I am an Anglophile through and through and simply adore a classic afternoon tea. I recently enjoyed a very lovely ladies’ lunch at Sweet Violet’s with my mother and grandmother. First of all, the historic house where the tearoom is located is absolutely charming, and secondly, the owner, Debbie Woodroof, was a delight to speak with. Before being seated, we browsed the selection of antiques, costume jewelry and handmade note cards (more on those later). Our meal started off with the softest scones I’ve ever had. Served with clotted cream and strawberry jelly, the downright pillowy scones were delicious. Next came our three-tiered tray of assorted tea sandwiches and various savory treats and sweets. Each of us received our own pot of tea, which allowed us to try multiple flavors. Sweet Violets is a perfect venue for special occasions like bridal and baby showers and group lunches or just a leisurely lunch on a random Thursday. In fact, if you work downtown and need a break from the same lunch spots, Sweet Violets could be a much-needed change of pace. Afternoon tea is $18 per person. The tearoom is open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and reservations are recommended. 503 W. Wayne St.; (260) 426-4832. www.sweetvioletsteaandantiques.com
A quick word about those handmade cards: The mother of a tenant above Sweet Violets makes whimsical blank greeting cards that feature glamorous women in various over-the-top hats. Made of different fabrics and textures, the cards are little works of art and would look lovely if framed. I’ve never seen them anywhere else in town, so that gives you another reason to visit Sweet Violets! $4 each.
New to the antique/vintage home decor scene is Antiqology in downtown Huntington. The small store packs a punch with theater marquee letters, cool typewriters, various enamel pieces, working pocket watches, old-timey cash register flags and even vintage Tums, which gave me quite a laugh! I fell in love with a stack of old trunks and suitcases as well as a pedestal birdcage and a funny Velveeta Cheese print (yes, you read that correctly). The store is charming, and the owner is super friendly. Make Antiqology one of your regular antique/vintage haunts, and like them on Facebook to be notified of new arrivals to the store. Antiqology is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. 544 N. Jefferson, Huntington; (260) 388-9959. www.facebook.com/Antiqology
I love a fine cup of coffee and, really, who doesn’t? Trionfale (the name means triumphant in Italian) is owned and operated by an internationally trained expert in the art of espresso. The beverages are rich and perfectly balanced, and if your drink is topped with foam, don’t forget to check out the design on top — I’ve seen beautiful swans, a heart and even Yoda from Star Wars in my lattes. Trionfale also offers bubble teas and classic teas as well as pastries and a few accessories. I was drawn to a colorful wall of Keep Cups — eco-friendly, reusable tumblers. While not sealed containers, these alternatives to the standard paper cup/plastic lid are splash proof, microwave and dishwasher safe, come in four takeaway sizes and are BPA free. I own an embarrassing array of to-go coffee tumblers, but the Keep Cup I purchased from Trionfale is my favorite, not only due to its functionality but because the bright combination of colors wakes me up almost as much as the coffee inside … almost. Trionfale is open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday. 2910 E. Dupont Road; (260) 387-6589. www.facebook.com/TrionfaleEspresso