On a recent trip, many things caught my eye including a flier that read: “For Sale, Twin Creek Tea Room and Ivy Parlor Gift Shop” which reach that, “Mrs. Ulrich has decided to slow down and enjoy her family after 26 successful years in business. She is not closing the doors and wants to turn the keys over to the new owners.”
So now is definitely the right time to soak up the very special place and setting that is the Twin Creek Tea Room.
With a potential ownership change, there’s no time like the present to admire the beautiful 11-foot ceilings and the hand-milled Victorian woodwork while sipping a cup of tea and savoring this special home that is more than 140 years old.
The food is simple and satisfying. Not a menu that you would see at a traditional tea room, but a selection of very nice salads, sandwiches and sweets.
A salad sampler ($8.99) is a good option to exercise if you want to sample the variety that’s available, featuring a scoop of pecan chicken salad or crab and shrimp seafood salad with your choice of two other sides salads or soup.
The “Anniversary Salad” is a light and summery crunchy slaw-cut salad made with cabbage, green onions, toasted sunflower seeds, almonds, and dry noodles flavored with our light, slightly sweet and sour dressing.
The broccoli cauliflower salad mixes the two top-billed veggies with hard-boiled eggs, bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese, while the Tea Room Layered Salad has greens layered with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, sliced egg, topped with a creamy mayonnaise dressing.
“Tea for Lunch” ($12.99) is the closest you will get to a more traditional tea room service featuring hot tea, tea bread, fruit and cheese, petite sandwiches, mini savory quiche and a sweet treat to finish it off.
The bacon-mozzarella panini ($8.99) and quiche ($7.99) are both priced with good value in mind. A grilled tuna melt ($7.99) was satisfying with chunks of tuna and slices of perfect tomato kissing a layer of melty cheese.
Summer specials put the spotlight on strawberries with a grilled chicken strawberry salad ($8.99), cold strawberry soup (cup $2.99 or bowl $3.99) and strawberry shortcake ($4.79).
There are plenty of other sweets if that’s of interest including a triple chocolate chip cake ($4.79), homemade white chocolate cheesecake ($4.99), stacked lemon bars ($4.59), a brownie sundae ($4.59) and a warm apple dumpling ($4.79).
It’s not food that is going to set the world on fire, but it’s a good value for what you get in a scrumptious setting.
No meal at the Twin Creek Tea Room is complete without a hot cup of tea ($2.89). They have a robust selection of teas including green, white, black, mate, herbal, rooibos, chakra and oolong teas. The pots they serve guests in are very cute and hold two cups. If you would like to steep a second tea of the same or different variety it is $1.50. A green mango peach tea and a white ginger pear tea were a delightful way to celebrate a recent summer day and drive out to West Alexandria, which is about 19 miles from downtown Dayton.
Before or after your meal, be sure to explore the many cozy rooms filled with home decor, jewelry, accessories, clothing, cooking gadgets and various gifts. It’s a nice way to kick off the digestion process and get a few steps in while getting some shopping done. Be sure to admire the architecture of the floating staircase in the front hall while you’re there.
Let’s hope this very special spot finds the right buyer — it’s clear the Ulrichs have loved it well, as have many of their customers who have been lucky enough to happen on it.
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WANT TO GO?
What: Twin Creek Tea Room and Ivy Parlor Gift Shop
Where: 19 E. Dayton St., West Alexandria
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday
Upcoming events: Twin Creek Tea Room has several evening candlelight dinners coming up through the end of the year including on Oct. 20, Nov. 17 and Dec. 15. Reservations are required.
More information:www.twincreektearoom.com or call ahead for reservations at 937-839-5094