Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Tuck Box

 The Tuck Box

The Tuck Box is tucked away on one of my favorite streets in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  When you first set eyes on the storybook-style Tuck Box you'll think you have stumbled down a Cotswolds lane. 

The Tuck Box originally opened as a tea room by two British ladies in the early 1940's.  Sadly, today it's not at all like an old fashioned British tea room that you might expect from it's adorable Fairy tale-like setting.  I knew this though since I had lunched here before.  It's not really a tea room but more of a breakfast and lunch spot that serves tea and scones, too.

Last weekend while doing a bit of window shopping on Dolores Street, I decided to "pop" in The Tuck Box for tea and scones.

 Come in for Tea!

The inside of The Tuck Box is tiny and cozy and feels just like a charming little tea room should.  Its decor is rather simplistic but feels authentic with its chintz curtains and tea pot lined shelves.  While its interior is charming, The Tuck Box is really best known for its Fairy tale cottage architecture.

The Tuck Box is one of Carmel's most well-known Fairy tale cottages

The Tuck Box was built in 1926 by Hugh Comstock.  Comstock was neither an architect nor carpenter but in 1924 he built his wife a 300 sq ft doll house (cottage showroom)  to sell her hand-made Otsy-Totsys rag dolls that were overflowing from their home.

 From that little doll house, Comstock went on to build dozens of Fairy tale cottages in Carmel during the 1920's. The Tuck Box is perhaps his best known and most loved Carmel landmark. And, the best part is, you can have tea and scones there!

Time for Tea!

 Afternoon Tea & Scones

The Tuck Box Afternoon Tea consists of :

Scottish style scones,
A pot of Ceylon Black loose tea
Oallieberry, Orange Marmalade &
Whipped Creme 

Price $7.75

 Scones & Jam

Nothing beats a warm scone slathered with
home-made Oalliberry jam and whipped creme!

Tuck Box Scones

 Tuck Box scones are different than any type of scone I have ever had in England or America.  My server told me they are from the original Tuck Box recipe and are Northern Scottish style scones.  They are made in an 8" cast iron pan and then broiled off before serving.  I must say, they reminded me a bit more like my Mom's old-fashioned corn bread.  While I enjoyed them, I much prefer traditional English scones. 

I do recommend The Tuck Box as long as you are not expecting afternoon tea with cute little sandwiches and English style scones.  My advice is to take The Tuck Box for what it is:  an adorable historic cottage, serving good home-made food, Scottish style scones... in one of the most beautiful places in the world...Carmel-by-the-Sea!

The Tuck Box
Dolores (between Ocean & 7th Avenue)
(831) 624-6365

Hours 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM

Be sure to visit my favorite places on Dolores Street:

Soiled Doves Bath House

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sweet Hearts

 Valentine's Day Sugars

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. 

Will you be having a Saint Valentine's Day tea party?   If so, you definitely need these sweet little heart shaped sugars for your tea party!

 Have a Sweet Heart

I love little surprises.  I always love finding pretty little handcrafted sugars in the sugar bowl at Afternoon Tea!  Your guests will love finding these sweet little hearts, too!

Special sugars add such a delightful touch to a tea party setting.  When serving decorative sugars, I always like to use a pretty sugar spoon and vintage sugar tongs.  Little dainty details like these really make your tea party special.

Sugars by Sharon

I'm smitten with the handcrafted sugars by a northern California company Sugars by Sharon.  Sugars by Sharon are hand-molded, colored sugars in all sorts of decorative shapes.  Best part of all, they are real sugar and dissolve beautifully in your tea cup!

I've spotted Sugars by Sharon at Crown & Crumpet in San Francisco and Amy of An Afternoon to Remember carries them, too.  Just click here to find them where you live. 

(In the photos:  Royal Winton "Old Cottage" tea cup & saucer and sugar bowl, vintage silver tongs and vintage Valentine's Day cards.)