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Tea-Time for Valley Elite

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Television personality and AZfoothills.com columnist Nadine Toren is scouring the area, finding savvy Valley features, bringing readers “on the scene.” Every day she’ll introduce you to celebrities, athletes, and give you an inside look into local events and hot spots. She'll touch on topical issues, and keep AZ fans posted on all the big talkers around town.

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Jump on the tea-time bandwagon just like William and Kate.  We're taking you to a Valley hot-spot with British flair and pizazz. 

Toast with tea and feast on crumpets—the Royal wedding is days away and we’re getting in the savvy spirit.

Turns out, we have a little dose of the U.K. right here, in the heart of the desert.  All you have to do is cruise on over to Carefree and pit-stop at the English Rose Tea Room.  Dress in your finest attire and top your ensemble with a feathered hat—you’ll want to look your best as you’re greeted by “The Queen” the moment you walk through the door.

“Everywhere you look there’s Royal memorabilia and all things British,” said Jo Gemmill, owner of the English Rose Tea Room.

Interviewing Jo Gemmill was quite a pleasurable experience, as she answered all of my questions carefully in her dainty English accent.  She grew up in a small town south of England, but moved to the states after marrying her American hubby.

“I miss it, but I’m fortunate because of my business allows me to have a cup of good tea whenever I want,” Gemmill said.

The U.K. native opened  the tea room more than five years ago bringing a little bit of her home to AZ.  The elegant Victorian-style setting offers a feminine ambiance graced with chandeliers and fine China.

“It’s a great place for afternoon tea and cucumber sandwiches.”

Spoken like a true Brit.

The tea menu includes quite a variety…classic blacks, specialty blends, and tasty fruit brews. You’ll also want to savor the scrumptious sandwiches, scones, cakes and finger food—your taste-buds will thank you.

It is one of the Valley’s greatest gems, often described as the finest Tea Room in the entire Southwest.  Coating the delectable destination is British collectibles dating back to Edwards the 5th.  The big collection of Royal swag is now attracting many William and Kate fans; in fact, Gemmill is selling W&K keepsakes; mementos she says will be discontinued once their big day is over.

“Britain is already sold out of a lot of stuff.”

She says Valley elite can sip like the British celebs; William and Kate likely do tea-time twice a day.  It’s a tradition that’s been around since the 1700s—a classic, upscale ritual.

“Tea is the drink of choice among Brits.  Everyone does it.”

And you can do it too to commemorate William and Kate’s big day.

The Tea Room is having a special wedding celebration, and while it’s pretty much sold out, Gemmill still urges you to drop by and chance an available spot.

It’s a girly experience fit for a Phoenix princess, but gents are welcome as well.

For more information, visit www.carefreetea.com.

And to plan your very own local Royal wedding, check out the Phoenix Bridal Show on Sunday, May 22nd at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort.  www.PhoenixBridalShow.com

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