The Vintage Garden Tea Room 35 Pine Street
Locke Street Shops

Since the four of us have been scattered to different locations in recent months, we look forward to the times when we can get together to catch up and, of course, to continue our discovery of the City. Jenny, Carly, and I decided to return to the lovely Locke Street to try out a new lunch spot. I suggested The Vintage Garden Tea Room since, as you know, we love our tea and scones, and it’s a place Avishka and I had our eyes on during our Locke Street day this summer.

Jenny outside The Vintage Garden Tea Room

We eagerly perused the menu while we waited for our table, and it turned out we needed that extra time. Vintage Garden fully lives up to its name as a Tea Room – one page of the menu (front and back) was dedicated to the myriad varieties of teas that they offer, neatly organized into categories such as Green Tea, Black Tea, and Rooibos, among others. Each tea comes with a delicious-sounding description, which made it difficult for each of us to settle on a flavour. After changing our minds several times, I went with the Cherry Rose Rooibos, Jenny chose the Angel Dream (or something to that effect!), and Carly went with the White Swiss Chocolate Truffle Rooibos. To start off our lunch, we complemented our teas with some fresh, fluffy scones and jam.

For our main meals, I chose the Cheddar and Apple sandwich and Carly and Jenny both opted for the Soup of the Day, which was beef and barley, with a half sandwich. Carly joined me on the tasty Cheddar and Apple and Jenny went with the Smoked Turkey. We were fans of the fluffy breads that the sandwiches were made of and the grated cheese was a nice touch, which made us muse over why grated cheese tastes so much better than when it’s sliced. We reckon it’s something to do with the air, the fluffiness of it. Regardless, it was a hilarious conversation and the perfect lunch on this chilly fall day. Evidently, our descriptor of choice for our lunch was “fluffy”.

The atmosphere of the Tea Room itself was delightful – quite small and quaint, it is accented with elegant chandeliers and paintings while still having a very homey and cozy feel. Loose leaf teas are made available for purchase as well, and with that much variety, we’ll have to return. Another reason to go back is that they offer “Tea Leaf Readings with Sandee” on Tuesdays and Fridays, which we observed some of the patrons that day partaking in.

After our lunch, we bundled up and headed back out to Locke Street. Another reason I’ve wanted to revisit Locke is the street’s newest addition – a concrete poem (literally!) that has been cemented into the sidewalks. I first heard about this art piece from an article in The Spec and became very curious to see it in person. The poet, Simon Frank, also cast the plaques himself. Although we did not get to walk through the entire length of the poem, we explored a section of it, stopping to ponder over each word and phrase we saw. It’s an incredibly creative idea that adds something special to this already distinct street in the City.

We also couldn’t resist stopping into the gorgeous Pure Home Couture, one of our favourite shops on Locke to get lost in. Right when we stepped inside, “La Vie En Rose” was gently crooning throughout the space. Impeccable timing. We strolled through the shop, sampling some perfumes and admiring the exquisite jewellery. Pure is simply stunning and definitely deserves a visit any time we’re in the area – there’s nothing else like it.

Before we left for the day, we ducked into Ten Thousand Villages, which made me think of Avishka and how on our last visit we sampled some Tanzanian coffee before she left for Africa. They had some unique Christmas decorations on display, such as Nativity scenes and trees. As we slowly transition into the holiday season, unique shops such as these are perfect for gift ideas and home decor.

We had been long overdue for a little tea time and we are pleased with our latest discovery. It doesn’t take a psychic tea leaf reading to predict that we’ll be back!

– Kristin

Vintage garden tearoom on Urbanspoon

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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