Tea Room Featured In New Book

Tea Room Featured In New Book
By Jennifer Silverstein
Camellia Rose Tea Room & Gifts has been featured in the new book Mini Teatimes by Susan Rios. Owner of Camellia Rose Tea Room, Ellen Garrett, first met Rios at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas last year. Rios then painted an oil canvas of the tearoom, which is now on display in Camellia Rose. When Rios began writing Mini Teatimes, it was only fitting that she called Garrett to be featured.Mini Teatimes is a collection of quotes, reflections and recipes from select tea houses and includes two recipes from Camellia Rose: tortellini soup and Swedish pound cake, both of which are recipes from Garrett’s two sisters. Mini Teatimes is available  at Camellia Rose for $9.95. In April, the tea room celebrated its three-year anniversary, having opened in April of 2007. Garrett’s mother, Nancy Hensley and two daughters, Stacey and Keri, also work at the tea room. It offers ongoing tea events, which have, in the past, included a Titanic tea event, a Victorian fashion teatime, a Jane Austen tea, a Gone With The Wind fashion teatime, a father/ daughter teatime, a Valentine’s Day tea and mystery teas.  During the month of June, Camellia Rose is hosting its Charmed Tea. Anytime during the month, with a reservation, you will receive a sterling silver tea-themed charm for a bracelet. “It’s a great way to start or add onto a charm bracelet.” In June, Garrett will again attend the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas.Menu prices start at $5.95 and go up to $24.95. All prices include the gratuity. Camellia’s Afternoon Tea is $20.95 and includes a three-tier curate of scones, finger sandwiches and desserts, while Lorna’s Afternoon Tea is $24.95 and includes the same three-tier curate and a cup of homemade soup.The most popular item on its menu is the curry chicken salad sandwich, encrusted in pecans.  “We serve that every day because it is so popular with our guests,” Garrett said.It also has a gift shop full of unique items and some well-known lines, including Trollbeads, Chamilia Jewelry, Archipelago candles, Crabtree & Evelyn, Kameleon Jewelry and Lady Primrose fragrance. It  recently added Christine Alexander apparel, handbags and jewelry; the Lollia fragrance line; Crislu jewelry; and Switch Flops. “We added a lot of apparel. I want them [customers] to do two things they love: shop and have tea.”The tea room and gift shop occupy approximately 3,000 sq. feet. Camellia Rose can seat 35-37 guests in its main dining room and 15 in the tea cottage.Camellia Rose is located in the heart of the Downtown Historic District of Plant City at the intersection of Collins and Reynolds streets. The building was completely renovated, which was originally the Bank of Plant City, built in 1919. Garrett did manage to retain the original hardwood flooring of the bank during the renovation.Garrett says the tea room currently offers more than 70 different teas from different importers and that every tea is tasted by herself and her staff before making a decision to purchase it. One of its newest teas is a chocolate banana. Camellia Rose also has an annual “Tea with the Queen,” with the Strawberry Queen and her court.Camellia Rose Tea Room & Gifts is located 120 N. Collins St. in Plant City and is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.Visit  www.CamelliaRose.com  or call 659-TCUP (8287).