This Christmas we are doing things differently. The past few years I’ve become terribly jaded with the holiday season. Christmas music playing on the radio in October, the mad crush of holiday shopping and just the general excess of it all. As I sat watching my kids open an obscene amount of gifts last year, I vowed to myself that this year would be different.
This year we are walking away from the piles of presents, the craziness of holiday shopping and the focus on materialistic things. Instead we are spending our holiday dollars on experiences that edify the family and also activities that benefit others.
Today I’d like to share with you one such experiential gift I gave the girls today…
This afternoon we dressed up in our holiday finery and lunched at The Dunbar Tea Shop in Sandwich, MA. The outing was a total surprise for the girls. I had them dress up in their holiday dresses and told them to get into the car and just trust that mom was going to take them somewhere truly special. And at this point in their lives they know to listen to mom in just this one area.
My girls love the fanciness of tea. We’ve been to only one other tea room, but that experience was enough to leave them hooked. And I’m not sure what’s the most appealing to them…
The dainty teacups, the decadent sweets, getting dressed up or just spending time with mom. My hunch is that it’s the latter.
The Dunbar Tea Shop is a very special place. It’s located in a picturesque antique colonial in historic Sandwich, Massachusetts. It exudes charm and daintiness.
When you walk into the shop, you are greeted by shelves of every type of tea imaginable. If you are a tea lover, this is the place for you. You can also purchase teapots, cups, saucers and all kinds of luscious baked good creations. Check this out…
Not the place to visit if you are on a diet. The temptation is mighty fierce. They do have gorgeous salads and healthy fare, but when you are greeted by a table full of baked good awesomeness, how can you resist?
There is just so much to love about The Dunbar Tea Shop. I think one of their best selling points is how sweet they are to children. They truly make them feel welcome and treat them like little adults. I really appreciated how gracious they were to my kids. The whole affair was entirely civilized and delightful. A very special holiday treat.
I’ll admit that I was a bit on edge. There was so much breakable stuff on the table. But I held my tongue and my breath and let the kids pour their own milk, add their own sugar cubes (all eight of them, ahem) and didn’t harp if they weren’t totally proper with every little table manner I’ve tried to instill in them. This was a treat for them, after all. I didn’t want to destroy it by nagging them to death.
Ok, that’s not entirely true. I did quietly beseech them not to slurp the tea. Not a nag, entirely. Just a gentle suggestion.
My lunch was so perfect. Smoked salmon over fresh greens. Honestly, if I had to choose a last meal, that would be it. I adore smoked salmon. And this salad was just spectacular. Buttery smoked salmon, fresh greens, herbed cream cheese and toasted French baguette. Perfection.
Shannon chose a simple bowl of clam chowder while her sister picked out the mother of afternoon tea delights, the sandwich and dessert tower. She was not disappointed. Although I think the tower would’ve been more than enough for two kids and a fruit loopin’ bargain at $10.95.
Such a wonderful holiday experience. So much better than anything you can unwrap from beneath a tree. And memories that I hope last a lifetime.
If you ever get the chance to come to Massachusetts, do visit The Dunbar Tea Shop. It’s one hundred shades of lovely and so worth driving onto Cape Cod for. Be sure to check out their website for hours and directions. You won’t regret it!
This is NOT a sponsored post. I happily forked over my own cash for this very wonderful experience. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.