McKenna's Tea Cottage is a quaint upscale tea room in the heart of Old Town Seal Beach, California.Opened in late 2011. We serve high tea, homemade soups, salads, and over 60 teas to choose from and so much more!! Come see why we are one of the best tea rooms in Orange county according to Orange County Magazine, Best of Groupon, and amazon local. We have been featured in Orange County Register, Sun Newspaper, SocialFieldTrip.com, Socalcitykids.com, and tonyastaab.com.
(Kristen) We are a family run business that was started when our dad (Richard) got laid off from Boeing in 2010. To prevent us from losing our home , we decided to purchase the tea cottage and name it McKenna's Tea Cottage after my daughter. My sister Megan, (husband) Israel, and I (Kristen) left college to help pursue this new adventure. Since Israel and I had over 1o years of working in a restaurants we used our experience to run this restaurant. Our Family is just so happy and excited to be one of the best tea rooms in Orange County. We are booked about 1 week out on weekdays and about a month out on weekends.
Thank you to all of our faithful customers! You have helped changed our lives for the better.We are going 5 and a half years strong and we can't wait to see what the future has in store! Thank you!! ________________________________________________________________________________
Orange County Register 5 Questions With ... Kristen Alexander, on moving from Mexican food to McKenna's Tea CottageDec. 20, 2013 Updated Dec. 18, 2013 5:09 p.m. By EVA KILGORE / FOR THE REGISTER Kristen Alexander poses with a photo of her grandparents taken in the UK, proudly displayed at McKenna's Tea Cottage.PHOTO COURTESY OF KRISTEN ALEXANDERMcKenna's Tea CottageAddress: 810 Electric Ave., Seal Beach
Hours: Call ahead for hours. Reservations preferred, but walk-ins welcome
Fun facts: There are 38 varieties of specialty teas at McKenna's Tea Cottage, including caffeinated, decaffeinated, McKenna's Special Blend and Manchester Tea (a blend of white and herbal tea full of vitamins and antioxidants). Some unusual flavors include Plum, Chocolate Mint, Vermont Maple, Hazelnut and Mango.
Kristen Alexander, started as a server at Mario's Mexican Restaurant in Huntington Beach when she was 16. She worked at the restaurant for more than eight years, learning everything she could from customer service to time management. In the back of her mind, the wife and mother always knew she wanted to open her own business. We sat down with her to find out how that's worked out.
Q: Why did you decide to open McKenna's Tea Cottage?
A: I always loved being around people and seeing their faces when they enjoyed good food. I'd worked at Mario's Mexican Restaurant for a long, long time. I worked the hostess desk and was a server. During that time, I realized that when people go out, they want a fun experience with excellent food. My dad, Richard, got laid off from Boeing in 2010. The family was looking for something right away to help our dad. About a year later, we came across the tea cottage, bought it, and here we are. It's named McKenna's Tea Cottage after my daughter, McKenna. We didn't know how it would work out, but by the fifth month we were full. It was and still is very exciting.
Q: So, tea and scones are a lot different than enchiladas and tacos, right?
A: They are. We serve tea sandwiches, scones, salads, soups and desserts. We have our McKenna's Special Blend tea, which is out of this world. There is something for everyone. My grandparents were English and I've always had a special place in my heart for the U.K. and the wonderful ritual of tea and food with friends. It's totally different than Mario's food-wise, but special customer service and really caring about our guests is exactly the same as what I've always believed in.
Q: What happens at the cottage?
A: We offer tea parties for baby showers, wedding showers, children's birthday parties or if you and a friend or two or a group of friends or family want a special time, we take care of you. There are fun menu selections. The Queen Mum's Tea, for $27, has a homemade scone with Devonshire cream and jam, a soup of the day or garden salad, assorted sandwiches and dessert. The Lady Price Tea is $10.50. For that you will get a traditional pot of tea and two crumpets with your choice of butter and jam or cheddar cheese and scallions. There are quiches and sandwich selections. Everything is served on beautiful china at lovely tables with linens. It's a special getaway. You'll feel pampered.
Q: You love this venture, don't you?
