shop loose tea
**CLOSED on the following days: Jun 18**
Friends: pls do not make multiple reservations for the same day/time. the largest pty size is six (we do not split larger groups into multiple tables), Having trouble booking? pls text for assistance:
this is our text-only number: 617.775.9118
Before entering the house,pls understand our Guest Wellness Policy
notice re construction on Main St
We are passionate about Tea Time ♥
'Please help us give you the best experience possible,
by reviewing our policies in advance of your reservation.
Covid-19: I have an upcoming reservation for Tea; what do I need to know?
What is the cost, and what is included?
I used your booking app, how do I know if my reservation went through?
Can I stay longer than 90 minutes?
Can I split an afternoon tea meal?
Is your Tearoom available for showers or private events?
Can I reserve all of your tables for a large group?
Can I bring a cake?
Do you serve alcohol?
Accessibility and Parking
What is the minimum age required to attend Tea?
Can you recommend places for Tea with children?
What is the largest group you can accommodate?
Do you serve anything else besides Afternoon Tea?
What do I do if the number in my party changes?
What if I am running late (or early)?
What is your cancellation policy?
How do I confirm my reservation?
Cell phone use
can I set up a tripod to take pictures?
Service with a Smile and a Bell on your table (there are no "Servers" here)
Purchasing a gift card, and what to consider beforehand.
Do you offer vegan Afternoon Tea?
Can you accommodate a soy allergy?
Do you offer dairy free Afternoon Tea?
Can I request gluten free or vegetarian Afternoon Tea?
We cannot accomodate celiac disease
I have a food allergy or dietary restriction
Can I bring items with me such as favors, flowers, plants or balloons?
Can we bring gifts with us to open during our teatime?
What payment methods do you accept?
Do you purchase or accept donations of teacups?
I've been there before, can I request my favourite table?
Ok, I am ready to make a reservation!
I have other questions not listed here, who do I contact?
Reservations: We serve Afternoon Tea, only, (unfortunately, we do not host events) and reservations are required. A minimum of 24 hours notice is needed (subject to availability). Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate walk-ins or same-day reservations. 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, or if you're having trouble finding an opening, we're happy to help, pls text: 617.775.9118.
Reservation Confirmation: If you have successfully completed entering your information into the reservation booking app, you will receive a text and email confirmation of your reservation (pls provide a cell number, rather than a land line). The booking app works best if accessed on a computer. If you attempted to make a reservation using the booking app, but you did not receive an email (pls 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.
Capacity: Please do not make multiple reservations for the same day/time hoping to combine tables, as this can cause a lot of problems. If you are having trouble finding a table for the pty size you're hoping for, pls text for assistance: 617.775.9118, we're happy to help. The largest group we can accommodate is one group of up to six (6). We do not split groups up into multiple tables; one group of six is the largest group we accommodate.
Confirming your reservation; Changes to your reservation require advance notice
Changing the number of people in your party, Early Arrival, Late Arrival and Cancelling a Reservation, Staying longer:
Confirming Your Reservation: At some point, usually during the week before your reservation, you will receive a text message asking you to click a link to confirm your reservation. If you have trouble with the link, no worries, please just text me at 617.775.9118 or email Reservations@AfternoonTea.com to confirm. If we haven't received a confirmation response, we may reach out by email. We reserve the right to cancel your reservation if you have not responded to multiple confirmation requests.
Cancelling: Please give us as much notice as possible in the event you need to cancel: seven (7) days is appreciated but 48 hours is required. Proper notice gives us the opportunity to call the next person on our wait list. If you do not show up for your reservation or if you cancel at the last minute, a deposit or pre-payment will be required for a future reservation. To cancel, pls text (617.775.9118), email or call and leave a VM message. Cancellations can not be done online. Pls don't reply to the confirmation-request text (that number cannot receive replies). The correct text number is 617.775.9118. If you book more than one date but don't need both, pls get in touch with us asap to cancel the other date. Pls try your best not to hold tables unnecessarily for long periods of time, if your plans have changed.
