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Justine Shelton  

User's reviews

  • Calabash Garden Tea Room

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    What an amazing experience!! I LOVE tea and old English traditions, so when my Mom and I stumbled upon this cute little place in Calabash I got really excited. I have a lot of food allergies and foods that trigger migraines, so I've grown used to ordering plain tea or water and a salad with no dressing at restaurants while watching everyone else eat "fun food". I was a little nervous upon seeing the menu for their tea services and realizing that doing this here might mean paying for two people, even though I wouldn't really be able to eat anything. My Mom and I decided to go in and ask if there was a way I could -just- order tea, or if there was a way we could order tea service for one, so I could have the tea and my Mom could have all the food treats, explaining my 10 different food allergies/sensitivities. Instead of bristling this unusual request Kathy immediately began to run through a list of foods she had that she thought might be safe for me and offered to make foods -especially- to suit my needs!! Her sign specifically states strong encouragement for reservations and we hadn't made any- we came in mostly for information; However, there just happened to be one table left for two people, so Kathy told us she'd be more than happy to accommodate us and encouraged us to pick out some hats if we wanted, and take the table that was available. What a collection of fantastic hats and accessories!! We weren't really dressed for high tea, but the hats and small knitted boas helped us feel like we fit in anyway. The staff was so kind and attentive, in spite of the fact that we didn't have reservations and I had a lot of special needs. They went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and welcome. I have never been so well accommodated ANYWHERE. Not only did she accommodate all of my needs, but she made sure to present the food in a way that was similar to what everyone else was having! She made salad dressing that would work for me so I didn't have to eat a dry salad and she made chicken salad with oil instead of mayo to accommodate my egg allergy. She also happened to have vegan, gluten free bread on hand to accommodate my egg and dairy allergy, so I could actually eat the cute, tiny sandwiches and tapenades that everyone else was having. Her staff was careful to point out what was "me safe" and what was for my Mom, so I was actually able to enjoy just as many of the treats as everyone else!! It might not seem like a big deal to eat what everyone else is eating, but it was SUCH a huge deal to me!! When Kathy came over to ask how things were at the end, I nearly burst into tears in the midst of expressing just how wonderful it was to feel included. On top of all that, the place was precious. The atmosphere was relaxed, but cheerful and excited. The tea was, of course, amazing. I will certainly return when I'm in the area next summer, and hope to make this an annual tradition. I highly recommend this for anyone that loves tea, high tea service, or just a fun relaxed dress up adventure with friends!