Inform-à la-Tea

September  2020
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.

Suddenly September.

These last 5 months have been the longest 10 years of my life. Then, just as I was getting accustomed to picking out my outfit to match the "face mask de jour", September
 crept in the back door and now it's Fall! (I like to call it Autumn...far less dramatic).  Anyway, not much seems to have changed around here, in fact this "new normal" is becoming quite ordinary. 

We are still operating at 50% capacity as per our Governor's mandate; we are still social distancing, sanitizing and of course wearing face masks.  Labor Day is here as I type this newsletter and one can only hope that Arizona doesn't get thrown into yet another tailspin after the holiday...we shall see.

In the meantime, I am delighted to bring you tidings of some JOY, we have had great days amongst the gloom of COVID and I can't wait to share with you our escapades since I last wrote in April.  See, I am true to my word and you only get an email once every six months, about as often as I get a haircut these days.

So for now, make a cup of tea, relax and read on and hopefully we can distract you from the all the craziness for a short while. I can't thank you all enough for the encouraging phone calls, emails and in-person visits to check-in  and support us.  We couldn't have made it this far without you and don't panic, "we aint going anywhere"!

Sending our love and best wishes for the safety and wellness of you, your family and your friends.

Keep Calm and please Carry On Reading!



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

Quarantine Schnauzer-style.

May 2020

As you may remember, we closed on March 17th this year for what we thought was to be only two weeks but turned out to be more like six.  Our tea room is THE destination place for Moms on Mother's Day and although in-house dining was at that time still prohibited, we couldn't contemplate a Mother's Day without tea and scones - that would be like imagining fish & chips without malt vinegar, or toast without marmalade (or worse without beans).

So it was time to get creative.  We came up with a "Curbside Menu" for Mother's Day and a disposable tea stand to put all the goodies on.  Our loyal guests could pick up an Afternoon Tea "curbside" and assemble everything at home, they even sent us photos to prove they could do it! 

 Mother's Day weekend ran like a Swiss watch. 120 cars visited over that Saturday & Sunday, two cars every fifteen minutes ALL day.  We all got dressed up, the tea room was transformed into a production line and out the door went over 500 scones, sandwiches and pastries.  We even made the local news and our newly re-modeled tea room was shown on TV!  

The Mother's Day Team.

Our "Curbside" Afternoon Tea.

On the TV (notice the space!)

A customer enjoys tea at home.
A lovely table setting.

After all the changes, the Tea Room was even big enough for a "dance-off"...

Maids Go Mad
Maids Go Mad

JUNE 2020 

We had remodeled the dining room, pushed back the china hutches against the walls, (we also re-vamped the powder room too and have a full length mirror in there that I swear takes 10lbs off you, very helpful after all those weeks of better come and check it out for yourself). 

We added decals to the floor, plexiglass at the cash desk, personal sanitizer at every table and kept doors open for airflow (and then choked on the electric bill that followed trying to keep the place cool).

It was apparent that as our customers bravely ventured out of their homes, they preferred to sit outside. So June welcomed Princess on the Patio!  Each weekend in June we hosted a different Princess who posed, chatted, sang and adorably entertained the children. It was indeed a magical month.


One of my staff decided to take a 15 second video of the Tea Room and post it on TikTok.  To date, that video has had 114k (one hundred and fourteen THOUSAND) views and 23K (twenty three thousand) likes. Maybe you saw it too?

Then throughout June we met lots of younger guests who had seen the video and never heard of the Tea Room....I am now a confirmed disciple of social media.

Here it is in case you missed it ( I am not a fan of the music, personally I prefer the Frankie Valli version but hey, what do I know?!)

Tea Room Tiktok
Tea Room TikTok

JULY 2020

It was definitely a hot summer. Time to cool things off with "Christmas in July".  Santa came each weekend and entertained the children, their parents (and us) with tales of his summer vacation in Arizona, I don't think he needed our powder room mirror to lose weight though, that poor man had a big beard, a Santa hat and a face mask and sat outside in 110 degrees just so he could talk to the children. He was a bit hot to say the least. I swear he was a lot thinner by the time he left.  I believe in Santa too.

