a comfortable and not 'stuffy' atmosphere, but still maintained elegance and beauty. Would gladly go again and recommend to my friends!

    • Maggie

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      Ever since I first went to London as a teenager, I have been in love with all things British. It's difficult to find a tea room that does British tea well, but I'm happy to have found The Empress--it is a gem among dining establishments! The atmosphere is very light and elegant; the facility is clean, well-maintained, and well-appointed; and the high tea is delectable (especially the Pear-Gorgonzola open-faced sandwiches). The staff members are kind and helpful and are always ready, with a smile, to go out of their way to make the customer's experience as enjoyable as possible. It's my favorite place to catch up with old college friends; I also love to go to the Empress for birthdays and celebrations. I just cannot say enough about how much I love this tea room! You'll love it, too!

    • Becki

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      The Empress Tea Room has been one of my favorite places for tea for several years. At this newer location, the decor is lovely & the view out the large windows is beautiful. The variety of teas that are offered are always fun to try & they are always willing to brew a special pot for those less adventurous! The sandwiches & scones & desserts are delicious & artfully arranged. This is the place to go for a perfect cup of tea!

    • Natalie G

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      I am a lover of tea rooms, especially British style like The Empress that serve 'high tea'. I dined there for my mother in law's birthday and had a wonderful time. There is a nice store upon entering where you can purchase some of the teas that they serve. The dining area itself is very large and beautifully decorated with lots of cute tea touches everywhere. Our waitress was so nice and knowledgeable. We had a few different teas to choose from for our meal and chose the Paris tea which is AMAZING. The food was excellent and I am planning to return again for Mother's Day. It is truly a wonderful and relaxing time at The Empress.

    • Jacqueline

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      I have been going to The Empress Tea Room since before it moved to my area. They offer several varieties of excellent whole leaf teas (peach, lemon grass, roobios, English Breakfast, etc.) There is a formal area and a garden area, so you have a choice how fancy of an experience you can enjoy. The staff is lovely and there is a quaint gift area at the front of the shop specializing in tea and Victorian items as well as other neat things. My niece loves to come here when she visits from West Virginia, and my husband enjoys it as well. They also offer a High Tea and Sunday Brunch Buffet which I will try in the future. It's a lovely experience.

    • Janet Rigby

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      I have visited many tearooms in my over 50 years and this rank up there in the top ones. The food is excellent and the service is great.

    • Stephanie

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      I recently celebrated my birthday here. I have been going to this teahouse since they were on Fowler. Love the tea - the staff very professional even when answering the phone - the soup and salad delicious - love everything about it --- Give them a try - you'll love it too.

    • Gay Rivas

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      I have been going to The Empress Tearoom ever since it moved to N Dale Mabry. They always have a wide variety of teas to offer. The food is delightful and freshly made. The staff is very attentive . . . even when just calling on the phone. Don't miss this!

    • Tara H

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      I have been enjoying Empress Tea room for over 5 years now with my mother (sometimes my husband) and my two young girls (whom have enjoyed tea from the time I was pregnant with them!). We absolutely LOVE IT! We live in Thonotosassa and gladly make the trip to visit Kim and her family and staff to enjoy High (sometimes Higher) Tea! We love that we are always greeted with a smile and my girls enjoy their hugs. The tea is always delicious and the food is amazing to say the least! I look forward to dining and sipping tea from the time I make our reservation!

    • Tricia

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      The Empress Tea Room is a great place to come with friends and enjoy the wonderful teas. I love the way everyone on the staff is friendly.

    • Tamara

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      I have been here several times and have brought different friends to experience it also... the latest thing we did was attend the valentines dinner...very romantic for me and my hubby, absolutely loved everything about it!

    • Krystal

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      I have been coming to visit the wonderful ladies of the Empress Tea Room for over 4 years now. The food is wonderful and the atmosphere is very peaceful. I love to come with my book and enjoy a nice meal in a peaceful environment. Every time I go the staff is friendly and remembers my name. The service is very inviting. It is truly one of my favorite restuarants.

    • Anne Childers

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      The Empress Tea Room is a lovely spot for a nice visit with one or several girlfriends, come back with your guy for brunch on the weekend, and be sure to attend a Murder Mystery Evening with the whole gang! Every experience is excellent!

    • Laura

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      Love this place! Scones are the best! And the service is great!

    • Coral

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      My grandmother and I have been going here for years! I currently live in Texas and every time I visit her, which is 2/3 times a year, we try and make sure to book a reservation at the tea room! Great opportunity to enjoy tea and catch up on our lives!

    • Sharon Griffin

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      My daughters and I have been going to The Empress Tea Room for years. We have visited many tea rooms across the state. Very few even compare to the experience you will receive. The attention to detail the quality service, tea and food at The Empress is in a class of it's own. We will be customers for years to come.

    • Breanne Roberts

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      I've been quite a few times now to the Empress and always enjoy my self. The staff is fabulous and makes a point to get to know their regulars. The food is always lovely, and the tea is always very good. Which for me is saying a great deal, since I don't really like tea in general. I love having it there!

    • Theresa

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      I had High Tea with a friend today at the Empress and while the food was good and service was good, I was disappointed in the overall experience. First, while waiting in the retail area for my friend, I couldn't help but notice how dirty and dusty everthing was. The windows were flithy and it just gave the entire place a shabby feeling. The tea was good, but we only got 1 pot to split between us. The waitress was extremely pleasant and courteous, so give them high marks for her, but the overall experience could have been much better with just a few changes, like serving the food on a tier stand instead of a platter, offering a tea menu (I was told they don't have one because they rotate their teas)and improving the overall look of the front of the tea room. This is my second time to the Dale Mabry location. The first time in January was okay, but service was slow.

    • Kate Leonardo

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      Sunday brunch is scrumptious with plenty of items included. High tea is wonderful and also includes a large variety of finger goodies. If you visit, you need to place a order for take home scones that include cream and jam. They are simply heaven! (I call in from time to time and place a order for pick up when I have family and friends over for breakfast or brunch!)

    • Jennifer Soto

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      I recently hosted a small bridal shower here and it was a total hit. Everything from the atmosphere, to the tea and food, to the service was wonderful.I highly recommend the empress as a great place to visit. I will continue to be a loyal guest of the empress tea room and share this special place with more and more loved ones. Thank you!

    • Lana McLaurin

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      Went to Empress for a holiday tea/lunch and was very pleased with our visit. Food, tea and atmosphere all excellent as was the service. Just what we were looking for and we will be back.

    • Janice Bazinet

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      I have been 3 times this year to The Empress Tea Room. I have always taken a guest and we have enjoyed ourselves. The food and tea have been delicious and the service most times has been good. This last time the service was a little slow but there were 2 showers going on and I think they were a little everwhelmed. We took scones home and baked them 4 days later and they were fabulous!! Thanks for a nice afternoon memory x's 3!!

    • Doris Agostini

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      This is my first time and I am so impressed and so looking forward to future visits. The staff, foods & teas surpassed my expectations. Service was excellent; atmosphere was relaxing and the gift shop was interesting with so many ideas and items to look and choose from. I truly enjoyed myself and hope more people will enjoy it as much as I did!

