When I was a little girl, I had a china tea set. I think I still have pieces of it somewhere. I would spend hours with my dolls and stuffed animals, creating elaborate tea parties.
If you were that kid, too, you should get yourself down to Broadway and Balacalva. A new tea shop has opened up there, right beside the Parthenon Market. Neverland Tea Salon is an enchanting escape from every day life – even if just for a few minutes.
The black-and-white decor is accented with sparkly antique chandeliers, a window salvaged from Christ Church Cathedral in the late 1800’s, and a hodge-podge of charming antique sofas, tables, chairs, trunks and armoires. Even the china is delightfully mismatched, but the overall effect is eclectic but homey.
You have two options: there is a tea bar at the front of the store for a quick snack along with a casual cuppa. The back features more formal seating with white tablecloths and china for breakfast, lunch, or high tea.
The teas are brewed using the Chiwalla system, and each cup is individually steeped in a largo, and carefully timed so that it is brewed perfectly to medium strength. You’ll never be handed a cup of tea with a tea bag in it, but you can ask for a stronger brew if you choose.
The tea menu is extensive: black, green, white, rooibos and everything in between. You can have your tea straight-up, or made into a latte. Their London Fog, which uses an organic Earl Grey, is the specialty of the house.
Want a treat to go with your tea or coffee (they also serve pour-overs, and have a full espresso bar)? There’s breads, cookies, scones and bars–and lots of options for vegan and gluten-free–all baked in-house.
If you want more substantial, sit-down fare, you can choose from soup and sandwich (all available on gluten-free bread), hearty salads, a daily special fritatta, and my personal favourite, a red-wine braised tart, which comes with a side salad. The house specialty is a mushroom and brie gratin, otherwise known as Neverland’s Own Mac ‘n’ Cheese (available gluten- or dairy-free).
They also do a high tea, which includes unlimited pots of tea. They offer a gluten-free or dairy-free option for the same price.
Neverland is also open late for post-dinner desserts and aperitifs. You can indulge in one of their “tipsy teas” or a glass of wine or Prosecco, along with a Dark Chocolate Lava Cake with Grand Marnier (gluten free).
Although it’s only been open less than two weeks, Neverland has big plans for the future. Kid’s birthday parties, poetry nights (they have a Murphy-bed like pull-down stage installed) and tea talks are all in the works.
Neverland Tea Salon
3066 W Broadway
M-T: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
W-Su: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.