Monday, March 18, 2013

The Glass Slipper Tea Cottage

While at the beach last week, my husband and I finally got to celebrate our annual "Valentine's Tea" together! I had a magazine deadline on Valentine's Day itself this year, obligations the weekends before and after, and other commitments that meant there just wasn't time. So when we got the opportunity to go to the beach last week, we also made a side trip to the absolutely delightful Glasss Slipper Tea Cottage in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.!

I first learned of this wonderful tea room from blog reader and "tea friend" Sarah in Biloxi, Miss., who is a great fan of the Glass Slipper Tea Cottage. She had surprised me with a gift of the tea room's terrific cookbook last year, so it was on my "bucket list" of places to go next time I was within driving distance. Sarah even helped facilitate my last-minute reservations to this tea room, and based on the full house the day we went, March 14, we were very lucky to get in that day! I loved this charming cottage from the moment we pulled up, and I thought the rocking chair made a most clever welcome sign!

When we walked in, I immediately fell in love with this tea trolley loaded with teacups, and we were invited to select our own.

Alex asked me to choose one for him, so with a nod to his Scottish heritage I chose this Nova Scotia Tartan pattern from Adderley. He chose Earl Grey for his pot of tea.

And after lusting over my fellow tea bloggers' lovely St. Patrick's Day teawares, I chose this one for myself, marked Golden Crown E&R. I chose the apricot tea, and the teas were properly prepared and served in teapots with Thistledown cozies. (Which my husband referred to as "Down with Thistles," but I knew what he meant!)

There are hats available for those who wish to wear them, and everything about this tea room tells me owners Jim and Shirley Simpson and Shirley's sister, cook Carolyn Chandler, did their homework before they opened this tea room in 2010. I was happy to hear business is good, and the tea room started to get packed within minutes of our arrival. I was also pleased to learn, from selective eavesdropping, that so many of the visitors here are regulars!

There was so much great decor to enjoy, including these teapots. (Note how it's apparently two smaller shelves displayed together. I love that idea!)

Lacy linens and toile tablecloths gave me an "Oh, goody!" moment as soon as we sat down.

Now I had had only a light supper the night before and totally skipped breakfast the morning of our visit so I would be able to eat *all* of the full afternoon tea, which had been enthusiastically recommended by Sarah. By the time our quiche, soup and cheese straws arrived, I was famished! The delicious and light quiche greatly hit the spot, and I was thrilled to find the recipes for it, the yummy asparagus soup and the cheese straws are all in the cookbook Sarah gave me. (My husband, incidentally, went on and on about the quiche, how he'd never tasted one lighter. I will have to try to make it for him sometime!)

When our tea trays came out, I was overwhelmed at how many selections there were!

Our savories included stuffed mini-peppers (my husband actually asked for, and got, the recipe for these!), a turkey roll-up, chicken salad, a BLT, cucumber, cinnamon apple and also some sugared pecans. I was starting to get quite full ...

and here's the other side view of the savories.

You can see some of the sweets on my full tea tray shown in a photo above (a cherry tart with whipped cream, an almond cookie, a chocolate and coconut cookie), and in this photo you can also see the lemon bread, apricot torte (heavenly!) and shamrock sugar cookie. Famished or not, I'm afraid I simply didn't have room for all the sweets, so the tea room happily boxed them up for us to take home.

I did, however, save room to eat one of the light, fluffy and flower-shaped scones while at the tea room, simply so I could enjoy the lemon curd and cream served alongside them in the sweetest little glass bowls you've ever seen. I really can't praise this tea room highly enough, and Alex and I both said it was one of our best "Valentine's" teas ever! Shirley, Jim, Carolyn, and our server, Katie, seem to have the art of hospitality down to a very enjoyable science. (And I know it's not proper to talk about the price of something that was, for me, a gift, but I must say, are you as shocked as I was that this bounty was just $19.95 per person, pot of tea included?) My only criticism about this tea room? I wish it were closer to my home! Tomorrow, I'll show you what I picked up in the gift shop!


  1. Ooh, I wish it were closer to MY home, too! That looks like my kind of place, and I would be a frequent visitor if it were close by. So glad you could visit there while you were at the beach.

  2. What a delicious treat! I hope to visit there one day on vacation! What a nice afternoon for you and your hubby!

  3. Wow! Looks like a fun place! I love the tea cart full of teacups, and loved the two side by side shelves with the assorted tea pots. Such an extensive menu, too!

  4. I'm drooling over all the wonderful savories and sweets, as well as the wonderful atmosphere of that tea room. Love the teacup you picked out for your DH. What a fun treat!

  5. What a lovely tea room. Everything looks so yummy!Do all men pick Earl Grey tea? It is my husbands favorite. Love the tea cups and your choice. Can't wait to see what you picked up!!!

  6. Looks like your visit to "The Glass Slipper" was fantastic! No one could say they were still hungry after leaving there! I like when the savories aren't all in the form of sandwiches - so those stuffed mini-peppers looked really good to me too.
    What a quaint and charming tea room, both inside and out! Too bad it wasn't there when my parents lived in Destin, which is right close by Ft. Walton. The closest thing to a tea room then was a lunch restaurant called "The Upper Crust," which was delightful too.

  7. Ooooo, does this ever look wonderful. The cups you chose would have been my pick too I believe. I love the tartan one especially. Thanks Angela for sharing this sweet tea room.

  8. Absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. OH. MY. WORD!!!!

    I am in complete shock - they truly aren't charging enough for all that - oh WOW!

    I felt as though I just shared that amazing meal with you both, Angela- your descriptions and pics were heavenly.

    What an amazing place, and I hope they continue success, it is SO NICE to know there are some properly done afternoon teas to be had, still...and not all of them went out of business......I am SO GLAD for you!

    I am glad you had the chance to "get away from it all" too - it's so nice to be where it is warm.

    Our weather is so bleh I don't want to think of it - I just want to "savor" your post again!

  10. Now this looks like a tea to delight both the eyes and the tummy! Oh yummm!

  11. Wow! That tea room looks lovely. I wish them all the best with their business. And I would love some of that asparagus soup right now!

  12. Oh my goodness, Angela - that tearoom looks like my kind of place! Your photos make me want to 'go on a road trip,' right now. I love to see how all the teapots are displayed, what a great idea. Thanks to your review, I feel like I was 'right there,' in the tearoom. Thanks so much, Joanie


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