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. Please don't surprise us with an extra person; with out proper notice, we likely cannot accommodate.
Early Arrival: We strive to have everything ready for you well in advance of your reservation and we ask that everyone in your party do their best to arrive a little early. Doing so will allow you to effectively have a longer sitting. If you're hoping to arrive significantly early, pls text us to see if your table can be ready.
Late Arrival - Pls Don't Be Late for Tea: Tea service begins on time. Please ensure all people in your party arrive 10 minutes before your start time, ensuring your party is complete when Tea begins. Not only is this polite, but it also gives you the oppty to relax and enjoy every minute of your 90 minute sitting. Your sitting has a specific start and end time. It begins at your scheduled reservation time, and lasts for ninety minutes, regardless of late arrival. Your table will be held for ten (10) minutes beyond your reservation time. Please be courteous: If you are running late, please text to let us know: 617.775.9118. PLEASE NOTE: all food for your entire party is brought to your table, at the same time; food is not brought out separately for late individuals. If 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.
Duration of your Sitting / Staying Longer: Your sitting ends at a specific time: 90 minutes after your scheduled start time, regardless of late arrival. Please be mindful of when your sitting ends. Not to worry, there is good news! If your party arrives early, as encouraged, then you will effectively have a longer tea time :) If you lose track of time (which is understandable while enjoying a good cup of Tea!) please expect us to gently remind you that it is time for us to re-set your table. Just as we would not think the worst of you for forgetting our time policy, please do not think the worst of us for needing to enforce it. Each table takes time to clean and re-set for the next group coming in after you. Please keep in mind that Fancy That is probably the smallest tea house in Massachusetts, in terms of seating capacity, and turning tables is exactly how small eateries remain in business. Want to spend some time perusing the shoppe after your teatime? Please do. You can also pop in to shop anytime during our open hours - no reservation needed :))
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.
Fancy That is one of a few tea houses in MA that are 12+ (not uncommon for places of retreat, such as B&B's, resorts, some cruises and tearooms). This policy applies only to dining-in for Afternoon Tea and is not intended to make anyone feel unwelcome, rather the goal at FT is to offer you and all of our guests a relaxing and fun "time out" where you can check your cares and troubles at our door; many mums appreciate the opportunity to enjoy a bit of child-free time, along with an adult beverage, or two :). This policy applies to anyone not at least 12 yrs old (e.i. infants toddlers, newborns). If you're stopping in to shop, yes of course, your well behaved children, in-hand, are welcome.
There are some fantastic options for Tea with little ones in the area. For a list by State, pls visit DestinationTea.com.
In addition, we love hosting public open houses a few times a year where we offer complimentary tea and treats, and these events have always been free and open to all ages. We'll resume our open house schedule as soon as it's more safe to do so ♥ Sign up for our newsletter to learn about upcoming public events here.
Contacting us: we are a small mom-and-pop operation, and this is part of our charm. You will 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. (this 9118 number is not for incoming phone calls).
Contacting us via text: The cell number provided is my personal cell; pls use it 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 for me 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 fluid, 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.
In-person inquiries about teatime here: We are happy to meet with you in person to answer any questions you may have about teatime. 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): For dine-in Afternoon Tea: $37 per person plus 7% meals tax, ($34 pp if you use our pre-pay option). Gratuity never imposed (for the cost of to-go options, please see our to-go page). 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 typically consists of a sweet scone with authentic English clotted cream (a traditional spread in England for scones) and jam; either a slice of tea bread or a savory scone; 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). See our current Afternoon Tea menu and our list of tea selections and adult beverages. Extra tea sandwiches ($2.50 ea), extra scones or traditional plain scones ($1.50 ea) are usually available with 24 hours advance notice. Pls order extra sammies in multiples of two, per type. Because we are a Tea House specializing in Tea, we do not offer coffee (although we do have some unique teas that contain coffee), juice, soda (except our hello kitty fizzy pop) or milk-by-the-glass. Please no outside food or cake.
