Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tearoom cookbooks

Last night I was playing around online and found a museum website in Indiana which offered the L.S. Ayres Tea Room cookbook. I vaguely remember having heard of this cookbook a few years ago, and since I'm interested in studying tearoom cookbooks I ordered a copy.

Five of my favorite tearoom cookbooks include The Frances Virginia Tea Room Cookbook (former tearoom in Atlanta), Miss Mable's Tea Room cookbook (still going strong in Tennessee), The Crumpet Tea Room cookbook (still going strong in Arkansas as far as I know), A Time Remembered Tea Room cookbook (in Thomaston, Ga., now closed), and one from right here in Newnan, Ga., Favorite Recipes from Something Special. I first visited Something Special about 15 years ago when it was a quaint ladies-who-lunch tearoom - I dined in the Strawberry Room, as I recall - but those tearoom days are long gone, and it is now a special events center.

I love that tearoom owners past and present have compiled some of their favorite recipes to share with friends of the tearoom. Even when a tearoom closes its doors, its spirit of friendship and loveliness lingers, I think, if its memories have been preserved. I can't wait to get the Indiana tea room cookbook. Do any of you have old tearoom cookbooks I should be looking for online or on eBay?


  1. I collect books about tea, but never thought about collecting tearoom cookbooks. I may have to look into this.

    One cookbook I use often is "Southern Teatime Made Easy" by the owners of the Magnolia & Ivy tearoom in Destin, FL. Bruce Richardson, author of "The Great Tea Rooms of America" also has a couple of cookbooks from his (now closed) tearoom in Kentucky. They are "A Tea For All Seasons" and "A Year of Teas at the Elmwood Inn"

    I love to visit tearooms everywhere and was very disappointed that the Elmwood Inn no longer serves afternoon tea. I think it is still in use for tea classes, etc. I was fortunate enough to run into Mr. Richardson at "The Tea Room" in Savannah. He was doing a photo shoot for a new book and was very gracious about letting me take photos.

    For something a little different, there is "Teaney Book" by the owners of a tearoom in New York's Lower East Side.

  2. What a fine collection you have there!
    I love and collect recipe books...I'm now on the lookout for Tearoom recipe books thanks to you!

    Have a great day!

  3. I miss those days of *Something Special Tearoom* too. And i have that very same cookbook!!! Angela, do you think YOU might want to open your own *Something Special Tearoom*?????? tammyp

  4. I enjoy reading your blog. I also collect tea room recipe books. Of the ones you mentioned, I enjoyed tea at Miss Mable's in Dickson, TN and A Time Remembered in Thomaston, GA. I have both those books and quite a few more from other tea rooms I've visited. I like "The Pleasures and Treasures of Taking Tea at Miss Mable's" better than the one in your photo. It is a book of monthly menus and recipes. I will look for the the other books you mentioned.

  5. Thanks so much to those of you who have posted the titles of other tearoom cookbooks. Since I've taken tea at Magnolia and Ivy and Miss Mable's, I especially want to check out those titles that I don't have. And TammyP, I do indeed want to open a tearoom here in Newnan, but not for a few more years. I want that to be my "turning 50" project! I'm thinking a nice little storefront building on the Courthouse Square would be just about perfect!

  6. Oh, I have the LS Ayers one! I live about an hour from Indie. They have a reproduction of the tea room (and it serves afternoon tea) at the history museum now! If you ever make it to Indianapolis, look me up and we'll have tea!

  7. Isn't it nice that when recipes are shared and passed along, traditions can continue?!

  8. Oh Angela that sounds EXCELLENT!!!! I will look forward to the day when i can walk down town for tea. I know it will be a place of beauty and peace. With a fun and tasty menu full of good eats and beautiful treats. A gathering place for young and old and all in between!!! I will pray for this for you each time i check in on your blog. tammyp

  9. I was so tickled to "stumble" across this blog on tearoom cookbooks. I purchased a great little tea room cookbook entitled, "Old Southern Tea Room," Vicksburg, Mississippi, A Collection of Favorite Old Recipes, from our local bookstore. Well, after reading the first few pages, it really sparked my interest to find out more about the book. The introduction is written by Charlotte Kahn (I'm assuming she is the cook's - Mary McKay - granddaughter?) and she gives the history of the Tea Room Restaurant in Vicksburg.

    I did just a little research on Vicksburg and called one of the Inns which is listed as an historical site. The person who answered the phone really knew nothing about the old restaurant so I emailed the chamber and hopefully will get more clues about the cookbook.

    As anyone heard of this cookbook? There are wonderful sketches throughout the cookbook. It measures 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.

    Thanks for any help you can give. :)

    1. Jamie, I recently purchased "Old Southern Tea Room" from a restaurant that was closing. I think it was published in 1960. If you have any additional information, please forward to me at . Thanks, Trish

  10. As a child my mom and I took many a trip to L.S. Ayres for an afternoon of shopping in downtown Indianapolis. The highlight of the day was lunch at the Ayres Tearoom. Great memories and good food...rather elegant, white starched tablecloths, silver utensils; an establishment of days past. The Indiana State Museum has tried to replicate the resaurant but it is not quite the same. They located some of the old furnishings and do serve many of the original signature Ayres Tearoom recipes so it is somewhat remisicient of the original setting. If you visit Indy this is an interesting place for lunch, you can purchase an Ayres Tearoom cookbook at the Museum Shop.
    Have Fun!

  11. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for the names of "Tea Room Cookbooks" I have been collecting them for the past several years, some mentioned I already have but others I don't, but will certaintly try to locate them. Any one out there that knows about others all help greatly appreciated. Thanks ladies !!

  12. I loved going to the L.S. Ayres tea room and really loved the ice cream princess. I don't know what they put on the ice cream, but it was both beautiful and delicious.Does anyone have the recipe?


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