London Tea Room
1520 Washington Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63103
Now, don’t get me wrong, there aren’t promiscuous members of the Catholic Church hanging around this delightful downtown cafe (as far as I can tell). But there is a wonderfully floral black tea by that name available to anyone so inclined to order it. Welcome to the London Tea Room, self-proclaimed “tea merchant & cafe,” the perfect refuge for the tea connoisseur looking for a great loose-leaf selection or the homesick Brit hankering for a no-nonsense, classic tea time experience.
As far as teas go, the London Tea Room has all your classics, such as the London Cuppa (Yorkshire Gold black tea), Darjeeling, Earl Grey, etc. In addition to the basics, they offer copious choices your inner tea snob could desire and your outer American would fear pronouncing, from oolong to green to roiboos to white. But perhaps the tea room’s best picks are from their selection of quirky tea blends with even quirkier names, such as the Fifth of November (a heavy and aromatic Lapsang Souchong with elements of gunpowder tea, berries and vanilla), the Queen of Hearts (a surprisingly lovely mix of Earl Grey, Darjeeling, and black currant) and even the new Duke and Duchess blend, an ode to the engagement of Kate and Prince William.
But if you are interested in more than getting your caffeine fix, don’t fret—their food selection is just as expansive as their tea selection. It might be a decidedly British establishment, but their love of Her Majesty did not stop the London Tea Room from serving me a scrumptious version of the French classic croque monsieur. I heard similarly good reviews of their apple-cheddar salad from my friend as she happily chomped away. And, of course, you absolutely cannot come to the London Tea Room without trying one of their scones with Devonshire cream. Baked fresh and with flavors varying by the day, the scones are perfectly dense but fluffy, making the overly sweet scones of other St. Louis staples like Kaldi’s and Bread Co. seem like Hostess cakes, and the cream is as close to the real thing as you can find in the Midwest.
Like England itself, the London Tea Room is not the easiest place to get to from Wash. U. if you are without a car. Still, those not averse to mild physical activity will find that it’s possible to take the Metro to Union Station and walk a jaunty eight blocks to the Tea Room’s Washington Avenue location. Once there, it’s only minutes before you will be served a perfect brew on a set of china more charmingly mismatched than a set of British teeth. Cheers!