Inform-à la-Tea

June 2019
Tea Room Logo

201 Easy Street * Carefree, Arizona 85377 * 480-488-4812 *

Voted Best Afternoon Tea - Phoenix Magazine Best of the Valley 

Rated  'Top 10 Tea Rooms in USA' by USA Today 2018.

Posing on the Patio.
  A Season in Review

In Arizona we have two and hotter. Well, O.K. three seasons if you include "hottest", the month when we all wish we lived in Alaska.

For our little Tea Room in the Sonoran Desert, we refer to our seasons as the "high" season and the "low" season.  High season is October thru May when the snowbirds are in town (otherwise known as anyone that doesn't reside in Arizona all year). It is also the time of year when; the weather is bearable, the roads are full of cars with Minnesota licence plates and the Tea Room is jammed packed with a line outside, an answer-machine that shouts "mail box full" and the roar of chatter inside so loud that you can't hear our 'relaxing, classical music'...and I am NOT exaggerating.

Usually I manage to write a newsletter at least once during our high season...well sorry folks, not this time.  Those of you newly subscribed to our emailed newsletter will at this point be delighted to learn that, at most, you will receive two a year!

Therefore, because I have been so remiss at sending out any correspondence of late, here is our 'Season in Review'.  Better put the kettle on and get comfy it's quite a read but don't worry, there are also lots of photos if you just want to look at the pictures!



Jo Gemmill
English Rose Tea Room
PO Box 5865
Carefree, AZ 85377


During October, the Town of Carefree was full of Pumpkins and at the Tea Room it was full of Poe. Renowned pumpkin carver Ray Villafane came to tea and brought his protege with him (including a mouse!). Edgar Allen Poe enthusiasts were delighted by readings from The Raven and "The Tell Tale Heart" and of course, we had to dress for the occasion.

Yes, The Raven flew into the side of my head.

The month of November brought us Art Festivals, snowbirds back with a vengeance, catering for an event at our local Desert Foothills Library and of course Thanksgiving.  We also saw a record number of people during November, over one weekend alone we saw 600 in just three days...the high season was upon us.


The MOST won-der-ful time of the year. The Tea Room was all white, crystal and sparkles, a magical place for tea with visits from Santa (several times) and the Salvation Army Band playing their classic holiday tunes on the patio. We were graced with the Nutcracker Ballerinas, (unbelieveable I know but there is room for a ballet performance in the Tea Room), Charles Dickens Carolers sang and even a story-time with Mrs. Claus...if you missed it, everything will be back again for Christmas 2019.  Check out our Facebook page for TV coverage and videos of  Santa, Ballerinas and Mrs Claus.

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We were also visited by our oldest customer yet, Betty, who at 107 yrs old was born the year after the Titanic sank...can you even imagine?!

Holiday Table


The New Year began with all good intentions to write that darn newsletter, mmm, so much for that resolution.  

We began 2019 with a new menu, keeping many of our old favorites and adding some delicious new teas including a Rhubarb Oolong and a Lemon & Ginger blend.  

The Tea Room was as busy as ever and packing away the Christmas decorations was a chance for a good old spring clean, with several deliveries of hand-painted china to fill in the gaps.



The month of romance and another hectic round of parties, Afternoon Teas and busy lunches...there always seemed to be an excuse for a celebration: birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers and bachelorette parties and then, something wild, random and totally unexpected happened. It snowed. Literally. 

Overnight a blanket of snow almost 6 inches covered Carefree, a white out! O.K. I know you mid-westerners and east-coasters are thinking that's not snow, that's dust.  But to us warm-blooded desert-rats it was a shocker - and also quite fabulous.

Don't tell anyone but I have a gallon zip-lock bag of the stuff in my freezer, go ahead and laugh but when it's 120 degrees in the shade this summer you will be calling me...just saying.



