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Friday, February 15, 2008

tea time

yesterday the kid, the bean and i trekked out to pasadena to have tea with my cousin r at scarlet tea room. i'd only been once, with the hub, back when the joint first opened, and remembered it to be quite a lovely (if a bit ornate) eatery with a delicious afternoon tea. r and i have made a tradition out of going to afternoon tea whenever she's in town (she lives in nyc), but we didn't get the chance when she was home for christmas. so we decided to splurge a bit - scarlet tea room is a little bit more expensive than the other tea rooms we like to visit, like four seasons tea room in sierra madre and chado tea in pasadena. we were pretty excited for scones with lemon curd and cream - yum!

of course, we ran a little late, so i called r and asked her to meet us there and let the hostess know we were on our way. i swung into the closest (and probably most expensive) parking lot, pulled the stroller out, and we crossed the street and walked in the door.

i was a little startled to note that practically every head at every table turned in our direction when we walked in, but shook it off and found r sitting at a table in the corner. she gave me a look when our eyes met, and so i knew there had to be a story - which she confirmed when i sat down.

"hey, do you know that lady over there?" gesturing to a table near the serving area.

i looked, and only noticed the one i remembered as being the owner. "nope."

and because the place isn't that big, and voices carry, out of the corner of her mouth r said "okay, i'll tell you later when it's safe."

so we proceeded to order our fabulous "scarlet tea ceremony" - strawberry sorbet (i gave the bean a teeny, tiny taste of this and we all just about died at the sour expressions she made and the little shiver she gave), followed by a three-tier presentation of delicious tea sandwiches. there were traditional cucumber and dill, ham and cheese, egg salad, and other, fancier flavors like salmon and cream cheese, chicken tahini, brie and walnut. r had given up red meat for lent, so the kid and i split the ones she couldn't have and then we divvied up the rest.

our beloved scones (apple spice and golden raisin) came next, with their version of cream (basically, it was sweetened whipped cream and not the traditional clotted cream), lemon curd and raspberry preserves. y'all know i skipped the last item.

and then, this came out:

mm-hmmm, honey. we had little mousse cups, a lemon creme brulee'd cheesecake mini, petits fours, and the little hearts in the middle were truffles, each brushed with edible metallic powder that made them look so pretty, we didn't want to eat them.

but we did.

and when the place emptied out, r said "okay, so here's what happened. when i walked in, that lady asked me "i was looking at your reservation, and i was wondering what 3 + 1 meant?" and when i told her it meant 3 adults and a baby, she said "ohhhhh. does that mean baby like running around-baby?" i said "no, she's only 4 months old, so she won't be doing any running around." and she just said "oh. okay." can you believe that?"

now, i didn't think this exchange was particularly horrendous. i said "um, well - it IS a tea place, so i can understand that she wouldn't want any little kids running around wreaking havoc or anything...."

and she said "oh, no, i get that. BUT i think you're not getting the part that pissed me off: she was SHOUTING this at me from across the room, while she sat her lazy ass at that table over there."


now i understood why the entire place turned around and watched us enter when we first arrived. that's ass. ugh.


  1. I loove tea! I haven't heard of this place, but I will have to check it out...

    And, too funny about the screaming lady!

  2. hmmm, see, the tea sounds lovely. and yet, the screaming rude lady almost turns me off from the place :/

  3. Weird! But yay for yummy treats otherwise.

  4. i had an interesting interaction w/ that lady too. She's so crazy-go-nuts but the food is really yum.

  5. I didn't really like talking to her on the phone when I was scouting the spot for the bridal shower. I'm not surprised at her loud asshole-ness.

    Yay for yummy food though! ;)

  6. thank goodness for the lovely tea. ownerlady sounds ass indeed.

  7. Aren't people...AMAZING? I can't believe the nerve of some people. The place does sound cool, though. If I still lived down there I'd hafta go check it out!

  8. Tea! How fun! Your daughters will be so well cultured!

  9. What a weird lady. The tea sounds delish though.


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