Friday, February 27, 2009

Churchill’s (closed):

****Update: Churchill's is now closed, and the space it used to occupy is now Soho Sushi. Tea fanatics, don't panic; Churchill's now sells tea at Findlay Market. *****

I’d always wondered about Churchill’s when I walked past it in Carew Tower. I think they had my attention at Chocolate Guinness cake. Despite that, I’d delayed the trip. So when I heard they were moving; I decided to check it out. I’ve been to Churchill’s three times in the past week, just to get a well rounded experience.

view from inside

I went on Tuesday with a friend for lunch. We ordered sandwiches and tea. I ordered the large pot of Irish breakfast tea, thinking that I could probably persuade her to try some. I failed. Churchill’s has an incredible selection of teas. If you’re a tea enthusiast, you’ll probably want to spend a lot of afternoons at Churchill’s.

I ordered the ham and cheddar sandwich with lettuce, tomato and mayo, and Casey got the toasted roast beef and provolone.

It was then we learned the main con of Churchill’s. They take foooreeeeeever.

She said her roast beef was a little bit too salty and ended up dissecting her sandwich. I liked mine. It was good, it was simple. The ingredients were fresh. If only it didn’t take so long to actually procure.

I only finished half my sandwich, however. I was preoccupying myself with the tea. I decided that since I had gotten the large pot, I was darn well going to drink the large pot. All by myself.

David wasn’t around to tell me it was a bad idea, and after staring determinately at my cup and the still mostly full teapot, I began to start my mission.

It took a little while, but I managed to drink the entire pot, and proceeded to buzz around the office for the rest of the afternoon.

all gooone!

Visit # 2 was Wednesday. I didn’t get any food, other than 5 tea biscuits, tasty, crunchy little cookies. I got the regular pot of Irish breakfast tea ($3.95). It still took about ½ an hour to get everything. But the music was soothing, and I tucked myself away in a corner and drank my tea, trying to decompress from a busy morning.

Thursday, visit #3:

Despite the doilies and flowered tea cups, I convinced David to meet me at Churchill’s for lunch. I came in and went unnoticed for about 10 minutes. I waited patiently, and then I ended up going to the counter to place an order for the Irish Breakfast tea.

I waited another 10 minutes for the tea. When it was brought, I requested heavy cream. David was running late, so I decided to place a lunch order for him. I tried to give it to the nice lady who brought the tea, but she told me to hold on and she would get her notepad. I waited another 5 minutes for the cream to be brought and for her to return with her notepad. It was now 12:25, and I had clocked out for lunch at 12.

I placed an order for two sandwiches and a pot of Organic Assam tea for David. I ordered him the open faced turkey club ($8.50), and I got the turkey and cheddar sandwich. ($7.95).

David’s tea came out in another 10 minutes, but it was 12:50 before we got our sandwiches. David didn’t have a teaspoon so I shared mine with him.

I needed to be back at work at 1:00. I asked for a box and the check when we finally got the food we ordered. We didn’t get any napkins with our sandwiches or silverware to eat the little fruit cup they come with.

Tea time is supposed to be elegant and relaxing, but it’s difficult to do that when you’re watching the clock and waiting anxiously for your food, which, when it arrives you find don’t have any silverware to eat it with or napkins and you’re wiping your hands on your socks.

I got back 15 minutes late from lunch, which peeved me off. The total for our two pots of tea and two sandwiches was 25.93. That’s pretty expensive for lunch. I understand food taking time to prepare, but these are sandwiches we’re talking about here. Really, really simple sandwiches.

My advice—if you’ve got some time to kill, and seriously love tea, then have a lovely afternoon at Churchhill's. Make a reservation for afternoon tea with a three tiered tray of mini sandwiches and pastries. Stop in for some tea and biscuits to unwind--it's very peaceful. But if you want a sandwich, and you need to get back to your desk in less than an hour, take yourself over to Ingredients for a Panini.

Churchill's Tea Room on Urbanspoon


  1. What happened to Churchill's? I know the sign said moving, but then nothing?

    You are correct, a great tea place, but slow.....

    A devoted fan

  2. I think I remember a news story about them moving, planning to re-open in another location--but it did not say where.


I try to be honest, fair and keep a good sense of humor in my posts--I would appreciate if you follow the same policy with your comments.