    • Tuk Bronstein

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      When my friend and I walked in, we were impressed by the very elegant atmosphere. The staff there were very friendly to us and constantly made sure we were enjoying ourselves and comfortable. It is more formal, but very nice. The presentation of our sandwiches, scones, and deserts was very nice. We enjoyed all of our goodies, especially the scones. The tea was delicious as well. We will definitely be coming back. I highly recommend it.

    • Debby

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      My mom and I went and we had such a wonderful time. The food was awesome, the servers friendly--it truly was a great experience. The Victorian setting made it feel like a real English tea.

      Tearoom response:

      we love to hear that people find our place so wonderful not only do they want to come back and make our restaurant apart of their continued experiences but that they would recommend us to others...we are blessed... thank you

    • Debbie Culver

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      I highly recommend The Empress Tea Room. I discovered it on Groupon and I've been back many times. I hosted a party of my church friends there and we were seated in a beautiful room in lovely comfortable chairs. We ordered Higher High Tea and each lady ordered either a soup or salad to start. Each lady loved their choice. The little sandwiches were tasty and the scones and clotted cream were divine! We swooned at the dainty desserts! Last week I dragged my husband there for lunch (he felt it wasn't manly to go to a tea room) then had a hard time getting him to leave. He loved my favorite tea, Hot Cinnamon, and devoured the chicken salad on a croissant. He told the owner he had a great time and would return. I ordered the ham and cheese on a croissant which was delightful. The servings are large and I could only eat half of the sandwich after enjoying a cup of their gourmet potato soup. I took the other half home and ate it for dinner that night. Yummy! I would drive a long way to come to the Empress Tea Room for lunch. Luckily, I'm only about 10 minutes away. My son and his wife are visiting over the Thanksgiving holiday and I'm bringing them in for Higher High Tea next week. Go by yourself or take a friend or two but just go! You'll become a returning customer like me! Sincerely, Debbie Culver

    • Leslie

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      I have been to several tea rooms and this was the best ever! I had invited my British friend and she thought it was great too. Lovely selection of teas and the scones were perfect!

    • mary

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      I went there on 10/20/2012 for my future daughter-laws bridal shower and was really disappointed.We arrived approximately at 1:40pm.was abruptly told our party was not until 2:oopm. I asked if it was going to be in a room or tables and was told tables.I had my elderly mother with me and the chairs we sat in while we were waited were quite uncomfortable.In fact when I stood up, my pants had white paint specks all over them because the chair I was sitting on was rusted and the paint was peeling.When we were finally seated, one of the ladies in my party noticed her tea cup was badly cracked. When we brought it to their attention, we were told it was cracked but probably wouldn't break. I'm sorry but the cup was cracked almost in two and when you poor hot tea in that, it will eventually burst.The next problem was with one of the drinking glasses. It had lipstick on the rim from not being washed properly or not at all. Again,no apology.The food was o.k. but for the price, totally not worth it. I know all the women in my party will not be returning and definitely will not recommend this tea room to anybody!

    • Tara

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      Have been many times at old and new location and it's my favorite tea room in the Tampa area. Have introduced many people to the tea room and everyone loves it!

    • Noelle

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      I have been coming to The Empress Tea Room for over 5 years and have yet to be disappointed. Me, my mom, and sister always enjoy the Paris tea with either an entree off of the menu, or a high tea tray. The service is undoubtedly the best in town. The tea room has a way of balancing not only great service but also providing the customers with a christian-like atmosphere. The tea sandwiches and scones are always up to parr, my favorite is the warm open-face canopy sandwich on french bread with cranberry spread, smoked turkey, and swiss cheese melted on top. With great food and service comes a satisfied customer and I would recommend this FABULOUS tea room to anyone who has not tried it.

    • Kim

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      I recently hosted a baby shower at Sunday brunch and had a lovely time. We had a small party, shared 3 teas and I thought the variety of brunch foods was good. The quiche and bacon were especially delicious. After reading a few other reviews, I wanted to mention that I actually like this tea room's atmosphere better than the previous location. It has a classy feel and is much more convenient for my friends and me. Prior to having brunch, I had been once for lunch and thoroughly enjoyed the sandwich and soup combo (tomato soup was thick and rich and a perfect compliment to the tomato, mozzarella, and basil sandwich on ciabatta). I will definitely be back.

    • amber

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      If you want to escape the realities of hurried life and slip away for a few hours, I encourage you to visit The Empress Tea Room. The food is always fresh and creative, the atmosphere relaxing and service is warm and friendly. I recently enjoyed a visit with a girlfriend for high tea and can't wait to get back

    • Evelyn

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      I am a frequent customer. I enjoy the higher tea which comes with sumptuous soup or salad (very refreshing). The scones are delicious served with cream and jam. Each sandwich is unique..pear gargonzolla cheese sandwich is yummy. The variety of tea's served to suit every taste. My favorite is the Harney & Son's Paris. The service is excellent. The atmosphere is very relaxing. Definately going back!

    • Kelli

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      I love to go to the Empress Tea room and recently held an event there. The food is consistently wonderful. The atmosphere is just special, with lovely decor and a boutique full of unique items. I especially love the spirit of the owners and the staff. They really reach out to make each person's visit an experience.

    • Carol

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      My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed our High Tea. The selection of tea sandwiches was unique and wonderful. I was so full I had to take my scone home. I'm glad I did because it was a wonderful addition to my breakfast this morning. The gift shop also has some unique tea themed gifts that shouldn't be missed.

    • Holly

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      This is my favorite tea spot in Tampa. It's reliably got great food, great service, and best of all can accommodate walk-ins when I haven't thought ahead to reserve. Excellent tea selection, I also like the option of adding soup or salad. The menu also has sandwiches in case your hubby decides to join you and doesn't want a traditional tea.

    • Pastor Sherry Gillard

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      Kim and her staff are amazing! So sweet and helpful. We did a Lady Pastor's Tea at the Empress and had a wonderful time. The food was delicious and I think I now have a new favorite tea!! If I could only remember the name of it...Chocoalte Hazelnut...YUM! Thank you Kim & Tami, we really appreciate you ladies!! Blessings on you and your business from Legacy Church!

    • Bonnie Dye

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      I had never before experienced high tea, so this was a special treat! The friendly staff was extremely helpful in guiding me through the process of choosing a tea, and everything was delicious! I'll definitely be returning!

    • Vicki Apple

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      Great experience! I had never tried a High Tea before, but really enjoyed it. I can see why the Brits love it. Staff was friendly and attentive, food was great. Loved all the little finger sandwiches, desserts, tea, scones, etc. Two of us could not finish all the food that was prepared for us. Give it a try!

    • Kathy Butler

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      Kim & Michael, Both Maria & I wanted to send you a BIG thank you for the Seder Diner last week. We both had such a good time & everyone made us feel like family. The knowledge passed from Ron, his wife, & the chef on the traditions & memories they grew up with was so rich for our spirits... We both were dragging at work the next day, but the food, fun & conversation was well worth the time! We hope to again have tea & scones soon- Kathy & Maria Katherine Butler Life Administration & Service Solutions | Life Remittance Reconciliation ( (813) 983-4107 7 (813) 983-6203 Our promise, first class service for a 'life' time View and update your account at www.eService.metlife.com. Simple. Secure. Efficient.

