LEESBURG, Va., April 12, 2011 – Celebrate the royal wedding with a cup of properly served tea! Tea is more than just liquid in a cup, it is a ritual filled with tiny sandwiches, pastries and scones with cream.
With nary a cozy Cotswold cottage for leisurely afternoon tea in the immediate area, consider the next best thing – traditional afternoon tea at Aylesbury Antique Center and Tea Rooms in Leesburg, Virgnia.
With walls painted a cheerful, apple green and tables adorned with fresh flowers and tea cozy-covered tea pots, Aylesbury transports guests to England sans the transatlantic flight.
Which is fully the intent of the decor as owner Karen Stroman characterizes Aylesbury as a traditional English tearoom, “something you would find in the English countryside, “ she says.
Chockablock with charm, this splendid little establishment has become quite a hit with tea aficionados and those simply looking to unwind. During the month of April, Aylesbury gives patrons another excuse to tuck into a classic English tea experience – the April 29 nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
To celebrate the royal wedding, Aylesbury is featuring The Royal Wedding Celebration Teas throughout April. The teas ($19.95 pp) include a variety of traditional English sandwiches, home-baked scones, sweet treats and Yorkshire tea, Aylesbury’s signature full-bodied tea.
Strawberries and cream, a typically British dessert, according to Karen Stroman who grew up in Watford in Hertfordshire, England, are also available ($3.95 pp).
Adding a touch of whimsy to the celebratory teas, Aylesbury’s life-size cutout of William and Kate stands waiting for customers’ royal photo ops.
“It’s kind of fun for customers to have their photograph taken with them, and the royal couple kind of watching over them having tea,” said Stroman.
A wide variety of commemorative royal wedding merchandise is also available for sale.
“Currently, we have large flags of William and Kate in a heart design. We’ve had mugs and tea caddies and those sorts of things. We also are selling commemorative teaspoons, tea towels, pillows and posters.
What sets Aylesbury apart from other local establishments that offer afternoon tea? As in most experiences involving food and tradition, it is the people.
“I think growing up in an English family and growing up in England, we do feel that we do offer the traditional tea,” said Stroman who has had her shop for almost five years.
Stroman, who has lived in the states for almost 19 years, was inspired to open Aylesbury as she found it difficult to get a proper cup of tea.
“Every time I’d seem to go in a restaurant and ask for tea, I got just a tea bag and lukewarm water and a cup,” she added.
Though there are other tea rooms in the metro area, Stroman hears from customers that they are “very happy and satisfied and really like to bring other people back.”
“I like people to relax and have a good time. I think that’s the important thing about having tea. To take some time out of our busy days and just enjoy,” she said.
Aylesbury Antique Center and Tea Rooms is located at 212 Loudoun St., SE, in Leesburg. Tea room hours are Thursday through Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. For reservations, call 703-868-6935 or go to www.aylesburytearoom.com.
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