Information, Policies and 

Frequently Asked Questions

We are passionate about Afternoon Tea  

Please help us give you the best experience possible,

by reviewing our policies in advance of your reservation. 

Reservations:  We serve Afternoon Tea, only, (we do not host private events) and reservations are required.

A minimum of 24 hours notice is needed (subject to availability).  Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate walk-ins. It is a good idea to have more than one date in mind in case your first desired date is not available.  It is almost never too early to book; we accept reservations 364 days in advance.  If you have an existing reservation and need to reach us, pls text:  617.775.9118.

Reservation Confirmation:  If you have successfully completed entering your information into our reservation booking app, you will receive a text and email confirmation of your reservation (pls enter a cell number into the form, rather than a land line).  The booking app works best if accessed by a computer.  make a reservation with us by text, email or phone, you will receive a text and/or email confirmation, once we have entered your information into our booking system.  If you have not received a confirmation email or text, you do not have a reservation.  If you attempted to make a reservation using the booking app, but you did not receive an email (check spam) and/or text confirmation, you do not have a reservation.  If that happens, please text us at 617.775.9118 so we can help.  **Forcefully stating that we should fit you in, because the booking app did not work, and you think it's our fault, is not the way to get a table here.  It also may be asking the impossible (if a particular day is full, that means there are no available tables unless/until a cancellation comes in).   We will always do what we can, but please don't allow disappointment to make you ill-tempered.  Remember, you are coming to Tea as a guest in our home.  Please refer to our policy on tearoom decorum, below.

Capacity:  We accommodate groups of up to eight.  Unfortunately, we do not host private events or rent out our entire space.  We do not split larger groups up into multiple rooms; Eight is the largest group we accommodate.

​Changes to your reservation require advance notice:

 

Changing the number of people in your party, Early Arrival, Late Arrival and Cancelling a Reservation:

  • Confirming Your Reservation:  At some point, usually during the week before your reservation, you will receive a text (or email) reminder asking you to confirm your reservation.  We reserve the right to cancel your reservation if you do not respond to our confirmation request(s). 

  • Cancelling:  Please give us as much notice as possible in the event you need to cancel, but at least 24 hours.  Food is prepared specifically for you and will then be discarded, if you have not cancelled with adequate notice.   Proper notice also gives us the opportunity to call the next person on our wait list.  If someone is a "no-show" or cancels at the last minute, we may require a deposit for a future reservation.  Text, email or call to leave a VM message if you need to cancel.  Cancellations can not be done online.

  • Decreasing:  We prepare food based on the number of people in your reservation.  If your party size reduces, we require at least 24 hours notice.  If reductions in your party size happen at the last minute, we will include on your bill the cost of those tea sandwiches (or any special dietary meal, if applicable) that have already been prepared, and you may opt to enjoy them while here, or take them home to enjoy later.

  • Increasing:  Adding additional guest(s) to an existing reservation requires at least 24 hours notice and is subject to seating availability.  Forgot to include yourself or someone else in the head count?  text us to let us know:    617.775.9118. 

  • Early Arrival:  We strive to have everything ready for you well in advance of your reservation.  If you arrive significantly early, though, we may still be preparing and may not be ready to seat you until it is closer to your reserved time. 

  • Late Arrival:  It is important to arrive on time for Tea.  Not only is it polite, but it also ensures that you will be able to relax and enjoy every moment of your two hour sitting.  Your sitting begins at your scheduled reservation time, regardless of late arrival, and lasts for two hours.  Please also keep in mind that all food for all members of your party will be delivered to your table all at once.  This means if someone in your party is delayed, it will delay service to the entire group.  Late arrival also disrupts our kitchen operations, which may affect others guests.  For these reasons, we ask that all members of your party arrive on time.  Your seat will be held for fifteen (15) minutes past your reservation time.  Please be courteous: If you are running late, please text to let us know:  617.775.9118.                              It is likely that we will not be able accommodate members of your group if they arrive significantly lateIf your entire party arrives significantly late, your reservation may be cancelled and a fee may be charged for food prepared. Reservation times are set for a reason, please be mindful of your start (and end) time. 

 

Cell Phone Use:  It is polite to silence your phone when at Tea; We ask that you please step outside when making or receiving phone calls.

 

Children/Infants/Newborns:

  • As is not uncommon for places of retreat, such as tea rooms and B&B's, Fancy That is one of four tea rooms in Massachusetts with an age minimum.  In keeping with our mission to create a place of respite, and because many mums come here to enjoy a bit of child-free time, our minimum age is 12 years old.  This requirement applies to infants, toddlers and newborns. 

