By Micaela Williamson
The Tea Cart, a new British-inspired tearoom is opening its premiere location at 16 West Main St. in Berryville, and is serving the finest British fare like shepherd’s pie, Victoria sponges and finger sandwiches. Along with a huge selection of specialty teas, this new tearoom is the perfect retreat from everyday busy life and is welcoming to families.
Owner Susan Whitbeck says that serving as a Family and Consumer Science teacher for more than two decades, as well as a former restaurateur and “momtrepreneur”, she is invested in sharing her love of cooking and teaching with the community. She says that creating The Tea Cart is fulfilling her lifelong dream.
“Opening a tearoom has always been something I’ve wanted to do,” says Whitbeck. “As a child, I enjoyed the novelty of it and as an adult have found a new appreciation, especially since the flavors and ingredients have reached a new complexity in the past few years.
“I wanted to provide an inviting, yet elegant establishment where people of all ages could enjoy the experience of Afternoon Tea and have access to a unique private space to hold their next party. We are the place to have a party, not just a tea party.”
The menu offers a wide variety of foods, making it easy to find something for everyone. Susan and her partners proudly make everything on-site. The kid-friendly Little Poppet tea service includes a charming display of princess finger sandwiches, a freshly baked scone with preserves, petite sweets and treats and hot chocolate. Plus, The Tea Cart offers a variety of tisanes, rooibos, and herbals that are all caffeine-free and can be poured in kid-friendly china.
“Often only one family member may drink tea, so visiting a tearoom together is an opportunity for them to share something they love with the rest of the family,” adds Whitbeck. “The atmosphere is very compatible with family conversation with soft music and the nature of the service, so people are able to converse with each other and focus on their time together.”
The Tea Cart is open Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. providing two afternoon tea seatings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Special events such as themed teas and children’s etiquette classes are planned for 2015. Private parties are accommodated by reservation and may be held outside of regular business hours. For more information, visit The Tea Cart.
Micaela Williamson is a co-author of local travel guide, Kid Trips Northern Virginia, an extraordinary resource that provides descriptions, useful information and insider tips for hundreds of local destinations. Micaela is also an award winning blogger who enjoys supporting area businesses and scouting out family-friendly venues with her two young sons.