Sitting in Carefree above the greater Phoenix area is the English Rose Tea Room, a place which I have been meaning to visit for some years now. It is the place in the desert in which you can sit for a true English tea in a wholeheartedly feminine manner.
Throughout, you will also find plenty of tea sets and English embellishments; there is always something to look at.
All the teacups and plates are unique and ready to welcome you to your table. They had a handy way of approaching the disposable menu regulation: the menus are under the glass on the table along with vintage photos and lace doilies. Pretty and practical.
You can order soup and salads and quiche and the like, but I had to go full tea room. They do have the afternoon tea with three tiers: desserts, scones, and finger sandwiches. Or you can get just the sandwiches. Or just the scones. Or what I got: Just Desserts has the scone tier and the dessert tier. More manageable, yet still indulgent. I'd like to return at some point and try the sandwiches next.
For the tea, I went with the Paris tea. They do have a wide selection of teas, plain, flavored, and herbal. They're loose teas and good quality. Since I've given up my daily cup of black tea (I've been having Yerba mate in the morning for now), the Paris tea itself was quite a treat.
I wanted to like the scones more than I did, but maybe that's just because I'm used to mine. The desserts were lovely, though. The macaron and cookie were nice. Normally I don't care for chocolate-covered strawberries because the chocolate is usually cheap and the strawberries tasteless. But this strawberry was fresh and flavorful (there were a couple more plain strawberries on the scone plate). They use good ingredients here. That cake square on the top left was my favorite. The inside was strawberry and cream, and though it seems a plain piece it was gorgeous in flavor and texture.
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, the room had extra decorations and the staff were decked out in 1920's fashion. (I'll add here that they were all very nice and attentive to our table.)
And in cooler weather, their patio still has its own decor, like this teapot sculpture.
Previously the only tea room I had been to was the Crown and Crumpet in San Francisco ten years ago (where we did get the full afternoon tea). While I absolutely enjoyed that visit, I do believe I prefer the English Rose. Maybe it's just because it's in my home state, so I know I can go back again. Maybe it's because this was more of a special occasion visit. Maybe it's because I liked the little room (with less tables than it normally squeezes in). Eating that little cake square in a room of teacups, what could be more Carefree than that?