It’s positively brilliant, dahling! Ladies of all ages will go gaga for Point Clear’s Downton Abbey-style dining experience in a quaint, historic cottage by the Bay. As guests arrive at the Charming Teacup, owner Courtney Pendle, aka Lady Vanderbilt, ushers them to a dressing room brimming with frilly fascinators, flamboyant boas and luxurious costume jewelry to doll up any ensemble. Little ones even select a formal ballgown and accessories.
Once the party is ready, guests are shown to the parlor, where the atmosphere is equally fancy, girly and altogether fun. Antique tables are dressed in vintage linens, while a hodgepodge of shabby chic pastel chairs are draped in pearls. Each place setting is tagged with a whimsical stage name for the event; become Miss America or Madame Diamond.
Dressed in her traditional maid servant uniform, Pendle welcomes patrons in her endearing British accent, shares a few hilarious “rules” of the aristocrats and offers a brief lesson on how to take a proper cup of tea. “I have no British roots, but I was born with a dramatic flair!” laughs Pendle. “Drama always makes life more fun, dahling! We like to call it ‘tea theater.’”
The elegant eats include a wide variety of hot teas and a three-tiered service filled with luscious, dainty finger foods — cucumber sandwiches, chicken salad on croissants, homemade scones, chocolate-dipped strawberries, petit fours, French macarons and more. Afterward, the fun continues with photo ops on the porch or grounds. The tea room is a popular location for birthday parties, graduation parties, and bridal and baby showers.
On the Menu
Buckingham Palace Tea
This signature flavor from the eatery’s menu of 15 loose-leaf hot tea options is infused with aromatic jasmine blossoms.
Chicken Salad Croissants
A tried-and-true secret family recipe for the Southern staple is a creamy, flavorful version dotted with crisp sliced purple grapes and sandwiched in a light and fluffy mini croissant.
Buttery, homemade pastry dough is rolled out in house and cooked to flaky perfection. Served warm with a side of traditional Devonshire cream, these scones are a crowd pleaser. And, the white chocolate raspberry ones are equally delicious.
Lemon Rosemary Cookies
These sweet and savory shortbread cookies are made with fresh herbs plucked from the lovely garden just beyond the cottage’s idyllic wraparound porch. They are divine alongside a cup of tea — or three.
Charming Teacup • By reservation only, M – Th, Sa with
a minimum of 8 guests and F with a minimum of 4 guests.
17111 Scenic Highway 98, Point Clear • 300-0231
text by lawren largue • photo by elizabeth gelineau