Decorum (kindness costs nothing): 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, Mister Brad). A tremendous amount of love and effort goes into what we do. Because we are human, mishaps may occasionally occur. In the unlikely event that something is not to your liking, we will do whatever we can to rectify, but as my Mum always said, kindness costs nothing. If you find yourself becoming quarrelsome, please stop and pour yourself a cup of Tea. And while we're on the topic of manners, it is not proper to comment negatively on any aspect of our appearance (our body weight, our hair style(s), etc). Also, please do not physically touch the staff. Guests who can not follow these rules or who make frivolous complaints or offer frivolous criticism, as determined in my sole discretion, 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 be gracious and 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.
Some people like to dress up for Tea Time and some like to come dressed casually. We accept one and all ♥
Gift Cards and e-cards
E-cards are available for purchase, here.
We have transitioned from card stock gift certificates to plastic 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 real-life 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 stop by the shoppe to buy a physical gift card in person (we no longer mail gift cards).
Food Allergies/Dietary Restrictions: We are crazy about tea time and 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.
Our kitchen is not kosher, and we do not offer a kosher menu.
Our kitchen is not free from citrus, corn, dairy, eggs, gluten, nuts, soy, wheat or other allergens. Not everything is produced here, and we can not guarantee against cross-contamination of any allergen.
We do not offer vegan, egg-free or dairy-free afternoon tea. 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, dairy, citrus, corn, eggs, salt, soy, sugar or sulfaites or "natural flavors" (which is a broad term defined by the food and drug administration as flavoring "derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof."
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 confusion or disappointment.
Special dietary requests such as gluten free or vegetarian, require three (3) business days notice. Pls clearly indicate how many people the request is for (e.g., "vegetarian sandwiches for two of the three of us"). Certain special dietary requests may incur an additional charge. We cannot guarantee accommodations for every dietary need or for requests made at the last minute. **Special meals are sometimes plated on their own, which means they may not come to your table on a three-tier stand. If this will cause disappointment to you or anyone in your party, please let us know in advance** Conversely, GF food is often plated on the same stand as our "regular" Afternoon Tea food.
With notice, we can accommodate requests for vegetarian and/or GF (although not for persons with celiac). Regarding gluten free, please understand the following: (1) we are not a GF facility and GF is not our specialty. When asked, we are happy to offer such options only as a courtesy; (2) for your safety, you should expect that cross contamination is likely; (3) if you have celiac disease, for your safety, you should not eat our food; (4) GF food is often plated on the same plate as our "regular" afternoon tea food; and (5) we do not provide toasted tea sandwiches on any of our breads, including our GF bread. We do not prepare tea sandwiches on bread brought in by a customer - please do not bring in food.
Citrus Allergy Warning: please note that we do not offer a menu that is free of lemon juice or citric acid (lemon juice is an ingredient in many common items we use, such as jam and mayonnaise).
Nut Allergy Warning: If a person in your group has a nut allergy, they must be able to consume foods that come from a facility where nuts are processed, in order to enjoy our food. We cannot accommodate severe nut allergies.
If you request substitutions but decide once here that you would instead prefer our regular menu, we most likely will not be able to accommodate this last-minute change.
we do not offer dry tea sandwiches, condiments "on the side" or fillings instead of tea sandwiches/bread, but happy to chat with you about possible alternatives.
if you have concerns about the menu not addressed here, please text Sarah in advance of making a reservation: 617.775.9118 (this is our text-only number, and not for incoming calls).
Please see our current list of adult beverages. Please order any drinks in the first half of your sitting.
Please remember our tea tables are small. Once tea and food have been brought to a table, there is very little room left on the tabletop 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 do not drop off items in advance of your reservation. Since our rooms are small, with relatively low ceilings, we ask that you keep balloons to a minimum. Pls also see our policy re gift-opening during tea time.
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 do not leave your vehicle here, 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 walkers can be folded when not in use.
Payment Methods and Pre-Payment:
We accept cash, credit and debit (credit and debit preferred, during covid). 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 accept checks or payment over the telephone.
