Monday, June 30, 2014

Traditional Afternoon Tea @ The Oxford Exchange


A proper afternoon tea was experienced this past weekend, and it was brilliant. One of my sisters works in downtown Tampa and kept passing by this gem of a place called The Oxford Exchange. It intrigued her enough that she set about to discover more. The Oxford Exchange is a restaurant, tea room, coffee house, bookstore and gift store all in one beautiful multifaceted historic building. She invited me to have a Traditional Afternoon Tea with her and I quickly agreed and made reservations (please do make reservations if you can).


The tea room is located in a beautiful atrium with a water fountain and potted trees overflowing with orchids and succulents.


The Traditional Afternoon Tea is $22 per person and was nicely done. It included an excellent selection of teas, a small dessert plate, scone plate with clotted cream and blackberry preserves, and a small tea sandwich plate.


The tea sandwich selection included: cucumber and basil, blackberry preserve and cream cheese, grilled peanut butter and white cheddar, and grilled smoked ham and swiss. They were tasty, even if a bit stale on the top slice of bread on the ungrilled ones. The peanut butter and cheese one tasted like a super fancy Toastee Chee cracker (you know the peanut butter and cheese crackers?).


Darby wanted to try a French macaron so bad, she asked me if she should request some before we arrived. It turned out that there were four on the dessert platter and I think that made her day!


Darby chose an Aged Earl Grey with lavender, bergamot and jasmine, it was lovely and fragrant. If it no one was looking I would have dipped my fingers in and sprinkled my decolletage with it. I selected a rich Lapsang Souchong that smelled and tasted of smokey pine. I was so enamored I could not stop inhaling and sipping until I was down to the dregs... fortunately I did NOT see a Grim in the bottom of my cup. Our check was brought out in an old worn book. I enjoy details like this.


We strolled about the gift store and discovered many beautiful perfumes and candles. I finally got to spray on two Olfactive Studio scents I had been reading about, Chambre Noire and Lumiere Blanche. We got to smell a $90 candle, a limited edition Cire Trudon... gulp. I can't even imagine lighting *that* wick. Darby purchased something that turned out to be a gift for me. I am so touched and grateful.


Cote' Bastide perfume oil in Fleurs D'Oranger. It is a sharp, bright white and tangy green orange blossom. Adam said it smells like pepper. I can see that. But it does settle nicely into a beautiful white bloom and fades at about 2-3 hours. Perfect for a hot summer day.

Do you enjoy tea? Have any favorites? I am 99% sure I am heading back just to get some lapsang souchong to bring back home.

9 comments:

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  2. Ooh what a cool place! I'm a little familiar with Tampa but haven't heard of that place before. Definitely want to try it out sometime! I'm a iced sweet tea drinker, but I love trying flavored teas. Glad you & your sister had a great time!

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    1. Oh Tricia!!! We need to go! There is a bookstore >eyebrow wiggle< we can browse and sip coffee/tea and have dessert for a late birthday celebration.

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    2. Sounds like a fabulous plan!! Maybe after vacay? :-)

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  3. If we ever had a wax/bloggy meetup, THIS is what we should do! It looks like SO much fun!! I love tea, though I prefer coffee and am addicted to it. I love black teas, English breakfast teas, some earl grays, super spicy or orange-y teas...mmmmmmmmmmmmm, tea. LOVE the way the check was presented, those intricate little details make places so much cooler than they could have been. Looks like you had a good time, and enjoy the parfume!

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    1. I am counting on us meeting up!! Maybe when we celebrate Deb's big 5-0 we can find a tearoom in Wisconsin. Or where ever we choose to meet! You would drive out there? I love teas and coffee too. New and strange tastes are like mini adventures for me. You are right, unique details really make an experience special, memorable. I am looking forward to clinking tea cups with you and the other two lovelies in the future! Cheers!

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  4. So charming, I was watching Wimbledon last week and would like to experience British ritual like this. I love good tea also, my favorite is jasmine green tea.

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    1. Jasmine green tea is a favorite of mine too. I get it every time I go for sushi. I hope you get to experience a proper tea one day.

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