We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
- Emily’s Weekend Getaway to Grandma’s – Part 1
- Emily’s Weekend Getaway to Grandma’s – Part 2
Emily: A few weeks ago I went to Tampa to visit my grandmother, Vena, for her birthday. I was excited to see her and surprise her with a couple of special birthday outings. My mom was there visiting, too, so it was an added bonus.
Our first surprise was a visit to the Tampa Theatre for a tour of the theatre and a session of hearing their large organ being played. Vena was a music teacher and plays the organ in her church, so she liked the suprise!
After the tour, we went to surprise #2, the Empress Tea Room.
Daraius found a discount certificate for the Empress Tea Room on Restaurant.com the last time we visited Tampa. It was so nice that we went back there!
The Empress Tea Room is a small family owned tea room and bistro that specializes in High Tea. I made reservations a week prior, and I was glad I did so because all of the tables were full when we arrived.
Some of the people who came to the restaurant were dressed very elegantly, with white gloves and veiled hats. I could tell that they had dressed up just for high tea, and they looked stunning.
While we were waiting to be seated, we checked out their gift shop.
We went on Saturday for their High Tea which includes a single pot of tea, tea sandwiches, tea bread, scones, and petit fours.
We first ordered our tea, and we had a selection of blackberry sage, peach ginger, or spiced chai. We first decided to try the peach ginger.
My mother and Vena ordered Higher Tea, which also includes a soup or a salad. The salads came with almonds, goat cheese, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and banana peppers. The potions were huge, and they were delicious!
Soon after receiving our salads, we received the tea bread, scones, sandwiches, and other goodies.
Vena was very happy, and maybe a bit overwhelmed with all the food she had to eat!
We were served four types of sandwiches: dill and cucumber, brie and pear…
…ham and cheese with chipotle mayonnaise, and chicken salad on a croissant. My favorite was the chicken salad on the croissant. All of the sandwiches were very fresh, and all delicious!
The next tray included orange blossom bread and scones. The orange blossom bread was incredibly moist, and melted in your mouth like pudding! It was delicious!
The scones also came with Devonshire cream and strawberry preserves.
The final layer included petit fours: vanilla sponge cake with buttercream frosting and blackberry, Oreo crème with coconut shavings in filo cups, and chocolate covered strawberries. My favorite were the chocolate covered strawberries.
It was an afternoon fit for queens!