    • Mary

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      I came with a good friend of mine thanks to a groupon for the Higher Tea. The King Crab Bisque was AMAZING as was everything else. Even with a large party (that took up three tables) the wait staff was incredibly sweet and attentive to every diner. I'm hoping to get to try the rose jam that I've heard so much about next time. I've already purchased a gift certificate for my mother-in-law so that she can take a friend as well. Thank you for a wonderful, relaxing (and very FILLING) lunch! It's definitely going to become a regular thing!

    • Elisabeth Butterfield

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      Our Bible Study has been visiting tea rooms for years for the annual holiday luncheon and found the hostesses to create the most memorable event EVER - the attention to detail was incredible, pre-ordering made our large group of 14 easy for them and us and we had a super amazing time!

    • Jenna

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      The Empress Tea Room is one of the best tearooms that I have ever been to. Everything was just wonderful! My friends and I went for the Higher Tea and it was delicious! The King Crab soup is definitely my favorite soup. Everything on the beautiful three-tier tray was freshly made. OH! And their scones! They were warm and fluffy and so tasty, made even better by the devonshire cream which was thick and the rich Rose Jam...yummy!! Aside from the food, the service was impeccable and the staff made you feel as if we were lifelong friends. The tearoom itself was beautifully decorated and very peaceful. This tearoom is definitely deserving of your business. I can't wait to come back soon!

    • Savannah

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      One of the finest tea rooms in the Tampa area. It is also one of the few tea rooms that I feel comfortable taking my granddaughter to ~ they have special teas plus delightful music and wonderful gift shop in the front. I have taken several friends to this tea room and each time I have enjoyed delicious food and tea. They also offer a great lunch.

    • Tiss

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      Visited your new location Wednesday, August 17 with 10 seasoned citizen friends - some of whom had NEVER been to any kind of a tea room, etc. 4 of us had high tea and it was superb, as always. Couldn't eat my dessert (too full) but had no trouble giving it to the other 3. Everyone enjoyed her lunch choice. We all thought the tropical views outside were an added feature. I love the openess yet uncrowded area where we were situated. Your staff was way above my expectations....solicitous, caring, explaining everything to each person. Tongs for sugar cubes a plus....The only downside was the amount of time it took to pay the bill, probably because each person was responsible for her portion of the check. Next time I will ask for a different method. We shall return - SOON. Great to have you in this neighborhood as we no longer have that long drive to Temple Terrace. Thanks for an unhurried time with friends.

    • Melissa Kozla

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      I have been to this tea room several times and each time was spectacular. I loved it so much I brought my sister! :) The owner Kim comes out to talk to the guests and she is a lovely person who is obviously passionate about what they do. The food is always perfectly made and the teas are out of this world. I sincerely believe that my boyfriend's new love affair with tea is a direct result of the visit to this establishment. What is especially nice about Empress Tea Room is that the atmosphere lends itself a relaxed experience without being stuffy. I cannot wait to go back again. :)

      Tearoom response:

      Melissa....we can not wait until you come back...:}....hopefully in our new location....we should be open May 1st....pray for us...thank you...kim

    • GiGi. Tea Room Lover

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      Dear Kim, It has been curious that there is some individual who has been going to many of the tea rooms in the area and posting nasty reviews and spouting off her great knowledge of Tea, etc and thinks that she is the Queen of Tea Rooms! She does not leave her name and is very rude and cruel. I do not know you...been several years since I have been there, but the point I would like to make to many who read Tea Map is that for some reason, this bitter person thanks she has the right to go from Tea room to Tea room and leave very bitter remarks but does not leave her real name. I think she should open a Tea Room as the world would love a perfect one and she could enjoy her own Tea Room everyday! Easy to complain until you have to do it for a living and make a profit too!

    • SHC

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      The decor of this shop and it's dining rooms is lovely. The front shop has a lovely selection of tea pots, cups and random tea ephemera with what I would call average pricing for these items. The decor in the dining rooms is quite lovely. We were seated in the Victorian dining room which featured nice linens, lovely paintings and beautiful china settings. The room next door had a lovely mural, and was decorated like a garden complete with iron patio furniture. Unfortunately, the decor was pretty much the beginning and end of the positives. My first issue with this tea establishment is the fact that they refer to their basic tea service as a 'high tea' rather than the typical afternoon tea that it is. With so much confusion over the tradition of taking tea, I would hope that they would try to educate the public rather than perpetuate wrong information. Apparently, the shop typically serves one or two pots of 'featured teas' for the whole table, but neither of them were of interest so I asked for a strong, black tea. It was obvious at this point that the manager had very little knowledge about tea. I asked for an Assam or Prince of Wales tea, two black teas that are very well known and in the case of Assam, from a particular region in India, and not in any way 'brand names', but she didn't recognize either. Upon explaining to her what I was looking for in a tea, she offered up recommendations for something completely different that did at least turn out palatable, if not particularly good. While the tea sandwiches were quite good, I found the scones to be incredibly dry and crumbly, so much so that the jam and mock devonshire cream served did little to improve them. My final concern was with the way they handled the reservation for our party. We had fewer than our reservation and they planned to charge us for the no-shows. When we questioned this, the manager insisted that the policy was listed online, but further review shows no mention of this. They worked things out in the end, but it felt as though it was grudgingly done and I will not return to a place that makes me feel like they are doing me a favor to take my money. Ultimately, the mediocre food, lack of tea knowledge and poor service means I can not, in good conscious, recommend them for anyone.

      Tearoom response:

      SCH....meet up group girl<BR> I truly took the day to think about the response i would give to 'Tea Map'..<BR> A group of women reserved our Tea Room for 20 on a Saturday...the reservation was confirmed twice the number did go down to 15 the night before and we were happy to welcome them...a deposit was not taken (which is our policy for the number) as is anything that is ordered needs to be paid for ...you can find that on our website on the home page choosing the about the Empress button and then 'booking Events'...we are so committed to excellence and our customer that we continue on an occation to break the rule to make the customers experience with us more than delightful...when SCH came in to represent her party she let us know that they were down to 8 people i told her i was sure we could seat them and explained the policies 'that keep us in business' as we often turn people away on Saturdays for lack of open seats..she informed me that they would be happy to go somewhere elsa..which was not nessisary as we had 20 open seats in her name...we sat the party which was a wonderful group of girls...<BR> i order so many Teas each month as to give our customers the seasonal freshness...it is our practice to offer 2 Tea choices and then move into a conversation with our customers to find a Tea that would suit them if our selection for the day didnt excite them....in fact the meet up group that we were entertaining was given 5 , cranberry-Pomegrante a black fruit tea, Kenya Black, Green Honey Jasmine and a Roibos with Honey and Vanilla...i was excited to have an English women amoung the group as we love to hear their thoughts on our scones..of course on asking she said how wonderful it was to get something so close to home...best shes had since not at home...i quote<BR> ...i stayed with their table giving them fun little etiquite tips and educating on the difference between Devonshire and Clotted Cream...anything form anyone anywhere is 'mock' if we are not in Devonshire....one of my cuties...liking it as to Champaign and Sparkling Wine...everything we do is from scrach here awarding us 5 times in the last 3 years...as well as a beautiful write up in Tea Time Magazine this month....on the shelves now!!!! while it is unfortunate that we do make mistakes and i do love those that love the tea world i feel like there is a place for all things i just find it sad that TeaMap has become a dumping ground.<BR> ...High Tea is service and includes meat, Cheese and Breads while i am aware that High Tea is taken in the evenings this amoung many other adjustments we Americans have taken to enjoy the 'English Ways' on our time schedule...<BR> i apolize for not knowing the region of Assam as i looked it up through wikapedia it is the tea noted as English Breakfast and Irish Breakfas (both of which we always have)when looking up Prince of Whales Tea i was surprised to learn that this is a Tea Twinings was given the rights to ...now understanding the reasons why i was not familiar with them...we purchase our tea from a man with Jofferys 'Chris' who goes into country and buys our teas from the growers and then comes back into Tampa and blends them...we find oursleves very fortunate...another name for Prince of Whales tea is Assam...what an education i have recieved...am so thankful for that!!!!! <BR> SCH we would love to have you join us in our new location as we have outgrown our currant space we are gaining 1000 square feet...more room to love those that pass our way....kim

