Tea Time, My Favorite Time in Annapolis

I have to say, the highlight of my gastronomic adventure in Annapolis was my trip to Reynolds Tavern. Before I’d even arrived in Annapolis, out of the blue my mom mentions that she has the taste for tea sandwiches. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and as we’re walking down West street we stumble upon Reynolds Tavern. I think it must have been the little yellow tea pots filled with flowers on the table settings outside that tipped us off to their tea service. Regardless, we had found not just tea sandwiches, but a tea experience.

As soon as you step foot into Reynolds Tavern, you are catapulted back in time. The furniture, the candles encased in hurricanes, even the jazz playing in the background, takes you to another era. The atmosphere is definitely fitting for afternoon tea.

The view of St. Anne’s Church from the tea room at Reynolds Tavern

Reynolds Tavern serves afternoon tea a couple of different ways. You can go for the more basic option, like the Cream Tea, a teapot of your choice served with 2 scones, whipped cream and preserves, or try something more elaborate like the Jubilee Tea, with your choice of a first course selection. My Mom and I decided to go the more traditional route, and we both ordered the Colonial High Tea with your choice of “Soup, Salad or Quiche”.

No matter which Afternoon Tea services you order, the real fun comes in selecting your tea. The tea selection at Reynolds Tavern ranges from the basic and more common choices like Camomile and Peppermint, to the more exotic like Yin Zhen Silver Needle or the artful and beautiful Blooming teas. After much deliberation, I decided to go with the Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Festival, a green tea. The Secha Kyoto had that sweet nutty flavor, characteristic of green tea, but then it leaves your taste buds with the sweet fruity undertone of cherry. My mom went with the Blueberry Infusion. This tea was a tropical medley of flavors, ranging from hibiscus to blueberries.

My mom and I both decided on the cream of crab soup for our first course. While our teas were being prepared, we relished our soup. The slivers of crab meat dissolved seamlessly into the cream, and the tarragon gave the soup a nice peppery yet tart flavor. So far, our afternoon tea time was off to a good start.

Cream of Crab Soup

Next, our waiter brought out a three tiered tea tray with an assortment of goodies, all of which are made in house. The bottom tier, had orange and cranberry scones, with a perfect combination of tart and sweet, served with whipped cream and strawberry preserves. The next tier, had tea sandwiches and bite size shepherds pie. The cucumber and egg salad sandwiches were so light and refreshing. Then, the top tier, had a selection of various sweets. The island girl in me enjoyed the banana bread with cream cheese icing. The lavender short bread cookies were also a nice savory addition to the selection of sweets.

(clockwise from left) Orange Cranberry Scone with Whipped Cream and Strawberry Preserves, Lavender Short Bread Cookie, Cucumber and Egg Salad Sandwiches and Shepherds Pie

While I savored every bit of my tea meal, what I enjoyed even more was the experience. A chance to sit back and enjoy the afternoon, to take things slow, to sip on tea and nibble on little sandwiches, to savor the moment and to remember the excitement of being a little girl and having a tea party. I can’t wait to return to Reynolds Tavern.

Gift options for the tea lover

While in Annapolis, my mom and I also enjoyed Lemongrass and Annapolis Ice Cream Company, two other places we visited, on our gastronomic adventure in Annapolis. Click the links to read about our time there.

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Reynolds Tavern

Afternoon Tea $10-$25/person

7 Church Circle

Annapolis, MD 21401

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Reynolds Tavern on Foodio54

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Best Ice Cream in Annapolis

Ok, so I’ll admit, I haven’t tried all the ice cream shops in Annapolis. To be honest I haven’t tried most of them, but I have eaten my fair share of ice cream and can say that Annapolis Ice Cream Company has some good ice cream.

We stumbled upon this place on the second day of my visit. My mom and I decided to walk along Main Street, in downtown Annapolis. The day I arrived, it was gloomy, overcast and wet, but today was much sunnier and warmer. The sunny day, combined with the stroll down Main Street, made a perfect backdrop for some ice cream. There are several ice cream places located in historic Annapolis, but the sign that read “Our ice cream is made right here,” caught my attention and drew me into Annapolis Ice Cream Company.

