Friday, August 1, 2008

Tea'd Off

I literally needed tea to pick me back up from this horrible experience!

When you look at this picture, I hope you enjoy the lovely scene of tea and flowers… because, for me, it reminds me of a total nightmare! Here’s the story:

My family and I took a trip to Branson, Missouri. We stayed for a week, seeing shows, going to shops, just winging it as we went. Before the trip, I went to and looked up the tearooms that were in Branson, so I could visit them while there. Sounded like a good plan, right?

Sure, I mean, I have never been to a tearoom before. In the little town that I live in there is only one tearoom and it’s the fancy British style – which doesn’t interest me too much. On I found a tearoom in Branson called The Gardens. This tearoom’s profile on did not list the style of tearoom, but I thought “What the heck, we are here. Let’s check it out!”

When we finally found the place, it looked very upscale and professional. We walked in to see the beautiful paintings and decorations on the wall and the elegant tables and chairs to match. It was a lovely scene and I was hopeful that my first experience in a tearoom was going to be memorable.

I got the memorable part right, but what happened was no where near pleasant. We were seated at a table and given menus. My dad and younger brother took one look at the menu and saw the “sophisticated food” and walked out – saying that they would just look at some shops while mom and I ate. When the waitress asked for our drink orders, I asked her about their selection of hot teas. She gave me the weirdest look and said “you want hot tea?” I paused to return a slightly confused look back to her and said “well, yeah.” She left and brought back a very small box with Stash and Tazo brand tea bags stuffed inside it.

Let the ranting begin!

I know it was about 90 degrees outside, but it was about 60 degrees inside the tearoom. Also, if I’m not mistaken, it’s a TEAROOM! After looking at their menu, there was “iced tea” and “hot tea.” That was it! No selection of iced tea and the selection of hot tea was the nastiest brand I have had yet, Stash, and a mediocre brand, Tazo.

I eyed Zen from Tazo which is the type and brand of bagged tea that I take with me when I am not able to make loose leaf during my trip or while at my destination. But, like I said before, this was a TEAROOM. A place in which one of their specialties is TEA! I was a little enraged by this point. One main reason is that while on our way to Missouri we stopped at Cracker Barrel to get breakfast. I ordered hot tea. The hot tea that they serve there is Twining’s Darjeeling – a higher quality of tea than any of the Stash or Tazo brands I was given. They also listed the type of hot tea they serve on their menu… something that The Gardens (a TEAROOM) did not do.

Anyways, back to The Gardens. My mom and I each ordered an $8.00 salad that was the size of a salad you would get with your entrée at any other restaurant – i.e. really freaking small. I was not in the happiest of moods at this point and to make things worse the owner of the store came over and not so quietly said to my mom “Where did your husband go?” My mom and I were in shock but she recovered and told the owner that they left to look at a couple of shops.

My manners finally flew out of the window at this point and I said to the owner “Is this really your selection of tea?” She did not sound too taken aback and laughingly said “Yes, and we also got rid of the coffee and espresso machines when the company changed hands…” and then took the time to mention that they would soon be open until 8pm, serving steak and seafood on the menu while entertaining guests with a singer. She promptly left, mom and I finished eating our half a lettuce leaf, paid for our meal, and left thinking of where to actually get some food.

The sign on The Gardens says “café and tearoom.” It, however, is neither of those. There is one customer review on about The Gardens. I am now realizing that this person goes on about the service, food, and interior design about this place, but never mentions tea or coffee. Now I know why… The Gardens is not a tearoom, nor is it a café.

If our small salads were $8.00, I can’t imagine what seafood or steak is going to cost. If you have no interest in the type of tea or coffee served to you, have loads of cash to blow, and want some random guy in a tux to serenade you… then head over to The Gardens. From now on, I am going to make sure the TEAROOMS I go to will actually serve TEA… and the RESTROOMS I go to will actually have TOILETS… and the BEDROOMS I go to will actually have BEDS… and the…


TeaLady said...

Thank you for this review. I am astonished at the "Tea Rooms" that don't actually serve Tea and call themselves, well, you know!!! I hope you put this review on TeaMap. Sad you had a bad experience. Fortunately there are Tea Rooms that actually ARE Tea Rooms and I hope you find one.

TeaLady said...

BTW my dad is from Kokomo.

Brittiny said...

Thanks for the comments, tealady!

Yeah, I'm not having much luck with at the moment. I found a retail store called the Tea Cozy in the Washington Square mall in Indianapolis. I went to Indy to check it out and it had went out of business a couple of months earlier... bummer.

I'm not giving up hope on the tea rooms, though!

That is awesome that your dad is from Kokomo! :)

Namir said...

My theory is that it must have been a wonderful tea room before it was taken over by evil tea haters. They kept the decorations and cups, but throw out all the tea.