Caroline’s Picks: 5 Afternoon Teas to Try

Listen, I like wearing jeans and drinking a hoppy beer as much as the next girl. But sometimes, I just want to be fancy and pretend I’m Lady Mary from Downton Abbey. Is this too much to ask? My mom also hosted a super snazzy afternoon tea to celebrate the Downton Abbey finale, so I suppose it’s genetic. However, if you aren’t into washing delicate china and making scones from scratch, there are plenty of local spots that will serve up an elegant afternoon tea just for you.

Cambridge Tea House

http://cambridgeteahouse.com/

Some girlfriends took me here for my birthday this year, and we had the best time. This is traditional afternoon tea at its finest: white tablecloth service, three-tiered platters piled precariously with desserts, fluffy scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, and mini sammies, plus the cutest tea cozies. Even the milk and sugar vessels are appealing! Make sure that you call ahead for reservations – the seating area is small and scones sell out fast.

Asterisk Supper Club

https://www.asterisksupperclub.com/

I love visiting uptown Westerville, but even more so that Asterisk is on the scene. The decor is library-themed, and they make some delicious craft cocktails if you want something stronger on the side. The afternoon tea here is served 7 days a week, which is extremely convenient for busy folks who can only make it on the weekends. Asterisk boasts the most delicious ham, brie, green apple, and dijon tea sandwiches, in addition to multiple scones, sweets, and a wide variety of teas.

ZenCha Tea Salon

https://www.zen-cha.com/home

ZenCha has more teas than you’ve ever dreamed of on their menu: Jasmine Pearl, Chocolate Covered Cherry, or African Safari. I haven’t been disappointed yet in their take on a tea latte either! Instead of your typical high tea fare, this space sports a brunch menu with nods to tea, such as Earl Grey or matcha-infused pancakes and chai-spiced shrimp and grits. ZenCha also can create custom tea party events for bridal showers or other occasions.

Koko Tea Salon

https://www.kokoteasalon.com/

Koko’s recently closed its Gahanna locale, and is gearing up for expansion to Easton, but you can still get your tea fix at the downtown outpost while you wait. High tea service here will earn you the typical offerings of sandwiches and scones, but Koko’s churns out a rainbow of dainty macarons, cupcakes, and other treats to enjoy with your hand-blended tea too. Don’t miss the theme teas as well, around topics such as Paris, Alice in Wonderland, or chocolate.

Mozart’s Cafe

https://mozartscafe.wordpress.com/

Mozart’s is known for heavenly desserts, but have you tried their afternoon tea offerings? There is often live piano music during dining hours, and plenty of European flair. Order up scones, a miniature apricot Linzer cookie, and teeny cranberry chicken salad canapes or smoked salmon sammies with a pot of tea. Reservations are required for this special menu.

Do you have a favorite Columbus tea zone? Let me know in the comments below!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Caroline’s Picks: 5 More Chocolate Treats to Try

When I picked 5 of my favorite cocoa confections for a Valentine’s Day post earlier this year, something horrible happened. It was too hard to pick just five local items highlighting chocolate. So, here we go again! Below you’ll find a few more of the sweet treats that I love best.

Chocolate Cheesecake – The Cheesecake Girl

https://www.thecheesecakegirl.com/

My husband is cheesecake-crazy, but I’d never been an aficionado until I sampled The Cheesecake Girl’s cheesecake. Try all kinds of chocolate-packed types such as puppy chow, Oreo, and even brownie. You can also custom order your own cheesecake with all the chocolatey toppings you can imagine; think Reese’s cups, ganache, and cookie dough. Find Sam and her cheesecakes at North Market pop-ups, Local Roots and Smidge and Pinch in Powell, and at all kinds of pairing events.

Chocolate Cremeaux – Tupelo Donuts

https://tupelodoughnuts.com/

While I await the opening of Tupelo’s Worthington shop, I’ve been stalking their trucks all around town to swipe their Chocolate Cremeaux donuts. This pastry is stuffed with a deep, dark chocolate custard, dipped in glaze and then drizzled with more chocolate, all adding up to a sugar-lover’s dream. Check their social media pages to see where to find the truck and order ahead – this donut sells out fast!

Chocolate Bars (various flavors) – Ohiyo Chocolate

https://ohiyochocolate.com/

Crafted “bean to bar” in small batches, Ohiyo’s offerings will delight chocolate purists and adventurers alike. All kinds of chocolate are produced, with additions like salt, coffee, and sage, as well as traditional 75% cacao versions. Ohiyo also recently did a beer collaboration with Pretentious Barrel House, so be on the lookout for this chocolate beer combo too! You can buy the bars online, or I pick mine up at Wholly Craft in Clintonville.

Nutella Pancake Balls – Katalina’s Cafe

http://www.katalinascafe.com/

Who says you can’t have chocolate for breakfast? Every pancake ball offering from Katalina’s is utterly craveable, but if you haven’t tried the Nutella version and then dunked it in bourbon barrel maple syrup, you’re not living your best life. Gooey, warm Nutella oozing out of a bite-sized pancake is something that everyone must experience, especially with a side of spicy bacon.

Chocolate Croissant – Pistachia Vera

http://www.pistaciavera.com

The German Village bakery’s Pain au Chocolat consists of a flaky, buttery dough wrapped around semi-sweet chocolate batons – simple and perfect. Make sure to microwave the croissant for maximum melt factor if you eat it at home! Wash your chocolate down with an iced mocha featuring Hartzler Dairy’s chocolate milk to get a double chocolate hit.

Want to bake a chocolatey treat of your own at home? Check out these recipes from the blog: Top Secret Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies and Magic Chocolate Stout Cake.

Have another favorite cocoa goodie that needs to be included in Part 3 of this chocolate saga? Send me an email and let me know!

Keep Connected,

Caroline