I admit it. I’m a tea freak. I drink twice as many cups of tea a day as most folks do lattes. I have tea, crackers and cheese for dinner. I drink it by the potful, loose-leafed, strainer and all. And when it comes to afternoon tea — with the little finger sandwiches and the scones and the clotted cream — well, if required, I’d even don those stupid white gloves and a hat.
Fortunately, neither is required at Lovejoy’s Tea Room on Church in Noe Valley. In fact, you can walk in off the street and partake of a variety of fine teas, including the classic High Tea for Two. That’s exactly what the boy and I did yesterday and sweet lord, was it good. He boasted that the chicken apple walnut tapenade sandwiches he had were “probably the best sandwiches I have ever had in my life.” Plus, Lovejoys serves Taylor’s of Harrogate loose-leaf tea, which pretty much lays the smackdown on every other tea. (An exception would be the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Leaves’s Earl Grey and Lavender, available at the Bi-Rite and other fine markets in our fair city. But don’t go near that Twinings shit. That’s for tourists.) Plus, they have one of my favorite wee sandwiches, Branston pickle and cheddar. Oh, and the scones are just the world champions of scones. Seriously. Buttery, surprisingly moist and able to stand up to even the heapingest helping of Devon cream and strawberry jam.
I booked tea for three in September when my mother will be visiting me from Pennsylvania, but I’m guessing we make it back to Lovejoy’s semi-weekly. Trust me on this one. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 morning buns from Tartine. Go directly to Lovejoy’s for your beverage and pastry fix.