Tearoom in the Spotlight: The Village Teahouse

Where: 1919 West Point Pike, West Point, PA 19486
Style:  Victorian
Tea Selection: 75+ loose leaf teas
Teatimes:  Wednesday to Saturday, 9 to 3 [and Tuesdays in December]; Special Tea Events
Reservations:  Reservations required
Contact: 215-699-1800
Cost: Ranges from $23 to $38: Margaret’s Full Tea Meal; Minnie’s Senior Size Full Tea Meal; Katherine’s Tea Meal; Elizabeth’s Tea Meal; Rosemary’s Lite Fare Meal; Youngsters Build A Meal

[Photo Credits: All photos provided by The Village Teahouse.]

Prices and teatimes are subject to change. Please see our Pennsylvania Afternoon Tea Directory for the latest details.

When Meg Shaffer opened The Village Teahouse in 2015, in a small village 35 minutes outside of Philadelphia, a lifelong dream became a reality. After all, Meg “grew up on tea,” attending afternoon teas at Lord & Taylor, Strawbridge’s, Hess’s, The Four Seasons and The Crystal Tearoom at Wanamaker’s in center city Philadelphia. Enchanted by her tea experiences, Meg remembers dressing up, donning gloves and being treated like a princess for an afternoon. At the heart of these fond memories exploring tea with her mother, Meg dreamed about one day opening her own tearoom.

As life would have it, it was as Meg was mourning the loss of her mom and her husband who had passed away within a year of one another, that opportunity met willingness. Having decided she needed to remold her life, Meg was driving to visit a friend when she observed a “for sale” sign and clearly knew it was God telling her, “it’s time.” She quickly called her realtor and began planning how she would transform this three-story 1898 Victorian home into her teahouse.

With the help of her brother, a master carpenter, it took Meg seven months to restore the house into “the beauty that she is.” Meg knows that afternoon tea patrons love the sense that they are stepping back in time, so she carefully preserved the terret, tall windows and high ceilings of this beautiful manor home, all the while feeling led. She says, “As long as I followed the road God wanted me to take, everything went very easy. If not, he would trip me, and I would come back on the path.”

Meg believes the Grand Lady — her name for the house now restored to its former grandeur — is happy to be her gorgeous, elegant self again, inviting guests to consider themselves at home when they are at The Village Teahouse.

Inside The Village Teahouse, two rooms seat up to 40 guests. Dedicated to her mom is the Victorian Room, a traditional, formal dining room sprinkled with beauty and elegance and decorated in black, gold and crystal. For her Dad, Meg envisioned a whimsical Theme Room, which is redecorated several times a year. She enjoys the chance to refresh the space with themes like Alice in Wonderland, Victorian Steampunk, Fashion through the Ages, and much more. “We want to make sure that people enter and say, ‘wow,’ this is really creative.”

When guests tell Meg they prefer coming to The Village Teahouse over other high-end afternoon teas in Philadelphia and around the world, she is grateful. It is proof she has met her goal: to excel in the experience she provides. Meg personally trains every member of the teahouse staff so that they know teahouse etiquette and how to “make each customer smile and feel their day is better, having visited us.”

For example, The Village Teahouse is a no-cell-phone zone. To honor the historic tradition of afternoon tea (which predates the invention of the cell phone by about 140 years), guests are kindly asked to turn off their phones and electronics to allow them to “enjoy what a good tea used to be like many years ago.” After all, the Teahouse motto suggests,

Enter as our Guests, Leave as our Friends.”

The Menu

Having worked for several caterers and run her own catering business, Meg knew The Village Teahouse would not be serving food “made on a conveyor belt.” From time to time, guests bring in family recipes for the teahouse to test, and some do make it onto the menu. Most everything is handmade at the teahouse, from the Devonshire cream to the teahouse’s signature tea bag shortbread cookie, dipped in Belgian chocolate.

The Village Teahouse signature cookie comes with every afternoon tea, featuring a hand-tied inspirational tag. (Also available to purchase in bulk, or for special occasions).

The Village Teahouse kitchen staff is a marvel, setting up multiple stations inside the historic home’s 11’x15′ kitchen, where they prep teahouse treats six days a week for the following menu items:

  • Margaret’s Full Tea Meal – Village Style: Soup or quiche du jour, house salad w/ homemade dressing, fresh scone w/ seasonal curd and Devonshire cream, assorted, handcrafted tea sandwiches, assorted petite sweets, choice of unlimited tea
  • Minnie’s Senior Size Full Tea Meal: Same as Margaret’s Tea, less 1 sandwich and 1 petite sweet
  • Katherine’s Tea Meal: Fresh scone with toppings, assorted tea sandwiches, assorted petite sweets, choice of unlimited tea
  • Elizabeth’s Tea Meal: Assorted tea sandwiches, assorted petite sweets, choice of unlimited tea
  • Rosemary’s Lite Fare Meal: Soup or quiche du jour, house salad, one petite sweet, choice of unlimited tea
  • Youngsters Menu, Build a Meal: Includes choice of beverage, two sandwiches, a scone, and two desserts.

Special Tea Events

The Village Teahouse serves a higher purpose than serving delicious food and tea. Meg feels strongly that the teahouse is meant to bring guests together in community. She is often asked to sit down with her customers to take tea together, which she does do when she can get away for a moment.

To further encourage new and old friends to gather, The Village Teahouse hosts regular free events, including Bunco (aka The Teahouse Rollers), Bible Study and Book Club. These events are so popular that they often fill up within the first day of being announced.

The Village Teahouse also hosts popular themed events such as its annual Mother’s Day Tea, The Life and Times of Betsy Ross, The Great Gatsby Murder Mystery, Sharpshooter Annie Oakley, Epic Titanic, and a Christmas Dickens Tea, to mention a few.

For several teahouse events, guests are encouraged to come in period dress and perform in character. On occasion, The Village Teahouse brings in a professional actor to depict a historical figure or to host, as they did for their Epic Titanic dinner.

What’s more (yes, there is more), The Village Teahouse also organizes tea trips! Meg has already led groups of touring tea lovers to England and Charleston, and their next destination is Ireland. In 2024, The Village Teahouse plans on visiting Italy.

Gift Shop

The Village Teahouse gift shop is the first thing you see upon entering. Chock full of tea gifts and goodies, it mimics the old general store. A blend of vintage and new merchandise fills the space from floor to ceiling, with a range of treasures priced for the budget-conscious to the shopper looking for that one-of-a-kind find.

The Honor Wall

To thank all the community members who contribute their gifts to The Village Teahouse, Meg displays an Honor Wall – a small token of appreciation. There you’ll find the name of the neighbor who volunteers in the teahouse gardens, or the donors who bring in their family’s fine China tea sets. This is another instance of how the teahouse connects with people in the community. One of Meg’s favorite stories is of a woman who donated her mother’s teacups after she had passed away. Fortuitously, this patron came in for tea, and as she was being seated, her mom’s cup and saucer caught her eye, at her place setting. She was in awe. Meg says of course, it wasn’t intentional on her staff’s part, but she can easily explain how this happened: she recognizes the hand of God in all things.

[Note: This is a sponsored blog post.]

Tea Voyageuse, discovering the world of afternoon tea, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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