    • Alisha

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      Went to the Empress for the first time on Saturday (1/29) and was very pleased. Some of the reviews have been not so great but I didn't find that to be true. The service was very friendly and the shop was very pretty. The sandwiches, tea bread and desserts were wonderful-I love the uniqueness of a couple of the sandwiches because it showed thought was put into it. The only things I didn't care for was that the scones were kind of plain and dry and that the women at the table next to us (who appeared to be a regular) was offered a tea other than the tea of the day. Other than those two small things, it was a great experience and I'd go back.

    • J. Wright

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      I recently went to the Empress Tea Room with my daughter and we absolutely loved the atmosphere, the food and the service were all excellent! I would highly recommend Empress Tea Room.

      Tearoom response:

      yeah us and you....thank you so much

    • Jessica

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      I went here with my mother one time, and it was not the best experience. My mother claimed that she would never go back again because of the service. We were short on time that day, and they kept leaving us for extremely long periods of time. Once we were given our food, they didn't come to check on us at all before handing us the check. I sat there waiting for the preserves and cream they were supposed to bring me for about twenty minutes. The food was pretty good and it looked very pretty the way they had set it up, but I wasn't impressed with my visit. I have not gone back since, and probably won't.

    • Denise Shaffer ( Dee )

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      Kim and Tammy thank you so much for today. The High Tea was so awesome. My mother was so happy she went. I loved it myself. It is so cozy and so classy. Thanks again for the wonderful time. Many Blessings to you and much love always. D Shaffer

    • Christina

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      I currently work at the Empress as their marketing intern and I absolutely love it! Everyone here are truly amazing people! The best thing about this internship (besides gaining valuable marketing knowledge) is having lunch every time I come in! The food is delicious!

      Tearoom response:

      love ya muffin

    • Megan

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      I have eaten here several times and had my bridal shower here a couple years ago. I keep coming back and bringing more friends into the world of tea. I love it and I am so glad that the empress is around(hopefully for a long time!)

      Tearoom response:

      Megan...we are working on it...we now offer a meet up group the second tuesday of each month at 10:00 to educate and explore 'All things Tea'...love to have you...you can follow us on twitter: kim_tea or be a fan on facebook and are putting a blending bar in the gift shop in the near future for our customers to blend their own signiture teas...lots of fun things..but it is the daily customers that keep us going and bring great joy....thank you so much<BR> Kim

    • Patty

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      My friends and I have recently been interduced to high tea and this is our second tea together. We had a very good experience. The tea, food, and service was great. The only thing that could be improved was our scones (half the party thought they were a little overdone/dry) but still ok with the devonshire cream & jam. I loved the service and atmospher, and want to introduce my children to high tea in the more relaxed garden room. See You Soon!

      Tearoom response:

      so glad you are experiencing the world of Tea...there is so much to enjoy....its the friendships that are the most important when thinking about etiquette ...cant wait to see you again!!!!!

    • Lori

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      our first time here.. and we will definitely be back! the garden room is amazing.. gorgeous and just like you are sitting in an open air villa. The blackberry sage and mothers bouquet tea was delicious and the high tea was worth every penny-- light airy scones with delicious cream, lovely chocolate covered strawberries, savory chicken salad.. the menu is wonderful! A must visit for any tea lover!

      Tearoom response:

      love those coming in for the first time!!!....so happy you found it as we love it...truly a blessing to work here and serve beautiful customers!!!....we'll be waiting your next visit!<BR> Kim

    • Gail Wood

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      Best tea room ever! Food and service were a big step up from the average tea room and Katherine and Tammy were genuinely warm and gracious. I will be having a baby shower and tea for my daughter in about a week, and I know this is the right choice. I place a very high value on customer service and the caliber of employee is something missing from many establishments. Loved it and will return as often as I can! :-)

      Tearoom response:

      yeah!!!!.....thank you so much it just so happens that last night we won our 4th award in the last 11 months...we love our customers, our food, and where we work!!!....thank you for being such a HUGE part of that...cant wait to see you again!!!!....Kim<BR>

    • Jen

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      What an amazing experience! I spent a year studying abroad in England and was so excited to hear of a place that had the 'high Tea'. The scones are amazing and the devonshire cream was exactly like the cream I had in Devonshire England!! The hostess even took us on a tour of the premesis before sitting us in the exquisitly decorated garden room. Thank you Empress for such a wonderful experience.

      Tearoom response:

      Jen<BR> thank you so much...we always love hearing the comparison to our friends across the pond...we look forward to your return visit with you<BR> Kim

    • Gigi

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      I've attended both brunch and high tea at the Empress and am really blown away by both the food quality and service. As a 'tea tourist,' I find the Empress above the rest, with the one exception being the CIA restaurants in Hyde Park, NY. Aside from the unbelievably delicious scones and homemade Devonshire cream, the great quiche and salads and cute front shop, the service is unparalleled. I felt almost like I was a special customer. The hostess gave me a tour of the premises before seating me and describing all the food options precisely. So cheerful and helpful! I can't wait to take my mom next time she visits me. Thank you, Empress!

      Tearoom response:

      soooo glad to of had you again!!!....you are a Special customer!!! kim

    • christina

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      Our first experience with this tea room was a disappointing one. Doubt very much we will return. We waited in entry way/gift shop for about 10 minutes before someone who actually worked there greeted us. No staff member was up front. Upon being seated the table wasnt even set (very uninviting to say the least). Took about 20 minutes before we were given a pot of tea and so on ...... Terrible manners terrible service highly unprofessional.

