For my birthday weekend this year, I wanted to be pampered like a princess. I was half joking, half not (!!) when I told my boyfriend this. But decided that having a high tea birthday brunch would be the perfect way to celebrate being a year older (and hopefully wiser and more princess-like).
Since we always go to Tea at 1024 in Chinatown, I thought we'd switch it up and try someplace new. A Cup of Tea, located in Kailua, made me feel like a princess as soon as I stepped foot into the tiny tea room. The pretty pink wallpaper and vintage decor created a wonderfully charming ambiance for tea. And although small, the inside is quaint and filled with lots of natural lighting.
I must commend my boyfriend, who was obviously taken aback by how "delightfully" pink everything was and by being the only guy in there. We all got a good laugh out of his reaction, and the hostess assured us that there have been other guys who make their way through from time to time but mostly because they were accompanying their wives or girlfriends. Hehe.
On to the teas. Before having a seat, customers choose their preferred flavors from a cart near the door. I really enjoyed this part because I got a chance to smell the pleasantly potent leaves in the raw; their aroma filling the room with each opened canister.
I chose the peach apricot tea, which was really nice until the pot got cold. I was a little disappointed that our waitress never offered to re-steep a new pot for us, like they do at Tea at 1024. It might have been because they were also rushing around to cater to a large party of 20-plus gals in the private tea room. Many people come here for bridal or baby showers. But still, cold tea was a bit of a turn-off.
Although the portions of finger sandwiches and desserts were a bit small compared to Tea at 1024, the food was still very tasty and the presentation just as nice. The waitress did mention that we could get free refills on sandwiches, which we did end up doing. We asked for more of the curry egg flavor, but to our disappointment, she came out with a plate of two little square sandwiches for the four of us. Apparently, they ran out of that flavor because most of it went to the big private party (??). Bummer.
I wasn't going to let cold tea and tiny portions ruin my birthday, though. I got to feel like a princess – even if just for a couple of hours at the tea place. I also got to spend those couple of hours with some of my favorite people in the world, so I'd say my birthday mission was an overall success!
A CUP OF TEA / 401 Uluniu St., Kailua, HI 96734 (Map) / Opens Tues-Sun 11am-430pm, walk-ins welcomed but reservations recommended / 808-230-8832 / Metered street parking
March 6th, 2013