All of the ice cream at Annapolis Ice Cream Company is made on site and they offer such unique and delectable flavor choices as Apple Pie, Blackberry Cobbler and Brownie Batter. I opted for the Brownie Batter because who doesn’t love brownie batter. They give you the option of mixing flavors, either with multiple scoops or within one scoop. A mixed scoop sounded liked the way to go, but I wanted to make sure I picked a flavor that complemented the Brownie Batter. Strawberry sounded fitting but I wanted to get professional advice, so I asked the lady serving the scoops. As I mentioned to her my intentions of combining Strawberry and Brownie Batter for my scoop, her eyes began to melt into the back of her head, as a smile developed on her face. At that moment, I knew I had picked a winning combination.

My scoop of Brownie Batter and Strawberry. No skimping here.

The Brownie Batter ice cream tastes exactly like fresh chocolate brownie batter that’s been mixed into vanilla ice cream. Combining it with strawberry, was like having a chocolate covered strawberry in ice cream form. The only trick was making sure I got a little bit of both flavors in each spoonful.

As I sat down to enjoy my scoop, I noticed a sign on the table that read: “Only the real stuff…” It basically explains what your taste buds will encounter at Annapolis Ice Cream Company, flavors made from real strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, real sugar, not that stuff from corn, cream from cows not treated with hormones, and no preservatives, exactly the way I like my ice cream.

Decorated spoons on display

So the next time you’re in Annapolis, I highly recommend you check out Annapolis Ice Cream Company, they serve up nothing but the good stuff.

P.S. They make cakes too.

 

While in Annapolis, my mom and I also enjoyed Lemongrass and Reynolds Tavern, two other places we visited, on our gastronomic adventure in Annapolis. Click the links to read about our time there.

 

Annapolis Ice Cream Company

<$5/person

196 Main Street

Annapolis, MD 21401

Annapolis Ice Cream on Urbanspoon
Annapolis Ice Cream Company on Foodio54

First Stop in Annapolis, Lemongrass

When I first arrived at BWI, I was starving. I’m not sure if you know this, but they don’t serve food on airplanes any more.  I did some research, and decided that my Mom and I should try Lemongrass as our first meal, a Thai restaurant in Annapolis with good reviews and reasonable prices.

Lemongrass is located in a townhouse on West Street, just northwest of the more historic parts of downtown Annapolis. Lemongrass is small, so I can imagine there being a wait on a busy night or during a lunch rush, but we arrived just before the dinner rush and were seated right away. Parking can be kind of scarce on West Street, and while Lemongrass is located adjacent to a parking garage, they do not validate for parking.

To start, my mom and I ordered the Steamed Dumplings to share. The steamed dumplings were filled with a mix of pork, shrimp and crabmeat. The flavors of the three meats blended well together as you could taste hints of each, without one standing out more than the others. Each dumpling was also an ample size and with 6 in an order, they make for a great starter to share, or even a light meal for one. While I would definitely order the Streamed Dumplings again, I saw several tables that seemed to be enjoying the Lettuce Wraps, and I would have loved to try those.

For her entrée, my mom ordered the Crispy Duck. The boneless pieces of roasted duck are deep-fried, then stir-fried in a sauce that reminded me of a very light garlic flavored BBQ sauce, with a combination of tanginess and sweetness, and a little kick of spice to finish it off. While the flavors of the Crispy Duck were good, I think that the multiple cooking techniques used on the duck seemed to dry it out some. (I have to admit that I’ve also been spoiled by the oh so delicious Crispy Duck Drunken Noodles at Lotus of Siam. The Crispy Duck at Lotus of Siam makes it hard to enjoy any other.)

For my entrée, I ordered the Chesapeake Pad Thai, from their specials. When I saw this traditional Thai dish with a classic DMV (DC/MD/VA) ingredient, I had to give it a try. Summertime in the DMV isn’t complete without a few bushels of crabs and some beer, so what better way to say, welcome home, than some crabmeat on my Pad Thai. The crabmeat was left in its natural state, with the lumps of meat just sprinkled on top of the Pad Thai. The natural sweetness of the crabmeat added another layer to the traditional flavors of the tamarind and the peanuts in the Pad Thai. I thought this dish was a great local take on Pad Thai and would definitely order it again.

All in all, I have to say that I would return to Lemongrass the next time I’m in Annapolis. It serves its purpose as a convenient neighborhood lunch and dinner spot to get decent Thai food at reasonable prices.

While in Annapolis, my mom and I also enjoyed Reynolds Tavern and Annapolis Ice Cream Company, two other places we visited, on our gastronomic adventure in Annapolis. Click the links to read about our time there.

Lemongrass

lunch $10-$15/person; dinner $15-$20/person

167 West Street

Annapolis, MD 21401

Lemon Grass Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Lemongrass Restaurant on Foodio54