On Friday afternoon, I got a bee in my bonnet about going for tea to a little shop that is always closed on Sundays. Located in the Outer Richmond, Tal-y-Tara Tea and Polo Shop serves up exactly what the name implies – good, cozy, filling tea and all sorts of polo and horseback riding supplies and accouterments.
We got there an hour before closing. The atmosphere is cozy, hushed, but not uncomfortably so. Besides one other family having their pre-suppertime tea, the other occupants of the tea room were the owner and his friends/family. We ordered a pot of Yorkshire Gold and a pot of China Rose Petal tea, both from Taylors of Harrogate. J. and I shared a motorloaf plate with fruit and cheese. The motorloaf was warm and rich, served with a sharp cheddar, clotted cream, chutney, and slices of fruit. The tea menu had a large assortment of black, green and herbal teas, as well as a couple of white tea blends. We sat underneath an ornately carved wood mantle and sipped our tea for a good half hour.
Poking around the shop, we found a few neat things that would please even those whose only exposure to a horse was Black Beauty. Laid out in the shop were fantastic train cases by Two Five, Yardley’s lotions and soaps, and a large assortment of soft, thick wool sweaters with leather elbow patches. Granted, the cost of the sweaters and most other clothing items was a bit prohibitive for us, but the friendly owner informed us of a variety of discounts he has all over the store, so this might be a good place for me to come back next week and see about presents for some people.
The tea mellowed us out sufficiently before dinner at Mandalay, a Burmese restaurant, where the wait was long and a man sitting at a table next to us had pushed his chair so far out that every waitress had to slide her butt along our table just to make it through. We chose to be entertained, instead of annoyed. (Dinner was good, although I forgot to take any photos of our black pepper soup and mango pudding).
Tal-y-Tara Tea & Polo Shop
6439 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94121