On a grey, drizzly day my thoughts turn to taking tea at the British Tea Garden Cafe in Tecumseh, a movie-set-worthy town in southeast Michigan.
Never mind that when I stopped at the charming spot it was a sweltering, sunny, summer afternoon. An iced tea kind of day. But I was determined to have a pot of hot at the cozy combination shop and tea room on Tecumseh’s main vein.
The front of the storefront is the British Pantry, stocked with all things tea: towels, tools, cozies, pots, cups and saucers, books, children’s tea sets and other niceties. After browsing a bit I headed to the cafe and settled into one of the dark wood booths beneath fanciful murals of the English countryside.
Dozens of loose teas tempted, from black, green and herbals to Rooibos and whites. Ginger Pepper Orange? Hibiscus? Pin Head Gunpowder? Licorice? Mandarin Chai Anise?
I favor Earl Grey but wanted to be adventurous so I went out on a limb and selected Earl Grey with Cream, a blend of Chinese, Ceylon, Yunnan and flavoring.
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the boldest choice, but I had other decisions to make.
The lunch menu features a selection of soups, sandwiches, salads and Cottage Pie, a traditional British dish of ground beef, carrots, onions, peas and gravy under a layer of mashed potatoes. I opted for spinach quiche with a side of a house specialty, the apple slaw. Delish.
I lingered over my pot of Earl Grey with Cream to eavesdrop on the ladies in the next booth: a young mother, her pre-school age daughter and Grandma were enjoying the little girl’s first tea (although her teacup was filled with juice).
What lovely memories they’ll have of a tea-riffic afternoon.
The British Tea Garden serves lunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily, with Afternoon Tea available from 3-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Tecumseh was settled in 1824; it is located about 25 miles south of Ann Arbor and 40 miles north Michigan’s border with Ohio.
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