24 March 2011

Old St. Andrew's Tea Room

Old St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Charleston, S.C.

Busy week kids. Too many events after work that get me home ready to crash. I did make it out to the annual phenomena that is the Old St. Andrew's Tea Room on Tuesday and as I am every year, I was simply amazed. We got there at 11:30 and had to steal the Music Director's parking spot because the whole place was full and the lobby overflowing.

The event is completely staffed with volunteers and I've worked in volunteer circles long enough for it to be like old home week. I was greeted and hugged by the hostesses, servers, other customers and the best coconut cake bakers in the back kitchen. They serve the usual tasty plates of chicken salad or shrimp paste sandwiches on white, congealed salad and she-crab soup just like they do every year. I expect there would be a great upset if they ever changed the menu. Bus loads of happy customers regularly drop off from area retirement homes.

The Tea Room continues until April 2nd so you still have time to be part of the tradition and tour the beautiful old church.

Let tea room season begin. The old Lowcountry tradition gets under way Monday when Old St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Tea Room opens for business at the historic 1706 church, 2604 Ashley River Road.

Operating for nearly 60 years and considered the oldest in Charleston, the tea room will be open 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday through Saturdays through April 2. Lunch features favorite local dishes such as she-crab and okra soups, chicken salad plate, chicken salad and shrimp paste sandwiches, spinach salad and homemade desserts.