Tag Archives: Vancouver Tea House

Neverland Tea Salon Opens Friday, September 20th in Kits;

teaMurphy Bed Stage, Tea Infused Cocktails And Bathrooms To Die For

District 9 co-writer Terri Tatchell and Shameless Hussy Productions co-founder Renee Iaci open Vancouver’s first 17th Century inspired Tea Salon. Featuring tea infused cocktails, artist talks, high tea towers with gluten, dairy or egg-free options, 60 teas and a whole lot of creative atmosphere.

http://neverlandtea.com/

3066 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Locally owned and conceived, Neverland Tea Salon will be opening its doors this coming Friday, September 20 2013. Another tea salon? Not quite. Neverland is unlike anything that has ever hit Vancouver. A bit like its co-owners Terri Tatchell and Renee Iaci, it refuses to conform to preconceptions of any kind. Let’s just say the Murphy bed stage and tea infused cocktails are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Driven by a multitude of diverse passions, a few personal frustrations and possibly a smidgen of insanity, Tatchell and Iaci set out eight months ago to fill a void in the Vancouver salon scene. What salon scene you may ask? Oh yes… the void was huge.

Harkening back to the salons of 18th century Paris, Neverland’s soul comes from a place of creativity, inspiration and gluttonous self-indulgence. With backgrounds in film (Tatchell is the Oscar nominated co-writer of District 9) and theatre (Iaci is an original founder of Shameless Hussy Productions), the two creators have literally built an environment, menu, team and beverage list traditional restaurateurs would deem impossibly excessive. You can’t be the best at everything. They beg to differ.

The Space
The front of house is deemed “The Tea Bar” and will carry 60 types of tea, pastries, breakfast fare, salads, and sandwiches and despite the name, some seriously good coffee. The Neverland Dining Room’s piece de resistance will be the hand made high tea towers overflowing with deliciousness and served into the evening with tea infused cocktails. But their other menu items have been meticulously crafted as well. There is seating for eight outside and a white high counter inspired by “Despicable Me 2”. Now here is a real deviation from press release etiquette; the bathrooms are exceptional. You just need to see them.

The Treasures
Most pieces are from the late 1800’s early 1900’s and every last piece was sourced on Craigslist. Not just that, but every piece comes with a story. Like the window removed from Christ Church Cathedral during a seismic upgrade, which sat in the contractor’s basement for years until his daughter wanted to earn some money so he let her list some “junk” on craigslist. His junk is now Neverland’s treasure and separates the Tea Bar from the Neverland Dining Room. Or the seven-dozen teacups collected from thrift stores by Tatchell’s 92-year-old grandmother and Iaci’s 83-year-old granddad. Too much to list and a press release in itself.

The Tea
Iaci spearheaded the sourcing of sixty different teas, which will be sold under the Neverland label. “These teas have been chosen by taste and taste alone,” says Iaci. “I gathered teas from ten to twelve different sources ignoring cost, and we spent months doing cuppings. Harrod’s English Breakfast had been Terri’s favorite for years, and it took a while to beat it, but we did!” Neverland’s own blend ‘Take Me To Neverland’ is playfully scented with chocolate and mint, while their customized ‘Celebration’ is a blend of Darjeeling and jasmine.

The Special Diets
Tatchell’s daughter Cassidy is unable to eat gluten or dairy and frustration over the lack of truly decadent options was a strong motivator in months of recipe development by Tatchell, who eventually admitted defeat and hired Neverland’s executive chef Victoria Reichert. A bit of a pastry wunderkind, Reichert, formerly of Hawksworth and Wedgewood’s Bacchus customized a complex blend of flours, which renders the gluten free items literally indistinguishable in taste and texture from the regular items. The idea is to have the growing number of kids and adults with dietary intolerances not just feel included, but honoured for their differences. Eggs, diary, gluten? They promise to wow you with indistinguishable variations of their high tea pastries, home comfort pasta, savory flatbreads and varied sharing platters.

