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Published: Friday, October 7, 2005

Ladies’ Room, Please and Thank You
Peach Tree Bakery & Tea Garden - Bothell

By Mina Williams
NorthSoundDining.Com Restaurant Reviewer

There isn’t exactly a “No Men Allowed” sign on the door, but this Country Village charmer is definitely best suited for the distaff side, thank you. With all the flounce and fine china the Peach Tree Bakery & Tea Garden is definitely a Ladies’ Room. That’s not to say that there cannot be a certain appeal for the occasional gentleman wanting nothing more than to eye the object of his affection melt as she gazes across perfectly set tables, mentally cataloging the imported china pots and cups offered in the gift shop.

The menu reflects an assortment of traditional tea house fare which, thank you, comes flavorful and thoughtfully prepared and, please, at the proper temperature. The customary tea lunches are mingled with more pointed menu options including accommodations, please, for those more hearty eaters are made on the menu. In addition to light pairings of dainty half sandwiches and cups of soup, there are full-sized sandwiches and bowls of soup. Combined with a salad and a sweet and you’ve made a man-sized meal.

Please, let’s not forget that this is a tea room in every respect. This spot suits the needs of those popping in for a simple snack of a few sweets or a perfectly prepared scone with a pot of tea, thank you. Whether selecting the more delicate luncheon pairings, or indulging in the full tea service Peach Tree Bakery & Tea Garden lives up to its tea room reputation.

Let’s talk tea. My grandmother, a proper British lady, schooled me the correct method of good tea making. She must have given outside lessons to the staff at the Peach Tree Bakery & Tea Garden. First a pot of tea starts with good, loose leaf tea placed in a suitable pot that has been prepared correctly “scalded” with boiling water. Please allow to steep before placing it on the table. Finally have the appropriate accessories at hand – tea strainer, lemon, sugar cubes and milk, thank you. Peach Tree Bakery & Tea Garden’s staff executes my grandmother’s tea instructions, well to a tee. At table side, they further point out the items on the table and give friendly instructions on tea strainer usage.

There is an assortment of teas presented on the tea menu that offers a depth and breadth to please all palates. The tea menu includes nine black teas, nine English Favourites, three specialty selections, five Estate teas, seven caffeine free teas, four herbals and five teas from Market Spice.

Where the Peach Tree Bakery & Tea Garden simply does everything right, and missing from many other tea rooms in the area, is using china tea pots for table service. Attention to the details is what sets a tea room apart. Those who ignore those details serve lukewarm pots of tea in tarnished silver plated pots. Seeing the crisp, clean china pots outfitted with the proper drip sponge made my heart skip a beat.

The table tops are arrayed with a mix-match of china and flatware patterns, which only adds to the country charm of the tea house.

Service is another hallmark of Peach Tree Bakery & Tea Garden. The servers are efficient and friendly, but not too intimate. Not once do you hear “How are you guys doing?” asked of a table of ladies taking a mid-day break. No low slung jean clad servers here. Pants are appropriate and aprons are crisp.

For those coffee aficionados, please, the Peach Tree Bakery & Tea Garden presents this beverage in a French Press pot and offers five syrup flavorings, should you wish. The grand full tea service of the Garden Tea, starts out with a pot of tea and warm scones plus a choice of soup or a garden fresh salad, dressing on the side always thank you. Then the assortment of half-sized sandwiches appears on the traditional multi-tiered tray. The crust less turkey selection is fitted with raspberry cream cheese and served on house-made bread. Savory smoked salmon spread, again with the crusts trimmed off, is presented open faced with dill. An open faced tomato and hummas sandwich and traditional cucumber twisted with an herbed cream cheese presentation round out the sandwich platter. The cucumber sandwich has that perfect light schmear of cream cheese, not too garlicky and just enough to hold the vegetables on the bread. An assortment of desserts caps off the tray.

The ample-sized scones included in the full tea service come to your table warmed. One biscuit-sized pastry is glazed with lemon sugar, the other comes plain. Again the appropriate side accessories of lemon curd and clotted English cream stir up thoughts of another time, or maybe serve as a reminder of the last trip to Victoria, B.C. If ordering a single scone, please do realize that your order will come plate-sized. Soup, another house-made product, serves as a good chill chaser.

Desserts range from a meringue frosted with clotted English cream and topped with grapes to thumbprint cookies stuffed with strawberry jam.

For a quick snack teas and desserts are offered in the seated areas. Select from bar cookies, scones or the dessert of the day.

The two semi-private rooms are available to reserve to celebrate in. An adjacent patio offers fair weather seating.

Another special treat, a children’s tea service, includes tea, of course, plus peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit and two cookies.

My grandmother would have liked the Peach Tree Bakery & Tea Garden, thank you.

Mina Williams can be reached at: webfeedback@heraldnet.com

NorthSoundDining.com restaurant reviewers accept no invitations to review, but readers' suggestions are always welcome. Ratings reflect the reviewer's reaction to food, ambiance and service on the day they visited. Price is also taken into consideration. Reviewers arrive unannounced, and NorthSoundDining.com pays their tabs.




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