On a little street in Norwalk, stands a little house, with a little pink dining room, and 6 little tables covered in lace and mismatched china. No, this is not the lore of fairy tales, it is The Enchanted Teapot…Tea House, Treasures and Art Gallery, or so the sign says. As you step into its surreally quaint surroundings, you are reminded of stepping into a less dusty version of grandma's attic. Covering every surface are teapots in every shape and size, nick knacks, antiques and a whole lot of charm. The owners of The Enchanted Teapot, Wilma Barbour and Christina Williams, opened up shop after collecting teapots, cups and saucers for 30 years. And you would believe it. But, it is not all about the treasures. People come to this little teahouse to relax, sip some of their small but well chosen tea selection and sample Williams' tea sandwiches and baked goods. I decided to fulfill my three girls' yearly quota for playing tea party and sample the real food at this oh-so-sweet Norwalk tearoom.
Sitting down at our lace laden table, I realized that although The Enchanted Teapot is not specifically geared toward children, we were truly in the midst of a little girls' fantasy. Lunch began with teapot shaped sugar cookies, served on a most amusing platter constructed from 2 tea cups glued together with a saucer in the middle...a very whimsical effect. I couldn't help thinking I had slipped into a scene in Alice and Wonderland. The menu touts itself as a "Totally Enchanting Tea Experience" and includes scones with jam, dainty tea sandwiches, assortments of sweets, and the "Royal Tea" which combined the entire menu into a three tiered tray of tea party decadence. They also offer the "Earl of Sandwich", a regular sized sandwich for those who require more hearty fare with a less precious presentation. All menu items are served with a pot of tea, and lunch will run you about $10. The Royal Tea, needless to say is great for sharing and a bargain at $15.95 for two.
I felt a wave of panic when I first glanced at the menu, thinking my children were unlikely to eat cucumber sandwiches, but Williams and Barbour seemed to foresee this possible plight. These ladies clearly had raised kids of their own, and as if reading my mind, immediately offered several options that catered to my younger crowd. In addition to the egg salad, tuna, turkey, ham, mini quiches and chicken salad in a phylo crust, they added peanut butter and jelly, and grilled cheese squares. If you're like me and love to taste everything on the menu, you can get an assortment of the above selections and have the perfect dining experience.
We did have to make some decisions regarding the tea course. The tea menu has all the standards represented including Earl Gray, English Breakfast, Roibos and Chai, and also includes some unusual selections like Organic China Green Sench (my favorite), Lavendar Lace, Blood Orange Cranberry, and Very Berry (which I recommend for kids as it is sweet and fruity). The group watched excitedly as other tables received their multi-tiered platters, while we munched on our delicious sugar cookies.
The service was relaxed and went hand in hand with the quiet, peaceful atmosphere of the teahouse. Finally, the tea arrived with individually amusing tea pots (may I remind you about the 30 years of collecting) and strainers. We sipped, admired the artwork done by one of the owners' father, which covered the walls floor to ceiling and compared our different cups and saucers rating them on design and desirability.
When the first raised platter arrived it was accompanied by oohs and aahs. It showed up floating on top of an elaborately decorated hat box and revealed heart shaped bp & j's, tiny grilled cheese squares, little cheese quiches, and delicious egg salad on wheat bread. There were also bite sized turkey and ham selections with nice mustards and cranberry mayos. Granted the "cute" factor here plays a key role in the enjoyment of these savory sandwiches, but they were actually quite good for a teahouse where the focus is really on the scones and sweets. Other plates arrived atop elaborate cup and saucers sculptures and in traditional form, but each had a lovely presentation. As if the cookies before lunch weren't exciting enough for my children, entrees were served with individual bowls of mini marshmallows. Needless to say, everybody wanted to go back the following day.
The scones were partnered with the traditional clotted cream and jam and they were delicious. The dessert platter was filled with chocolate brownies, shortbread, lemon squares, mini cheesecakes, yet more cookies and rice crispy treats (which may have been another kid friendly addition). All of the baking is done by Williams, on premises, and all of it is solidly tasty.
This is a delightful place for a leisurely meal and quiet conversation. The owners say their clientele ranges from mothers and daughters, to 20-to-30-year-old girls, as well as multi-generational groups of women. Really this is a very special eatery for anyone with a penchant for pink looking for a nice pot of tea. Fresh with sugar highs, we rolled out into the oddly normal, non-fairy tale street, with all three children giving our experience a 10 out of 10.
Reservations are recommended at The Enchanted Teapot (I had to call several times to get in) as it is quite small - only 6 tables. Credit cards are accepted, but you'll need cash for the tip. Enjoy!
The Enchanted Teapot 73 Cedar Street, Norwalk. 203.854.0314