“This place was for rent and I had a lot of cups and saucers.” Lillian, 86, chuckles as she looks around at her busy place. “It was always in the back of my mind and I thought I’d try it for a year of two…” Behind her tea cups chatter onto painted saucers and I have to lean a little closer to hear over the din. “It has been such a success because this,” she motions to her patrons, “is what happens. They meet and the noise is just like music.”
The tiny tea house is decorated with knicknacks, curieos and prairie art. On one wall is a bulletin board covered with pictures and cards addressed to Lillian. It would seem she has friends everywhere who send her their love. The tea house seats about 20 an every time I’ve visited it’s been packed. Thank goodness nobody minds shuffling over and sharing their table with an out-of-towner. Everyone feels welcome at Lillian’s! If you’re really lucky someone might even offer to hold your baby!
Tea is served by Lillian’s smiling daughter who helps run the place and in addition to hot beverages that warm both your belly and soul, the pair of them offer the most scrumptious tea biscuits this side of the moon. They are always made fresh on the counter just behind the antique (but still functioning) cash register. Sometimes they run out but all it takes is 15 minutes for a fresh batch to come piping hot out of the oven. The smell in the tearoom is to die for.
As you might have guessed by now, people come from all over to sit and enjoy the offerings at Lillian’s. Little ones play tea party with the stuffed animals in the corner and us big ‘uns socialize wherever we can find a chair. But the real allure of Lillian’s- the reason everyone comes back again and again is because every scone is crafted with care, every cup of tea poured with love and if that weren’t enough- there’s Lillian herself. A woman whose kind heart and stunning smile make you want to sit and stay forever.