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Afternoon Tea at Cafe at Thistle Farms

There’s two good reasons to patronize this Cafe: firstly, the food is excellent (more of which later) and secondly you’ll be supporting an excellent cause, I can’t put it better than they describe on their website: “The Café is part of Thistle Farms’ social enterprise, which heals, empowers, and employs women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction”.

But dispel any notions you may have that this is some amateur non-profit serving up fries and burgers. Far from it. From the moment you walk into the newly renovated spacious, clean and welcoming restaurant you know this is a place where professionalism and pride are also on the Menu.

Our group of six had gone for their Afternoon Tea. And as a Brit I guess I can claim some knowledge and experience as to what a good Afternoon Tea should consist of. I’ve been lucky to have sampled this light, mid afternoon meal at some of the best hotels and restaurants in England, and let me tell you,
this Cafe’s is up there with the best of them.

A quick history lesson: Afternoon tea was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. The Duchess would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably late at eight o’clock, thus leaving a long period of time between lunch and dinner.

So the Afternoon Tea was designed to fill that long gap between lunch and dinner with some light, tasty savory and sweet dishes. And here at the Cafe at Thistle Farm they put on a great selection of both: from the egg salad sandwich (complete with water cress, sublime!), to beautiful quiches, scones with cream and jam (the former with a delightful citrus tang) and then lemon cake, strawberries and more to finish. The choice is bigger than listed here, none disappointed.

To complement you have a choice of some pretty exotic teas (no PG Tips here!) to choose from, our favorite was the fearsomely named, but delicately flavored, Iron Goddess of Mercy, delightful with a slice of Lemon, but no milk.

The staff were, quite rightly, extremely proud of what they are doing, and the food they create. The service was attentive and efficient (shout out there to Erica our server-great job) and to the other staff member who belted out an impromptu version of ‘Happy Birthday’ in Frank Sinatra style.

So forget about all these new restaurants being opened by ‘celebrity chefs’ you’ve never heard of, get down to the Cafe at Thistle Farm where they serve great food for a worthy cause.

The Duchess would be proud of them!
HOURS: Monday-Saturday 7a–3p, Sunday closed
PHONE: Café (615) 953-6440.
Events (615) 465-0563
www.thecafeatthistlefarms.org
LOCATION: 5122 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN 37209

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