March was the month for our Royal Baby Shower in celebration of Baby Sussex.  Lots of very generous customers came to the Shower with brand new gifts which were then donated to Maggie's Place in Phoenix, a non-profit that specifically cares for homeless moms and newborns.  Games were played at the Shower and a book of baby advice was sent to Kensington Palace for the Duke & Duchess (I hope someone remembers to forward it to Frogmore Cottage).

We celebrated 17 years in business on March 1st, quite a milestone given how many other Tea Rooms have come and gone over the years. We celebrated with cake. Oh! and the Health Inspector paid us a visit too...we passed, of course.


We hosted the most beautiful baby shower ever, for a very glamorous Lebanese mommy-to-be.  She set up the patio with a stunning display of party favors.  We also had a surprise visit from Bevy who was our very first English Rose Tea Room waitress (she was with us for 14 years!).  She stopped by on her way to retiring in Maui where she will be a wonderful G'Ma to her two grandchildren.

April continued on with all the usual Tea Room theatrics, the Queen celebrated her 93rd birthday and the desert was in glorious bloom.  Our patio never looked so good.


The month to celebrate all Mother's, although in the U.K. we had already done that in March.  Mother's Day at the Tea Room was our chance to shine and so we did, even making it onto TV (again) with Fox News coverage of our special event.  

The Tea Room participated in another Carefree Restaurant Week, where we offered a 3-course lunch for $18.00, look out for our next Restaurant Week in the Fall.

Queen Victoria would have been 200 yrs old this year and so we used her birthday as another excuse for a party, complete with carriages, costumes and Coronation Chicken...honestly, sometimes it really doesn't feel like work.

Baby Sussex arrived, to much conversation about his name Archie Mountbatten Windsor.  Harry & Meghan beamed for the cameras and we then all settled back down to life post-royal baby. Many congratulations to a beautiful family.

And finally, congratulations are in order again for the gentleman who PROPOSED to his future wife at the Tea Room.  I tell you, never a dull moment around here.




So there you have it, our Season in Review, and what a great season it was.  June thru September brings the 'low' season a.k.a. SLOW season, although none of us have really noticed it slowing down so far.

A few dates for the diary:

June 16th, Father's Day

To encourage Dad's to come to tea we feed them for FREE!  click here to visit our website. for details and also watch CBS Channel 5  video coverage.

June 28th, National Cream Tea Day

(Actually it only really applies to the U.K. but who's checking?!)

JULY:  I will be headed back to England for family time, good food (really) and tea room inspirations - follow my travels on Facebook for updates. Planning on antiquing, eating, shopping, exploring, did I already say eating?

August:  For some it will be "back to school" but I am thrilled that some of our own college students will be staying on at the Tea Room for the high season, Yippee!! Two are training to be teachers and the other a Doctor so together with our regular hard working team you will be in good hands. 

Look out for our 5th Annual Teddy Bear Tea on August 5th, 2019.


Downton Abbey THE MOVIE.  I can hardly stand it.  The Dowager is coming back! The movie apparently premiers on Sept 20th.  In celebration, because by now you must have realized we are always looking to party, we are hosting a Downton Abbey Weekend, September 14th & 15th, ALL DAY.  Dress to Impress! Trivia, photo opps, best costume prizes. Details to follow soon on our website.

Sept 29th thru Oct 5th
Carefree Restaurant Week.  Visit us to experience a special 3 course lunch for $18.00.  Menu coming soon. Check website for more details.

October:  ... the cycle of High Season begins again.

If you managed to read all of this newsletter (girl scout promise) I promise I wont bombard you with another until at least the Fall. 

In the meantime, if you have a smart phone follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram.  Mum, I will just call you as usual and fill you in.

Bon Voyage, safe summer travels, happy trails and check back soon for a good cup of tea and a chat.

Jo xx

PS don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend.

Everyone is treated like royalty
at the English Rose Tea Room,

See you soon for tea.

Jo Gemmill
Make your reservations today by calling            480-488-4812.

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