If you know me, you know I love an afternoon tea. Not only do I look for tea venues when I travel, I often plan my trip around them. I enjoy the whole package – the tea varieties, the delicious sweets and the savories, the table setting, and the surrounding ambiance. And although I’m A-OK with going it alone, an afternoon tea shared with friends or family is simply the best.

Today I enjoyed a lovely tea with very dear friends just three blocks from my front door! HH Apothecary & Co., a full service tea room & florist, opened their boutique shop on Madison‘s Main Street this past summer. In addition to a huge selection of loose and bagged teas (and lots of spices, handcrafted bath & body care products), they now offer monthly afternoon teas by reservation. Home run! And while my friends and I all live in Madison, the other afternoon tea-goers at the table had traveled in from North Vernon, IN (a half hour north) and Clarksville & Sellersburg, IN (45 min – an hour south). I’m telling you, tea lovers travel!

The ambiance of the shop is a treat for the senses, visually lovely and filled with the scent of their fresh florals. (We all enjoyed sampling dabs of fragrant house-made creams and lotions on display.) The single banquet table for twelve was beautifully appointed in gold and glass, with vintage glass plates and cups at each place, and gold chargers ready for their towers of goodness. We each selected a tea from an extensive list and were brought our own pot of hot tea. We felt quite special to have the entire shop to ourselves for two hours.

Three-tiered stands were brought to the table, and co-owner Jae Wood reviewed the specially prepared offerings for us – sandwiches (pimento cheese, cucumber & chicken salad), scones (blueberry and chocolate, plus banana bread), and sweets (mini eclairs, macarons, chocolates.) Treats were made by HH Apothecary’s local partner bakers & chocolate makers.

At the conclusion of our tea, we were each given a small gift of a teabag of black tea and a lotion sample, which I thought was very thoughtful. As we had the shop to ourselves to browse and buy, everyone enjoyed exploring and taking photos in the pretty setting. It was simply a lovely afternoon.

I so enjoyed the chance to slow down and smell the roses – and drink the tea – with friends Georgie and Michele. Even though we’re all retired and should have plenty of time to putz around together, life intervenes. It seems we dash about in different directions most of the time, intending to meet up and catch up, but settling for a text or an email. It was really so nice to have a special treat and quiet moments together. And a cup of tea fixes (pretty much) everything.

Sally ~ Michele ~ Georgie

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One thing that makes my journey unique is that all of my interests are driven by a joyful and genuine curiosity. I delight in finding less expensive ways to make something or creative ways to enjoy something longer. Finding and creating joy - and sharing it - is core to who I am.