We had my mother's bridal shower at a Thyme for Tea a few years ago (I think there is an 'h' in thyme). It is in the 'old town' area of Fremont, adding to the ambiance. The tea room itself was absolutely beautiful! It is a blend of elegance, fantasy, and shabby-chic (though I realize all three are very different!). I remember the tea service to be pretty average. The sandwiches and hot pastries were nice (but nothing to write home about) and there was a meager tea list. Mismatching cups and saucers make the tea room have an antique, homey feel. I prefer newer, matching china; it looks more clean and classy. The server was great! She checked to make sure out pots were always full. It was fun to have different 'courses' come out at different times. First the tea, then some cookies, then hot pastries, and so on. I don't know if they only do that for parties or if the courses are typical for their afternoon tea service. I haven't been back since, but I do plan to in the near future! We had a lovely time having tea and enjoying the company of family and friends.
An acquaintance recommended the Tuck Box for afternoon tea. My mother and I made the trek to Carmel for my birthday, expecting a lovely afternoon tea experience. We were disappointed to find that the Tuck Box was not a tea room, but more of a cafe. The food was good, but nothing that you couldn't find in a nice diner or cafe. The china was clunky and diner style and my tea was served in a coffee mug. The building itself was quite charming and unique; you feel like you are in a fantasy world upon entering. We were fortunate to eat outdoors and enjoy the lovely weather. If you are interested in a charming lunch, the Tuck Box is perfect. If you are seeking afternoon tea service- look elsewhere!
Lisa's in Santana Row has a beautiful gift shop and beautiful decor, but I was not impressed with the food or service. I went to tea with a friend and her two children. We were the only guests in the tea room at the time and we were squished at a tiny table. When the food came, every inch of the table was covered and the server (who was dressed adorably in a maid costume) had to use her tiered server(they called them 'muffin stands') to put the rest of our food on! It was a little ridiculous. The menu was small and the tea and dessert was chosen for you like a combo meal. The hot pastries and dessert were not exciting. Maybe they were from Costco? Anyway, Lisa's in Santana Row is nice for shopping, but for the price, the tea service is not up to par.
I love to escape the chaos of the day at Lisa's. The ambiance is so soothing and charming. It is perfect to catch up with a friend or to take a moment of 'me' time. There is a generous tea list (maybe about 30 to choose from!). And they are always adding new teas. My new favorite is the Pomegranate Green Tea- its pink! If you are a tea connoisseur, Lisa's serves fresh loose leaf tea. They don't cheap out and use teabags (which sometimes can be of a poorer quality). There are goodies spread throughout the tea room. It is impossible to walk out of there empty-handed! There are so many unique and beautiful gifts. If you are looking for a sweet, yummy, intimate, luxurious retreat in the Bay Area- this is it!