The Artists
Step just one foot through the door of Neverland, and there is little doubt that Artists drive the pulse. Not just the owners, but also the counter staff, the servers, the kitchen and bussers. It has to be more than a coincident that everyone has some serious artistic pursuits and talents on the side: writers, musicians, dancers, filmmakers and actors. Fingers crossed the liquor board approves the entertainment enhancement to Neverland’s liquor license so the Wednesday night open mic’s can get under way. In the meantime, there will be plenty of inspiration with the planned Artist Tea Talks, featuring the likes of self-publishing game changer, Amanda Hocking.

The Business
Full of vision, energy and belief in what they were creating, Tatchell and Iaci admittedly broke out in hives when asked if they had prepared a business plan or financial projections. Enter The Fifteen Group Restaurant and Hospitality consultants, with a client list ranging from Edible at the Market to Chambar and Joe Fortes. With expertise in the areas of menu, service and business development, they have ensured that the technical side of things is as exceptional is the conceptual will continue to be a key member of the team throughout the opening process.

The Name
“As is often the case with writing, the title, ‘Neverland Tea Salon’ actually came first,” explains Tatchell. “It filled me with images of a very special retreat from the chaos of everyday life, where people could check their adult worries at the door and remember what it felt like to be carefree kids. It didn’t take long to realize this was too big to be a screenplay. It had to be real!” And so it is, opening this Friday, September 20th, 2013.

About Terri Tatchell
Tatchell is an Oscar nominated Canadian screenwriter, best known for co-writing the screenplay for District 9. She also received nominations for the Golden Globes, Saturn Awards, Hugos, Satelite and BAFTAs. Tatchell has re-teamed with husband Neill Blomkamp for ‘Chappie’, a feature film that is currently shooting in Johannesburg, South Africa. She won the 2009 Bradbury Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Tatchell is developing Amanda Hocking’s ‘Trylle’ trilogy for television with Media Rights Capital, and Vancouverite Susin Nielsen’s ‘Word Nerd’ for film.

About Renee Iaci
Iaci is one of the founding members and co-artistic director of Shameless Hussy Productions. Her directing credits include the Jessie Richardson award-winning production of ‘Frozen’ as well an original play for young audiences (adapted by Tatchell) ‘Woman Idiot Lunatic Criminal’, Susan Miller’s ‘My Left Breast’ and the original hit, ‘Sonofabitch Stew: The drunken life of Calamity Jane’. Also an accomplished actress, Iaci has performed in a multitude of productions. This fall she is directing the upcoming tour of Dissolve, as well as creating Love Bomb, a play that will have its first staged reading at Neverland, November 24th.

CONTEST CLOSED #giveaway #contest SALONTEA $50 Gift Cert and Cookbook $100

tea party2

CONTEST CLOSED CONGRATS Tracy

TO WIN ALL 3 PLEASE!

1.  Tweet “#Giveaway #win #teaparty #cookbook @SALONTEAcanada @goodlifevan http://ow.ly/kWjso”

2.  Post a comment below as to which tea you love to drink
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Contest closes Monday May 20 – winner chosen through random.org
More on Salontea

I have a thing for the ritual of afternoon tea.  Something about taking a break and snacking on mini this and thats alongside a good pot or two of tea just does it for me.  It’s an especially good time to catch up on friends happenings, spill a little gossip and all this comes without a hangover.  This spring when Tracy Stern SALONTEA  opened South Granville, I and other tea lovers had another spot to enjoy the process at 3010 Granville Street.

Sarah Ambrose is the woman behind this boutique.  She saw SALONTEA President, Tracy Stern on Bravo Television and was drawn to the story of the tea and tea parties. She contacted Stern, they formed a partnership and she now distributes the extensive selection of teas, accessories and tea beauty care throughout Canada as well as running the tea boutique.

The tea house has more than a dozen estate blended teas and customers can enjoy daily tea service alongside baked goods sweets, salads and sandwiches.  Also available at the boutique: signed-copies of Tracy Stern’s popular book, ‘Tea Party: 20 Themed Tea Parties with Recipes for Every Occasion, from Fabulous Showers to Intimate Gatherings’.

www.salonteacanada.com

Hours: 9AM – 6PM Monday – Friday

10AM – 6PM Saturday
10AM – 5PM Sunday
Holiday hours are updated accordingly

The room is bright and airy, filled with brilliant orange and pink and balanced out with a good slap of white.  I sampled a number of items they put together for me.