      Tearoom response:

      we would like to extend a heart of deep regret...we have fallen into a state of be careful what you pray for....this past week has been an amazingly busy week for us...while we are building a beautiful business for all to enjoy we have underestimated the wonderful response from the guest we serve on a regular basis... i would asure you the error has been solved in that we have hired not one but two new employees to our team....it is our desire that you experience excellence here with us and when that does not happen we are sure to step up in whatever ways we can!!!! Please accept lunch on us your next visit as we know you will enjoy it here!!!!<BR> <BR> thank you for the opportunity to serve you<BR> Kim

    • Sarah

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      Well, this was for my baby shower and what an experience. I frequent tea houses often with my family as we are all girls who have sons. LOL. This I would have to say was the most disappointing experience I have had and to top it off it was my baby shower. I was not going to even rate this as I was thankful to have a shower since this is my 3rd child. However, I have received many phone calls and my mother - in - law who had this for me and she is highly upset. The teas offered were great and had a large selection to choose from. They however forgot my cold tea the first time and it took 2 requests to finally get it. Then when my sister in law showed up she requested a hot tea and no one brought that. Then for 7 guests which I would say is a good size party they only brought one cup of cream and jelly for the scones. We had to request a 2nd one. This part made me laugh. The cream they brought the 2nd time I believe must have just been mixed because both my sister and mother in law had chunks of cream cheese. Then I the guest of honor requested more jelly and my mother said after the lady walked away and I am quoting, 'you should have said fast.' We waited and waited and yes waited, to the point that I never ate my scone and started opening gifts. My other sister in law finally was so upset she walked back to the kitchen herself. Also, we not only had to make several requests for the same items but never had a friendly conversation with any of the people working there. We did see they offered soup and upon ordering 3 bowls they only had enough for two of us. They did however, offer a side salad in replace of the missing bowl of soup but soup was what was wanted. In short the only time we ever talked to the people was when they first announced the teas they have, the bringing out of the food trays, and maybe one other time when we had to call them over. There were several times we just said they were busy and maybe had some unexpected people show up. But after being there for 2 hours and several different issues we went away quite upset that we even chose this place to have the party because we just wanted a friendly atmosphere with great service. After, reading the reviews and seeing photos we thought this was the best place for what we were looking for to enjoy. But it turned out to be a place we will never want to visit again or tell people about. I apologize that I don't have anything nice to say but really in short the experience was not nice.

    • Rhonda

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      My daughtr and I had a lovley time there when we visited . aThe atmosphere is gorgeous We walked away very peaceful and happy

      Tearoom response:

      Rhonda...we have accomplished why we open the door each day....adding peace while you are here and sending you away Happy....Kim

    • Angela

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      Fabulous tea room. THank you for great service and delicious food. I work at USF and I will bring the girls here when we need a retreat.

      Tearoom response:

      Anne....let me know when your coming and i will save you a seat!!! Thank you so much....Kim

    • Becky

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      An old friend and I, both tea lovers, recently partook of 'high' tea at the Empress. Firstly, I had sniffed the chocolate tea in the gift shop area and quickly gave it a thumbs down. Then I changed my mind and ordered it only to discover it was delightful. Score 1 for the Empress and I later bought some to take home. Secondly, the crab soup was tasty but I was not the only one overheard to wish for the return of the cream to the soup pot. Thirdly, the tea tray was magnificent...four sandwiches, a huge and flaky scone with ample cream and preserves, and four different desserts, each one better than the one before. I also had ordered a salad of baby spinach, pears, gorgonzola cheese, nuts and vidalia onion dressing. It was ambrosia, the nectar of the gods. I nearly licked the plate. All systems are definitely go at the Empress. I look forward to seasonal changes in the menu as an excuse to go more often.

      Tearoom response:

      Becky....we love the element of delightful surprise...and at every corner...see you soon we hope....kim

    • Carolyn

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      I had my bridal shower here in May of 2007 (25 ladies). My friend that threw the shower for me was allowed to set up the room as soon as the other party was through (they allowed us to bring in deorations and custom cookies and cake--we ended up not eating either as there was plenty of goodies at the tea to fill us up--we ended up taking these to the bbq afterwards in which the guys were allowed to attend!) The ambiance as amazing--there was even a harpist playing! Everything went smoothly and all the girls still talk about the bridal shower tea party that we had there! Will definitely return!

      Tearoom response:

      Carolyn....thank you for allowing us to be apart of a new chapter in your life we wish your family success and hope to see you for a baby shower...kim

    • J.G.

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      I don't have much experience with Tea Rooms but I recently chose Evenings at the Empress to take my girlfriend on a romantic date. I was very happy with the service and quality of food, but as a man Evenings at the Empress really shines by offering MAN FOOD! There are very few places that I can go to score this level of brownie points with my date and still get a decent steak. The Empress just made it to the head of that limited category.

      Tearoom response:

      Thank you for joining us in our new venture...Chef Dennis is doing a wonderful job and we are seeing more of the 'gentlemen'. So happy we could satify your need for 'Man food'...and certainly happy to of had you both!!!<BR> Thank you so much..we will continue to strive for the best! kim

    • D.J.

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      It's hard to keep to a consistent standard of excellence in anything, but this business is BEYOND. I've been going to tea rooms for years, but the Empress has established a new level of excellence. The food is amazing, the staff personable and welcoming, the ambiance elegant and pampering. Not just a girlie place - always have seen gentlemen enjoying themselves, too! Can't wait to try their new venture with evening meals!

      Tearoom response:

      Evenings are coming....hope to include you ....thank you so much ,,,Kim

    • Megan

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      we enjoyed High Tea last weekend with a King Crab Bisqui to die for the chef out did herself...during our visit a harpest played to create an even greater experience!!! wow, you've out done yourselves, far greater than expected. Thank you

      Tearoom response:

      I will pass all of the beautiful words of gratification on to my Chef 'Lev'...she is formally French trained and very pastionate about the food she puts her hands to, I am so delighted you enjoyed yourselves, of course I would say as well our Harpest is an amazing USF student that has a relationship with her music in that her 'Juliett' in a wood stained deep purple is one of her greatest joys...we are blessed...thank you so much

    • Jessica

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      What a charming, warm and welcoming tea room with great service and delicious food. It is such a wonderful place to experience that I recommend that everyone

      Tearoom response:

      Jessica....thank you so much these are the reactions that let us know what we are doing everyday makes a difference!!! again thank you, hope to see you in our near future<BR> Kim

    • Chris

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      Mothers day tea was amazing! everything was done to a degree that i was so proud to bring my family to experience such a wonderful event, thank you so much for our time with you

      Tearoom response:

      Happy Mothers Day!!! what a pleasure to have you here with us on such a beautiful day...the mothers bouqet 'tea' is something we look forward to all year long...thank you for joining us

    • Theo Snell

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      Delightful environment, gracious host, warm and friendly atmosphere, and they have WiFi what more could you ask for the day I went with my wife she absolutely loved it. We will certainly have to go back.

      Tearoom response:

      Theo you are a nice addition to our tea room family....we would love to have you and your wife anytime

    • anna perrott

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      I have been going to Empress Tea room for almost a year I think it is one of the largest tea rooms I have been to in the Tampa Bay area. What I like is there is a formal The owner is very motivated to make your experience the best and very gracious and kind. The lunch menu is great I love her salads and of course the chocolate bon bons and the belgium chocolate strawberries!!!!

      Tearoom response:

      each time you come in you make us smile...what a joy that you have chosen our place to frequent..we are blessed

    • K. Frashier

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      I've arranged several business meetings at the Empress and I've been very pleased with the balance of service and food presentation. Overall excellent, quiet location for a break or business during the week.

      Tearoom response:

      Karen...<BR> you are the picture of a professional women one i admire....please continue to be welcome here for anythng we can do for you...such a pleasure<BR> kim

    • Pam Suarez

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      This is the best tea room. You are treated like a queen. Service is excellent. The food is fresh and delicious. The tea is extraordinary. I took my mother, daughter and sister. We had a wonderful afternnon.

      Tearoom response:

      Thank you so much Pam<BR> we love to see generations getting together for a time together that is as special as just sitting across from one another and enjoying all that each of you have to offer...i am grateful for the women i have been able to meet...<BR> kim

    • John Jay

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      The Tea's and the food are OUTSTANDING.

