For this showcase, our editorial team asked Cheryl Turner, owner of Paris in a Cup, to share her personal vision and inspiration behind her immensely popular tea salon and boutique based in historic Old Town Orange ... in her own words and just in time for the holidays.
Visitors to my Tea Salon frequently ask me why I chose a French theme for my restaurant, my answer is always the same. I love all things French, especially the beautiful city of Paris. Due to an inner-ear problem, I have never been to the city of love, so I decided to bring it stateside. Old Towne Orange was the perfect choice. My husband and I own the building and this community is a great place to do business. I have been a business owner in this charming district for over 20 years, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.
I’m a fan of old movies, so I incorporated elements from the silver screen era while designing and planning my restaurant. You’ll see touches from movies like “An American In Paris,” “Weekend At The Waldorf,” “Gigi” and more. My plan was to give my guest an escape, to be transported to another era, if only for an hour or two. Even the clock on the wall reads Paris time and you’ll find the daily Paris forecast displayed in the gift shop. If I had to describe my decorating style, I would have to say “Vintage Parisian Glamour.”
We offer our guest two experiences, shopping and dining. When you first enter, you’ll discover a little French souvenir shop filled with much of the same merchandise you find when you visit Paris, France. I have worked very carefully with several French Importers to assure my customer they are getting an authentic souvenir. We actually have shoppers who purchase our souvenirs, travel to Paris and upon returning give them to their family and friends.
Our Tea Market offers our guest a sample “sniff” of every tea we carry, so you can make your tea selection before enjoying it in the salon or purchasing it to take home. In addition to carrying several French tea lines, we also proudly serve and sell our own Paris In A Cup signature brand. Our teas are imported and blended by a master tea blender here in the US. You’ll find French gourmet goods, tea towels, candies, chocolates, watches and of course Eiffel Towers. French themed jewelry adorned with Eiffel Towers and fleur di lis are abundant and quite reasonably priced. We’re a great spot to find a gift for your favorite Francophile, or that hard to buy for person.
After browsing you enter our Tea Salon, deliberately separated from the shop. Once seated in the salon you’ll forget you’re in the US. Our guests are soon transported to another place and time as they sit back in our cushy, European style banquettes or on one of our oversized chairs. Enjoy our French café music while dining. Close your eyes, you’re in Paris. You’ll be offered a menu featuring tea fare, luncheon and tempting desserts, along with our vast tea selections menu containing 130 teas.
Our kitchen staff, headed up by Chef Josh Backstrom, will prepare your choice to order. You’ll find items like seasonal entrée salads, hearty handcrafted soups and sandwiches and two types of quiche, all prepared fresh daily. Tea fare can include our award-winning scones served with house made crème fraiche and our berry jam, delectable tea sandwiches and petit fours (a trio of petite desserts). You may want to add a side of our delicious three-citrus curd (our scones and curd got us featured in Tea Time Magazine and “Tea and Scones” book, Hoffman Publishing). Tempting desserts are presented with a French flair. My favorites, our crème brûlée or our French macarons served on an Eiffel Tower stand. It’s really hard to choose. All entrees include your beverage choice. Choose from of our freshly brewed teas, delivered to your table ready to pour, or our European style coffee, or try our famous French Vanilla lemonade. We also offer house passion-berry iced tea or pick one from the tea selections menu and we’ll ice it for you.
Throughout the year, we have many fun events and themed teas. Some of our most popular include our Meet the Author Teas, Best Friends Tea for Valentine’s Day, Little Black Dress Tea, Mother’s Day Teas, and of course or Joyeux Noel Teas at the Holidays. As a breast cancer survivor, I am happy to give back by hosting a fundraiser the first Friday in October every year. We call it An Evening in Paris. Our salon is available for bridal showers and baby showers. You can visit our website for more details.
Paris In A Cup has been in business for over eight years, with this being our ninth Christmas. If you haven’t visited us as of yet, I sincerely hope I have tempted you to drop in and say “Bonjour”. We look forward to serving you soon. We’re open Wednesday through Sunday serving from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM and our boutique stays open for shopping until 5:00 PM. Don’t forget to take a box of our French macarons home with you. I promise you, you’ll be back for more. À bientôt!