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Legacy House Imports

Legacy HouseIn a word: Tea, ceremony.

The specs: #00942  
4221 Lien Road, 53704
Details at Yelp, Legacy House Tea Room on Urbanspoon
Official web site

Latest Legacy House Imports news and reviews

JM, Miranda, Nichole, Phil and the kids shared a 6-cup pot of Earl Grey, a tea tray, some dessert scones, and soup.
The bill was $30, or $5/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Legacy House Imports a B (see our grading rubric).

Legacy House Imports is a tea room and gift shop in a home built by one of the Lien brothers back in the 1940s. We weren't sure what to expect based on the somewhat spare web site, or from the few online reviews we found, but once we called to set up a reservation we were in for a pleasant experience.

The space feels like a cross between an art gallery, Pier 1, and someone's (much nicer than our) living room. It's like a gallery or Pier 1 in that they sell gift items that are more in the "want" than "need" category. However, Legacy House's collection is better curated than the big chains, and they provide fewer opportunities to ask "why would you ever own this?"  In the back there are a few tables where, either by appointment or drop in, where small groups can have a Victorian-style tea. 

Tea tray

The tea selections cover the preferences of the western hemisphere pretty thoroughly (though we're still sad Madison lost Ma-cha as a place to learn about tea traditions from the eastern hemisphere). We settled on a pot of Earl Grey which did what no Earl Grey had been able to do before, namely, change Nichole's mind about Earl Grey. Some early experience with a stale tea bag had put her off the whole idea for years, but - as with so many A to Z experiences when we've tried something new prepared in capable hands - this time it was excellent. And all the accoutrements were fun, from tea strainers to delicate pots of honey.

The sandwiches were adorable, crusts cut off and all. Finely ground ham salad; open-faced butter, cucumber and dill; carrot and raisin (or currant?) with cheddar; and mild egg salad were all served on a soft, nutty wheat bread. The carrot was probably the star, though the egg salad disappeared first. The orange slices used for garnish were wonderful, at the peak of the citrus season.

Tea sandwiches

We tried a cup of soup, one of Legacy House's more substantial offerings. The winter squash and carrot blend was well-seasoned and flavorful, but more pureeing and more cream would have made it great.

Soup to mints

One level of the regular tea tray included quick breads and scones with cream, jam and lemon curd. Of these, the lemon curd was most coveted while the jam and cream lingered, though all were finished by meal's end. Desserts included a rich chocolate confection, a delicate walnut-topped cupcake, and a cream puff swan that remained until the end because it was too pretty to eat and too hard to divide. The eclairs and scones were yummed up quickly. We also got an extra plate of sweets to share, which meant more lemon curd for everyone, which was awesome.

Scones and jam and stuff

We had kids along and, since they liked tea, it was a fun outing to be at with kids. We all wandered around the store after our meal and looked at the wares and the collections on display. For the right kids and even the right adults, a tea party could be a fun way to gather and loll over beverages and dainty, lovingly-prepared foods while sharing moments and memories.



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