We went for the high tea which had a lot of sandwiches, some fruit, and some cookies. They had some cute ideas like cutting the sandwiches into shapes (e.g. butterfly) and the chocolate dipped strawberries, but the tea did not come with the traditional scones, and the coookies similar to Pepperidge Farm, only a less expensive brand. The sandwiches were sweet tasting and on average bread. I would not go back even though it may not be bad for a regular meal. We have been to over 30 tea rooms in Ohio and around the world. We visited this one because it was listed as the best in Ohio. We were disappointed. There was a lot of food -each person got their own three tiered tray, but it did not come with a plate to eat the food off of and it was obvious that the wait staff had no knowledge of tea.
We are sorry you did not enjoy your High Tea (Tea Gathering) at Southern Gardens. We take pride in offering the best of ingrediants with any of our items. The cookies are a German brand and quite expensive, however we feel those that order this are worth the extra cost. Recently a Lady from England commented that our 'Tea Gathering' was the closest she had come to real High Tea here in the US rather thatn just 'Afternoon Tea'.
Scones are a specialty at Southern Gardens and can be ordered from the menu even if another beverage is ordered. Our cucumber and seafood tea sandwiches have never been described as sweet however the Waldorf one is as the salad it is named for.
We take pride that all our lunch, dinner and dessert items are cooked (not just prepared) in our own kitchen (with the exception of the cookies). This as well as our service are why we have rapidly risen to the #1 position in Ohio and in the top 100 in the nation.
Our servers and quite knowledgable about OUR teas (even though there are over 50 of them)and will be happy to suggest one for your choice of food. They, however, are not able to add tea choices that have been previously chosen by the those making the reservation or they will not give out information on where we purchase them. They also may not know in what region the tea is grown.
All of our Tea Gatherings come with a 'small' plate unless someone arrives late. We would have been happy to provide one for you if your server had been alerted.
Again, I am sorry you were dissappointed and hope that some day in the future you will try us again.
This tea room has an excellent variety of teas. They even had special teas designed for children. The store had some good chocolates from England. The sandwiches were tasty. The service was excellent. They even gave us small gifts as we left.
Their tea choices are very limited, just black loose leaf. They had a nice fruit selection on the plate and they had some very good shortbread sticks for dipping. I did not enjoy the finger sandwiches - they were fairly sweet. There were way too many chocolate desserts. The woman who runs the tea room is very friendly and it has a great location with a quaint store next door.
You definitely need to make reservations. They not only gave us our teas but what was left in the pot they put in a to-go cup. They had a wide variety of teas and the scones and sandwiches were very good.
This tea room has some quaint attributes such as the ability to wear old fashioned hats during your tea. When entering there was a heavy smell in the house of recently fried bacon. The tea was served in a large pot that came already made from the kitchen. We discovered a half hour into the tea that they did have two other types of tea available, but one pot was large for two people. She did do a signature pastry which was excellent.
The tea pots are small enough that everyone can have their own choice of tea. They have very interesting individualized china and there are edible flowers served on each tray. I especially liked the purple flower that had a radish bite to it. A remarkable thing is that there seemed to be just as many men as women enjoying tea at this luncheon spot.