“It began with the tea,” the Hatter said… And yesterday did indeed. I, along with a few of my favorite ladies had a tea party. Well, tea service at the Mad Hatter Tea Room, that is. Opened in 1999 in the old Post Office building in downtown Anoka, its located in the historic Woodbury House (some called it the Caswell or Weaver House). The beautiful greek revival overlooks the confluence of the Rum and Mississippi Rivers.
Quick history lesson: it was built by Dr. Samuel Shaw (1857), was later bought by Dwight Woodbury, Minnesota House of Representatives (1860). Then to Charles Kiewel, President of Minneapolis Brewing Company that became Grain Belt (1936), Dr. Victor Johnston (1957). Next to the Weavers (1985), a developer, the City of Anoka and finally the Mad Hatter Tea Room.
Back to tea. Fancifully dressed, we followed the Alice-in-Wonderland-esque signs that led to the entrance where we delighted in conversation as the Royal Wedding tea steeped and were served an aperitif of lemon and lavender scones, soups, and other hors d’oeuvres. I was partial to the strawberry basil tartlets, although the table favored the petite cream puffs. Emily Post would be ever so proud.
They have brunch, lunch and dinner, and host private parties and events. Recently selected as one of 12 Tea Rooms in America to be featured in the upcoming ‘Tea & Savories’ cookbook by Tea Time Magazine, they are having a Book Signing and Tea Party. Check their website for details. There is also a store upstairs.
My recommendation? Dress up and make reservations.