I will admit right away that this doesn’t actually count as a meetup report. I didn’t actually go to a meetup over the weekend–but I did spend a lot of time running around with my little sister, both of us in frills; enough time that I wanted to write about it. Particularly because we went to tea on Saturday and she prodded me to actually take some pictures there.
There are a lot of nice places to go for tea in the city. Most of the major hotels downtown have afternoon tea services in gorgeous settings–with a price tag that can be $40 or higher. As much as I enjoy indulgence (I do wear lolita fashion, after all.) sometimes it just isn’t realistic to spend so much for one person. I particularly love drinking tea, regardless of its association with the lolita stereotype, and am always hoping to find a nice place to relax and enjoy a few hours with tasty tea-time snacks and good conversation. The release of the new Alice in Wonderland movie has prompted a lot of focus on tea, and I’ve read reviews of teas and tea services in places I’d never spotted them previously.
After seeing the restaurant’s name several times, I decided to try Chalkboard. The price is very affordable in terms of afternoon tea–$19 per person for the service. We discovered upon arriving that it is best not to come too hungry, however, as the service includes two finger sandwiches, one flat scone, and four bite-sized desserts–a slightly smaller assortment than I’m accustomed to, although completely understandable for the price.
The sandwiches, one egg salad and one salmon, cucumber, and cream cheese, were certainly good but not astounding. The cranberry scone, which I can’t help thinking of as a “scookie” due to its flat nature, was very tasty–particularly with the strawberry preserves. The sweets consisted of a brownie, lavender cookie, yogurt-filled tart, and cookie dough eggroll. The cookie dough eggroll was my favourite, but so messy! Thank goodness for forks; it wouldn’t have been polite to scoop up fallen dough with my fingers, but I would have done it. The yogurt-filled tart was least impressive, as the blackberry topping it wasn’t sweet enough to stand up to the sourness of the yogurt.
My little sister ordered Upton Tea Co.‘s “Sweet Almond Green,” which was exceptional. It was smooth, without bitter notes, with almond bouquet and a slightly spicy cinnamon finish. I chose the “Honeybush Superior,” also Upton Tea. It had a light, slightly-woodsy taste and went very well with sugar.
The real star of our tea was the house-made pâté. My little sister spotted it on the dinner menu, and since I hadn’t eaten anything else that day the suggestion was irresistible. The pâté was chicken and duck liver…with bacon. It sounded good. It tasted fantastic. It isn’t typically a part of afternoon tea, but I have a weakness for well-made pâté, and the tea was a good accompaniment for it. It was served with toast squares and white beans, an onion relish, avocado, wholegrain mustard, and olives. We enjoyed it so much that I’m toying with the idea for returning someday for pâté and two pots of tea–as long as pâté is still on the menu, which changes frequently.
I think that Chalkboard would be a nice place for a meetup, especially now that I know what to expect. (And now that I know where it is and won’t get lost, as my directions there were not the best and we were saved only by my little sister’s magic phone of fanciness.) I enjoyed the atmosphere and the service–I can only wish it was closer to my house! …Okay, and I can also wish that afternoon tea included pâté. (Although I don’t think most of the other lolita in my area would share my wish!)