Ottawa Awesome: A weekend of tea and craft (Part I)

High Tea at The Tea Party features sandwiches, scones, squares and, of course, tea!

Jordan is co-author of the Project: Priceless blogs. Their first blog, The Free Wedding Experiment, was a year-long project to put together a cost-free wedding via social media. The new chapter, The NEST, is a tale of frugal, DIY’ing newlyweds nesting, loving, cooking, adventuring, reviewing, and regaling with tales. Check out both blogs at projectpriceless.com.

PART I: THE TEA PARTY ON YORK STREET

The Tea Party (119 York) is a busy spot around lunch

In preparation for my birthday month, I purchased a social coupon (you know, off a site that does group coupons, if you will), for The Tea Party on York Street in the Byward Market. Anything Alice in Wonderland-themed is guaranteed to catch my eye, so I bought the coupon — $20 for a High Tea for two — and invited my mom along.

The scones at The Tea Party are ‘superb’

We headed down to the Market, parked, and walked down to the little house. As we stepped inside, the place was rockin’ busy. A dozen charmingly mismatched tables were crowded with cheerful diners enjoying all sorts of Indian lunch foods (oddly enough, given the Wonderland theme). I have made a note to come back and try the tandoori tofu because it looked delicious. We were led to our tiny reserved table in a corner by the front window and, while we waited for our server to come, we perused the shelves of tea cups, teapots, and china all available for sale. A two-tier Alice in Wonderland-themed tea tray caught my eye and I may have to go back for it.

The floor-to-ceiling shelves at The Tea Party are lined with teas and pots

The server brought us our teas in big pots, chosen by us from the wall of labelled glass jars. The tea was lovely, and I was pleased to see the wide array of non-caffeinated options they had. Settling on a concoction called Jamaican Chai, I was delighted with the spicy aroma mixed with tropical undertones. Mom chose an anise-based tea called Angel Wings, which she enjoyed very much, being a fan of strong flavours.

A few sips into our tea, our tray of squares, scones, and sandwiches arrived. We were surprised to find none of the ‘usual’ tea sandwiches — no tuna, egg salad or ham here — but a wide variety of unique flavours instead. My favourites included a roasted red pepper with hummus, and a tomato with some type of baba ghannouj. The scones were superb, served with a pot of jam, and the squares were all made on-site … no pre-packaged Nanaimo bars here.

Tea to go is also an option at The Tea Party

We munched away happily, lingering long after our sandwiches were done, pouring more tea from our big pots and gossiping. When it was finally time to go, we went to the cash to buy a tea cup for Mom, and received the last part of our social coupon deal: two little bags of tea to take home. I grabbed a bag called Yoga Spice, and Mom grabbed a green tea. We headed out, satiated and promising to return for a full lunch.

Thanks, Jordan! Sounds like a delightful day out! Catch Part II of our Ottawa Awesome weekend tomorrow.