When Stonehorse Café & Market owner Tim Inman and manager Amelia Eesley began looking for new ways to draw customers in during the afternoon between the café’s lunch rush and dinner, a longtime English tradition seemed the perfect fit. After three years of brainstorming, research and trial runs, Stonehorse’s by-reservation-only Tulsa Tea officially kicked off earlier this year.
Held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Tulsa Tea has quickly become a favorite with Stonehorse guests. They can indulge in fresh-baked scones, a scrumptious assortment of sweet and savory treats, champagne, specialty cocktails and a variety of fragrant teas procured from Metropolitan Tea in Tulsa.
“It was Tim’s idea to make different things in bite sizes,” says Eesley, adding that the menu items, all of which are made in-house, include gluten-free options. “People have been really impressed with the food, and they want to try all of the different teas.”
A vacation to England in 2013 provided Eesley with the perfect opportunity to research ideas for the Tulsa Tea project. While she was in London, Eesley attended several teas and returned to Tulsa armed with ideas, many of which have been incorporated into or expanded upon for the Tulsa Tea afternoons.
“Ours is not a classic English tea – it’s a tea with a twist,” Eesley says.
Helping to put that Tulsa twist on afternoon tea, Stonehorse pastry chefs Morgan Barkley and Amara Gray frequently rotate tea menu selections and tailor them according to which fruits and vegetables are in season.
“We’ve had a lot of comments on the tea menu – people are amazed that we make things that small,” Barkley says, adding that the tiny treats are prepared fresh each tea day, with many of them going into the oven just as guests arrive.
Some of those tiny-but-tasty teatime treats include orange spice scones studded with black currants, mini red velvet cupcakes with cream-cheese icing, coconut-chocolate rochers, chocolate financiers, madeleines with lemon curd, strawberry Bavarian tarts, chicken salad profiteroles, goat cheese served on puff pastry with red bell pepper tapenade, deviled eggs, lox served on fennel crackers with cream cheese, red onion and fine herbs and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears.
The bite-sized treats are perfect for sharing and allow guests to sample each item as well as take extras of their favorites, Barkley says.
Guests also receive descriptions of teas and Stonehorse’s signature cocktails. A typical tea menu will include green, black, white, mint and Darjeeling tea varieties, Eesley says, noting a particular guest favorite, Lychee Congou, a leafy black tea infused with the flavor of lychee fruit.
Rather than being the stuffy, formal affair that some people picture when thinking of teatime, Tulsa Tea is designed to be a relaxed, fun event, ideal for both small get-togethers or group events such as birthdays, baby showers and business meetings, Eesley says.
“We’re really excited about the Tulsa Tea project,” she adds. “It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon.” 1748 Utica Square, Tulsa.
Stonehorse Café invites you to its uniquely Tulsa teatime.