And we were on TV again!!
(make another cup of tea, video is 3 minutes long!)

Christmas in July
Christmas in July!

Late July 2020

Harry Potter's 40th Birthday Celebration!

Now, before all you die-hard Harry Potter fans start correcting me, I KNOW THE BOOK WASN'T WRITTEN 40 YEARS AGO...BUT, if Harry had been a real person (sorry to let you down if you thought he was)..he would have been 40 years old on July 31st so yes, another excuse for a party.  It was brilliant.  We entertained muggles and wizards. There were chocolate frogs, smoking cauldrons, golden snitches and potions galore. And even Hagrid!. A fabulous, spectacular tribute to "the boy who lived".  Thank you to all who came.  Yours Truly was Rowena Ravenclaw, (because I took the test and that's my "house" apparently) It was fun looking like Cher for the day!

"LeviOsa" not "LevioSA"

(Note to self: don't hold wand like pencil)


This month marked the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment...a woman's right to vote. So what do you suppose we did...we marked the event of course.

We paid tribute to the brave women who fought, protested, went on hunger strikes and even died so that women could have the right vote.  And then, as the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, we got dressed up in our best Gatsby Gear and partied some more.

Teddy Bear Tea Time!

Goldilocks came to our special Teddy Bear Tea in August and read stories to the children. It was a lovely afternoon, we had guests travel from as far away as Kingman, AZ just to attend. (That's a 6 hour drive round-trip!)

So here we are in September...

When I was growing up, September meant "back to school" and that feeling of impending doom as the inevitable day grew nearer, and the summer holidays slipped further away.  Butterflies in the tummy as you wondered what your new teacher would be like, where would you sit in class and would you wake up in time to catch the school bus?  

These days, kids are LONGING to get back to school and parents alike are desperate for life to return to "normal".  Fingers crossed it happens soon.

Here at the Tea Room, even though we still have highs of over 100 degrees every day, September means FALL...I mean, Autumn.

Soon there will be a slight chill in the air as the season changes, like I said "here's hoping"...

What to look forward to?

I am hopeful things will gradually return to some kind of normal. October is usually the month our 'snowbirds' return.  This year am I not sure that many of them ever left. Those that did may not be 'flying' back this year but rather driving to Arizona.  We can't wait to see you when you return!

Carefree Restaurant Week.

To kick off our season we are joining forces with other local Carefree restaurants and again participating in Carefree Restaurant Week.  We will be offering a special 2 course lunch menu for $18.00 either for curbside pick-up or dine-in. The menu will be posted soon on our website but expect to see cottage pies, cranberry scones and pumpkin spiced tea...yum!

Harry Potter Halloween!

For those of you that didn't venture out in July, we are bring back the wizards  for one day only on Saturday October 31st.  A very magical Halloween with special guests and prizes for best costumes.  
Call for reservations!  480 488 4812.


November 2020

This Thanksgiving will be a time for all of us to reflect on the year and consider what we are thankful for.  I am looking forward to toasting Health, Happiness and Having my family and friends in my life.

December 2020

We always go 'all out' at Christmas and this year will be no exception.  Expect to see Santa every weekend in December, Carolers every Saturday, a mini performance of the Nutcracker (complete with ballerinas) and the Salvation Army Band will be delighting us once again with holiday tunes on the patio, and of course we will be serving all your favorite Christmas treats.

Mark Your Calendars!

December 5/6, 12/13, 19/20  Free Visits with Santa 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Bring you kids and fur-babies for photos and a fireside chat.

December 5, 12, 19 noon to 2: 00 p.m. Victorian Carolers

Nutcracker Ballet dates to be confirmed so check our website soon for details.


We wish you all a safe, happy and  healthy Labor Day.  Let's remember all those workers for whom this day is in honor.  I am thankful to my team for supporting me during these last few months, and for everyone working on the front lines of this pandemic. 

 In a 1980's flashback, as the Howard Jones song goes..."Things Can Only Get Better".

Everyone is treated like Royalty
at the 
English Rose Tea Room.

See you soon for tea, curbside or dine-in, just call us! 480.488.4812

Jo Gemmill

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