Special to Taste of Temecula, Danielle Moody
If you’re looking for an authentic tea experience in a comfortable, inviting, enjoyable atmosphere, look no further than Truffles and Lace Tea Parlour. From the moment you walk in the door, you are instantly taken in by the decor and the ambiance. Lady Carol Ann, manager at Truffles and Lace, escorted us to our table. She placed our napkins on our laps and began to tell us about their establishment. With an assortment of more than 140 teas to choose from, no matter what your taste, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy. Instead of bringing you a printed list of names of teas, we were asked what types of tea we like. We especially enjoyed the unique process by which we chose our tea. Lady Carol Ann then brought out a tray of samples so we could smell the different flavors before we chose which two we’d like with our lunch. My mom and I went fruity. I picked Peach, which was a flavorful blend of green and black tea; and Pomegranate, which had an amazing flavor, color and aroma. My mom picked Orange Cookie, which was a tasty African Red Tea with pistachio: and Blueberry, which was our favorite of the day because of its subtle sweetness and slightly tart taste of blueberry. The water for the tea is boiled and then held in a steamer, which keeps it at a constant 209 degrees to ensure you’ll receive a piping hot pot of tea. Unlike most teahouses, where they use pot cozies to keep the tea warm, Truffles and Lace sets the pots on a tea warmer which uses a candle to heat the bottom of the teapot. Not only is this much more successful than a cozy at keeping your tea at a nice hot temperature, but it allows you to admire all the beautiful teapots.
Tea, the meal, was served on a lovely tiered “tea stacker”. When it arrived, we were pleasantly surprised not to see the cliché tea sandwiches. We enjoyed an appetizing chicken salad on potato bread, a pear pecan sandwich on buttermilk bread, and a turkey BBQ wrap. The fruit assortment was served with a delectable “secret sauce” to dip the fruit in. It has a wonderful hint of nutmeg that pairs well with the fruit. We were very curious what was in it that would make it so light, yet so flavorful. To our dismay, no matter how many questions we asked, they just wouldn’t reveal the secret. Apparently, the proprietor, Betty Jean Rule, created this sauce when her children were young because they refused to eat fruit. At the top of the stacker was a yummy brownie ice cream as well as strawberry cheesecake. Our next course was the savories, which included a garlic crostini and a cheesy spinach puff pastry. To finish off lunch, we were served freshly bake maple-pecan scones fresh from the oven. The heart shaped scone and pink Devonshire cream were especially tasty and complimented each other well.
Reservations are required to partake in the genuine Victorian Tea experience. However, if you’re in the area and the mood strikes, The Cottage Garden Tea Room is available, which is an alternate setting attached to Truffles and Lace. There they offer scones and the full array of tea, as well as sandwiches and salads with house-made dressings and daily specials. This would be especially convenient if you would prefer a less “formal” setting with a more open menu yet would still like to enjoy a scone and cream.
The menu states that their establishment is “A place where people can have a taste of once upon a time in an atmosphere of long ago”. Our visit found that to be true.
Truffles and Lace Tea Parlor: 28410 Old Town Front Street Ste 111 Temecula, 92590