Nestled deep in downtown Tupelo is a vintage experience like no other.
His Hers Antiques & Tea Room is a wonderland of all things vintage and antique. They offer rare and collectible items along with fine linens, clothing, and accessories. Integrated into the store is Tea for t’Arts, a bona fide tea room serving gourmet delights to entice a diverse group of consumers.
Owner Victoria Chambers opened His Hers Antiques & Tea Room almost three years ago. She has been in the antique business for more than a dozen years and has always wanted a traditional tea room.
“Food goes with antiques,” she said. “I wanted a homey and inviting place.”
The Tea for t’Arts Tea Room serves more than 30 varieties of both hot and iced tea, sandwiches, pastries and tarts. Menus are seasonal and rotate every three months.
The Tea Room does not require reservations and serves lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. A light lunch consists of three small sandwiches, fresh fruit, and a tart. High tea is served from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. and usually includes a light snack with tea.
Executive chef Lynn Johnson is the mastermind of the Tea Room kitchen. Each sandwich is a unique creation, able to stand alone or pair well with other samplings. Customers love the key lime tarts and the Hound’s Tooth, an Angus roast beef sandwich with provolone cheese, horseradish sauce, onions, and sweet peppers on French bread.
Chambers strives for, above all, a truly authentic atmosphere in the Tea Room. Everything is made in house fresh daily, and food is served on pure silver rather than sterling silver. Linens are ironed daily and fresh flowers are placed on each table every morning. Modern day does have its influence though, as the Tea Room offers Wi-Fi through the dining room, has select gluten-free menu options, and aims to give customers a light, fresh lunch in ten minutes or less.
Online reviews tell the story of happy customers, calling the Tea Room “fit for royalty” and “a lovely and quiet atmosphere.” The Tea Room has had patrons from all over the world, including some straight from Britain. Chambers says that first timers are typically surprised to find such an authentic setting but call it a wonderful experience by the time they leave.
Beyond Chambers’ love of antiques is a spirit of philanthropy. Tea for t’Arts (“Tea for the Arts”) is an avid supporter of the arts and arts organizations in the Tupelo community. The Tea Room servers are volunteers from local groups, and 100% of the tips they make go toward their organization. Current volunteers are the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra, GumTree Museum of Art, Pied Piper Playhouse, Tupelo Ballet Company, and Girl Scouts Heart of the South. The five groups rotate their volunteers daily throughout the week and raise about $7,000 each year to split among their respective organizations.
Chef Johnson is publishing a cookbook titled Delicioso: Gourmet Meals Made Easy to be released in September 2014. It will be available online or in the Tea Room.
More information about both His Hers Antiques and the Tea for t’Arts Tea Room can be found on their website.
– Cherry Mathis is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com and has a new-found love of a savory chicken salad sandwich called the Henny Penny.
Tea for t’Arts Making a Splash, Giving Back in Downtown Tupelo
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