Tea? Don’t mind if I do.
I just had a wonderful girls-get-together the other day at a Tea Time Parlor Party. I never would have known about this intimate, fun experience had I not received an invite from Mary Ellen Hagglund, the owner of Port Moody’s Mainstay Oasis Bed & Breakfast. She recently started this Tea Time venture as an expansion of her beautifully kept B&B and she offered to host me and a few of my friends one Saturday afternoon for a Tea Party. I rounded up three friends and headed to Mainstay Oasis B&B, located on the north side of Burrard Inlet in Port Moody’s Pleasantside neighbourhood.
The Smell of Scones at Mainstay Oasis’ Tea Time
When we arrived, Kelsey, Mary Ellen’s daughter and PR person, warmly greeted us. One of the first things I noticed was a delicious smell of something baking as Mary Ellen appeared from the kitchen to welcome us into her home. If you’ve never been to a B&B, it is a strangely unique experience; entering a stranger’s home and being welcomed and served as guests. We gathered in the living room, gazing through the windows at the breathless view of the waterfront lot. The vast view of Burrard Inlet, Port Moody and Burnaby Mountain across the way gave me that deep breath of relaxation.
The service started with a tea selection to choose from. There were three featured teas and then a variety of other teas in their tea chest. Although there were not many loose-leaf teas, there was a nice variety of flavour options. We picked a few flavours to share and Mary Ellen and Kelsey headed to the kitchen to prepare them.
Cozy Tea Time
“This is so cozy,” my friend commented. It was definitely a comfortable, warm atmosphere. The teas were served in cute pots, and after enjoying some teatime in the sitting area, we were directed to the kitchen table, nicely set in a kitchen nook overlooking the inlet.
We dined on fancy sandwiches, exotic fruits, handmade chocolate-covered strawberries and of course, more tea. Remember the smell that hit me when I first walked into the B&B? It was Mary Ellen’s lemon cranberry scones, freshly baked and her specialty (besides her waffles that she makes for breakfast for her B&B guests). The scones were delicious, served with butter, lemon curd and Devonshire cream. I only wish I was offered a second one because I would have definitely found room for those knockout scones.
High Tea for your Next Celebration
With 2013 being Port Moody’s Centennial, Mary Ellen was thinking of days past and the “high tea” experience came to mind. This, with her love of tea, was the start of Tea Time at the Mainstay Oasis B&B. She is offering her high tea service for any occasion, from Baby Showers or Birthdays to a Just-Because get-together with friends or family. They can accommodate between 4-16 people for the tea parties with a cost per person of $16 for their standard menu service. But, it is not a set menu and they can create custom menus based on taste preferences, with the price reflected accordingly. The service lasts for two hours but if you needed your event to last longer, I am sure you could arrange that in advance with Mary Ellen.
A Place to Get Away
With comforting tea, delicious homemade goodies, quality friend time and even some interesting stories shared by our hosts, Tea Time at the Mainstay Oasis was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. It was a unique experience and a glimpse into the beautiful B&B that is right at our doorsteps; and from first impressions, a place that I would recommend to anyone who wants to getaway if but for a moment. You will notice the attention to detail; from the flowers that line the sidewalk as you approach the entrance to the lovely inspirational quotes that adorn the bedrooms and the Aveda products supplied for guests’ use. My friends could not stop commenting on how wonderful each room smelled!
Your Next Event Location
They have hosted travellers, business people and families in town visiting. They are a popular place for honeymooners or wedding parties needing space to get ready with a beautiful picture backdrop. In fact, they can host weddings on their site for up to 35 guests or 40 in the summer if the outside space is being used. They also rent out their walkout basement space and covered patio for meetings, anniversaries or any other event. You can call Mary Ellen at 604.315.4919 to inquire about your specific needs.
As for Tea Time at the Mainstay Oasis, you will need to call Mary Ellen to book a time in advance. And when you go, could you be a doll and discreetly take a sneak peak through the kitchen to see if you can find her scone recipe for me? It would be much appreciated. Once you taste them, you will understand why.
Mainstay Oasis Bed & Breakfast
916 Alderside Road, Port Moody