      Tearoom response:

      always a pleasure....<BR> kim

    • Personal Marketing

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      This was a wonderful experience. My friend and I had not seen each other in several months. Life you know just gets so crazy you have to find the time. I suggested the Empress Tea Room and we had a wonderful 2 hour conversation over tea and an atmosphere was relaxing. The food was delightful and the owner Kim was a doll. Thank you Empress for serving our community.

      Tearoom response:

      Ladies...<BR> Thank you so much for stopping in we are always so delighted to see people connecting...we do quite a bit of network marketing here as we like to be well rounded in both friend and family as well as business...sounds like you may of been able to accomplish both...for future we are wi-fi accessable if you need .....again thank you and we look forward to having you with us again<BR> Kim

    • Randy Hale

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      Better than ever! Was worried learning of new management but our experience celebrating my mother's 75th birthday in March was OUTSTANDING!! I am bringing a larger group in for our May 9th Mother's Day celebration. Excellent job Kim and staff!

      Tearoom response:

      WOW...Randy....Thank you so very much...it is our greatest desire to share and enhanse the celebrations of others...we are honored and are excited your experience with us was a joyeous one...we look forward to having you again !!!<BR> Kim

    • Dr. Shultz and wife

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      My wife is involved with a local womens group here in the Bay area recently she was working with her commity and when I went to pick her up I could see she was completely stressed out ! I knew exactly what to do, off to the Empress we went, we have come to know the Empress Tea Room as a place to get away and relax, my wife and I are regulars. As a Chiropractor I would recommend the Tea Room for anyone needing to find a quite place with wonderful food and atmoshpere. Thank you

      Tearoom response:

      Dr. and Mrs. Shultz....<BR> the love and respect you have for one another is so encouraging for us to be a part of...truly the two of you make our day special when you come in...let me know when you'll stop by again and of course i'll put your tea on for you<BR> respectfully..Kim

    • Dustie

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      Delightful TEA ROOM! Decor is exactally what you'd expect in a tea room, pretty linens,table setting and their garden area provides a nice photo opportunity. I have had the privilege of dining at The Empress Tea Room on many occassions. I have always enjoyed a relaxed atmosphere with great food. Their chicken salad is to die for. Kim and Mike know the true meaning of service with a smile. They truly make you feel like one of the family. Thanks for the extra effort.

      Tearoom response:

      Thank you so much Dustie!!!<BR> <BR> It is always a joy to see you walk through our door!

    • Joan

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      My husband and I enjoyed our first visit to The Empress Tea Room. The atmosphere of the tea room was very peaceful and relaxing. Service and food were very good. The owner was very pleasant and informative about the Temple Terrace area. This is one of the nicest tea rooms we have visited in Florida.

      Tearoom response:

      Joan<BR> It was a pleasure spending time with you...it's always fun to share in other's experiences, hope to see you next year when you and your husband come down to our sunny Florida...maybe you wont need your sweaters :) Kim

    • Laura

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      just had a bridal shower at the Empress and every thing was spectacular, when I booked the event I was really looking forwards to it, however once we had our shower I was truly impressed with how wonderful everything turned out, thank you so much

      Tearoom response:

      Thank you Laura<BR> It is an honor to be a small part in such a special day!!<BR> Kim

    • Lee

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      Very elegant tea room. Food and service excellent. Owner seems to be very nice lady. Will try the formal tea next time.

      Tearoom response:

      Lee<BR> We welcome you at anytime, it's always nice to see our gentlemen log on.<BR> Thank you....Kim

    • Susan

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      My husband and I were pleasantly surprised to see other couples enjoying tea and lunch. Men are usually reluctant to frequent a restaurant focused on the art of taking tea, but the Empress offers man-sized sandwiches and a variety of other entrees that would please healthy appetites. My husband, more of an iced tea (which they also offer) kind of guy, braved the waters and tried the Paris brewed hot tea. He loved it and wants to go once a week. The atmosphere is formal and peaceful, food was great and we were able to take our time and enjoy a private conversation. Service was great too.

      Tearoom response:

      Susan<BR> ...we are so lucky to see so many of our gentlemen enjoy theirselves...we try to accomidate a wide range with our menus to satisfy all...thank you<BR> Kim<BR>

    • Brenda

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      when my guest and i arrived we we're very pleasantly surprise at how wonderful this tea room was, everything was to a standard held very high...thank you so much..we will be back

      Tearoom response:

      Brenda<BR> these are the comments we are so honored by...'the surprise' of our location and then the recognition of the quality we strive for...thank you<BR> Kim

    • Donna O.

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      I attended a year-end Christmas party at the Empress Tea Room, and I must say we were ALL treated like queens! The sanwiches were of an excellent variety of both sweet and savory. The atmosphere was delightful. We were greeted by the owner Kim, and she was both charming, and very accomodating. I was very dissapointed with some of the posts placed on this site...it actually reads like a malicious smear campaign. I agree that social graces are the center of the 'tearoom experience', and would expect unhappy patrons would humbly accept apologies, and move on; and NOT ask everyone in their party to chime in... One negative experience does not a a bad tearoom make...I WOULD GLADLY RECOMMEND THIS TEAROOM!!!

      Tearoom response:

      Donna<BR> Your group was so fun...I have used one of your pictures on a couple of the advertisments that we do..thank you<BR> Kim

    • Jennifer

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      This is the absolute best tea room I have been to. The beautiful ambiance, delectable food, and specialized customer service makes The Empress Tea Room a true gem in Tampa. I absolutely adore this place and take my family and friends there any chance I can. - Jennifer 3-year customer

      Tearoom response:

      Jennifer<BR> thank you for your continuted visits, you are so valued...we look forward to your next visit..<BR> Kim

    • Julie Teagirl

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      I have a recommendation to all those people who had a bad tea experience. Go to Simply Country Bell Tea Room in Plant City i know it is a drive you get off exit #19 off I-4 but you will not be dissapointed, i think i have been to every tea room in Florida and this by far is the best one the owners Rick and Susan always out do themselves they are just good country people. So try them if you ever want a great tea time.

      Tearoom response:

      Tea Lover<BR> It is our greatest desire for everyone to be completely happly with their experience with us...please give us another opportunity...thank you so much<BR> Kim

    • Curious Guest

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      I have also been to the Empress Tea Room on several occasions, but was unaware they had a change in ownership. I would like to see a post from the new owners regarding some of these negative comments to hear the other side of the story regarding the infamous bridal shower.

      Tearoom response:

      We, my husband and myself, bought the Tea Room 6 months ago. We are a very successful caterer from the Carollwood area. I loved the Tea Room and was a patrons myself. It was a wonderful opportunity and both the original and past owners are still heavily involved in any guidence we seek them in. Since we have taken over the Tea Room, we have won 2 awards...one of Tampa's 'Best of the Bay' 2008 and USLBA (United States Local business Association) '2008 Best of Tampa'...It is hard work and passion that we were rewarded for along with the beauty that is The Empress Tea Room. We have revived a lot of the old wonderful events that used to take place here, and look forward to opening our space as an Event Fascility. The rakings on this website is governed by those who visit the website...the peoples site...remember there are two sides to each story and we invite you to experience 'The Empress' for yourselves. If you have any further questions I am more than happy to respond to those either on our site info@empresst.com, or by phone 988-9027 thank you so much...Kim

    • Stacy

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      I was a guest at the bridal shower previosly mentioned.It was a very bad experience, I couldn't believe the way our 'Guest of honor' was treated, not to metion all of her guests.We were told our party was a tiny drop in the bucket compared to all of the guests they get in a day & it didn't matter that our party was double-booked,& that we were nhappy, they would have other customers. After this incident I will not EVER reccomend this tea-room to anyone.The owner's have terrible cutomer service & no regard for other people.GRADE F

      Tearoom response:

      Stacy<BR> a very formal letter was composed by myself and sent...what an unfortunate unraviling....please except my deepest apologies<BR> Kim

    • Nora

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      After a nice experience at the Empress today, my party and I were asked nicely by the new owners to write a review about it. Now I know why. After reading the previous comments, I realized that problems do occur. Our experience was wonderful and people do learn from their mistakes. The Empress was always a nice meeting place and I will encourage anyone to give it a chance.

