Tea time is really the most important time of any day. Especially as a college student, it is the perfect time to reflect on your day while enjoying the perfect cup of soothing tea. With finals approaching quickly, I've consciously been making time for tea.
I used to have the perfect tea place in Knoxville to go to. They had the most amazing food and the largest plethora of teas. Sadly, over Christmas break Tea at the Gallery closed. Ever since then, I've been trying to find a place that could even come close to the magical experience I used to have at Tea at the Gallery.
I'm sad to report that while Paris Apartment Boutique & Tea Room offered a good experience, it doesn't quite measure up to that magical experience at Tea at the Gallery. However, the restaurant offered many of its own qualities that I enjoyed and will come back for.
First, when you walk in to the tea room, you are mesmerized by the Paris-esque upper-class décor that is all over the boutique restaurant. Each room is elaborately decorated with classic French murals of fancy dresses and features lamps on fancy napkin holders on every set table.
The wait staff at the boutique is extremely friendly and seemed to be surprised to have such young patrons in for tea. I admit that tea rooms usually are filled with the older people because it serves as a nice place for older women to chat over a cup of tea. However, I like to go to tea rooms for the same reason. Tea rooms have a calming ambiance to them that I will always appreciate no matter how old I get.
My friend and I ordered the Paris black tea. It was part herbal and -- like most black teas -- had hints of vanilla that paired well with the honey and cream I put in mine. For my entrée, I got half the chicken artichoke sandwich and a cup of tomato bisque soup. The sandwich was on sour dough bread and the chicken artichoke mix was good, but lacked some seasoning. It was served cold and I think if it were heated in a Panini it might've lifted the sandwich up to all-star levels. The soup was very good and had a more chunky quality that most tomato bisque soups don't generally have.
Dessert was the crown jewel of the meal. We ordered a pavlova, which is meringue topped with cream and fruit. The crunch of the meringue and the tartness of the fruit made this dessert of the day something memorable to be cherished.
Jessica Carr is a sophomore in journalism and electronic media. She aspires to be a professional food blogger and food magazine editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter at @jcarr_94.