Tea Time in Somers Point

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Tea Time A lovely way to spend an afternoon sipping tea and munching on a delicious lunch Jennifer Shorten of Hamilton Township, left, along with Adrienne Latz of Northfield and Ann Latrello of Somers Point at Latz’s Tea at the Top where Latrello is the tea expert and connoisseur.
SOMERS POINT—Having a tea party can be just as special as it was when you were a child thanks to Tea at the Top on the upper level of Latz’s by the Bay located at 801 Bay Avenue. 

Tables set with beautiful linens, lovely china, a three-tiered server and a waiter asking if you would like one lump or two in your choice of 32 different teas that are available in this cozy, special spot. From traditional flavors like Earl Gray to exotics like coconut oolong and chocolate chai, patrons read something about each flavor to help find the perfect taste. Each person is then given a pot of their chosen tea kept warm with a beautiful hand made tea cozy.

An afternoon tea is not a rush to grab something quickly; rather it is an opportunity to enjoy the company of your lunch companion while sampling an array of food that is as aesthetically pleasing to the eye as to the palate.

The server, Antonio Cardona of Egg Harbor City said the entire staff had spent the previous afternoon sampling everything on the menu in order to be able to speak about the offerings with some authority.

The three-tiered server is quickly filled with a dish of freshly baked scones, a dish of finger sandwiches and a dessert dish on the bottom completes the elegant, yet simple offering that comes to the table.

When the server approached the table he was well versed in every ingredient in each course. The description of freshly homemade scones with a suggestion of clotted cream or fresh lemon curd on top was enough to have you reaching for your favorite.

The finger sandwiches were as tasty as they were pretty. Finger sandwiches and tea savories like with egg salad with bacon on heart shaped pumpernickel were an instant hit. Classic quiche with a sprig of cilantro was the perfect size to have a taste along with a cream cheese topped white bread with a ribbon of delicately sliced cucumber topped with a sliced grape tomato was light and delicious. The chicken salad with chutney on a puff pastry was a nice switch. Each of the sandwiches was just large enough to provide a few delicious bites of a very interesting assortment of lunch favorites.

The desserts are equally as tasty as they are pretty. All are made fresh daily by the chef at Latz’s. Prices range from $11 to $23 per person. For those who would love a proper cup of tea but just something light; warm fresh scones are available with the choice of tea.

Somers Point native, Kathy Arleth was enjoying a quiet lunch with her friend Lois Gregory, also from Somers Point. The two sat and chatted over tea and their lunch. Arleth said, “It is really such a nice surprise up here. You would think that because the area is rather small and the tables are close that you would hear others speaking and that is not the case at all. The acoustics in here seem to be such that it helps to create small very private space.”

Arleth is the owner of the Great Bay Gallery in Somers Point. She along with Tea at the Top owners, Andrew and Adrienne Latz have teamed up to bring more local art exposure to the area. A reception will be held at Tea at the Top at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20 with Snyder.

Andrew Latz said Tea at the Top has a lot of plans for the future that include a First Ladies Tea, a twilight tea and an appraisal tea along with other interesting events. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. For more information call (609) 788-8838 or visit www.latzbythebay.com 

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