This past weekend, Dan and I were fortunate to have my parents visit us over the Easter holiday weekend. On Saturday my mom and I visited the Simpson House Tea Room in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania while Dan and our fathers went golfing. The visit to the tea room for a traditional English tea was a first for both of us and we really had such a wonderful time.
The Simpson House Tea Room is located in a restored farmhouse that dates back to the 1890s in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. The decor is bright and airy without being too overly sentimental. It recalled, what I would imagine, as an English cottage. We enjoyed a traditional full afternoon tea, or "low tea", that consisted of a mixture of savory and sweet finger sandwiches, scones, and sweet confections.
Simpson House offers an assortment of over 100 loose teas ranging from Black teas, to Rooibos to a variety of Green teas.
Our "Royal Tea", as it was described, included a pot of tea for each of us. We both ordered from the Easter specialty menu which included approximately 6 or so seasonal teas. My mom enjoyed a Black tea infused with white chocolate chunks and I chose a caramel Rooibos tea that was divine. The caramel flavor seemed to develop throughout my meal- I really wish I had inquired about the possibility of purchasing the tea to take home! My mom really enjoyed hers as well and it smelled delicious. Our individual pots included an ample amount of tea that carried us through the meal and remained warm until the very last sip.
The meal began with a choice of three house made soups. I chose a tomato basil soup and my mom went with a Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn soup that appeared to be lighter than the typical chicken corn soups I am used to seeing. The soups were paired with salads composed of fresh greens with what I believed was a raspberry vinaigrette.
Next was the delicious tiered tower o'sandwiches!
The tiered tower included a mix of twelve sweet and savory tea sandwiches, including chicken salad on a buttery croissant; refreshing cucumber and cream cheese; vegetable cream cheese; egg salad; apricot with cream cheese; and a cinnamon infused butter between swirled cinnamon bread. They were delicious and meticulously constructed!
Following the finger sandwiches were two gigantic sugar crusted scones. Basically a dessert themselves, they were light and moist, with a slight chewiness to them reminiscent of the homemade biscuits my grandmother used to make. Divine.
The scones were served with a trio of condiments including homemade lemon curd, raspberry jam, and Devonshire Cream. I'm drooling on my keyboard as I write this. Seriously. I could not get enough of the Devonshire Cream.
For dessert (that right, there's more!) we were graced with three different sweet confections. We couldn't believe the sight of this dessert plate after enjoying the previous courses. The dessert included homemade coconut macaroons, gingerbread squares and individual pots of cream that were topped with homemade whipped cream, a fresh strawberry, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. By this point, we were absolutely stuffed so we decided to enjoy the potted creams and have the other desserts boxed up to take home with us. Boy am I happy we made that choice. The potted creams, which were described as a sort of take on a Boston Cream Pie, were so, so good!
I have only good things to say about our experience at the Simpson House Tea Room. Our meal was purchased through a Groupon that Simpson House offered back in October of 2011. Even though we payed half of what the Royal Tea is regularly priced at, everyone in the establishment treated us as if we were paying full price (and that is not always the case when it comes to Groupons or other similar deals). We felt very welcomed throughout our visit- I really can't say enough. It was also a very special was to spend the afternoon with my mom, who I don't see enough.
I will conclude by saying that I will be back, Simpson House Tea Room- that Devonshire Cream is out of this world! If you are ever in the Philadelphia/King of Prussia/Chester Springs area, please pay it a visit. You will not be disappointed.