Monday, October 11, 2010

Tea with an Accent, Yardley, Pennsylvania

The Teatime Setting

You know when you walk into a tea room and something just feels completely right? I had that feeling this past weekend. I went back to New Jersey to spend some time with my mother. I have been wanting to try Tea with an Accent in nearby Yardley, PA for some time now, and we decided Saturday would be a perfect day. Oh, and it was a perfect day by the way. Did anyone else notice how beautiful this weather has been? Anyway, we booked a 12 PM seating for afternoon tea service and from the moment we stepped in the door, everything was beyond perfect.

Sugar Cubes Over Sugar Packets Any Day!

Shari Titterton, owner and tea connoisseur, a native of England, greeted us with a warm smile and showed us to our seats. Shari is as passionate a tea lover as any of us and it shows. Her warm and gentle nature, joined with her knowledge and expertise has helped her to create a top-rate tea room in a pocket of Pennsylvania. The room is painted in soft hues and fine China and tea-related pieces adorn the walls and mantle-place. It feels like you are sitting in your English mother or grandmother's drawing room. I loved it from the start.

Setting the Table for Tea

At our tables, wine glasses of ice water were waiting. The table was preset with Royal Albert China, my cup being a particularly gorgeous design. The teapot napkin holders were absolutely enchanting and I was slowly falling in love with the silverware. My mother and I chatted about the lovely atmosphere and the pleasantries of the day. In no time at all, Shari rang a bell and tea service began! Shari explained the two types of teas that would be served that day during tea-time, Lily's Delight and a Lemon Rooibos. After a brief introduction the piping hot tea came out!

What a Cup!

There is something SO special about Tea with an Accent that I think you would be hard-pressed to find at most tea parlors in this country: Instead of ordering your afternoon tea off of a menu and receiving a personal tea pot at your table (they do have an extensive tea menu that you can select off of during lunch seatings!), Tea with an Accent pairs their scrumptious food with an initial tea and a dessert tea. White-gloved tea mistresses gracefully glide across the floor with large Royal Albert teapots, making sure your cup is always filled. I love this because it reminds me of an earlier time, when in London tearooms, servers would come up to your table with large silver teapots offering "India or China" teas. Also, despite not knowing the other diners, this way of serving gives off a community atmosphere. Everyone is drinking the same tea from the same pot and enjoying the same treats together in this wonderful little space. Something about that just warms my heart.

My First Cup of the Afternoon

The teas were phenomenal. My mother and I could not stop talking about them the whole afternoon. The first serving was of the house blend, Lily's Delight. This is a black tea blended with vanilla and bergamot. I've certainly tasted similar blends before, but in my experience either the black tea is too strong or the vanilla/bergamot flavor too powerful. This blend was perfect. Light, crisp, and I could taste the notes of vanilla and bergamot meeting the black tea without a dictatorship of any of the taste elements. I am a professed milk and sugar tea drinker, but not only did I not need milk for this tea, I also didn't even need any sugar! It was just that good. My mother and I both enjoyed this thoroughly. The Lemon Rooibos was also fabulous. I have to say, I really don't like lemon or citrusy flavors, but this I did not mind at all! It was light, crisp, refreshing and paired so perfectly with the sweets. So on to the food!

I Added Milk Initially. Then I Drank it Black!

Iconic for All Afternoon Teas

The service started out with a cheesy vegetable soup served in a very nice gold and pink laced bowl. The soup was excellent and despite wanting to save room for the three tiers to follow, I couldn't resist finishing every drop. After the bowls were cleared, our magnificent three-tiered server arrived with all the necessaries for a splendid afternoon tea. We continued the savoury course and began from the top of the server with sandwiches. All the perfect teatime amenities, we enjoyed cucumber, turkey, chicken salad, and mini quiches. I always appreciate a finely cut cucumber and this was no exception. Perfectly sliced to form a finger sandwich worth remembering.

Great Soup


Tea was changed over as we began to tuck in to the scones course. Shari brightly explained the large extras bowl, a place where we could dump our first brew if we had any extra so our cups were ready to receive the rooibos, steaming hot. At this time, I also had the pleasure to begin chatting with Shari about tea and her experiences working at Tea with an Accent and traveling and trying other tearooms. She had so much to say and I was so glad to talk to her. A kindred tea spirit! She made me and my mother feel so welcome, and I felt as though I was talking to an old friend, not someone I had just met.

These are True Scones!

The scones were of the autumnal variety, cinnamon chip. One of my favorite varieties! And they were perfect. Just the way a proper scone should be. Not excessively large (America, you are doing it incorrectly!), not overbearingly sweet, light, flaky and oh so good! I enjoyed the fresh whipped cream and strawberry preserves and ate my scones the Cornwall way, not the Devon way (for some fun, look up the difference)!

Fresh Cream and Jam

And on to the sweets! We were both feeling pretty full at this point, but some amazing variety awaited us. They were all phenomenal miniatures! There were earl-grey cookies, jam crumbles, lemon curd tartlets, petit-fours, and chocolate mousse tarts in a dark chocolate shell. The mousse cups were my mother's absolute favorite and although I loved them as well, my heart and soul were with the petit fours which were out of this world! My mother even let me have the second half of hers after she saw how much I enjoyed it. We couldn't finish it all, but luckily Shari brought us a little box to wrap everything else up in.

A Sweet Display

After tea, we headed on back to the shop, a great little post full of exceptional teas and teaware. My mother bought a small blue pastel tea cup and saucer set, and I purchased another piece of Royal Albert to add to my collection. Because Shari couldn't find the saucer at the time, she said she'd send it to me, and because of the inconvenience she threw in a free matching plate! A genuinely kind soul, indeed! We chatted more about tea, travels, and the world and I was so thoroughly impressed with Shari! She runs a quality business! I also picked up some White Christmas Tea because I don't have enough white teas at home, and I'm trying to get more into the white blends, particularly as the season gets cooler.

Tea with an Accent featured in Bucks County Living

I left the shop extremely happy. I've had many wonderful tea experiences in the past, but the little extras that make Tea with an Accent stand out make it that much better of a tea experience. Unfortunately, Tea with an Accent will be shutting its doors after this holiday season. But Shari will be selling all of her wonderful teas online, so you can always purchase Lily's Delight to delight your soul! If you can make it over, please do! I'll hopefully be attending a tea tasting next month, and a holiday tea in December! Enjoy your cuppa!

The Best Part of the Afternoon: Spending Quality Time with My Lovely Mother

-The Tea Gastronomer


  1. What a lovely time you and your mom had! I love the three tiered dishes and the gorgeousness of the desserts -- they look too beautiful to eat. Lily's delight sounds like a delicious blend - I love anything with vanilla. And that soup looks decadent! Makes me crave more soup especially during this fallish weather.

  2. They almost were too beautiful to eat! Come over soon! Or I'll come over there and we can drink Lily's Delight. When your mother returns we will all celebrate. We still need to do the mother/child hang out sesh!

  3. Oh I know--a double date with mumsy! They must meet soon!