Salontea Canada

Scone selection (changes seasonally)- house made cheddar cheese, raspberry and white chocolate or raisin scones served are all served with with Devon Cream and jam

Salontea Canada

 

Salontea Canada

Sandwiches include:

Vegetarian on Multi Grain – lettuce, Swiss cheese, avocado, tomato, cucumber, red onion and salt and pepper with light mayonnaise as a base

Ham and Swiss on Multi Grain – thin sliced black forest ham layered with slices of Swiss cheese served with a grainy mustard spread, lettuce, tomato and cucumber

Steveston Blend on Croissant – Grilled chicken, artichoke, chopped gherkins, red onion and tangy, grainy mustard vinaigrette

 Salmon Salad Wrap – Sockeye salmon, green onion, freshly chopped dill, thin sliced red onion, light mayonnaise, lemon zest and lemon juice

Curry Chicken Salad on Croissant – grilled chicken, green onion, freshly grated ginger, red onion, light mayonnaise, curry spices and fresh cilantro

Salontea Canada

Salads on the menu:

Quinoa Greek Salad – the perfect, healthy take on a classic Greek dish

Coconut Mango Chick Pea Salad – an Ambrose family favourite that is surprisingly filling, fresh and tasty!

Sarah’s Spring Mix – spinach, goat cheese, almond slivers, seasonal fruit slices tossed in our house vinaigrette

Salontea Canada

Great selection of teas served up in modern glasses.
Salontea CanadaSalontea Canada
Lots of sweets including:Mini Cupcakes (assorted flavours)Macarons by Kitchening With Carly (assorted fresh seasonal flavours and monthly special tea-infused Macarons exclusive to SALONTEA made using loose tea)Cheesecake bites (change daily) Delicious bite-size morsels of cheesecake goodnessLemon Bars – lemon bars topped with fresh seasonal berries

Brownies – chocolate caramel brownies to satisfy your sweet tooth ($3.50 each)

Mini Mousse (currently featuring a mango and white chocolate mousse with fresh mint and raspberries in an individual cup)

Salontea also hosts tea parties and has special Tea Party-only menu ideas 

  • Smoked Salmon Pinwheel with fresh dill and cream cheese
  • Pickled Ginger, Cucumber and watercress, sour cream
  • Mini curried chicken croissants
  • Mini ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches on ciabatta
A perfect place to stop in and take a break from shopping, unwind, catch up with some friends and grab a lunch or have your own little tea party.

Urban Tea Merchant Chinese New Year Tea Service

chinese new yearIf you are looking for a special way to celebrate Chinese New Year in Vancouver, Chef Michael Batoux has prepared some amazing trays of tea-infused treats at The Urban Tea Merchant.  Tea Sommelier Reza Nasooti (yes there is such a designation) is usually on hand to assist in tea selection and after sniffing a few different choices we decided on some tea flowers and he brewed us a pot of both the heart of happiness tea and first kiss.  Watching the tea flowers bloom is in itself a ritual; rather mesmerizing.

Chinese New Year Urban Tea Merchant

Chinese New Year Urban Tea Merchant

On the savoury side of the tray there is a generous selection of a vareity of tea-infused treats including:

“Number 8 Tea” steamed bun with braised pork & hoisin
“Singapore Breakfast Tea” biscuit with pomelo
“Lapsang Souchong Tea” chicken cone
“Weekend in Hong Kong Tea” sesame seared ahi tuna
“Indian Night Tea” curried egg tea sandwich
“Lucky Tea” braised tofu with black mushroom duxel
“Miraculous Mandarin Tea” crepe with crisp Peking duck
smoked salmon ribbon with ponzu jelly

Everything is made in-house and on demand, so the items are always fresh and never soggy or dry as I’ve had the misfortune of experiencing in other tea houses.  The Peking duck crepe and the steamed bun with braised pork and hoisin have been especially created for this menu, so do make sure to try before February 10 in order to experience these little bundles of flavour,

Chinese New Year Urban Tea Merchant

We we rather hungry so also ordered a chicken tian salad a slightly smokey flavoured “Lapsang Souchong Tea”, a chicken salad with chunks of fresh cucumber, baby tomatoes and some greens.  It was rather unnecessary however as we were quite full from the tea service alone, but packed it up to go and had a snack later.

