Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Afternoon Delight a Fine Bit of Britain Served Up at English Tearoom

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Afternoon Delight a Fine Bit of Britain Served Up at English Tearoom

Article excerpt

Ever since the colonists dumped crates of tea into Boston Harbor in 1773, Americans' interest in teas has seemed only lukewarm. Although tea remains a daily tradition for the English, Americans have no national fondness for "a cuppa."

The owner of a new tearoom in St. Charles called Lord Winston Ltd. believes that you and your fellow Americans are missing something. He wants you to come to tea. And he wants to serve you in style, so wear your best hat, dearie.

Twenty-one kinds of imported teas are brewed daily at the shop, at 833 South Main Street. Tea is served with scones, cakes, pie and petits fours. And all is served with finesse - by candlelight and with poetry, if that takes your fancy.

Reading the tea menu is almost poetry: lemon mango, darjeeling, black currant, English morning, Earl Grey with flowers, P.G. Tips, Victorian Garden, Japanese cherry, apricot with flowers, lapsang souchong, chamomile and stinging nettle, to list a few. The loose teas are steeped in a pot and strained into a cup. There are no tea bags at Lord Winston's.

Customers are surprised at the delicate but rich flavor of loose teas brewed in a pot, says Craig Eric "Rick" Muschamp, owner of the tearoom and the self-appointed Lord Winston. "Most people have not had anybody brew it in the pot with loose leaves."

Lord Winston's brews are the backbone for four teas served at the restaurant, which is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. A Spot of Tea, $4.50, comes with scones, butter and marmalade. Afternoon Tea, $7, offers "an assortment from Lord Winston's bakery." High Tea, served from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., costs $10.50 and includes tea, goods from the bakery, finger sandwiches or quiche, and fruit and cheese. Royal Tea, $12.50, comes with tea, bakery goods, and chicken cordon bleu or shepherd's pie. Royal Tea is served from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends by appointment only.

Royal Tea and High Tea also come with poetry. Small volumes of English love poems from the 19th century are laid on the table with the tea service. If the mood is right - helped by candlelight, servers in costume and the warm tearoom decor - Muschamp will read poetry. Or guests may read, if they wish.

To guests, Rick Muschamp seems the embodiment of the made-up Lord Winston. Keeping a stiff upper lip as he serves tea or greets guests in his vintage coat and tails, Muschamp, 36, looks the part. …

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