Ringgold’s Cottage Treasures Tea Room is an escape to England by way of North Georgia. Tea roooms are mostly a girl thing, but even men may take to the experience. There’s more to this eatery than tea and scones with lemon curd.
Offerings are much what you would expect at a tea room. Chicken salad, turkey sandwich, quiche, soup, salad and tea, of course. That’s it. But they’re served in varying ways. Chicken salad comes on a salad plate ($8.95), on a croissant ($8.95) or on cinnamon raisin bread ($8.95). Or you can get it as a combo with the soup of the day ($8.95).
That’s what I did. I was very surprised when the soup came with a whole chicken salad croissant. Usually a soup/sandwich combo comes with a half sandwich.
Soup on this day was potato leek. Though it’s not made from scratch, the cook adds a few touches to make it her own, I was told. And it was excellent with plentiful chunks of potatoes and slices of leeks in a thick, creamy broth with finely shredded cheese on top. I could have made a meal on it.
The chicken salad, with pecans and golden raisins, was very good. Chicken salad is an individual thing, but I like mine with fruit and nuts. It had just enough mayonnaise to bind it. I would have preferred a touch more, maybe a little spread on the croissant.
But the flavor of the chicken salad was good. Apparently it’s so popular, people order it by the pound.
A mini muffin came on my plate, too, and is worthy of mention. It was a nice touch — sweet and savory with herbs in the batter and powdered sugar dusted on top.
I’m not a hot tea drinker, but there are many brews available. Fruity iced teas also are offered, such as the very refreshing tropical tea. If you want a complete tea — that’s tea and food in the English way — Cottage Treasures offers the experience for $17.50 for two.
Best bets: Chicken salad, quiche of the day ($8.95 each).
Something different: Smoked turkey on raisin bread with provolone cheese, green apples and lettuce ($8.95).
As there were just a handful of diners the day of my visit, one server handled the tables with no problem. Tea was on the table in seconds. Lunch arrived a couple of minutes later, served on pretty china with a doily under the soup cup. Nice touch.
Room for improvement: Nothing to report.
Cottage Treasures was once a home, so both the tea room and gift shop are in former bedrooms and living areas. Even an old bathroom is now loaded with gift wares. Pretty lace curtains adorn the windows, with tablecloths and cloth napkins dressing the tables. Separate rooms make this eatery ideal for groups as an entire room can be reserved for meetings or social gatherings.
The quiet manner of service and the light fare make this a charming change of pace from overcrowded restaurants offering gargantuan-size meals.
Cottage Treasures offers an escape to a pleasant lunch in a very relaxed setting. It’s the kind of place where you don’t need to worry about sticking out the pinky while sipping hot tea.
If you go
* Where: Cottage Treasures Tea Room.
* Address: 170 Cleveland St., Ringgold, Ga. (turn right at stop light No. 2, and it’s the first driveway on the left).
* Phone: (706) 935-2548.
* Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
* Price range: $8.95 (all entrees) $4.95 (dessert) and $2.50-$5 (pots of tea).
* Payment: Cash, checks, MasterCard, Visa
* Alcohol: No.