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Farm Origins to Cafe Dreams

Cafe DreamsSome of my favorite childhood memories involve sharing food with family and friends. My interest in food and hospitality originates in rural Central New York, and now I hope to share this food with all of you at my tea house café near Albany NY Since we lived on a farm, we always had access to fresh milk and cream. I vaguely remember my mom churning butter, which looked like a lot of work to me, for little return! Sweet, whipped cream on warm chocolate cake was pure delight. If friends or family dropped by unexpectedly, Mom always managed to find something delicious to offer them- strawberry shortcake on homemade biscuits, warm apple pie, or hand-picked blackberry cobbler.

In the summer, there was corn- lots of corn- both for the cows and for the family, and we often got lost playing in the cornfields. We raised chickens, pigs and Holsteins, those black and white goddesses that occasionally wandered about the yard or into the neighbors’ gardens. Sometimes, they seemed obsessed with finding the weakest part of a fence to push through, and their herd mentality led to more than one late night phone call, when we’d all head out to usher them home. Fixing fence was the bane of my father’s and brothers’ existence, I think, and a never-ending chore. Whenever I hear the Cole Porter song, “Don’t Fence Me In,” I am reminded of our girls and their wanderlust. Did they take some perverse, bovine pride in interrupting our supper to come and get them? They seemed so proud to have gotten to the other side.

Summer time was hay time. Mow it, rake it, bale it, hoist it onto the wagon and then load it onto the elevator, with someone else in the hay barn to shift and pile the bales. Our swimming hole provided cool relief from the hot days’ work.

In the fall, the apple trees were loaded, and it was time to make cider. Mom lamented that cider time, which was more work and mess for her, coincided with back to school. So the pulpy, brown-stained muslin strainers had to be washed, apples picked through for worms or rotten spots; at the same time we were squeezing our feet into new or little-worn shoes just after Labor Day. But we happily poured pails full of apples thumpety-thump into the chute, felt the resistance as we turned the wheel on the cider press, and marveled at the pool of precious, sweet-smelling golden ale as it dripped and gushed into scum-covered containers from which we happily drank to show off our mustaches.

This was my life growing up on a farm, and this is where my love for simple, home-cooked food stems from. My goal in starting this new journey at our tea house café near Albany NY is to spread some of these wholesome culinary pleasures throughout the community. I hope you’ll stop in and join us at our café near Albany NY for brunch, lunch, or afternoon tea and scones and to relax and find comfort and serenity in our homey atmosphere.

17 Responses to Farm Origins to Cafe Dreams

  1. Sheila Beltran says:

    My mom and I had scones and tea at this tea house yesterday. What a treat!
    It was so lovely inside, with all the tables set with linens and china. We felt
    like posh ladies, like the queen was coming at any time!
    We’re going back next week with our friends.

    • Annie says:

      Sheila,
      It was a pleasure to meet you and your mom, and we have enjoyed your return visits with your friends and family. We love greeting our returning guests and meeting new friends!

      Annie

  2. Sonja Stark says:

    Congratulations on your opening! This website is beautiful and your menu looks marvelous. I’m especially excited to see that you also encourage and organize trips to NYC- something I do through my Travel blog (PilotGirl) on the TU website. I’ll be sure to visit for tea soon.

    • Annie says:

      Sonja,
      It was a pleasure to meet you when you visited with your family, and we were happy to read the PilotGirl blog description of your visit.
      Thanks for your gracious comments; we look forward to seeing you again.

      Annie

  3. Donna Heber says:

    I can’t wait to visit your tea house and enjoy the experience.

    • Annie says:

      Donna,
      I hope by now you have come in and sampled our food and teas, and that it exceeded your expectations. I look forward to meeting you soon.
      Thanks for visiting our website!

      Annie

  4. Sarah-Jane says:

    I went here today for the first time with my mom and grandma. It was such a lovely experience, and the costume chest allowed for some fun memories drinking tea with fancy hats! The food was delicious and the frittata was the best I’ve ever had. I will be telling everyone I know about this tea shop!

    • Annie says:

      Thank you, Sarah-Jane. I’m so pleased you enjoyed your visit, along with the hats to accompany your tea and frittata. I hope to meet you the next time you come in for a visit.

      Annie

  5. Joan says:

    Yesterday’s lunch at The Tailored Tea was so lovely. We celebrated a 92nd birthday and it couldn’t have been nicer. The rooms are filled with pleasant memories. As a lover of old perfectly ironed linens, there was much to admire. And, the food is so fresh and clean tasting. Each of us raved about our selection. I need your Cold Orzo Salad recipe. My Lemon Thyme scone with the clotted cream was a perfect ending. I will return many times. Your attention to details shows everywhere!

    • Annie says:

      Thank you Joan. It was a pleasure to host your group. I’m so pleased you enjoyed your visit, along with the food. We always want our guests to leave happy and satisfied!

      Annie

  6. Hazel says:

    My friends and I had tea, scones and clotted cream at the tea house this morning. It was the first time we had visited this beautiful tea room. It reminded me of home (England) we all had a great time and will sure to be back again.

    Thank you for the great service.

  7. Faith says:

    Just had my first experience at The Tailored Tea this afternoon and it was superb!! My hometown area is also in Central NY and I had friends who lived on a farm. Your description brings back memories! and now that I live in Latham…..wow…finally a beautiful establishment for a relaxing lunch or breakfast. My friends and I really enjoyed our time and we will definitely be back. and the website is great!! blessings to you and all your endeavors!!

    • Annie says:

      Thanks, Faith. So glad you enjoyed your visit to The Tailored Tea; hope to meet you here the next time!

      Annie

  8. Viviana says:

    I was looking for a unique dining experience in Latham… and happened upon your tea shop… what a treat !!!
    My waitress was delightful as she helped me choose that special afternoon tea… Ooolong !!!

    I will definitely be back… and will surely bring my friends !!!

  9. Tara says:

    My family visited the tea house on my daughter’s 4th birthday on 4/3/13. We made a reservation beforehand and upon our arrival we were greeted by very friendly staff and sat right down at a beautiful table set with gorgeous antique linens, cups and classy personal touches like simple flowers on the table, pretty water glasses, nice cutlery, etc. It all felt very fancy for my daughter and she was so excited!

    The raspberry apple tea was DELICIOUS and all of our food choices and dessert choices were delicious. We left not a crumb on our plates. We found the atmosphere very relaxing, we were not rushed through the meal and Annie came by our table to chat with us and say Happy Birthday to the birthday girl, making us have a very personal experience. We also were given a candle in our daughter’s dessert at the end of our meal which was a perfect touch to our birthday tea/lunch.

    I am excited to have found a new place to support and be a patron of that is not a chain and serves perfectly portioned, fresh and delicious foods and drinks! I am especially thankful that children are so welcomed and encouraged to participate in the tea cafe experience even though there are antique/vintage things that are breakable and other establishments may be nervous with children in the mix. My children are very well behaved but it is nice to know it is a welcoming place for them with “no worries.” Thank you Annie and to all at the Tailored Tea for a special day and memory made for our daughter and our family!

  10. Peggy Jenny says:

    The Tailored Tea is now my new favorite place! I love bringing family and friends here, especially knowing it will be a unique and wonderful experience for them. Wonderful food, atmosphere, and attention to detail in a relaxing setting. What more could one ask for!!

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