Photos by Cheryl Landes
Southwest Washington is far away from England, but that doesn’t stop people here from enjoying a spot of tea. And there’s a place where we can go to enjoy it in the traditional British way in Battle Ground, 18 miles north of Vancouver, Washington.
Sweet Peas Tea Room owner and England native Sharon Harbeck and her daughter, Chantelle Davis, opened the tea house in the Old Padden House on NE 78th Street in Vancouver in 2015. They quickly outgrew the location and moved to their current location at 619 SE 1st Street in Battle Ground two years later.
The tea room is in a quaint white house in a quiet corner of Battle Ground, near the town’s center. Sharon greets every customer and makes them feel at home while she explains how the tea works and describes the food on the menu.
Each time I’ve come here with the ladies from a local meetup, we’ve ordered the full tea. We started with our choice of tea, served in a pot wrapped in a handmade cozie made by Chantelle, and a cup of homemade tomato bisque soup.
Then we received tiered trays of four finger sandwiches apiece, scones served with clotted cream and preserves, and assorted bite-sized desserts. The scone and clotted cream recipes have been handed down for three generations. Sharon received them from her Auntie Gert when she was 11 years old.
Although the finger sandwiches, scones, and sweet treats are in portions equaling one or two bites, our hunger was fully satisfied by the time we were finished two hours later. This tea time is an enjoyable experience that must not be rushed.
Reservations are required and accepted by phone only at (360) 984-6422. For parties of eight or more, Sharon holds the reservation with a credit card.
Sweet Peas Tea Room has a gift shop that sells Chantelle’s homemade teapot cozies, items Sharon knits with English yarn, and teas and tea wares from around the world, and popular non-perishable foods from England.