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Pinkies Up in Hartselle, Alabama

My daughter Laura is an avowed Anglophile, and judging from the response to a new Afternoon Tea service in Hartselle, she's not alone. When we watch royal weddings or other pomp and circumstance events on television, or better yet, when we visit England or neighboring Ireland or Scotland, we get to enjoy and understand a bit more about the importance of drinking hot tea in the afternoons. It's a wonderful social tradition, and the delicious savories and sweets accompanying it are special indeed.

Main Street Bakery Cafe at the corner of Main Street and Railroad Street in Hartselle now offers Afternoon Tea seatings at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday. Advance reservations are required. This service is upstairs in their Magnolia Ballroom. For a set price, you will have three savories, two breads or scones, and three sweets, with a different tea for each course.

This week's offerings were:

First course -- Peach Apricot Tea with a Honey Pecan Chicken Salad Puff Pastry, an Apple Slice with Turkey, Brie & and Fig Jam, and a Smoked Gouda & Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwich. (As a side note, the cafe serves the same wonderful chicken salad and pimento cheese at lunch, and they have a sandwich that features apple, turkey, brie, and fig jam. All were outstanding).

Second course -- Lavender Chamomile Tea with a Raspberry Scone and a Blueberry Scone.

Third Course -- Vanilla Comoro Tea with Strawberries & Cream Cake, a Lemon Bar, and a Champagne Truffle.

Several things made this experience better than other tea rooms I've visited recently.

  1. The service was fantastic -- prompt, friendly, and attentive.

  2. There was plenty of food. I didn't leave hungry.

  3. We weren't rushed.

  4. You could dress up with a hat or not -- your choice. If you don't have a hat, there are some available to borrow if you'd like.

  5. Everyone left with an extra treat to enjoy later.

In addition to fabulous sweets available throughout the day Monday - Saturday, Main Street Bakery Cafe serves breakfast from 8:00-11:00 and lunch from 11:00-2:00.

Owners Darren and Christy Urban (who also own Urban Altered on Main Street) have done a fantastic job with their new venture, and their hard work is paying off. We wish them much continued success.

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