Monday, July 25, 2011

Nineteen Years (And Counting)

So, it was great to have guests, and to see family again, and to head out in a group to see the sights. But today's being our anniversary reminds us that it's also nice to have quiet time together, just the two of us. Yesterday we went out to High Tea at a teahouse we'd never been to before, thanks to the generosity of Mr. Miyagi's people, Ginger & Doug, from the last time we cat-sat him, expressed in the form of a gift certificate to the Village Eatery and Tea Company.

Now, both Janice and I love a good English High Tea, and have been to them at a variety of places over the years -- Bits of Britain in Milwaukee (long since gone, alas*), the Empress in Victoria (now there's some folks who really know how to throw a High Tea), Queen Mary's Tearoom in the U-district (which we had liked, but which changed recently, and not for the better), Secret Garden in Sumner (a fairly recent discovery, a year or two back, and our current favorite), and probably one or two others we tried in passing when we were visiting various cities.** So trying one of our favorite things in a new place seemed like a good 'something old/something new' thing to do for the anniversary.

The teahouse itself is way up in Bothell, on the far (north) side of Seattle from here, but easily accessible from 405 (once local construction let us get on 405, that is). It turned out to be part of a little faux-rustic pedestrian mall called Country Village -- a bit like Delevan's Miss Millie's Pancake House, but on a larger scale. The Tea itself was v. nice: mulligatawny soup (good, but surprised to see it as part of a Tea), tea sandwiches (which I naturally skipped) and fruit (which I v. much enjoyed), and a fine array of tea-cookies and pastries; the scone was particularly memorable, as was the pecan bar I picked up on the way out (which turned out to have some dried fruit in it; v. nice!). We didn't technically have their 'high tea', because (oddly enough) it turns out they don't serve high tea on Sundays. Still, what we had was the next step down (everything their High Tea wd have offered, except for a salad, and honestly who ever went to a High Tea for a salad?). The only thing lacking, actually, was the tea itself, which was generic to begin with and got increasingly bitter as it continued to brew in the pot throughout the meal. I bought a few small packets of loose tea to bring home afterwards (rather startled to find Bloody Mary pictured on one of them!), but they turned out to all be generic black tea under a variety of names.

Still, we had good fun, between the tea for two, exploring the neat toys-for-brainy-tots shop, admiring their v. calm ducks and wading crows, and seeing the weird chicken: a wandering rooster who seemed to have the run of the place, inside and out; with his mop-top of feathers he looked a bit like a secretary bird wearing a wig.

Then, as if this had not done our diet enough mischief, the next night we went down to Federal Way to have gnocchi (and bruschetta. and lasagna. AND dessert.). Another quiet meal together, reminiscing about how we wound up together. And since the story of my proposing to Janice is more fun when she tells it, I'll stop there.

--John R.

*I have a great picture of Janice and Taum on my desk, taken there many years gone by.

**I know there's a great one in Oxford I discovered on my last visit there which I'm really looking forward to introducing Janice to next time we're over there together

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