Thursday, February 26, 2009

Noblesse Oblige

Noblesse Oblige Teahouse
316 Iris St
Lake Charles, LA
Monday - Friday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM $1-$15
With no advertising and just some discrete signs this low-key tearoom opened. I only heard about it from various sources that tell me about such things. Not much has been done to it since it was Wayne Harpers. A fresh coast of paint on the inside with some paintings seems the extent. They start you off with a complementary cup of their house tea, a basic spiced tea with orange notes.
My first visit occurred after a very stressful week. Merely going into this venue gave me a sense of calm. I started with French Onion soup, nice flavor with melted cheese on a piece of rye bread. I next ordered a Fresh Veggie Sandwich. I received sliced red onion, tomato, cucumber and lettuce on sourdough bread. It proved light, refreshing and crunchy. I ended with a teacake and a scone. Their teacakes are more of a shortbread cookie, rich and delicious. The scone was light and fluffy. I washed it all down with a delightful Cardamom flavored Chai (Milk Tea). My stress melted away
Next time in I meet my sister there. She got Potato Soup (creamy with chunks of potato) and Quiche Loraine. It turned out to be an individual one instead of a slice. A nice size and enjoyed by my sister in spite of an uneven distribution of seasoning. I went with Vegetable soup. Nicely spiced broth (black pepper) with chunks of vegetables including okra went down a treat. I then ordered a Downtown Brown. A riff on an open face hot sandwich created in the 1920’s at a Louisville Kentucky hotel called The Brown. That one consists of turkey and bacon on bread covered with a Swiss cheese sauce and broiled. This one has sliced grilled chicken breast and tomatoes on toasted bread topped with a Parmesan cheese sauce. It proved quite tasty. I also got a pot of Kesari (a deep rich Indian black tea).
For the last outing I booked a tea party for the whole group. For a change all nine of us were able to attend. I specified a traditional English Afternoon Tea and they delivered. Walking in the room, the table proved breath taking with a lace tablecloth, print runner, lovely teacups, and plates. We later learned that they were heritage pieces passed down from great grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers and aunties. Plates of finger sandwiches (smoked chicken salad, spicy pimento cheese, egg salad, and turkey-cucumber with olive butter) awaited us with scones, teacakes, and brownie bites. To finish off they brought delectable custard tarts filled with fresh berries. Unlike some places where you have to order tea just for yourself, they brought out pots of various teas (black, green, and herbal) so everyone could try what ever they wanted. This does not apply during regular service. The feeling was more like you were invited and honored quests in their home and not just customers.
The experience was wonderful and I highly recommend it for spending a civilized afternoon with your friends. They are willing to accommodate any requests within reason. Also you have to make arrangements a week in advance. I now have a calm oasis to go to in times of stress. Not only for an arranged tea party but also for weekday service.


Anonymous said...

This place seems like alot of fun. I gather once a month with a group of six friends and we take turns having "real" tea parties at each others homes. We have children so we set them up with a children's table covered with a lace table cloth and a real tea set and usually rasberry tea and dessert for them. We have our own table set up with lace cloth and always a really nice tea set. We put out tea pots with hot water and place a varitey of teas out for each to try. Dessert is served and great conversation is had. We place a card infront of each setting with each person's name on it. You pass your card to the right and you wright a nice message on each card until you get your card back. This is to take home and read later. Really makes you feel good to read the nice things your friends wrote. We love Tea Parties!

Arthur "The Bear" Hebert said...

You might what to try this place. They are very friendly. But based on your comment your group could give them a run for their money

Mary (suzy wong) said...

Great review, Bear. The vegetable sandwich with the sourdough bread is making me hungry! Love it. High tea, tea time. etc is so delicate yet yummy. Sound slike a wonderful place. And the vinatge/retro china dishware, GREAT!


Anonymous said...

I had lunch there with a group of friends and it was awesome. It was a feeling of home away from home. We didn't feel rushed or overwhelmed by annoying music that you get in some places. I think we stayed and just talked for half an hour after we ate.

Anonymous said...

This place is a slice of heaven! I am so happy to see this type of establishment in Lake Charles. Definitely a stress reliever!!! Filled with charm and a very friendly staff. As a little girl I would enjoy afternoon tea with an elderly woman in our neighborhood and this brought back all those great memories. The food is excellent and the sweet potato pie is to a must!