For those looking to channel their inner Downton Abbey, put on your “Sunday best” and, of course, put your pinkies up; you need not look any further than your own backyard for the quintessential British experience of proper tea.
Swan House Tea Room and Boutique, located in downtown Findlay at 255 W Sandusky St., offers Victorian Proper Teas on the weekends as well as luncheons throughout the week.
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The Proper Tea is comparable to the traditional English afternoon tea, which consists of a pot of tea served with three courses: sandwiches, scones and desserts. Swan House does a twist on that, serving three courses and a seasonal scone with their teas.
Their scones are served the traditional English way, with cream and jam.
Their Proper Tea menu changes monthly, with only one item remaining a staple, their Signature Swan Crème Puff, described as light, fluffy and divine. Keep up with their changing monthly menu on their Facebook page.
According to Swan House, its “finger sandwiches, cheesy quiches and (their) signature Swan Crème Puff along with a new proper tea menu each month will have you coming back again and again.”
The Proper Tea begins with a “hot, aromatic pot” of your choice of tea and a seasonal scone, served with lemon curd, Devonshire cream and raspberry preserves.
Then comes the three tiers, full of both sweet and savory delicacies, served on fine china for an elegant experience.
October’s menu has been perfectly curated for the upcoming fall season. The first tier will consist of a quiche, spinach puffs and turkey, gouda and apple tea sandwiches; the second tier will have blackberry caprese skewers, chicken salad on apple and pesto twists; and the third and final tier will include their Signature Swan Crème Puff, caramel apple skewers and a pumpkin cheesecake brownie.
Their Proper Teas are $32 including gratuity. Reservations are required and available every Friday and Saturday for their 11 am or 1:30 pm teatime.
Luncheons are also by reservation only and are offered every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 am to 2 pm. The menu features soup, salads and entrées, as well as desserts featuring local favorites, Dietsch Brothers’ Ice Cream and Hancock County Maple Syrup.
Their proper teas and luncheons wouldn’t be complete without the traditional Victorian tea. They have an abundance of loose teas on their menu, including various black teas, which include the more well-known teas – English Breakfast, Earl Grey and Vanilla Chai. Several different green, white and Rooibos (decaffeinated) teas are also offered.
Seasonal teas are added to the menu regularly. October’s tea is a Pumpkin Pie Chai Latte.
These teas can be purchased for you to make at home at the Swan Boutique, which also sells vintage fine china and home décor.
If you are unsure what tea to get, ask your server for their recommendation. Emily Williams, past associate of Swan House, recommends the Vanilla Chai, a black tea enhanced with exotic spices, milk, vanilla and honey if you are looking for a classic tea or Monet’s Garden, a white and green tea enhanced with candied mango, pineapple, strawberry, papaya and cherries if you are looking to try something new.
Williams, who’s internship turned into a position there in 2022, also explained that Swan House is a “family oriented” business that loves to help families in the community celebrate their milestones.
Swan House offers their facility for events during non-business hours on Saturdays. There are three dining rooms to choose from with various seating capacity and pricing points for your event. The proper tea menu is available at an additional charge per event guest.
Event Designers will plan the special touches to personalize the event. Tailing a perfect teatime party with all your theme, room layout, dietary and tea preferences.
Swan House caters to occasions of all kinds, “anything from bridal showers to baby showers to birthdays. (We’re) just here to like, help people celebrate milestones or good times in their lives,” Williams said.
The McConnell-Butler House, built in 1864, had a long history with many owners and purposes before it finally became the Swan House Team Room. The house was built by William and Caroline McConnel, before being sold to and used by Peter and Susanna Hosler’s family for several generations. It was first used for a tearoom from 1929 to 1930. Then various businesses including a medical office, apartments and finally a beauty shop used the property.
In 1998, Rindy Crates, Kay Krose and Vicki Powell restored the property to its original condition and opened it to the public as Swan House, a tea room and gift shop. Beverly Robb then owned and operated the tea room for several years before Kimberly Butler purchased the home in 2015 and reopened the home as Swan House Team Room and Boutique. The home was then purchased by Julie Bishop, who continues to operate the business.
To make reservations for their Proper Tea or Luncheons, call 419-429-7926. Keep up with Swan House Tea Room and Boutique’s changing monthly menu on their facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/swan.room.