      Tearoom response:

      Thank you Nora...<BR> we always strive for the very best...our customers are of the utmost importance to us...Kim

    • Melanie

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      As this sight is designed for the purposes of reviewing your own personal experience at a tea room, I feel a bit badly about responding to Ms. Pepin's post. I understand this is not the forum to do so, and therefore will not address all of her random and frivolous comments. I only wanted to say that I stand by my previous review 100%. My post was a factual rendition of my experience at this establishment, on that particualr day! I did book my party at a tea room expecting the highest of social graces, and most eloquent of experiences. Unfortunately, at no time did I feel that myself or my party was treated in that manner. At no time then, or here in my reviews, have I personally attacked Kim or Mike therefore I will not stoop to Ms. Pepin's level of criticism, name-calling, or judgement. While it is understandable, and somewhat admirable of her to come to the defense of her friend, she was not a guest at our event, therefore is ill-equipped to comment on how the day played out. Again, my previous review stands. The duration of our time in this establishment was far below our expectations. The service we received held none of the eloquence, or grace we expected from this tearoom. Up to this point, I have yet to receive a sincere apology from Kim or Mike. This was my experience with this facility, and I am certainly glad that others have not shared the same misfortune.

    • Dina

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      Every business has its bad days sometimes! I can't relate to what happend there last saturday but I had a lovely experience! So classy and cozy. one of the best tea rooms I have attended in The Tampa area. Its a nice break from reality and the Tea sandwiches were great, although I'll make sure, before I book a future event, to stay on top of my reservation.

    • Terry Lea Pepin

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      First of all I would like to say i have read the reviews of the Bride and by the way, Maid of Honor (not MADE as she spelled it) I am very sorry for your experience although i have gotten the other side of the story and i want to say several things. When you choose a 'Tea Room' atomosphere, it is because you have social grace or at least the humility and grace to accept ones apology, and this is an opportunity to show manners, eloquence and SOCIAL GRACE which all goes with the Tea Room atomosphere and of why Tea's were established...FOR PEOPLE WITH MANNERS. I know that things happen and people take things PERSONAL, but we as humans of a 'free world' are supposed to help one another, to forgive and not to judge and to not intentionallly try to damage ones livlihoold. I have known Kim and Mike for a very long time and they have catered parties for my events of over 300 to 400 people and have only had 'RAVE REVIEWS'...they are gracious people and would do anything to make things better if they were given the GRACE to do so. IF YOU BACK anyone into a corner and continue to insult and blame, you are putting that person on the defense to come back, we are all only human...and who was the one that said, People should be treat people the way they wan to be treated? And to insult the choice of champagne provided by the Tea Room is ridiculously immature and uneducated. IT is customers responsibility to know in advance what the Champagne was. You should do your own research before to see if this is an acceptable champagne and if you want to pay a higher price for something else. I am sure the proprietor would be glad to provide it for such a speacial event. I live in a prestigious neighborhood and all of my guests have always been satified by the quality of the food and service provided by Kim and Mikes staff. I am blessed to know them and when i plan any events, I plan to continue to have them help me, and if there is a mistake, we will work it out together as mature adults, with grace and humility. I am blessed to know these people and for those of you that were offened by a human error and one that she did try to correct with both parties, maybe you better take a good look at yourselves and if something really BAD HAPPENS in your lives, how will you handle it. WIll you handle it by 'attack and criticism and judgment' or will you do whatever you can to make it work..ESPECIALLY THE MAID OF HONOR and BRIDESMAIDS....GOD FORBID the GROOM make a mistake, or shows up late, what will you girls do to protect the Bride from any chaos?.. May GOD BLESS your future and may you find the humility, grace and peace that can only help you all grow to be better people... Terry Lea Pepin

    • Frima J.

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      I was invited to my good friend's bridal shower at her favorite tea room. She raved about it for weeks as I had never had tea before and was extremely excited to attend this event. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a solid wall of people in the lobby area. We were to be seated by 3:30, however at 4:15 we were all still crowded into the room like cattle in a barn. We were repeatedly assured by the owners of this establishment that our delay would soon be over. However that was not to be. At approximately 4:30, Mike again came to speak to the bride and guests. Not to tell us the room was ready, but to inform us that the other party was still opening gifts, and would still be a while longer. He consoled us with the fact that 'the lingering party were going to have to pay extra'. How that helped us in our situation remains a mystery to me. He offered each of our guests a free glass of champagne, but refused any further compensation for our inconvenience and distress. Having worked in the catering industry for years, I was shocked to hear Mike come forth with such a pathetic offering. I suggested a sizeable discount on the event tab as the mistake was theirs in overbooking the room to begin with, but Mike rudely refused any discount at all and stormed away. Being familiar with unfortunate situations as these, I am well aware that should the party choose to bail completely the establishment not only must absorb the total cost of the food already purchased and prepared, but also will weather the dissatisfaction of the customers. In my experience, everything is done at that time to keep the relationship between establishment and patron a happy one, regardless of the cost to the restaurant. Again, I was shocked at the lack of compassion as well as the pointed rudeness displayed by the owners of this facility, Kim and Mike. What a real shame that my friend's special day was ruined by Kim and Mike's lack of compassion and understanding of business when all that was needed was honesty, maturity, and a willingness on their part to take responsibility for their mistakes and poor business management.

    • Cory

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      I was invited to attend my best friend's bridal shower at the Empress Tea Room last weekend. We have been planning this event for weeks. I was astonished at the amount of unprofessionalism, rudeness, and nastiness that was displayed by the owners of this establishment. Apparently a scheduling error was made by the proprieters of this tea room, and the time slot scheduled for us was given to another party as well. Over the course of the hour that we were kept waiting, my friends and I were treated to bad attitudes, name calling, and a complete disregard for our comfort, schedules, and feelings. The situation deteriorated and we were asked to leave and told that as we were only 30 of the 100 patrons served that day, that our disappointment and disgust with the situation was inconsequential to them and their business. For our inconvenience, we were offered nothing more than a $5 bottle of low rent champagne, and the most insincere apology I have ever witnessed. Being a small business owner myself, the lack of grace and customer service displayed by these people was appalling to me. A very disappointing experience, to say the least.

