Hidden Treasures: AunTEA Pearls TEA Establishment

Transport back to the English Edwardian era with a visit to the exquisite AunTEA Pearls TEA Establishment for brunch, lunch or afternoon tea.

“When you step in the door, you step back in time to a more genteel era,” says owner and founder Debra Richardson, who comes from a strong English heritage.

Her great-grandmother, Pearl, and her great-aunt, who she affectionately refers to as “Auntee,” had a cafe in England in the early 1900s, inspiring Richardson to start her own English-style cafe and tea room.

With 16 years of experience operating a bed and breakfast in Simpsonville and her great-grandmother’s recipes in hand, Richardson launched AunTEA Pearls in May.

Aptly named to honor both her great-grandmother and great-aunt, AunTEA Pearls provides a quaint setting for everyday lunch or a special event.

“At tea time everything goes a little slower,” Richardson says. “You wait for the tea, wait for the scones to cook and it’s so relaxing and peaceful.”

While at AunTEA Pearls, you may forget you’re in 21st century Kentucky because of the great lengths Richardson has taken to provide an early 20th century English atmosphere. All the decor was hand-picked by Richardson, with help from her sister.

An old-fashioned candy store register and Edwardian stove and telephone make up part of the decor, completed by doily-covered lamps and an eclectic assortment of place settings. Each place setting is different, with all the flower-adorned tea cups and plates coming from different sets.

AunTEA Pearls caters to individuals and groups. Reservations aren’t needed to stop by for lunch or tea but are recommended for larger groups. AunTEA Pearls is the perfect venue for celebrations such as baby showers, birthday parties and bridesmaids luncheons and can hold up to 32 patrons.

The tea room’s lunch menu includes soups, sandwiches and quiche, and daily features are also available. Gourmet teas and golden-brown buttery scones are among the signature items, as well as the three-tier tea tray.

“I love this business, I love cooking, and I love making people happy with food,” Richardson says.

Stellar customer service is a focus for the cafe, which operates under the motto, “We are so glad you are here.” The phrase is so important to Richardson that it is included on the menu.

“I have a servant’s heart,” Richardson says. “Cooking and hospitality is a gift God gives to me, and I share it and hope to be a blessing.”

AunTEA Pearls TEA Establishment, located at 9816 Linn Station Road, is open from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and is closed Sunday and Monday. For more information, call 502-599-0585.

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