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Tea for Two or Two Thousand (Posted On: Tuesday, July 17, 2007)

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Local tea lovers have probably already followed their noses to find Collingwood’s newest little eatery and they aren’t all ‘grannies’ either.

Only the sharpest eyes have glanced through the window of ‘Sarah’s Tea Room’ and recognized the largest collection of teapots for sale in the world – the former ‘Mad River Tea House’ from Creemore has set up shop locally under a brand new name. You will find the unique eatery off the beaten path nestled in at 316 Hume Street just east of the water tower.

Collector and tearoom owner Janet Cave opened on May 24 and has already drummed up a following of tearoom fans. With years of experience serving tea and selling the pots, Cave is very pleased with the local business – which incidentally is named after her granddaughter ‘Sarah’.

“The concept of Sarah’s Tea Room is much the same as the Mad River Tea House in Creemore which my sister and I operated in partnership for many years,” said Cave.

“We decided to close last year when she wanted to get into some other things so I decided to move the tea house to Collingwood which is closer to my home. So far it has been going very well. While I have many customers from Creemore dropping in I think there are still a lot of people in town that still don’t know I am here.”

For those who have found already the quaint little luncheon delight it has become a regular stop. Featuring a delicious menu with salads and sandwiches there are also those who come to Sarah’s Tea Room specifically for a scone and spot of tea or coffee around mid-afternoon.

“We take reservations for High Teas which feature three tiers of finger foods for a nice little luncheon,” said Cave.

“Our scones and house blend of tea are a very popular choice but I have about 50 other blends of tea to choose from as well.”

And while a customer is sitting sipping hot tea from a china cup and munching on scones and jam, they are quite mesmerized by the detail and colour of the most elaborate collection they have ever seen decorating the walls and shelves of the tea room.

In total there are over 2000 different teapots including everything imaginable. From domestic and farm animal tea pots, to fruity apple and pear teapots, little structures with handles on the sides, Cave even has cartoon Disney character teapots like Mickey Mouse and the blue Genie from Aladdin’s Lamp whose arms act as handle and spout.

At the back of the room in a quiet little corner its Christmas all year round with read handled and spouted Santa’s peering down with a twinkle in their eye. Over on the wall above the old fashioned cash register is the Pillsbury Dough Boy who holds a lot of tea. From Hollywood there is Marilyn Monroe with her head arched and a handle protruding from her hair. Another star appropriate for Collingwood sits regally on a shelf.

“I even have an Elvis tea pot – my sister just picked it up for me and he will be popular in couple of weeks time,” laughed Janet holding up a gold and white bust of the King of Rock and Roll - a handle from his collar and a spout hole in the front curl of his pompadour.

Are there any traditional teapots in the room – yes there are plenty to those too in every colour, shape and form.

The tea pots in Sarah’s Tea Room are not just for looking at they are for sale and can be shipped anywhere in the world.

Tea sippers Jane Griffiths of Markham and Donna Fisher of Collingwood stopped by last Saturday for the first time and were thrilled to bits with the food and the atmosphere.

“I have driven by this place several times now and have been dying to stop in so today with Jane I finally did,” said Fisher who is waiting to move into a new home in Wasaga Beach.

“The food is absolutely delicious here, we were very impressed and the plates were almost too beautiful to eat from.”

Cave has staff to help her serve and her daughter Allison is the cook. Since opening the tea toddler has picked up a nice little business in take out lunches from the area work force. Sarah’s Tea Room operates Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is closed every Tuesday. Drop by for a tea and a peek at the largest collection of teapots for sale in the world – who knows? You may want to take one home.

Sarah’s Tea Room
316 Hume Street
Collingwood, Ontario
705.445.8773

Sharon Weatherall for mycollingwood.ca

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