    • Laura

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      I am beyond disappointed and don't even know where to even begin to tell the story of the 'Bridal Shower that almost wasn't'... thanks to the Empress Tea Room in Tampa. My name is Laura and I am the Made of Honor for my best friend Melanie. Many hours went in between the Bride, the Bridal party and myself in choosing a venue that would make the Brides shower one that she will never forget... this is an understatement, The Empress Tea Room is a place that I wish we could forget, lets face it, the entire guest list of 30 guest will never forget it either and probably wish they could. There are some reviews listed below that are actually from our 'shower that almost wasn't' and therefore urge you to read the other reviews listed so I will not bore you with details that have already been mentioned. What I will mention is some of the details that only myself and the owners Kim and Mike know from the phone call that started four days before Melanie's big day when I called in with the final head count of 27. I was informed that when the deposit was put down on 8/9/08 one of the other bridesmaids Michelle and the bride Melanie were told that in order to ensure a private room we would need to have a minimum of 30 people. Not being there at the time of the deposit I had informed Kim (the owner) that I was not aware of this detail and would call Melanie to confirm this. Well it seems that this little detail was never mentioned to either one of them. I immediately called back Kim the owner and told her that in fact this was not what the bride was told. Kim had said that if we did not want other people (complete strangers) joining our party that we did not have a choice. (FYI...Could you imagine being seated in the middle of someone else's bridal shower) I with a bit of my Jersey attitude agreed but was not happy. should a have known then to trust my gut that something was not going to go well. Fast forward 51 hours before the official start time of the shower. I receive another call from Kim (owner) advising me that she had a problem. She had told me that she just got off the phone with the bride (which I find out later was a call that was made in error) and she had told the bride that all was well (which was an outright lie). All was not well because Kim had advised me that they had a booking error and that the time period and that a party that was set just before us will run into our time that we booked. I got a little bit more of an attitude when she had mentioned that she just spoke to the bride and told her all was fine. Great, now I get to tell the bride a little thing like her shower will have to be moved but only around 30 minutes...30 MINUTES seemed like a lot but what were we going to do. Kim advised me that there is a good chance they can turn the room in around 15 minutes or so and brought extra staff in to hopefully make the transition smooth. So now 30 people were invited but I trusted in the words that were told to me by the owner. Kim and I had more words about how was this error not caught only 2 days prior when you told me about the minimum amount of people that we had to book, they did not notice this on Tuesday for a shower on Saturday? The bottom line was it was pretty much a battle of attitudes. She had my deposit and it was less that 51 hours to go so whats a made of honor supposed to do? Again, if you read the below reviews you'll know what happens next, but another tidbit or two that was missing was how when after nearly an hour, the prior party was still in the 'private room' that we reserved and that still did not allow the time that would take to have the room set for another party. I said to Mike (owner) that perhaps it be better if we left (30 guests in all) that Mike (owner) said and that even if I moved the party to something like Outback I would have to wait at least another hour (with quite an attitude I will add)... I lost it... 'I did not put a deposit down at Outback nearly 6 weeks ago!!!' At this point my blood was boiling, the bride was in tears and the guests, well over half of the guests had pretty much went next door for ice-cream to get out of the sweltering lobby area. At that point myself, the bridal party and my 30 guests were asked to leave... I could not believe my ears, after all of the promises that were made to me by Kim the owner, how this was pretty much going to be a day the bride will never forget, well as I had mentioned earlier SHE WILL NEVER FORGET... and neither will the other 30 guests that were treated like we were just a number...oh by the way, speaking of just number, that was what Kim had mentioned in her parting words... we were JUST 30 people of the over 100 guests she had served that day... so there we have it, she did not need us nor want our business and she made that perfectly clear in her attitude. If you told me that I could have stayed and have the whole thing free, I would have NEVER stayed. The attitude and arrogance in which these new owners have is one that I still shake my head over. 'Treat others as you would like to be treated' must be something that they throw out in the dumpster at the end of the day. So just think about it, do you really want to take a chance of having this happen to you, friend or a family member?

    • Nelle

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      I am appolled at the experience I had this past weekend at the Empress Tea Room. This was not my first visit, but I have come to find out that since my baby shower in Oct 07, this Tea Room is under new owndership. I was invited to a bridal shower this weekend and know that only 48 hours prior to the shower the tea room contacted the bride directly to notify that they had double booked and needed to move her time. Of course invitation already out and the time communicated, most of the guest were there prior to the original time. After being told they would be able to seat us only 15 minutes late fromt the original time, we stood in a cramped front room for over an hour. Several requests were made for water as the room was becoming very hot an uncomfortable, but no service was ever present. The owners took no curtosy to the bride or her guest. Customer Service was definately not a concern for this tea room. Come to find out the party that overlapped ours which started at 1:30, had not even been served until 3:30. I feel bad for both parties and honestly would not recommend, nor will I return. I am saddened by this, as it was a favorite place visited with family and friends over the years.

    • Jenny B

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      I was invited to my first “tea party” bridal shower yesterday. This was an experience I was really looking forward to. I arrived at the Empress Tea Room in Tampa on Fowler Ave. at 3:30pm (this is the time our shower was originally booked and planned for). The Victorian village setting was exactly what I had pictured a “tea room” setting to be. The greeting area of the Empress Tea Room is a very small gift shop atmosphere. All the guests began to arrive and the room quickly became crowded and unbearably warm. We were informed by Mike (Owner) the Empress room had overbooked their rooms and we would be seated no later than 4 pm. As this was a special day for my friend, a thirty minute wait was not a problem. Our party had 30 guests, so you can imagine how crowded a little room meant for a handful of guests was. A few minutes after four, there was still no room available. Some of our guests requested water to battle the warmth of the room we were all standing in. The heat, shoulder to shoulder crowding, and lack of seating was difficult especially for some of our older guests that require a seat after thirty minutes of standing. The Owners (Kim and Mike) treated our requests as a nuisance as if our party were simply a bother to them. They did bring a tray of water after the request was made. These folks offered nothing to add comfort and/or an apology for their overbooking mistake. So far, my first tea party experience was not going along with the experience I had anticipated. Minutes away from an hour of standing and waiting Mike and Kim became hostile with our party and even the bride to be. There were no sincere apologies or any indication they cared to make our situation better. They instead, asked us to leave. Can you imagine waiting nearly an hour in this condition (patiently, I might add), to ask a bride and her guests to leave? I have never seen any business (especially hospitality) treat customers with such disdain. This was a first time experience for many of our party (my mom and sister were also first time guests) and our first tea party and most importantly a bride’s special day were ruined because “greedy” business owners tried to make twice the money by double booking their establishment. We were able to move our party to another location and had a wonderful time; however, I would not recommend the Empress room for any occasion (especially a special occasion) to anyone! The atmosphere and attitudes displayed by the owners was appalling and disappointing. I’m still looking forward to my first “tea room party” experience and plan to find another tea room this coming weekend to enjoy it. My advice…. Steer clear of the Empress Tea Room!

    • Jane D

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      Nothing Special. Was expecting more

    • Evelyn

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      I really enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere, the food and the delicious tea. We enjoyed high tea which comes with a large pot of tea which offered several cups of tea. The sandwiches were delightful each one had its own unique taste. The scone was a generous portion with cream and jam...quite a treat. The white chocolate bon bon was delicious as well. The service was wonderful (thanks, Terry Ann)as I didn't feel rushed to finish which really allowed for a relaxing time. I already recommended for a friend to experience this delightful tea room.

    • Logan

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      the service was outstanding, the food was exceptional...nice variety, the atmosphere was lovely with a harpest in our room, the tea room itself was in my opinion the nicest i've seen