Chinese New Year Urban Tea Merchant

On the sweet plate there are the requisite scones, but they are elevated with the tea-infused jelly (we bought some to take home) and the petit fours and seasonal fruit include a chocolate dipped dragon fruit which is a welcome change from just the strawberries.

sweets
TWG Tea macaron & chocolate bonbon
petit fours, seasonal fruit
Moroccan Mint Tea Nanaimo Bar
chocolate dipped dragon fruit
chevron strawberry
fresh baked scone with devon crème & tea-infused jelly

The signature sweet plate is also an option for those just requiring dessert after dinner, or a mid afternoon pick me up.

Chinese New Year Urban Tea MerchantChinese New Year Urban Tea MerchantChinese New Year Urban Tea Merchant

signature sweet plate 30
TWG Tea chocolate bonbon
Chevron strawberry
TWG Tea macaron
“Tokyo Singapore Tea lemon tartelette
“Earl Grey Gentleman Tea” white chocolate cheesecake
“Love Me Tea” mio amore panna cotta
“Lucky Tea” pear bavarois tartelette
chocolate rose

The real standouts here or the creamy panna cotta and the white chocolate cheescake.  You will leave with your sweet tooth fulfilled.

Always great service here and many opportunities for gift shopping or picking up something extra for yourself from the shop.  We are currently madly in love with the pink tea service set and the earl grey tea jelly.

tea cup

JJT3005_copy_large

 

SALONTEA

Salontea Canada

I have a thing for the ritual of afternoon tea.  Something about taking a break and snacking on mini this and thats alongside a good pot or two of tea just does it for me.  It’s an especially good time to catch up on friends happenings, spill a little gossip and all this comes without a hangover.  This spring when Tracy Stern SALONTEA  opened South Granville, I and other tea lovers had another spot to enjoy the process at 3010 Granville Street.

Sarah Ambrose is the woman behind this boutique.  She saw SALONTEA President, Tracy Stern on Bravo Television and was drawn to the story of the tea and tea parties. She contacted Stern, they formed a partnership and she now distributes the extensive selection of teas, accessories and tea beauty care throughout Canada as well as running the tea boutique.

The tea house has more than a dozen estate blended teas and customers can enjoy daily tea service alongside baked goods sweets, salads and sandwiches.  Also available at the boutique: signed-copies of Tracy Stern’s popular book, ‘Tea Party: 20 Themed Tea Parties with Recipes for Every Occasion, from Fabulous Showers to Intimate Gatherings’.

Vancouver SALONTEA hours are 10am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 5pm weekends & holidays.

The room is bright and airy, filled with brilliant orange and pink and balanced out with a good slap of white.  I sampled a number of items they put together for me.

Salontea Canada

Scone selection (changes seasonally)- house made cheddar cheese, raspberry and white chocolate or raisin scones served are all served with with Devon Cream and jam

Salontea Canada

 

Salontea Canada

Sandwiches include:

Vegetarian on Multi Grain – lettuce, Swiss cheese, avocado, tomato, cucumber, red onion and salt and pepper with light mayonnaise as a base

Ham and Swiss on Multi Grain – thin sliced black forest ham layered with slices of Swiss cheese served with a grainy mustard spread, lettuce, tomato and cucumber

Steveston Blend on Croissant – Grilled chicken, artichoke, chopped gherkins, red onion and tangy, grainy mustard vinaigrette

 Salmon Salad Wrap – Sockeye salmon, green onion, freshly chopped dill, thin sliced red onion, light mayonnaise, lemon zest and lemon juice

Curry Chicken Salad on Croissant – grilled chicken, green onion, freshly grated ginger, red onion, light mayonnaise, curry spices and fresh cilantro

Salontea Canada

Salads on the menu:

Quinoa Greek Salad – the perfect, healthy take on a classic Greek dish

Coconut Mango Chick Pea Salad – an Ambrose family favourite that is surprisingly filling, fresh and tasty!