A: I really do. Sometimes I work 50 to 60 hours a week, but it's worth it. I am always excited to sag hello to new guests and welcome people coming back again. And it's fun thinking up new things. There is something special about being your own boss and creating your own future.
Q: Does your daughter McKenna like to come in?
A: She loves it. She especially likes the Prince & Princess Tea. It's for children 10 and under with a pot of lemonade or decaffeinated tea, miniature scone with whipped cream and jam. For the little ones, like McKenna, there is also a choice of peanut butter and jelly, turkey, or cheese sandwich and a little dessert. It's $16. She always feels like a princess when she's here and everywhere else, too. Every girl should feel like a princess!
The ritual dates back to the 1800s as a snacking fix and social gathering for the aristocratic ladies of Britain. Today, afternoon tea has become a fashionable alternative for birthday parties, and bridal and baby showers. Here are five teahouses in Orange County where you can practice traditional etiquette while noshing on dainty pastries and finger sandwiches.
1. The Tea House on Los Rios Once inside this century-old cottage, you’ll be transported to the English countryside by Victorian floral wallpaper, lace curtains, and porcelain teacups. Have a seat in the music room, where instruments adorn the walls. The Garden Tea, left, comes with your choice of two dozen loose-leaf varieties, assorted finger sandwiches, and a warm, heart-shaped currant scone you’ll daub with Early California cream, a variation on English clotted cream. Tea also comes with dessert, with your choice of English trifle, lemon tart, bread pudding, and the Mamboche, a delectable ice cream parfait. Don one of the party hats to get into the spirit. $17 to $38 per person; 31731 Los Rios St., San Juan Capistrano, 949-443-3914, theteahouseonlosrios.com
2. The Resort at Pelican Hill Afternoon tea becomes an elegant affair the minute you enter the resort’s Great Room. The parlorlike setting, just off the lobby, offers sweeping ocean views appropriate for such posh service. Details are thoughtfully planned, from the sterling silver tableware to a three-tiered platter of savory bites and finger sandwiches almost too pretty to eat. Try the berry tarts and fresh, house-made black currant scones served with Devonshire cream, strawberry preserves, and lemon curd. Choose from 10 teas, including organic green, chamomile, vanilla rooibos, and English breakfast. Frequently, a classical harpist will be on hand to serenade you, too. $50 to $60 per person; tea service offered 2 to 3:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday; reservations required. 22701 S. Pelican Hill Road, Newport Coast, 949-467-6800, pelicanhill.com
3. McKenna’s Tea Cottage You can’t help but sit up straight in this seaside tea room that feels like a grandmother’s quaint living room. Pale yellow walls, lace tablecloths, and mismatched teacups set the mood for a tranquil experience. Choose from more than 30 specialty loose-leaf teas such as the McKenna’s Special Blend—a fragrant infusion with apple, elderberries, hibiscus, strawberries, and rose hips. $11 to $27 per person; reservations recommended. 810 Electric Ave., Seal Beach, 562-431-0200, mckennasteacottage.com
4. Tea & Teacups Cozy with plenty of kitsch, this small and homey shop has something for everyone, offering 130 loose-leaf teas, one of the largest selections around. Best of all, guests can select a different variety for their second pot. Don’t be shy about asking for refills. The warm, scratch-made apricot, cranberry, or coconut scones come with cream and jam, and cupcakes are served in darling teacups. $11 to $26 per person; reservations required. 18154 Imperial Highway, Yorba Linda, 714-572-9825, teaandteacups.com
5 . The Sussex Teapot
Adjacent to a British grocer and gift shop, The Sussex Teapot is known for its Cornish pasties, bangers and mash, golden house-made scones (gluten-free available, too), and a traditional no-frills tea service with lace tablecloths. The house tea, PG Tips, and Yorkshire Gold are popular British blends, though you can’t go wrong with some Earl Grey with a sugar cube and spot of milk. $11 to $20 per person; 12752 Valley View St., Garden Grove, 714-897-9442, sussexteapot.com
For our web exclusive “How to Have Tea Like a Brit”, click here.
- See more at: http://www.orangecoast.com/o-c-guides/ocs-best-afternoon-tea/#sthash.tJ9EYEiZ.dpuf ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
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