ABBEY GARDEN TEAROOM
The Abbey Garden Tearoom
1308 A 11th Street
Bellingham WA 98225
Hours: 11:00 am - 6pm Everyday
The Abbey Garden Tearoom in Bellingham, WA was an interesting place to go. I had no idea exactly where I was going, but I remembered that Bellingham, WA had a tea shop, and I had to go. I found the Abbey Garden Tearoom by parking my vehicle and just walking around the Fairhaven area. I had this sense that there was a tearoom about, and low and behold, there it was - the Abbey Garden Tearoom!
You wouldn’t guess a store that provides you with ceramics to paint would draw a crowd of people, but this building is divided like that - you have a ceramics painting store upstairs and the tearoom down stairs. But what’s really funny is that in the ceramic part of the store they sell bulk tea, and cookies and accoutrements, then as you wander into the store, you run into the ceramics painting area. Then, if you walk down a small flight of stairs, your in the Abbey Garden Tearoom.
The experience at the tearoom was ok - the feel of the place is almost like a British tearoom. The room’s not all that big, but it was big enough to provide space for walking around without running into a table. The chairs were quite comfortable and the tables were set with mix-matched bone china teacups, nice linen napkins, and a small vase of flowers. There was a small sugar bowl, but the cream you had to ask for.
I was there during lunchtime, which was a bit busy. My mom and I got a small table, and were served right away, which was nice. The tea selection wasn’t as impressive as Lisa Holt wrote for Kulshan.com. For “Finding Food in Whatcom County” she wrote that there was a wide selection of tea to choose from. Well, picking four different types of tea from each category - Blacks, Oolongs, Herbals, and Greens - doesn’t seem a “wide” selection to me. It was rather disappointing to not see a huge variety. Anyway, my mum and I choose our teas … mom got mystic lemon, which smelled like Lemon Zinger ( from Celestial Seasonings) and I got the Keemun (can’t go wrong with Keemun). I think there were refills on hot water, but I’m sure.
The menu was interesting, though there wasn't much to choose from if you’re a vegetarian. Actually, vegans wouldn’t be able to eat anything except for the salad with the vinegarette. But if you weren’t vegetarian, there were quiches, salads, soups and sandwiches. If you chose something from the lunch specials you got dessert with it, and they served “High Tea” specials as well. The food was good, but of course, being a vegetarian, the choice of a sandwich with cream cheese and cucumbers didn’t really give me much to rave about. The fruit that was served with the meal was really good.
Lisa Holt wrote that it’s a relaxing place - it can be, if it’s not too busy, but when the place if full of people, it isn’t so relaxing, hearing everyone else’s conversations. I would give this place a “two teapot” rating. Its good for people who want to experience what a “British tearoom” might be like, but if you just want a nice relaxing cuppa tea this might not be the place for it .
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