I have taken tea at Tea on the Tiber, Petticoat, Serenity, Crown and Thistle in MD; Civil-la-tea and Aunt Pittypat's in PA; the Pierre in NYC and numerous times while I lived in Scotland. I am also in the tea room business. My mother and I went to tea (Duchess's Tea) after Christmas this past year, and were very impressed by the quality of service (the owner's daughter was kind, conversational, accommodating and delightfully quirky). There was so much food we had to take most of it home. The only negative thing I had to say about this tea room is that it inhospitably made it's visitors stand outside in the cold until the doors opened. Our reservation was for 12, and I expect to come in and be warmed, browse through the gift shop, or be offered temporary seating in an entry or lobby. We had to return to our car in the street, several times, until the doors opened. Shockingly enough, we arrived only minutes before our reservation. I was appalled that they made guests stand outside, in the cold, for so long. If a specific time is given to a guest, the doors should be open to welcome them, period. Otherwise, the food was lovely, the service efficient, and the decor decidedly and effectively Victorian. I also wanted the food on tiers!
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I do need to clarify a few points however. As you know, Teaberry's is located in a restored Victorian home. We do not have a 'waiting room' so to speak- I wish I did and that would be a lovely addition yet space does not allow for it in this location. We do have two outside hallways on either side of our entrances where customers may wait before we open so they are not outside in the cold. We cannot have people in the gift shop before hours because we are very busy vacuming and getting ready for the day. We always open promptly at 12 which is our posted opening hour. There is much to do to get ready for our guests as you can imagine since you are in the same business. To say we are inhospitable because we opened our doors on time is simply not fair. As far as the tiered servers it was my decision not to use them because I do not like seeing my desserts when I am eating my tea sandwiches and prefer to be served separately. Also our scones are served warm and that is not possible when they are brought out early.