Find your cup of tea at Mt Laurel’s TownHouse Tea Shoppe
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
MT LAUREL—What’s your cup of tea? At Mt Laurel’s TownHouse Tea Shoppe, the choices are seemingly endless. With a variety of herbal, chai, caffeinated and decaffeinated teas, you’re sure to find your perfect cup.
Located on Olmstead Street in the heart of Mt Laurel, TownHouse Tea Shoppe is a traditional English tearoom, serving up scratch-made meals and teas for any occasion.
Owners and friends, Darlene Self and Rebekah Mills, are self-proclaimed “tea snobs.” The two met years ago at church and discovered a common love of tea.
“We have always loved tea. We’ve driven miles to enjoy tea time and tea things,” Mills said. “Our favorite local tea shop was the White Lily. What nailed it for us was when the White Lily closed.”
Mills and Self went into the tea business five and a half years ago, opening TownHouse Tea Shoppe. Although the menu offers a variety of teas, TownHouse Tea Shoppe’s specialty is the three-tier tea service.
“It’s a four course meal served in two courses,” Mills said.
“Some people refer to it as your ‘sweet savories,’” Self added.
The three-tier tea service comes complete with scones, tea sandwiches, desserts, fruit and, of course, a fresh pot of tea, all served on beautiful Royal Albert china.
“You eat off the same china as Queen Elizabeth, you won’t find anything like this around here,” Mills said of the china emblazoned with a rose pattern.
With an ever-changing menu, no two days at TownHouse Tea Shoppe are the same. Mills uses her talent in the kitchen to create a number of different home-style dishes from fresh and healthy ingredients.
“Integrity is our goal, so we cook clean. We try to have honesty in our food,” Mills said. “We don’t know how to do it any other way.”
Although the menu changes, Mills said there will always be “something chocolatey, something fruity and something muffiney” on the menu. There are also customer favorites and mainstays on the menu, such as the chicken salad croissant and TownHouse Tea Shoppe’s special “tutti fruity” chicken salad.
“We are experts on our customers,” Mills said. “We know what their palates want after a while.”
Mills and Self also aim to please customers with a wide range of teas, including teas from abroad and even a white tea blended specially for the royal wedding of William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
“We try to have a broad range of teas here,” Self said. “There’s something on here for everyone.”
From hosting bridal parties to serving regular guests, Mills and Self enjoy the opportunity to meet customers.
“We have some of the sweetest, goodest, bestest people that come here,” Mills said. “We’ve been privileged to know them. They make the dining room happier.”
TownHouse Tea Shoppe is located at 23 Olmstead Street in Mt Laurel. Through the summer, TownHouse Tea Shoppe is open Thursdays-Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hot lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and afternoon tea is served from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.