If you are looking for the “perfect tea experience,” look no further than Camellia’s Tea Room, located at 3102 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. This delightful little tea room offers up some of the most delectable food and small batch teas in the area.
On a recent visit I met the owner, Debbie Reich, and she served me and my companion, Katie Collins, a full afternoon tea. We started off with a complimentary welcome cocktail. We opted for a mimosa, but Reich offers tea-infused cocktails as well.
Reich uses local, fresh ingredients in all of her offerings. This includes Camellia’s Tea Room’s small batch teas. The lunch Reich created and served was delicious.
We feasted on a composed salad, tea sandwiches (including Reich’s version of coronation chicken on a croissant) and desserts. The desserts were scones served with the traditional lemon curd and jam, macarons, cookies and strawberries with cream.
Reich said, “When you dine with us, you dine with family.”
Reich added, “We want you to feel special, have an experience and be pampered.”
Some of the recipes that Reich uses are vintage, and for some she adds her own twist to them. Reich is from Puerto Rico. Her father is Jewish.
“We try to bring family into all of our recipes,” Reich said.
Most of the items are made in-house by Reich. The macarons, of course, come from France.
Not only is the food wonderful, but the rooms are decorated in such a way that you feel that you are taking a walk back in history. Camellia’s Tea Room is housed in a building along with 22 Moons Antiques that Reich has owned and operated for three years.
Katie said, “It was a magical meal. I would definitely go again. The ambiance of the whole place transported me to a different place.”
Reich creates new menus each week. She is able to accommodate allergies and can make gluten-free items. Just ask what is on the menu for that week when you make your reservation.
In addition to full afternoon tea, you can opt for tea and sweets. Reich creates a special menu for events like Valentine’s Day.
Reservations are required. You can make them online by visiting www.camelliastearoom.com or by calling 278-5213.