Purchasing Teacups and Donations of Teacups:
Sometimes we accept donations of English made, china teacups (no glassware or other types of china, please). Please text or email to see if we are currently accepting donations. We are not currently purchasing. Because we are for-profit business, rather than a non profit, your donation is not tax deductible, and we do not provide 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).
We are not able to accommodate requests to be seated at specific tables/rooms. As always, we thank you for your kind understanding. If you are concerned about where you will be seated due to Covid and/or an underlying heath condition, pls consider our afternoon-tea-to-go options.
Seating Times and Duration:
Your sitting has a specific start and end time. It begins at your scheduled reservation time, regardless of late arrival, and lasts for 90 minutes. Pls ensure all members of your party arrive 10-15 minutes early. We ask that you be mindful of your sitting's end-time, because we almost always need to re-set for other guests arriving after you, or for using the space for another purpose after normal business hours. Arriving early and ensuring everyone in your party arrives early as well, will help make the most of your teatime. :)
Do you host Showers or Private Events?
we don't host showers or private events (our sittings are 90 minutes long, for a group of up to six, which is not long enough or large enough for an event such as a shower). If you are looking for a location in this area with greater capacity, you may want to peruse the list of Massachusetts tea houses.
Do you have central air?
Yes, this building has central air! In the warm months, it's a good idea to have a light sweater or jacket with you so you don't feel cold.
What if I don't like Tea?
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. Read more about tea types, here.
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 couple to support each year. If you would like us to consider donating to your charitable cause, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If we choose to donate, we will reply. Please: no phone calls, text messages or in-person requests; and most importantly, please refrain from repeatedly contacting us, asking for and/or expecting, a donation. If we have decided to support your cause, you will hear from us.
Can we bring gifts to open during our tea time?
Of course! but please remember your sitting has a specific start time and a specific end time that must be adhered to. Your sitting is 90 minutes long, regardless of late arrival, and this amount of time can go by fast. Once you have enjoyed your tea and treats, there will not be much time, if any, left for gift opening (especially if anyone in your party arrived late, causing a late start). If you keep an eye on the time, and plan accordingly, you can make it work. :) Please be mindful of your sitting's end-time. Also just a reminder that our rooms are small, this means there is not enough room to accommodate large boxes, bags etc, or anything placed on the floor. For your safety and ours, kindly ensure items are kept off of the floor. Our mini birthday tea cup dessert can be pre ordered. Please inquire. (we do not offer birthday cakes or full-size cupcakes), pls no outside food or cake. Pls also see our policy re favors, centerpieces etc.
Can I set up a tripod to take pictures during my teatime?
We love when people take pictures! If you're hoping to bring a tripod, pls talk to us in advance about it, as our seating areas are small and there's not a lot of room (especially during Christmastime) for anything placed on the table or the floor.
Service with a smile and a bell on your table (there are no "servers" here)
There are no "servers" here - just your hosts, Sarah and the Tea Guy (aka the "Tea Team") :) And as is not uncommon at many tea houses, we try not to interrupt your tea time. For this reason, we do not visit your table often (typically just once, after your Tea and food have been served, and then once more toward the end of your sitting, to see if you need take-home boxes). But we LOVE to be of service in the name of Tea, so we put a bell on your table for you to ring should you need something. Regarding the bell, pls be mindful of the following: If you need something and if it appears that we have not heard you ring (occasionally this happens) or in the unlikely event you can't locate the bell on your table, please just come tap on the kitchen door (about 10 steps away from any seating area in the house). Please avoid criticizing us or the service hubby and I lovingly provide to you; to be clear, kind feedback is always welcomed, however criticism should be left at our door when you enter. Because we live here, we consider you a guest in our home, and we are always happy to host gracious guests, who recognize our passion for Tea and appreciate our work. If this does not describe you, please try another tea house; you can see a listing by State at DestinationTea.com.
What Teas should I avoid if I am pregnant or nursing?
If you are pregnant, nursing or have a health condition, unfortunately we cannot advise you on which teas/herbals to avoid; pls consult a physician.
If you have a question not answered here, pls text Sarah @ 617.775.9118 (this is a text-only number and not for incoming calls).
We look forward to welcoming you to Tea ♥