Sarah’s Spring Mix – spinach, goat cheese, almond slivers, seasonal fruit slices tossed in our house vinaigrette

Salontea Canada

Great selection of teas served up in modern glasses.
Salontea CanadaSalontea Canada
Lots of sweets including:Mini Cupcakes (assorted flavours)Macarons by Kitchening With Carly (assorted fresh seasonal flavours and monthly special tea-infused Macarons exclusive to SALONTEA made using loose tea)Cheesecake bites (change daily) Delicious bite-size morsels of cheesecake goodnessLemon Bars – lemon bars topped with fresh seasonal berries

Brownies – chocolate caramel brownies to satisfy your sweet tooth ($3.50 each)

Mini Mousse (currently featuring a mango and white chocolate mousse with fresh mint and raspberries in an individual cup)

Salontea also hosts tea parties and has special Tea Party-only menu ideas 

  • Smoked Salmon Pinwheel with fresh dill and cream cheese
  • Pickled Ginger, Cucumber and watercress, sour cream
  • Mini curried chicken croissants
  • Mini ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches on ciabatta
A perfect place to stop in and take a break from shopping, unwind, catch up with some friends and grab a lunch or have your own little tea party.

Urban Tea Merchant Year of The Dragon Afternoon Tea Service

To honour the Year of the Dragon The Urban Tea Merchant is offering a unique afternoon tea service in their downtown location at 1070 West Georgia Street, Vancouver.   From January 16 – January 31 Chef Michael Batoux has crafted tea infused items, along with some versions of the traditionally served items and there is even a TWG tea-infused fortune cookie with a prediction for you for 2012.  My cookie contained the message “Adopt the pace of Nature: her secret is patience” – a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Seemed fitting as I always need to be reminded to slow down (whether I will or not is another story altogether).

In November of last year, The Urban Tea Merchant initiated a partnership with TWG Tea and now this luxury brand is offered exclusively at their tea shops. Along with traditional teas, TWG Tea infuses their tea with fruits, flowers and spices from around the world.  TWG Tea also offers tea pots candles and tea gift sets for everyday treats and gifts, so do include some time to peruse the storefront.

The tea on the tasting table was the Timeless Tea a black tea blended with hibiscus and other flowers, fruity and light.  The service itself comes with  chilled TWG Tea Jasmine Pearls tea and the Jade Dragon Tea, a rare fine harvest tea from leaves hand plucked just at the right time of the year.  This full bodied green tea has smoky earthy notes, a bit of sweetness and natural astringency.  It retails for $116 per 100 grams.  This afternoon tea is a good opportunity to try this luxury tea without the extra cost, and normally a charge for pricier teas is added.

For a more reasonable cost, The Urban Tea Merchant carries the  Haute Couture Jade Dragon tea from TWG Tea.  This attractive package is offered for $36.99 per 100 grams and is a combination of the Jade Dragon Tea and some other green and fruit teas.  Pictured above at the top is the Jade Dragon rare tea, and below the Haute Couture Jade Dragon so you can compare the leaves.  Below is the Haute Couture Jade Dragon tea package.  It does not come with the gold dragon, so you’ll have to get that somewhere else!

The tea service begins with a mango sorbet, full of ripe fruit flavours, refreshing your palate for the kaleidoscope of flavours to come.

