FOUNTAIN HILLS — Guests who venture inside the Valley’s newest tea room might find themselves in a glorious time warp.
They’ll step into an early 20th-century American tradition while subtly soaking in hints of sainthood from across the centuries. They’ll sit in one of eight rooms whose décor easily speaks of other eras and sample all four tea colors to please the present palette.
Guests will remain in the current day while embracing the future via the new friendships they form and trinkets — plus tea — they can purchase to take home. The glorious time warp is only natural for a place called Crowning Glory Tea Room.
“I just want them to have joy and peace and good memories of coming here and enjoying the food and the environment and just getting a glimpse of heaven,” explained Sherry Boas, owner, who created and designed the 2,200-square-foot space.
Boas also knows what she doesn’t want. The St. Anne parishioner, who guests will often see donning a frilly apron, serving guests and respectfully enjoying their fellowship, doesn’t want them worrying about typical tea room “norms.”
Men and children are certainly welcome; one young adult son and an 11-year-old even celebrated a birthday there. Younger children have their share of delights including a treasure hunt of sorts to see if they can spot one or two mini peg saint dolls in each room. Or perhaps collect a full passport of stamps to earn a free high tea.
Crowning Glory Tea Room
16733 E. Palisades Blvd. #101, Fountain Hills
Boas said the main comment heard in Crowning Glory Tea Room’s first five months of operation is about how beautiful and peaceful it is.
“They get chills on the outside and they have to come in,” Boas said.
Something about its giant Marian crown, high floral adorned windows and soothing blue color attracts guests. The promise of “heavenly food” and “divine friendship” written simply on one of the doors entices guests too. Each tea room reflects a particular country or region with comfortable seating for two to four friends plus a private dining room serving eight to 10. Mary’s Garden room seats up to 30 guests. Custom-made pillows and a keychain in each room share a quote from a related saint or two.
“Each individual parlor is an individual seating room like a family room,” Boas said. “St. Thérèse is our most popular one because it’s so feminine and the most pink.”
The menu also speaks of the faith serving coffee named for St. Drago, patron saint of unattractive people — yes, there’s a patron for that — and 20 teas that also boldly display canonized names. Guests often compliment the creativity behind the “Faith, Hope and Chery-Tea” scone.
Crowning Glory Tea Room has given Boas a unique new showcase for her writing talent. The mother of four ages 13-20 has already authored five novels outside of a trilogy, a Rosary meditation and six years worth of CatholicMom.com articles.
“I don’t ask, but I think the majority of people have not been Catholic. They come because they like high tea,” Boas said.
Locals and even tea enthusiasts from Payson and Texas have visited so far with a Yelp review from two West coast states. The tea room has hosted a bridal party, Bible study and work gathering so far.
“Mostly everyone has said it’s one of the best tea rooms they’ve been to between atmosphere, food, teas and service,” said Mike Jetty, chef. “We just try to make it be a welcoming, loving, cozy place.”
Kimberlee Robinson of Fountain Hills said it’s exactly what she would have dreamed up. She was there on day one with a gift card a client managed to secure and has been back several times for tea and gifts. She likes every room with the French one standing out for its vintage and pink ambiance. Robinson also complimented the growing staff who make and wash everything by hand and tend to daily laundry.
Another guest described the tea room as transcending, saying “It calls you to be your higher self.” Boas credits the patronage of the place and each room. Employees agree saying it’s beyond tea. “We’re serving their soul in some way.”