I Could Have Sat Here For…

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And I mean that.  I sat outside the back patio and garden area of The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop, for a good while.  It felt like an hour.  Actually it felt like time stood still and I was the only person on Earth, or at least the only person back here.

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Philadelphia has always feel full of enchantment and exciting things and places to come across.  This shoppe, nestled in the Northern Liberties part of town, ranks right up there with the best of them.

When I walked in I had to explain to Becky, the owner and Birdie who was working the counter about what I was doing.  I could’t be inconspicuous in such a cozy space like this. I’m glad I wasn’t.  Both could not have been more friendly and accommodating.   I took a bunch of photos of all the amazing wonders, artifacts, and teas on the wall.

Yes, I’ve heaped so much praise on this lovely establishment and I’ve yet to get into the teas I sampled.

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A the weather continues to be glorious, the House Sencha was recommended.  Of course I had it in iced form and as an aside, when I walk into most places for the first time, I usually go for the ‘house” anything or a similar strong recommendation from the staff. It may sound amateur or touristy, but that’s the fun of this.

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The honey I tasted from the sencha was incredible.  I was also dehydrated so initially I was taking much quicker sips than I should have been.  I need to take it easy and walk over to the garden, and that’s where I slowed down.

In between taking a few (well maybe a bunch) of pictures I just sat there.  All worries, all fears, all anything seemed to dissolve.  This was as relaxing and tranquil as could be.  And to say that all thoughts went away would be a falsehood.  I mean it did but then other thoughts and feelings presented themselves.  Many were positive yet many were contemplative.  As long as it’s a place of peace and de-stressing than you’re doing something right.  In this busy and hectic way of life many of us live, to find a place to sooth your soul is always welcome.  I’d like more please.  And then I’d like some more please.  And I took my sweet tea time with the sencha and appreciated it that much more.

Speaking of more, after a while, Birdie brought me a sample glass of their Red Berry Mélange.  What a joy this was too. It helps that this was free but I would gladly pay for the tallest glass in the place.  I love that the synopsis reads good for kids and grown ups alike. I felt like a kid and a grown up all at once while at this shop.  I adore this place.

If you believe in positive energy than this is going to be an uplifting and romantic experience.   I have romanticized places during my time of blogging and in my personal life for years.  I think that’s how it should be done.  A place that makes you feel good should be expounded upon as much as possible.

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This was my first time, and the first can sometimes me the most memorable.  But I sense that a recurring visit will lead to many great memories in the future.  This tea room is perfect for solitude or a relaxed time with a love one.  Maybe next time I’ll do the latter. But either way you’re going to be good.  The staff will take great care of you.

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Now here’s all the information you need, from their wonderfully user-friendly website.

Here’s their menu of teas, upcoming events, exhibits, and their menu, which is deliberately limited.  I love how they downplay serving food.  It really makes them stand out.  However, you may have seen a minuscule looking cookie in some of these pics.  Yes this is was a magnificent vegan rosemary shortbread cookie.  It complemented both of my teas to perfection.

Maybe most of important of all, you can purchase their teas online.  This is where things could become habit-forming if their first two teas I tried were any indication.

I love Philadelphia and I adore this shoppe.  It’s so approachable and I love the size.   It’s so understated, yet overwhelming initially, but oh-so-welcoming.   I look forward to be welcomed again soon.

Feeling Good,

Ideen

The Perfect Pairing

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Just in time for Spring, I really needed this one.  This most incredible pairing of tea and sweet treats was a gift from somewhere beyond.

I found myself strolling in the beautiful and enchanting town of Havre de Grace, with some intent of a tea sipping and corresponding review.  Those reviews will I had come eventually and will be posted in time.  What I’m about to talk about is a cosmic and genuine experience that I will attempt to put into words.

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A chance visit to Les Petits Bisous not only re-introduced me to delicious macarons but also the most amazing tea from Simpson & Vail.

I had a few moments of hesitation.  I wasn’t sure I even wanted to talk into the shoppe. Have you ever had that battle with yourself?  It’s like a tennis match with the universe. There’s nothing to be afraid of.  The unknown is a good thing.  I think a lot of this has to do with getting out of my comfort zone.   Alright, enough of the dramatics.

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Wanda could not have been nicer.  Before I could even ask what the store had available, I saw this iconic display of tea and other wonders.  I mentioned I had a blog and she allowed me to take pictures.  I’m grateful for that.

So to return the favor, I was all aboard getting some macarons and a tea to pair it with. Her suggestions were an organic lemon & white chocolate, Belgian chocolate with peppermint, among others.  Beautiful right?

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For the tea, Lavender Lace was recommended without a second thought.  I took a sniff of the samples on display and I was floored.  The lavender and spearmint hit the nose like a ton of bricks. I was floored. I was blown away.  I was sold.

Wanda recommended I freeze the macarons if I wasn’t going to have them that day.  But 3-4 days is when they should be eaten.  Sage advice.

The experience brewing this was a joy.  After the charming visit to the shoppe, the energy is going to resonate.  I wanted this to be great.  I know it would be.  And thankfully it exceeded all my expectations. Wanda will never steer you wrong.

Upon opening the canister, I was reminded how beautiful this loose tea was. This is fine craftsmanship.    The ingredients are shown below but the pictures should tell the story.

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The cup itself was a gem.  It rejuvenated me.  And this is a tea that contains no caffeine. I’ve been feeling blah all week and this was what I needed.  It’s an upper when necessary and at the same time, a cup to end the evening with. The lavender, cinnamon, and spearmint notes shined through during steeping as well as sipping.  The consistency throughout was remarkable.

This was life transforming.  This was a multiple step operation.  If I never set foot into Les Petits Bisous; this post may never happen, these macarons may never be nibbled on, and it may take another not-so-probable sequence of events for this to transpire.

Life is so fascinating like that.

For more on Simpson & Vail and to purchase their teas, click here.

And for more on Les Petits Bisous, go all the way over here!

This will be revisited again.  I  feel enlightened and a better person after this one.

Stay healthy,

Ideen