Thursday, October 2, 2014

Afternoon Tea at the Purple Door

The Biagas Art Gallery opened in Detroit in 1988, and in 2007 the owners, Dr. Miguel and Christine Biagas, added a tea room to the gallery and called it, The Purple Door.  It was on my list of tea rooms to visit, but I never made it there before it closed three years ago. Miguel and Christine thought they were going to enjoy retirement life, but those plans changed when Miguel decided to open another tea room in Ferndale, MI.  The ribbon cutting ceremony at their new location was May 1st, and yesterday was my second opportunity to visit the Purple Door.

My friend, Linda, and I had 12:30 reservations for Afternoon Tea [Soup, Fresh Green Salad, Tea Sandwiches, Pasta Salad, Dessert [2] and Tea $28 plus tax and gratuity]. Other menu options are: The Magnolia Tea [Soup, Tea Sandwiches, Dessert [1], and Tea $20]; The Orchid Tea [Tea Sandwiches [3], Dessert [1], and Tea $15];  The Tulip Tea [Pastries [3] and Tea $10]; and Soup Du Jour Tea [Soup and Savory Breads [2], and Tea $10].  

The tea room is open Sunday thru Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but reservations are necessary. 32 guests can be seated comfortably.

James was waiting for us when we arrived, and he escorted us to the rear entrance, where guests will be able to dine Al fresco on the patio beginning next spring.

I arrived a few minutes early and was able to meet Christine and her grandson, Matthew, who is the head chef, and also a business partner.

No one else had reservations while we were there, so Linda and I had the tea room to ourselves. We enjoyed pleasant conversation with Christine when she wasn't busy preparing for a private event they were catering later that evening. She shared that she was an educator for over 30 years [middle school principal].   Her vision for the newly relocated tea room is to feature work of student and local artists, and host special event teas such as a Japanese Tea Ceremony, and a Mad Hatter Tea that is scheduled to take place soon.

There are numerous seating vignettes in the tea room, and Christine gave me permission to photograph them to share on my blog.

Christine said we could select the seating vignette of our choice, so I chose the one pictured below.

Matthew and James came to our table with two tea chests to make selections from - one was Harney teas, and I think the other was Bigelow teas.  I chose Harney's Earl Grey Supreme, and Matthew poured the first cup.  They kept our teapots full throughout the meal.

[James is Matthew's nephew]

Fresh flowers on the table.

Lump Crab Soup with Corn, Bell Pepper and Onion - delicious!

Fresh green salad with Strawberries, Grapes, Mandarin Oranges, slivered Almonds, and aged Cheddar with a Mango, Tequila dressing.

Clockwise from 12:00 o'clock:  Bacon and Cheddar Quiche; London Broil Beef with fresh Pear and Lettuce; Eggplant Rollatini with Parmesan Cheese; and English Cucumber sandwich with Dill/Onion dressing on White Bread with Broccoli Sprouts.  Center:  Grape Chicken Pasta Salad with Grapes, Red Peppers, Garbanzo Beans, and Cranberries.

We chose two desserts from three selections:  Lemon squares with fresh Strawberries; Vanilla Cream Cake with Caramel Sauce; and a Blueberry Scone with Lemon Curd filling.  I chose the Lemon Square and Blueberry Scone.

To conclude Christine brought us each a German Chocolate Brownie square because she said every meal should include something chocolate!

What a delightful Afternoon Tea experience.  If you are a local reader, make reservations to go to the Purple Door.  You'll be glad you did!  Their phone number is 248-268-3275.


  1. Oh, what a lovely place! Every table was beautiful, and the one you chose coordinated beautifully with your tea outfit. :-) And what a beautiful meal you had - I would have chosen those same two desserts, by the way, but a bit of chocolate to top it off is always a good thing. So glad you could visit The Purple Door!

  2. Love the variety in seating areas! Looks like such a fun place to visit, with a wonderful menu!

  3. Yum, this sounds delicious! And I love how cozy and intimate all the table settings look. I would definitely enjoy having tea with a friend here.


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