Oregon is known for offering many unique experiences to travellers, and its various teahouses provide a one-of-a-kind encounter that keeps customers coming back. Stretching from the coast to the southernmost border of the state, these tea shops show the heart of local business and individualism.
Indulge Antiques, Springfield
Tucked inside the relatively empty Gateway Mall in Springfield, Indulge Antiques is vastly different than the other stores surrounding it, creating a haven of tea and food for customers.
Indulge is a teahouse, café and store. After opening in Washington in 2004, the shop relocated to the Eugene-Springfield area and, a few years ago, settled at Gateway.
Despite the sparsity of the mall surrounding it, Indulge creates a different atmosphere. Instead of white store lights, antique chandeliers hang delicately on the walls. Covering the white walls, antique and rustic decor surrounds the chandeliers.
When customers aren’t sitting and eating at a table, they can walk around the different pieces of furniture or browse items for sale.
Owner Montana Robertson and her mother, Alice Morgan, can share story after story of times they have engaged customers of all ages and backgrounds, hoping to develop a sense of community.
Many of Robertson’s relatives — including her husband, sister and mother — work at Indulge. Outside of work, four out of five family members live on the same property together.
“We learned from being so close to each other how real people are,” Robertson says. “That is where we get the acceptance from. When people walk in here, we don’t look at anything except we want to love each person that comes in.”
Every week, Indulge hosts a variety of groups for high tea ranging from 75 members of the Red Hat Society women’s social group for the Kentucky Derby, to wedding and baby showers, to birthdays.
The food menu, which has been relatively unchanged since the restaurant opened, holds a variety of sandwiches, soups and salads. They also have a growing dessert menu ranging from banana bourbon butterscotch cake to gingerbread.
Running Indulge is no easy task, but Robertson says that, even on her days off, she wants to be back at the shop.
“We do this because we love it,” she says.
Indulge is located at 3000 Gateway Street, store #406 and is open 10 am-5 pm Tuesday through Thursday and 10 am-6 pm Friday and Saturday.
La Tea Da, Tillamook
Cruising down Highway 101, travellers have the opportunity of stopping at La Tea Da Tea Room in the town of Tillamook near the northern Oregon Coast. Situated a few blocks south of downtown, this quaint tea shop offers guests a variety of experiences while drinking tea.
The shop is run by Glenda Tonski and her daughter, Belinda Williams, who bought it in 2017 after it had been around for 15 years. Tonski’s grandchildren work in the shop after school and her husband cleans up after the day is over.
Tonski describes the shop as peaceful.
“It’s unique,” she says, “because it’s not something you normally find.” The inside resembles a parlor or someone’s home and is filled with antique chairs and floral tablecloths.
The family’s hard work is seen in their variety of homemade sandwiches and scones that they serve with their tea daily.
La Tea Da also holds a monthly literary tea where a regional author comes in to talk about their recent book, while tea and scones are served.
Every third Saturday the La Tea Da hosts a craft day. People can bring any craft they are working on from knitting to crocheting. And on any other day customers can sit at tables and drink tea while working on a laptop or reading a book. The way La Tea Da is experienced is up to the customer.
La Tea Da Tea Room is located at 904 Main Avenue, Tillamook, and is open 1-5 pm Tuesday through Saturday.
The Painted Lady, Myrtle Creek
Step through time and visit the Painted Lady, a tea shop run out of a restored Victorian home located right off the highway in Myrtle Creek, south of Roseburg.
This tearoom and shop is no stranger to fun. Each room is decorated a different color and has corresponding items for sale. From the blue room to the bedroom and bathroom, those who visit can find antiques, collectibles, jewelry and clothes for sale. People will even choose the rooms they want to use for parties, such as white for bridal showers and the pink room for princess parties.
Painted Lady owner Wendi Jocoy restored the old Victorian home in 2009 to create the Painted Lady, which is also a bed and breakfast. From the restoration of the house to the food and desserts, everything is homemade. She runs the establishment by herself, spending each day setting out the variety of silverware and china plates.
Jocoy says she hopes her tea shop makes an experience for people they won’t forget. She has more than 100 dresses for people of all ages to dress up in.
“I have people come in every year because its tradition,” she says.
Upstairs, the house has two recently remodeled bedrooms and a kitchen available to rent for a full B&B experience. In the summer, customers can be served outside in the garden.
The Painted Lady Bed & Breakfast and Tea Room is located right of I-5 at 231 NW 3rd Avenue in Myrtle Creek. The gift shop and tearoom are open 11 am to 3 pm Thursday through Saturday.