Recently I went to a business conference with hubby and planned out my days with tea in mind.
I prepared by researching TeaMap and found a few possibilities based on where I was staying:
Brightons, InterContinental Hotel Harbor Court
Teavolve, Harbor East
Tea by Julia Faye, Tea Room and Tea Store
Lahikmajoe style, I carried my tea flask on the train and enjoyed Wenshan Bao Chong, Oolong during the ride.
The honey display looked inviting stacked in rows, but then I don’t use sweetener in my tea (whenever possible).
I began my day reviewing the local transportation system for the correct route. As wet, cold and foggy gray as the day was, I was determined to visit at least one tea establishment on this short trip.
I consulted the bell captain to confirm my route and he suggested I take the Orange line local bus to the stop nearest the tea salon. When he told me it was a free bus service I was sold.
The bus ride was short 4 stops to tea.
The Intercontinental is impressive.
Ascending the staircase it was hard not to stop to admire the hanging portraits and the
beautiful art that adorns the walls.
At the second landing, two sections for dining, “The Explorers ” and “Brightons”. I was tempted to go into the Explorers Lounge as the decor was suggestive of a safari adventure, reminiscent of my adventure exploring the leaf.
Once in Brightons a wonderful young lady seated me. I told her of my tea journey. She explained that the formal tea service (with loose leaf tea) was only on weekends but she would be happy to brew me a cup of tea. Grateful for the offer, as I was cold and wet, I accepted and added a request for blackberries and whipped cream also on the daily menu.
Brightons is a lovely restaurant within a lovely setting. I only wished it was a weekend so I could have enjoyed Afternoon Tea.
Their Afternoon Tea loose leaf selections: Vintage Darjeeling, Formosa Oolong, Keemum English Breakfast, Sencha Green, Earl Grey, Herbal Teas, Fruit Teas, and Wedding Tea.
On the second day of the Baltimore Tea Adventure, I was determined to have loose leaf tea.
So off again on the Orange Line to Harbor East and Teavolve.
Luckily the weather had cleared and it was a brisk, sunny day so if I got lost I could at least see the street signs clearly.
I also noticed that they can accommodate outdoor dining as well in warmer weather.The service was immediate and informative.
The young lady who served me knew her tea and was willing to make suggestions based on my mood. I ordered an Assam since I needed a morning boost, along with a Breakfast Crepe (2 eggs, smoked bacon, white cheddar, topped with cheese grits, scallions & chipotle aioli).
I must say, for me, it doesn’t get much better than this. The tea was brewed to perfection with all the extras to make my experience a pleasure. The waitress was appropriately attentive watching from the corner of her eye to see when I needed more hot water for a second steeping (I wondered if she was counting how many cups I had poured).
The food scrumptious, I savored every bite.
I also noticed that they have music performances on the weekends, which I am sure are great.
I could not get to the last place on my list, Julia’s that I’ve heard so much about, time did not permit.