Do you ever find that a coffee shop or restaurant will linger long in your memory? I have two such coffee shops. While it is nearly 8 years since I have eaten in one the other was only a few months ago.
The first is Samovar tea room in Yerba Buena Gardens San Francisco, U.S.A. The visit to the U.S. to see the Irish Rugby team, play the U.S. Eagles in Santa Clara led to trip to San Francisco. San Francisco was everything I thought it would be and more. Friendly hospitable and so much to see and do.
A visit to the Samovar Tea Room was an oasis in a very busy schedule. There is no possible way that one can hurry through a meal there. The first thing which literally hits you on entering are the aromas. Although there are hundreds of blends of tea and with the Tea Rooms catering to a number of guests the aromas seem to blend to give a warm welcome.
It was great the way various different types and blends were suggested so as to enhance the food. The staff were friendly and had the patience of job as we took forever to choose after plying the staff with so many questions. What really impressed me was, at the time we had a young teenager and he was accorded the same respect as the rest of the party.
So, if you are heading to San Francisco pre-book a table at the Samovar Tea Room. It is an experience to be savoured and enjoyed but not hurried.
The Second place is yet another tea room which is strange as I am a confessed coffeeholic. It is the Glencar Tea Shed beside Glencar Waterfall in County Leitrim, Ireland. (Please remember that waterfalls in Ireland are not very tall but are very pretty). This tea shop has a wide selection of speciality teas but for the coffee lovers there is a wide selection of coffees.
It is a very calm tea room served by exceptionally friendly staff. It is nestled beside the waterfall with stunning views over Glencar Lake. What I was delighted to see was that this tea shop catered for the needs of those who can’t eat gluten. Take your time to sample the soda bread just soft and extremely moreish. The ethos of the tea room is to keep it fresh, local and provide a wonderful environment. Which is exactly true.
The current owner’s great aunts ran a tea room in the early 1900s. there are artefacts from the original tea rooms to be seen. The poet W.B. Yeats visited Glencar Waterfall and the old Sibery Tea Room. His poem “The Stolen Child” was inspired by the beauty of the waterfall.
So, if you are visiting the Wild Atlantic way in Ireland take a detour and visit the teaShed nestled beside Glencar Waterfall.