Tea Room. Cheers.

Raise up that pinky finger with the cup! Haha. There's always time for some high tea. My better half and I love taking some time out of our weekend to enjoy small finger foods and small treats. Located in downtown Benicia this little treat helps remind everyone to just sit down, close your eyes, take a deep breath and just enjoy what's around you at that moment where the past and future hold no value.
 Here's a picture of one of their teapots they use. Camellia brands their teapots ... I guess in case someone wants to steal this floral, bright, heavy teapot? Haha, I have no idea but all their teapots have floral prints and are very heavy, great and keeping the tea hot. I'll be honest, I do not remember what tea we got this time around but it was good. There are cubes of white and brown sugar on the side of the table if you want to add a little spunk to your tea. Usually we start off with no sugar to get a taste for the tea leaves, see how it is and just use our discretion or mood to decide if sugar should be added.
This is a cute little filter that gets placed over the cup when pouring out the tea. It'll catch all the loose leaves so you don't need to worry about any interruptions while your palate is embracing the tea.
This is the house salad. I cannot stress how much my better half and I enjoy this salad. It's very refreshingly and light. Greens, apple, candied (says spiced on their website) pecans, and gruyere cheese with a raspberry vinaigrette.  Why do we enjoy it so much? I'll admit this dressing is a bit on the tangy side but the raspberry concentrate/juice/whatever they put add balances out. Once you get some of the candied pecans and fuji apples in your mouth it is just oh so pleasant. You get the nutty texture, crisp from the apple, then the mixed greens. I'd say it's almost like a ballerina is in your mouth. You'll taste tang, then you'll get hit with the pecans and a balanced sweetness from the apples then a potent distinct rich flavor of the gruyere. It's wonderful.
Most of the time when we come here we get the three tiered tea set with the finger sandwiches, scones, and sweet treats (like cookies, small cake). This time we already had breakfast so we figured a small light afternoon snack will be just dandy. Anyway, currant scone. They also had lemon poppy scones but we really enjoy their currant scones. Freshly baked with a side of strawberry preserves or fresh whipped cream. I prefer the preserves with a little bit of the whipped cream. Go with whatever you like because these scones are good without anything. Currant flavor is not overpowering and pairs wonderfully with tea.
Something new on the menu? Yes: Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding. Fresh whipped cream on top with a pleasure hint of color added by the mint. Shower that all with some chocolate powder, I'm in. Now, I have never had bread pudding. Only thing I know is I was pretty full by the time dessert came out. This was pleasantly good but heavy ... hell is butter croissants! This bread pudding wasn't too wet because you could still taste the textures from the croissant and the semi-sweet chocolate adds a great punch of sweetness. Want more sugar for your tongue? Add a bit of the whipped cream :)

This place is fairly priced, won't break the bank. The environment is very ... "lady-like" to say the least. I imagine a lot of the tearooms are usually like that. I am usually the one guy in there. The tea room is nice, brightened with sunlight puts you at ease. Last thing worthy of mentioning is the service, if you have a question one of the female waitresses will give you an answer or suggestion. Make sure to call and check for reservations just in case so take a visit if you're in the neighborhood.

Camellia Tea Room
828 1st St.
Benicia, CA 94510

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