On the savoury tray you will find  Peking duck & plum sauce wrapped in a crepe, cucumber, watercress & cracked black pepper sandwich, an open faced smoked salmon with wasabi mayo & soy jelly, Tiger Hill Tea-infused egg salad sandwich, petit tea-infused chicken salad cone & petit savory tart, baby shrimp & chopped apple served in Chinese spoon, Boursin cheese mousse with crisp endive & candied walnut and wagyu beef carpaccio with horseradish foam.  All items had obviously been made fresh as there was no trace of them drying out, which can occur when tea items sit too long.  The items are a refreshing change from just mini-sandwiches, which are the norm at most tea houses.  Including tea infused egg and chicken salad took the food and tea pairings up a notch, and the addition of Asian flavours tied the tea concept in with the Chinese New Year.

For sweets the tray included a tea-infused macaron, chocolate dipped dragon fruit, chocolate truffle, petit fours, fresh exotic fruit, and the Matcha tea-infused fortune cookie, as well as a fresh baked scone served with devon creme & jam.

Despite the fact I had not had lunch and had consumed a rather small breakfast, I had to pack the entire sweet tray to go, less a couple pieces of fruit I nibbled on.

The Urban Tea Merchants staff come from a variety of cultures, and speak numerous languages in case you have out of towners, or want to brush up on your French or perhaps Japanese.  Their onsite tea sommelier, Reza Nasooti, is frequently on site in case you have any intricate questions about the tea program or teas, and even if you don’t I would suggest introducing yourself as he always has some interesting tidbit of information to offer.

While the Year of the Dragon tea is only on until January, check back for the Valentine’s Tea Service and their unique Cherry Blossom tea.

http://www.urbantea.com/


 

 

Sakura Spring Festival at Urban Tea Merchant

Poems, such as this Haiku, are written praising the delicate Cherry Blossom flowers, which can be seen as a metaphor of life itself, luminous and beautiful yet fleeting, momentary and temporary.  The Japanese tea ceremony, Chanoyu (cha-no-yu – meaning ‘hot water for tea’) compliments this time of Spring to also celebrate beauty and even the mundane aspects of every day life. 

This year, The Urban Tea Merchant’s Sakura Festival and Sakura Afternoon Tea will be fully participating in the celebrations of Spring. In Japan, people gather in great numbers to hold feasts under the flowering trees.  As the most beautiful Cherry Blossom trees begin to bloom in our Tea Garden at our Alberni Street location and along the walkway in The Village at Park Royal in West Vancouver, The Urban Tea Merchant will be ‘feasting’ with music, dance and a beautiful Sakura Afternoon Tea. We are featuring Hanami Imperial, green tea delicately perfumed by Sakura Cherry Blossoms. Our Salon de Thé will be a perfect setting to make connections with friends and family and to welcome Spring. Come and experience Chef Taura’s newest creation – Sakura Afternoon Tea.  On Saturdays during the month of March, in both of our locations, treat yourself to an Afternoon Tea Service and listen to Japanese Flutist Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos, (shakuhachi musician), or watch the Japanese Cherry Blossom Dancers organized by Akemi Komori, or relax with the beautiful sounds of harpist Janelle Nadeau. (Reservations are highly recommended for the times of these special events). You could also simply enjoy a Sakura Afternoon Tea and witness the amazing show Nature offers with the blossoming of Cherry Blossom trees. Whatever you decide, please reserve as space is limited.

The Urban Tea Merchant is pleased to work with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival to raise funds for planting even more Cherry Blossom trees around our beautiful city. We will donate $1.50 from every Sakura Afternoon Tea sold in the months of March and April to this very worthwhile community legacy. 

Sakura Festival Events at The Urban Tea Merchant

Every Saturday from 2:00 – 4:00 pm between March 12 – April 2 we present you special performances at our Salon de Thé to celebrate the welcoming of spring.

Vancouver – Alberni Street

March 12: Japanese Flutist
March 19: Harpist
March 26: Japanese Cherry Blossom Dancers

The Village at Park Royal

March 12: Japanese Cherry Blossom Dancers
March 19: Japanese Flutist
March 26: Harpist

For a special experience why not reserve your Sakura Afternoon Tea during one of our Sakura Festival Events.  Call now because seating is limited.

Salon de Thé reservations limited to your choice of any Signature Tea Service (per person) during the Sakura Festival Events.