Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Long Overdue Tea Outing

My friend, Linda, contacted me last week to ask if I'd be interested in joining a group of friends for tea today at St. Sabbas Russian Orthodox Monastery Tea House.  Initially I declined because of another commitment, but when it was postponed, I called her and asked if the invitation was still available.  Thankfully it was.  This was the first tea outing I've had in months and it was so nice to sip tea and chat with a lovely group of ladies.  I'm also very happy be be able to blog about a tea event again!

This was my third visit to the monastery tea house, and ironically it's been in five year increments - 2010, 2015, and 2020.  I've blogged about each visit.

St. Sabbas Monastery was founded in 1999 and is situated on six acres of residential property in the City of Harper Woods.  The Russian-style buildings are surrounded by beautiful gardens, fountains and mosaic shrines.  

The Royal Eagle restaurant and tea house was once a motorcycle repair shop before it was acquired by the monastery and converted into an eatery.  Now they are the main financial support for the monastery.  To read more about the monastery visit their websites at www.stsabbas.org and www.theroyaleagle.net.  You can take a great virtual tour of the grounds at their website.

When I woke up this morning it was pouring down rain, but by the time I got to the monastery for our 12:00 o'clock reservations the sun had come out.

As you can tell from the pictures, it's a very tranquil setting.  They have one male peacock and two peahens that strut about the grounds.

They just recently reopened from the Covid-19 quarantine, so we all wore our facemasks when we entered, but took them off when we were seated.  There was only one other group of four ladies in the tea house while we were there, so we practically had the place to ourselves.  They have a nice patio for outdoor dining but it wasn't utilized today.

They have several loose-leaf tea options printed on a postcard size menu.  

Everyone got their own teapot of hot water with an infuser filled with their tea selection.  I ordered Ginger Peach black tea, which was very good.  We drank our tea from a Russian tea glass in a Podstakannik [tea glass holder]. 

Our Russian high tea began with a bowl of homemade Ukrainian Borscht.

Then our server, Bianca, brought  out the savories on a tall three-tiered server.

On the top tier were English-style Cucumber Star tea sandwiches.  Next was Chicken Salad and Tomato on a White Bread triangle.  The third tier held a French Baguette topped with Mozzarella Balls and fresh Tomatoes drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar.  On the bottom tier was a Baguette with a slice of Black Forest Ham.

Next was Chicken Paprikash with organic Baby Greens tossed with house made Raspberry Vinaigrette.

Our dessert was Russian Napoleons with Whipped Cream.  At their website you can watch a YouTube video of their pastry chef making the Napoleons for Channel 4 new anchor, Bernie Smilovitz.  All this food for only a donation of $22 per person [plus gratuity].

Our group of ladies. Left side of table: a daughter and mother from Toledo, Ohio, Rita and Phyllis, and Louise.   Right side of table: Barb, Joanie, Linda and Me.

The decor throughout the restaurant/tea house is Russian, so there were LOTS of  samovars.

~ More group pictures ~

~ Servers Bianca and Amy ~

I highly recommend the Royal Eagle.  Reservations are required and high tea is served on Tuesday and Thursdays from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m.  There is a dress code, so be sure to check their website before going.

Thanks for inviting me to be part of a lovely afternoon, Linda!


  1. Looks like this was a grand time. Beautiful locale.

  2. So happy that you could enjoy tea time with your friends again! I recognize some of them from the Grand Hotel tea! Last year while in New York City with my grandson we enjoyed a tea at the Russian Tea House.
    Hugs, Nancy

  3. How lovely and the ladies all look beautiful. Isn't it wonderful to be going for tea again! I know that was exciting. The room looks delightful. I do recognize the Russian china as I sold that for years but did not keep any as I seem to love the English but I can sure appreciate it.

  4. I'm so glad you were able to have tea with your friends. Everything looks wonderful!

  5. Oh thank you for sharing this outing with us! I’ve wanted to go here for a few years now and something always leads me away from planning to go! I live near enough and need to go and experience this in person! The PBS station show “Under the Radar” featured it a few years back and I couldn’t believe it was located where it is! Magnificent!

  6. Phyllis, you took beautiful pictures of the buildings and grounds, thank you for sharing. I love that they infuse the tea menu with Russian dishes. And so happy for you to be with friends at tea again!


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