Are you a fan of tea? How about fine-dining, true history, Victorian houses, beautiful imagery, passionate people, wonderful food, homemade everything, fancy furniture, adorable decorations, and just generally a great time?
Quintealia’s is a tea house in Burton, a short drive from Hiram College. The place is owned and taken care of by Annette Phillips and Renee Petro. Annette happened to be our waitress on my visit. She gave us the history of the place, but I'll start by giving you a lowdown of the surroundings.
The restaurant is inside a beautiful Victorian mansion, complete with chandeliers, stained glass, and vintage furniture. Everything in the whole house is vintage, Victorian and beautiful. I tried to describe it in my notebook, but it was impossible: the only way to capture the beauty is to go there yourself!
Quintealia’s follows many Victorian dining customs. For example, our waitress personally placed our napkins on our laps for us (maybe a bit disorienting at first, but I could come to appreciate it), and served all of the women at the table first, and my older brother last. So, while Quintealia’s should be and is appreciated by both genders, it definitely caters towards females more.
We asked our waitress, Annette, about the curious name of the restaurant, and she told us the story. I’m going to paraphrase here, since the full story is available on the menus: a woman named Quintilia traveled to America in search of a better life. When finding work, people thought her name was too hard to pronounce, and so they called her “Clara” instead. This woman lived her whole life known as “Clara.” At this point Annette began to tear up. She then said that Quintilia was her grandmother, a woman of inner strength and brave spirit, and she always wanted to open a tea shop to pay homage to her. Hence the added tea pun in "Quintealia".
I almost started crying with her then and there; the feeling heightened even more when they brought out the food.
This is one of those places where every person at the table gets their own teapot, and every teapot is decorated differently. The waitresses poured and steeped our tea for us at the table — another Victorian tradition. Whenever one of our teacups ran out, they would tend to rush over and pour for us. I mean, where else can you get that kind of service?
The food consisted of light biscuits, tiny sandwiches, and rich desserts. Annette reinforced that every piece of food is homemade right there in the kitchen. So, fresh and healthy food alongside a whole teapot full of tea? Yes, please.
So what’s the downside to Quintealia’s? Well, the Victorian-style tea party isn’t for everyone. It’s very old-fashioned, which I loved, but others may not, especially when it comes to catering to a woman’s femininity. My brother, who enjoyed the food and service with us, wasn’t too interested in the doilies and frills.
But yeah, as I’ve been saying since the beginning, I loved this place, and I’m sure most people will too! It’s not overbearingly girlie at all; it’s historically Victorian and just downright comfortable to be in, like you’re a high-class citizen enjoying supper with your friends. I loved the food, the people, and especially the atmosphere; this isn’t a normal restaurant that you come across any ol’ day.
Interested? I hope so! Here’s Quintealia’s website; why not think about making a reservation for tea?