Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Yellow Rose of Texas - Welcome to the Union

On this day in 1845, Texas was admitted to the Union as the 28th state.  In honor of Texas, the teapot is treating me to a cup of Yellow Rose of Texas tea this morning.
The teacup was a Christmas gift this year.
This tea came from the Mad Hatter's Tea Room and Boutique in Caldwell, Texas.
Spent Leaves

Until this past year, I had never been to Texas.  I have subscribed to the magazine Tea in Texas (now Texas Tea and Travel) since 2009.   I enjoy the magazine.  I was happy looking at the featured tea rooms and reading about their tea festivals and events, but never intending to actually visit any of them.  All of that changed when one of our sons decided to attend Texas A&M for grad school.  Before our first college visit, I emailed the Publisher, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, Lee Q. Garcia for recommendations on a place to stay and tea rooms to visit.  She is very sweet and gave me wonderful recommendations.

The teapot did not accompany me on any of these trips, but she is enjoying looking at my photos of Texas tea room visits.

Mad Hatter's Tea Room - Caldwell, Texas
Located in the downtown area
I loved the hats on the shelf at the top of the wall.
My tiered server (Everything was delicious.  This tea room is close to College Station, so I visit during each Texas trip.)

Ristorante Cavour - Hotel Granduca - Houston, Texas
Savories - (in my order of preference) Lobster Salad with Caviar on Egg Bread, Smoked Salmon on Dill Bun, Chicken Salad with Pesto, Goat Cheese and Cucumber, Crab Salad on Endive with Avocado, Beef with Gorgonzola and Arugula on Focaccia, Prosciutto on Biscuit, and a Quail Deviled Egg on Pumpernickel with Olive.
Scone with Clotted Cream, Strawberry Jam, Nutella and Black Current Jelly
I started with White Lotus tea and switched to Jasmine Mist green tea.
Pastries - my favorite was the Berry Tart,
Chocolate Mousse with Edible Chocolate Butterfly, Lemon Meringue Tart, Apple Muffin with Pine Nuts and Whipped Cream sprinkled with Cinnamon, Sugar Cookie with Bavarian Cream and White Chocolate Strip
Kaleena was my server and she was excellent.  My teacup was constantly refreshed.

Kiran's - Houston, Texas
Starter - Mushroom and Feta Samosa with Fig Chutney
This course was served with a Chai tea.
Darjeeling Tea served with the Ladyfinger Sandwiches second course
Sandwiches in my order of preference - English Peas with Pea Shoots & Cheddar, Freshly Churned Peanut Butter with Passion Fruit Jelly, English Cucumber, Waldorf Chicken Salad, Vindaloo Deviled Egg, Tandoor-smoked Salmon with Dill
Cranberry & Orange Scone 
served with House-made Jam & Clotted Cream
Tea with this course was The English Way with Earl Grey
The desserts were set up on a buffet and guests served themselves.  This was my selection.
Mango Mousse, Chocolate Mousse, Almond Cake with Cream, Pecan Cake with Cream and Chocolate Covered Strawberry
I enjoyed the harpist, especially her Disney selections.

Cafe M Bloomers - Navasota, Texas
I wish my husband hadn't torn down our old grain storage bin - I would have one of these in my yard.  (My husband is so glad he tore down the bin, because he would not want to make one of these!)
 M Bloomers has this teapot is in the yard.
The cafe is located at the back of a gardening store.
Interior of the cafe (When I called it a tea room, they corrected me and said they changed it to a cafe in hopes of attracting more male clientele.)
My tiered server.  When you make a reservation, you select two types of sandwiches.  Mine were cucumber and chicken salad.  The middle tier held fresh fruit and the top was desserts.
My tea selection was their house tea - a powdered orange spice blend.  The other pot held hot water and tea forte teabags were available - Earl Grey, White Ambrosia and Oasis.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden Harvest Tea - DeGolyer Tea Room - Dallas, Texas
Interior of the DeGolyer Tea Room
My table was the one near the alcove.
I was near enough to the fireplace to enjoy the warmth.  I visited on a rainy and dreary day. I always say rainy days are perfect days to go to tea.
First Course
Harvest Chicken Consomme with Cheese Wafer - both were delicious
My server was Mr. Robert Nelson, who introduced himself as Nelson.  He was been with the tea room since it opened.  Some people are just perfect tea room people and he is one of the best.  It was obvious, he loves his job.
Tiered Server - the garnishes on the server were so intricate.  The carrot flower on the top had a cherry tomato center.  The radish mouse at the bottom was cute.
The sandwiches included - Turkey with Orange Butter, Herbed Cream Cheese, Open Faced Chicken Salad, Curried Egg Salad, and Creamed Cucumber
Desserts were - Lemon Torte, Amaretto Brownie, Mini Pecan Tarts, Apple Spice Cake and  Assorted Scones with Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream 
I also had a chocolate truffle, which was delicious
The teas were Pumpkin Spice, Earl Grey and Mango Mint Hibiscus.
The Twelve Days of Christmas Display had just opened in the gardens during our visit.  Each of the twelve days of Christmas are depicted in an enclosed gazebo.  This is nine ladies dancing.  
Some close ups
The sun came out after the tea and wrecked havoc on my photos.
Sorry about the glare

Beaus - Rosewood Crescent - Dallas Texas
I was supposed to have tea here, but since I was the only person who had made a reservation for that day, they cancelled afternoon tea.  When I arrived at the hotel for tea, I received a funny look.  Did I have a reservation?  Yes, I pulled out my email confirmation.  She went to get a manager.  He apologized that they were unable to contact me (they had left a message on my home phone) and said he would do whatever he could to make it right with me.  He gathered up a bag of tea things - 
My bag contained a wooden box of the six teas they serve, as well as one of their teapots.
We were staying at the sister resort, Mansion on Turtle Creek, which sent up a welcome gift of chocolate covered strawberries and iced mango tea.  It wasn't the afternoon tea time I had planned, but my husband and I did enjoy it.

I have enjoyed visiting Texas tea rooms and look forward to trying some new ones next time I visit.

Sips and Smiles,
Teresa and the Teapot


  1. Wow! That is a lot of good looking tea venues! How fun to go tea room exploring. I do love Lee Garcia for sure.

  2. I would love to go to the Mad Hatter Tea Room. The black and white check Harlequin pattern floor sets the tone.
    Rochelle, ATAA

  3. Very nice teas and an interesting assortment of sandwiches and desserts.
    When you are in Dallas again, I think you would enjoy The Adolphus Hotel tea.

  4. When I lived in Houston I knew Lee Garcia and had tea with her on occasion. Texas "gets" tea rooms!

    I moved to Salt Lake eight years ago--where one 1920s style tea shop has since closed and the Grand American hotel fancy daily tea has hot water and tea bags. 😧

    I so miss Texas tea rooms.

  5. This is too lovely not to comment and complement. However, few of my posts have been published not sure you will see this.
    Rochelle, ATAA