Downtime – May

Tea for Two

By Francesca Merced

Photo Courtesy of Doe Deere


I remember an episode from the hit HBO series The Sopranos where mama “Carmela” and daughter “Meadow” argued over going to tea at the Ritz Carlton in the City. The bratty “Meadow” thought that going to tea was “lame;” and a visibly hurt “Carmela” was disappointed that her attempt at some mother-daughter bonding had fizzled. Even though I’m the daughter in my mother-daughter-scenario, I have to side with “Carmela” on this one!

When thinking of a special way to treat Mom for Mother’s Day, her birthday, or just to show her that you love her, I recommend taking time out for tea. And I don’t mean the Chai latte variation that we sip through disposable cups with plastic lids. Chatting with Mom over a pot of tea and warm buttery scones smothered in Devonshire cream and preserves is a relaxing and feminine-fun way to spend an afternoon!

One of my favorite tea houses is The Tea Leaf in Waltham, Massachusetts – roughly 15 miles outside of Boston. You’ll need to make advance reservations for “Low Tea” – a savory medley of scones, quiche, tea sandwiches and pastries – because everything is made to order.

Once you arrive, prepare yourself to dine on these delicacies in the intimate setting of The Tea Leaf’s quaint Tea Room – completely adorned with porcelain china, parasols, and flowers and candles on every table. Their vast selection of teas includes everything from my personal favorite, Irish Breakfast, to fruity selections like Oolong, and the ever-so-English Earl Grey.  The warm, friendly proprietress is a wealth of knowledge regarding all things tea-related; and she takes obvious pride in hosting each of her guests.

After tea, why not work off some of those yummy carbs by taking a walking tour along Boston’s historic Freedom Trail?  The tour will take you past the site of the Boston Tea Party, Faneuil Hall, and several of the United States’ oldest buildings.

Photo Courtesy of Karen Cox

A shopping stroll down the utterly fabulous Newbury Street is also an absolute must – since you’re there anyway!  On this famed thoroughfare, you’ll find 8 fantastic blocks of boutiques where you can pick up delightful mother-daughter trinkets from the likes of Armani, Anthropologie, Marc Jacobs and more!

May Day!  May Day!  Girls, rescue yourself from all of life’s craziness!  Take time out for tea and remember to pack light.  The only essential you’ll need to bring is an appetite for all-things lovely!

For more information about The Tea Leaf, please visit:

Check out the Newbury Street Directory online at:

[learn_more caption=”About Downtime” state=”open”] With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s easy to get so caught up that we forget to take time out to relax. But taking “down time” is essential for maintaining our personal, physical and emotional balance. So, join us here, each week, for wonderful tips and insights on must-have products, activities and vacation destinations for making the most of your down time![/learn_more]

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