 

  • There are some fantastic options for Tea with little ones in the Boston area including: Children's Tea Time at Wenham Tea House; The Courtyard at the Boston Public Library; afternoon tea and special events (including children's birthday parties and etiquette programs) offered at the Proctor Mansion Inn in Wrentham; The Tea Leaf in Waltham (minimum age is eight yrs old) and the newly opened Alice's at Patriot Place in Foxboro (minimum age may be three years old - pls double check). 

 

  • In addition, Fancy That holds public open houses 2-3 times a year where we offer complimentary tea and treats, and these events are always free and open to all ages.   Sign up for our newsletter to learn about upcoming events at Fancy That.

Contacting us:  we are a small mom-and-pop operation, and this is part of our charm.  You will most likely receive voicemail if you call.  Pls leave a message.  If you have an existing reservation and need to reach us asap, pls text me at 617.775.9118. 

  •  Contacting us via text:  The cell number provided is my personal cell; pls use if for text-only, and not phone calls.  If I am not able to respond at the time that a text message comes in, I will leave the message unread until I am available to reply.  This is the only way to know which messages are outstanding and require follow up.  Thank you for your patience.

  • Contacting us via more than one method:  If you've phoned us in addition to reaching out via another method (text, email, FB), you'll likely get a response from both of us.  We understand this might be confusing, especially if what the Tea Guy tells you is different from what I have told you.  This is because availability is constantly changing, so if he and I are responding to you at different times of the day, or on different days of the week, the information regarding currently availability will of course differ.  To make things easier, and so that we can avoid bothering you with multiple responses, pls give us a heads up if you've contacted us with the same inquiry multiple ways. 

  • In-person inquiries about teatime here: We are happy to meet with you in person to answer any questions you may have about teatime here. Because we want to be certain that you will have our undivided attention, we ask that you please set an appointment.

​​Cost Per Person and what's included:  (we do not split afternoon tea meals):  $29pp plus 7% meals tax.  Gratuity never imposed.  Alcohol is optional and not included in the cost of Afternoon Tea.  Sarah sets the menu monthly.  The flavors are typically consistent with the current season or a particular holiday (sorry, we do not offer menus customized to your particular theme) and consists of a heart shaped scone with authentic English clotted cream (a traditional spread in England for scones) and jam; a slice of tea bread; four tea sandwiches per person ("chef's selection", but will always include classic cucumber and never seafood); three miniature sweets; and a pot of Tea made with spring water.  Each person receives their own pot, and you'll make your selection from our extensive list of options, including many herbals for non tea drinkers (herbals contain no tea leaves).   Extra tea sandwiches ($2.50 ea), extra scones or traditional plain scones ($1.50 ea) are usually available with 24 hours advance notice.  We do not offer coffee, juice or soda or milk by the glass.  Please no outside food or cake.

Decorum (kindness is always a good idea):  This Tea Room is run by one woman who has an all-consuming passion for Tea, with the assistance of her very obliging Hubby, "The Tea Guy" (aka, Mr. B).  A tremendous amount of love and effort goes into what we do.  Because we are human, mishaps may occasionally occur - we are not machines.  If you find yourself becoming quarrelsome, please stop and pour yourself a cup of Tea.  In the unlikely event that something is amiss, we will do whatever we can to rectify, but as my Mum always said, civility costs nothing.  And while we're on the topic of manners, it is indelicate to comment negatively on any aspect of our appearance (our body weight, our hair style(s), etc).  Also, please do not physically touch any member of the staff.  Discourteous guests may be asked to leave and/or may not be welcomed for a future reservation.  Remember, this tea house is also our home, a place of refuge and safety, and we hope that guests are inspired to show civility while here.  

Deposit:  A deposit is not required to hold a reservation, although we ask that everyone to be mindful of our cancellation policy.  If someone is a "no-show" or cancels at the last minute, we may require a deposit for a future reservation.

Dress Code

Some people like to dress up for Tea Time and some like to come dressed casually.  We accept one and all

​Gift Cards:

We have transitioned from gift certificates to gift cards.  We attach them to card stock with our fancy artwork, so they still feel more substantial than "just a gift card", but now they are re-loadable! 

 

Remember:  Gift cards are not returnable and not refundable for cash, except as required by law:  In Massachusetts, re-loadable gift cards that have been partially used and have a balance of $5.00 or less, are redeemable for cash.  Our gift cards are otherwise not redeemable for cash. 

