By Meredith Munk Special to The Herald
“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
If you are too heated, it will cool you.
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”
That is according to the website for Village Eatery and Tea Company in Bothell.
But during a recent visit, I discovered that even if you are not warm, cold, depressed or excited, having tea and something to eat there is a good thing.
I went with a friend to sample one of the restaurant’s tea services. You can choose from “High Tea,” the “Village Tea” and the “Quick Lunch Tea,” or, if you are under 12 years old, the “Jack and Jill Tea.”
These tea services require two to order.
My friend and I chose the High Tea ($24.95 each), four courses and a shared pot of tea. We wanted to linger, visit and enjoy the leisurely experience, as that is what an English tea service is all about.
We were seated quickly and spent a few minutes reviewing the extensive tea menu, with more than 50 choices: a mix of black teas and English favorites, Green teas, Rooibos teas and some local Market Spice options.
And don’t worry: Lattes, Americanos and mochas are also available.
We agreed on a black tea, Cranberry Clementine, which was a mix of fruity cranberry with a sweet orange note. It did not disappoint.
Delicate china cups and saucers were delivered to the table with a china teapot, complete with a tea cozy to keep our pot warm.
The tables were covered with white lace with embroidered tablecloths, which look like something in your grandmother’s linen closet.
Upon closer review, they were far more practical — plastic — but that did not diminish the experience.
Shelves with teapots and a display case of colorful teacups and saucers were fun to look at in the cozy restaurant. White lights strung above made it more funky than formal.
The wait staff was quiet and efficient, serving groups of elderly ladies, a pair of young mothers with small children, a multigenerational table that looked like grandma, mom and son, as well as pairs and trios like my friend and me.
Our first course was homemade soup and a warm cheese scone. My friend, who is a vegetarian, ordered vegetable barley soup, and I had the chicken rice soup. We were there on one of the first cool days of September and these delicious cups of piping hot soups were welcome.
The barley was tomato based and laden with vegetables. My chicken rice soup was thick with carrots, peas, corn, rice, herbs and chunks of cubed chicken.
A bowl of one of these soups with a sandwich would make a hearty lunch for someone not interested in the tea service.
The next course was a Union Jack salad, made with cherry tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, black beans, craisins, wheat berries, wild rice and cilantro with a lightly spicy lime vinaigrette, served with a sprinkling of peanuts.
It came with a light and flaky puff pastry filled with a mildly sage-seasoned pork sausage. A smear of mustard rounded out the savory pastry.
The waiter asked my friend if she would like to substitute a crumpet for her puff pastry. It was about midway through this course when my friend started making “mmmm” noises and rolling her eyes with pleasure while eating the buttery warm crumpet and sweet strawberry jam.
Next up were several slices of perfectly ripened fresh fruit and our English tea sandwiches. We chose all vegetarian sandwiches (no mixing here, either all vegetarian or all nonvegetarian), which arrived cut in traditional triangles and crustless.
These were a pleasant surprise: They were clearly well-thought-out ingredients: carrot and Swiss cheese with a sweet apple Dijon mustard spread, delicious; avocado and sunflower seeds, a perfect mix of creamy avocado with the salty crunch of the seeds; tomato slices with brightly flavored pesto cream cheese; and the most unusual, cucumber slices with raspberry cream cheese.
We didn’t love the cucumber-raspberry combination as much as the others, but all the sandwich vegetables were fresh and crunchy. The bread was fresh and soft.
The last course was a choice of lemon glazed or golden raisin scone and a sampler of four other housemade sweets.
We picked one of each of these light scones and shared a serving of English Norfolk cream, lemon curd and housemade strawberry jam. The tiny sampler pieces were a tart topped with blackberries, a beautiful Linzer cookie, a jammy apple bar and a lemon bar. There was plenty to take leftovers home.
You can also order sandwiches ($6.75 for tea and tea sandwich); salads and soups ($8.75 for soup or sald and a tea sandwich); and pastries and desserts ($5.50 for tea and a scone with Norfolk cream, lemon curd and strawberry jam).
The food is fresh, delicious and all homemade.
Their display case shows off meringue kisses, cookies, bars and scones, as well as their packages of bulk teas allowing you the option of taking something home for your own tea party.
Village Eatery and Tea House
740 238th St., Suite B, Bothell; 425-483-2005; www.villageeateryandteacompany.com.
Specialty: Tea service.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.