shamrock & thistle / garden grove – orange county, ca
The Shamrock & Thistle is a small British market in Garden Grove, with frozen bangers, little cake mixes, barley water, candy, and an assortment of other foods and gifts to entertain you or satisfy your desire for British goods. Attached to it is The Sussex Teapot, a small restaurant and tea room.
The tea room is very flowery, but in a charming grandmotherly sort of way. I ordered the Afternoon Tea, which consisted of a small green salad, crisps (potato chips), and salmon and cucumber sandwiches, though there’s a variety of other sandwiches to choose from. Mr. Furious ordered the High Tea, which was essentially the same except it came with soup and a roll, and he ordered the cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches. Of course there was also the tea — unlimited pots of English breakfast tea in flowered bone china, to serve in our cups and saucers, with cream and sugar cubes.
Though I’m not a huge fan of soups or cooked corn, I was pleasantly surprised by the corn chowder, which also seemed to have carrots and heavy seasoning. It was a good, hearty soup. The salad came with “salad cream,” a bottled salad dressing you could also buy in their store that appears to consist of mayonnaise and mustard. It tastes better than it sounds, but if you don’t like mustard or mayonnaise, I would opt out. The sandwiches are good in that, “I could have made this at home,” sort of way, but they’re neatly sliced with the crusts cut off and it adds a lot to the feel of the place. At the last part of our tea, we were served two scones each, with butter and jam. We each had one plain scone, and one that tasted like a cranberry orange scone. They were oh-so-tasty with the tea.
My meal was around $13 or $14 and Mr. Furious came out at a couple of dollars more. So, the prices are moderate, but I think it’s well worth it because it’s like a tea party for adults (but not in an overly-girly way), and the service was absolutely excellent. They also have some heavier lunches, a large breakfast that they serve from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. by reservation only, and for about $9 they have a Princess Tea for children that even includes a smaller pot of tea for the little ones to handle. Basically, this place is a fun little lunch if you’re looking for something quiet with more entertainment value than just sitting in a restaurant.
Shamrock & Thistle and The Sussex Teapot
12752 Valley View St., Ste. P & Q
Garden Grove, CA 92845