 

Gift cards are also not traceable/replaceable if lost:  Please be sure to take a picture of the  back of the card, so we can look up the card number, should it be lost (this is good advice for any gift card, not just ours).  Otherwise, like many gift cards, ours are not traceable/replaceable, if lost. 

Because gift cards are not returnable, it is a good idea to consider a few things before you purchase (these are actual reasons given to us by people who have received a gift certificate but did not want it, and asked to return it):

  • Does the intended recipient like Tea or Afternoon Tea, or are they at least interested in trying it?

  • If they are a parent, grandparent or anyone with wee ones prominently in their lives, will our age minimum be seen as an inconvenience?

  • Is the recipient a staunch coffee drinker who will be disappointed that we do not offer coffee?

  • Will they be troubled to learn that reservations are required and there is often a wait to get a weekend reservation?

 

Ready to purchase?  You can send an e-card (via email)  or stop by the shoppe to buy a physical gift card in person (we no longer mail gift cards).

 

Food Allergies/Dietary Restrictions​We want to give you the best Afternoon Tea experience possible.  For this reason, please understand the following with regard to food allergies, dietary restrictions and special requests:

  • We cannot accommodate severe food allergies of any kind.

  • Please no outside food or cake; please do not ask us to bend this policy.

  • Our kitchen is not kosher, and we do not offer a kosher menu.

  • Our kitchen is not free from dairy, citrus, corn, gluten, nuts, soy, or other allergens.  Not everything is produced here, and we can not guarantee against cross-contamination

  • We do not offer a menu that is low sugar, low sodium, low carb, or a menu free from any of the following:  artificial colors/sweeteners, citrus, corn, salt, soy, sugar, or dairy (however, we can omit cheese and cream cheese from sandwiches, with advance notice). 

  • When making a reservation, please let us know if anyone in your group has a food allergy or dietary restriction - we prefer to have this in writing, so please indicate any allergies/restrictions in the "notes" field of the booking app.  Last minute changes to the day's menu cannot be accommodated so please check with all members in your party in advance, to avoid last minute confusion or disappointment. 

  • Special dietary requests such as gluten free or vegetarian, must be made at least 72 hours in advance of an existing reservation.  We cannot guarantee accommodations for every dietary need or for requests made at the last minute.

  • Regarding gluten free, please understand the following:   (1) we are not a GF facility and we don't specialize in GF menu items, we offer the option only as a courtesy to our gluten sensitive guests;       (2) we can not guarantee against cross contact with ingredients that are not GF; and 3) we do not offer toasted tea sandwiches on any of our breads, including our GF bread (not to worry, the crumb of our GF bread is excellent and does not require it).

  • Citrus Allergy Warning:  please note that we do not offer a menu that is free of lemon juice (lemon juice is an ingredient in many items, such as jam and mayonnaise).

  • Nut Allergy Warning:  We work with pastry chefs to create some of our desserts which are made for us in a facility that handles and processes nuts.  If a person in your group has a nut allergy, please let us know if they are able to consume foods that come from a facility where nuts are processed.  We cannot accommodate severe nut allergies.

  • If you request substitutions but decide once here that you would instead prefer our regular menu, we may not be able to accommodate this last-minute change.

  • if you have concerns about the menu not addressed here, please text Sarah in advance of making a reservation:  617.775.9118.

Cocktails:

We offer a unique selection of adult drinks including:  Blanc de Bleu, a sparkling chardonnay that is a gorgeous blue color, lavender mimosas, seasonal sangria, electric blue raspberry or pina colada moscato, and martinis made with our unique vodka flavored wine (20% abv).  These are optional add-ons, and we ask that you order them within the first hour of your sitting.

​Other:

Please remember our tea tables are small.  Once tea and food have been brought out, there is not much room left on the table for extras such as favors, flowers, plants, etc.  Unfortunately, we do not have space to store or hold any items in advance of your reservation.  Please plan to bring anything with you (gifts, flowers, etc) when you arrive for Tea at your reserved time.  Since our rooms are small, with relatively low ceilings, we ask that you keep balloons to a minimum. 

 

Parking and Accessibility:

Parking:  The owners of "Sam's" (the business next to us) have asked that patrons of Fancy That please not park in their lot.  There is a parking lot in the front and also behind the Tea House.  Please ask for permission if you need to leave your vehicle here for any reason, after your tea time has ended. 

