So, my sister, Becky, runs the blog with me and she’s also a tea lover and non-coffee drinker. We love to visit tea rooms together. We’ve been to three tea rooms in the past year — Pinecone Cottage Tea House in Downer’s Grove and Pekoe & Bean in Tinley Park, Illinois, and the Merrillville Tea Room.
We visited the PineCone Cottage Tea House in late February — a time when we were still dining out without fear, washing our hands less than we probably should have and not wearing masks. My sister, my niece and I enjoyed lunch and tea in this charming spot in downtown Downer’s Grove. At my 4-year-old niece, Ari’s, instruction, we sipped tea with our pinkies up and enjoyed finger sandwiches and soup and pot pie and petite desserts. It was a charming afternoon full of frilly girliness and tasty bites.
The following month we had a tea room date scheduled after I’d learned that the Merrillville Tea Room had re-opened after being closed for some time and transitioning to a new owner. Our reservation was for the afternoon of March 14, the strangest weekend in recent memory. We had been out of town in Wisconsin the weekend before and by mid-week sporting events were being cancelled and schools were warning of possible closures, and other things started to shut down. Several events I had on the calendar that weekend were canceled — my son’s first track meet of the season, the St. Patrick’s Day half-marathon he planned on participating in, a play I was going to attend with my son, a visit with my mom at the nursing home she resided in. Two things weren’t canceled and I went — one as a judge for a Ramen Cook-off event in Michigan City, and our tea room outing.