Over 180 years ago, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford began a daily routine of enjoying a pot of tea and small bites in the afternoon after finding that the then-typical two meals a day, breakfast and a late dinner, left her feeling sunken and tired by midday.
The practice, now known as Afternoon Tea, spread amongst royalty before being adopted by people of all sorts throughout England and the world. Now, the tradition has crept its way across the pond to our very own Des Moines and the marvelous Marina Mercantile, located along Marine View Drive.
Whether you want to enjoy some alone time or relax with friends and family, Afternoon Tea at Marina Mercantile is a delightful slice of royalty for young and old alike. Settle into the cozy environment of the Merc, with cool jazz or classical music playing over the speakers, a tower of freshly prepared goodies on the table, and a steaming pot of tea to warm you up.
Afternoon Tea at Marina Mercantile is available Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday from noon to 5:30pm, and on Wednesday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Because everything is prepped and prepared the day of, reservations are required 24-hours in advance. Three options are available:
- “Cream Tea” is a traditional style afternoon tea consisting of finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream and jam, fruit, cheese, macarons, assorted tea-time treats, and, of course, your choice of tea. For a little extra, and something a little unconventional.
- “Savory Tea” adds smoked salmon lox, a locally made Aaron’s bagel, assorted spreads and shmears, and devilled eggs along with everything included with Cream Tea.
- For a truly decadent afternoon, those 21+ can enjoy “Sparkling Tea” which includes everything from the “Cream Tea” option with the addition of a bottle of Prosecco.
Savory and sweet bites, the addition of sparkling wine, all make for a wonderful afternoon, but it’s the tea that makes “afternoon tea,” and the folks at Marina Mercantile have made sure this feature shines. As guests are seated they are treated to a line-up of samples to smell and choose from. The tea exclusively comes from Apolis Teas, a small craft tea producer operating out of Sumner, Washington. Apolis works with biodynamic and organic producers, using both familiar and unusual ingredients to create teas that stand boldly apart from most others found on store shelves. Marina Mercantile’s tea selection ranges from popular choices such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey, to some of Apolis’ more unique blends like Peach Pie (cinnamon, freeze dried peach, and popped rice) and Mary & Blue (freeze-dried blueberries, heather flowers, and organic rosemary). The hard part is choosing, but with such amazing teas there is truly no wrong choice.
After settling in and making a selection, the tea is brought out along with plenty of cream and sugar. Shortly after, the food is served. From there, the afternoon is free to carry on for as long as you please. Let the wonderful aromas and flavors take you wherever they may.
Afternoon Tea is only one piece of what makes Marina Mercantile so special as they continue to add more and more options to their wonderful and unexpected repertoire. Specialty wine, beer, cider, meat, cheese, groceries, pastries, and espresso—there’s so much to explore. Make a reservation for tea, or wander in and check it out. You never know what you might find, but you can bet it’ll be something marvelous, because at Marina Mercantile life gets better.
Discover more about our Afternoon Teas here: https://marinamercantile.com/tea
About Marina Mercantile
Marina Mercantile features food, wine, gifts – and now tea – from around the northwest and the world.
Offerings include sandwiches and salads, meals to go. Craft beer and a wine bar and tapas menu with a PNW-Meets-Iberia focus.
Public and private events, from music to meetings. All in a rich characterful atmosphere with high ceilings and even higher spirits.
Marina Mercantile is located at 22341 Marine View Drive South:
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