Accessibility:  This building is not wheelchair accessible.  There are a few steps to walk up, in order to enter.  We do not have a ramp.  Please see a picture of the front of the building, here.  Most of our rooms are small, and one doorway in particular is narrow, although people with walkers are typically still able to fit through it.  Because of space limitations, it is very helpful if any walkers can be folded. 

 

 

Payment Methods and Pre-Payment:  
We accept credit cards, debit cards and cash.  We do not accept checks

Prepayment is not required, but if you wish to pre-pay, click on the "Afternoon Tea" menu (found at the top of any page of this web site) and select "pre-pay" from the drop down menu.  We do not take payment over the phone.

Purchasing Teacups and Donations of Teacups:

Yes, we happily accept donations of English made, china teacups (no glassware or other types of china, please).  We are not currently purchasing teacups.  Because we are for-profit business, rather than a non profit,  your donation is not tax deductible and we do not issue receipts for donations.  If you would like a receipt for tax purposes, please consider donating to a qualified charitable organization (i.e., an organization that has been granted tax-exempt status by the IRS and is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions).

​Seating Areas:

Seating is determined based on several factors, including the order in which reservations are received and the size of each party.  If you have a preferred seating area, let us know at the time that you make a reservation, and if it is possible, we will accommodate.  Specific tables are not guaranteed, but we really do our best to make you happy. ♥   Advance notice of a seating preference, if any, is required:  Please always bear in mind that we are a mom-and-pop tearoom and not a large restaurant; we have limited staff, tables and time at our disposal.  This means there typically is not the flexibility to change your assigned table at the last minute.  As always, we thank you for your kind understanding and gracious cooperation.

Seating Times and Duration:

Your sitting begins at your scheduled reservation time, regardless of late arrival, and lasts for two hours.  We ask that you be mindful of your seating end-time, as we often need to re-set for another tea group arriving after you, or for using the space for another purpose after normal tearoom hours.  We seat at noon, 12:30 and 1pm on select Tuesdays and  Wednesday through Friday.  On weekends and Monday holidays, we seat at 10:45, 11am, 2pm and 2:30 pm.  Soon, we'll be adding additional weekday sittings later in the afternoon - stay tuned for more info!

 

Do you host Showers or Private Events?

While we don't host showers/private events, people often choose to celebrate happy occasions here, including engagements, weddings, new arrivals and birthdays.  For your planning purposes, there are just a few things to keep in mind:  our sittings are two hours long, we seat groups of up to a maximum of eight, and we don't offer customized menus or the ability to bring in outside food, such as cake.  If you are in need of a location in this area that can offer greater flexibility for a larger number of guests, a customized menu or buffet, including a special occasion cake, and a window of time greater than two hours (showers typically require 3-4 hours), you might consider the Proctor Mansion in Wrentham.

Do you have central air?

Yes, this building has central air.  However, it is an old building, so on very hot days, it will be cool here, rather than cold.

What if I don't like Tea?

If you think you don’t like Tea, you may have only had black tea that was perhaps steeped too long (causing it to become bitter).  Before you give up on Tea, try an herbal instead.  What is commonly referred to as Herbal “Tea” is not actually Tea, meaning it does not contain leaves from the Tea plant.  Instead, herbal “tea” can be a blend of various leaves, fruits, bark, berries, spices, flowers etc, belonging to almost any edible non-tea plant, and prepared like tea, but technically not Tea (think of it like drinking hot juice).  Common herbals include mint, chamomile and rooibos (pronounced:  roy-boss; an evergreen shrub from South Africa).  Add one of our French sugar cubes to any of our Teas or herbals, for a bit of extra sweetness, and you’re sure to be pleased. 

Ready to make a Reservation?  Please click here

Will you donate to my cause?

We receive lots of requests for donations, and while we cannot donate to every worthy cause, we enjoy picking a few to support each year.  If you would like us to consider donating to your charitable cause, please email reservations@afternoontea.com.  If we choose to donate, we will reply.  Please, no phone calls, text messages or unsolicited in-person requests; and most importantly, please refrain from repeatedly contacting us, asking for (or expecting) a donation.  If we have decided to support your cause, you will hear from us.

Questions?  If you have questions not addressed above, please text Sarah at 617.775.9118. 

 

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We look forward to welcoming you to Tea

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Tea Shoppe Hours:
Select Tuesdays, and Wednesday-Friday:
10am - 3pm
​Monday Holidays and Weekends:
10am - 4:30pm
 
272 Main Street
Walpole, MA 02081 USA