Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hyeholde Afternoon Tea

Last Friday afternoon, L and I went to Hyeholde in Moon Township for our usual birthday tea celebration - this time, for my birthday. Yes, my birthday was in November. We never manage to have our birthday tea celebrations near the actual birthday!Afternoon tea at Hyeholde is something that L and I enjoy twice a year, so I've blogged about it several times before. It's such a beautiful place with a lovely afternoon tea and the food is different every time, so I like to blog about it every time we go. This time, we were seated next to a window to the right of the fireplace with a view of the snow coating the trees and shrubs.Usually, we are seated right in front of the fireplace. This was a nice change. I had a different view of the restaurant and I tried to take a few photos. These are a little blurry/dark because the interior of Hyeholde is dark/dim. You can just make out the fire in the fireplace in the photo below; it's partially hidden by the chair.The story of Hyeholde is a love story. It all started when a husband promised to build his wife a castle on the edge of the cornfield in which they were standing. Today, it is run by the daughter of that husband & wife. Hyeholde is filled with beautiful tapestries, like the one hanging above the fireplace:There's beautiful, but bumpy, dark slate floors, gleaming dark beams, stained glass windows - a gorgeous interior, relaxing and intimate.
Leave it to me to ruin the classy table setting by sloshing my tea out of the teapot and onto the saucer. Oops. Hyeholde offers several bag teas and several loose teas. I chose the loose leaf Chocolate Mint Truffle tea:It had a refreshing mint taste with hint of chocolate. Very good. I think L opted for the Citrus Chamomile teabag. Soon enough, our first course arrived:Four little savory treats. There was a tasty cheese studded with pepper and served with wheat crackers:
A mini crabcake with red pepper coulis:Potato-leek soup:And ham salad & olive tapenade on very thin buttered & toasted white bread:All four of the savory treats were delicious. The crabcake might have been my favorite because the red pepper coulis was so tasty, but the potato-leek soup had a terrific potato-y taste plus, on such a cold day, soup always tastes extra good. Then again, there's something terrific about olive tapenade, one of my favorite things, paired with ham salad, greens, and thin tomato slices on buttery thin toast.

L and I always slowly savor and enjoy our treats, pausing between each one for sips of tea. Also, when we're out to tea, there are no distractions and we really have a chance to talk. Sure, we talk once a week, but during the hustle and bustle of every day life, there's husbands/kids/chores/jobs/errands -- lots of other stuff going on! Tea is our chance to enjoy three uninterrupted hours of girl chit chat! By the time we have finished our first course savory treats, we are onto our second pots of tea. And then the sweet treats arrive.

First, scones. This time, dried cherry scones:Served with homemade raspberry jam and clotted cream:I love the cream. Since our birthday teas are the only time I eat this kind of cream, I probably indulge a bit. It's liberally smeared on my scones. The dried cherry scones were circular and looked like flattened biscuits but tasted like scones. Delicious.

There also was a glass stand holding two vanilla cream tarts topped with berries & a mini sprig of mint as well as two lady lox-like treats. The cream filling had a bit of rum in it, and there was a wee bit of caramelized rum/sugar taste on the very bottom.Both were yummy.

As usual, we thoroughly enjoyed our tea, although L lamented the lack of a chocolate treat this time! Our server remembered us from previous visits. She's very friendly, kept the teapots filled with water and, when L wanted her water even hotter, apologized and came back with super hot tea water! I think, judging from a photo on their web site, that it was owner Barbara who stopped by the tables in our dining room to check on our meals and enjoyment. She's a lovely woman - she really wanted to be sure everything was OK.

I really enjoy Hyeholde's tea. We are never rushed or shooed away and we do take our time and linger for 3 hours. Tea is from 4 pm to 6 pm, reservations required, and dinner starts at 4 pm as well. I think the tea is reasonably priced at $17. There's also a 'Hye Tea' that includes the above plus an appetizer for $26. We always have 'regular tea' because the amount of food is just right for us and fills our bellies nicely.

I highly recommend tea at Hyeholde - I am already looking forward to our next birthday tea, probably in June or July!


Hyeholde Restaurant on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

  1. Looks absolutely lovely. I have never had afternoon tea, but I used to work at a place in Shadyside that was known for its tea service. Hyeholde's service looks way better than what we used to offer!

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  2. Forkedpgh: Did you work at Sunnyledge? I've had tea there twice, but not in a very long time! The last time, the service was horrible, so I've never wanted to go back.

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  3. Yep. I worked as a front desk clerk, so I didn't have much to do with the tea service. But remember it being really lackluster. I've heard other complaints about the service, although it always depended on the server you got. The tea itself was okay, but the treats offered were nothing like the goodies you featured from Hyeholde.

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  4. Yum! Afternoon tea! Such a yummy treat! I just came over and caught up and I love your new header and all of the recent delicious pics. Now I'm hungry!

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