Robinson’s Tea Room Offers A Taste Of Formal English Tradition In A Casual Setting

February 16, 2021

Robinson’s Tea Room in Stony Brook is a special little place where you can come and enjoy the quintessentially British custom of Afternoon Tea, but in a setting that is not at all formal.

The only way to describe it is delightful!!

The tea room also serves scones, soups, salad and lunch. Born in England, co-owner Danielle Munoz said it was her father’s vision to operate an Americanized version of a traditional tea room in the United States. Her father, Glenn Treacher, took over the tea room in 2015 from the previous owners who had been there for 17 years. She said it was a way for her family to maintain a connection to its heritage.

Typically, true British Afternoon Tea is quite a lavish affair that was once reserved for the highest levels of British Society.

“In England, it’s considered a luxury,” Munoz said.

In the U.K. only the best china is used, such as Wedgewood and Royal Albert. Masterful pastry chefs present the finest treats. And the wait staff and service is impeccable. Afternoon Tea originated with Anna, the Duchess of Bedford as a way to fill in the gap between lunch and dinner when dinner was served after 8 p.m. To this day, British tea rooms are very formal and are typically reserved for very special occasions.

“It’s typically very expensive,” she said. “But you can come here without having to go into debt.”

Walking into the light and airy atmosphere of Robinson’s Tea Room in Stony Brook, you immediately feel the warmth and coziness of the space. Decorated with lovely floral wallpaper and fine linens on the table, it has a charm all its own. One way that Robinson’s Tea Room is more casual and accessible is that the china is a mismatched collection of vintage and newer pieces. And visitors are not required to dress in their finest.

Other than that, the attention to service and the fine teas and treats provide a unique experience reminiscent of a true Afternoon Tea.

“The staff plays a big part in creating the atmosphere,” she said. “They put their heart and soul into making sure we deliver something special. There aren’t too many places like it.”

And the selection of tea is amazing. There are 50 varieties, each served in its own little tea pot adding to the experience. Tea flavors include high quality green, black and white varieties along with some very special flavors such as Crème Brule, Apple Cinnamon French Toast, peach, apricot, rose, and Victorian Earl Grey with lavender and rose pedal.

Robinson’s Tea Room was rated one of the “Top Six Places for Afternoon Tea” by Edible Long Island and one of the “25 Best Places for U.K.-style High Tea in the U.S.,” according to Travel +Leisure, amongst other accolades.

They even offer Buckingham Palace Tea, which is the tea that the Queen serves each year at her garden party. It’s a special blend of jasmine and Earl Grey made just for her.

There’s a life-sized cut-out of the Queen of England in the tea room that guests can pose with for picture.

“We want to make people feel like royalty,” Munoz said.

Robinson’s Tea Room also takes pride in its selection of savory and sweet food options. You can come in for morning tea or coffee, lunch, or an afternoon snack.

The British Afternoon Tea Service begins with a choice of fresh baked scone with clotted cream and raspberry jam. It includes a chef’s selection of eight finger savories with your choice of tea. It is finished with pastries baked fresh daily by the in-house pastry chef. It’s all served on a three tier, fine china tower. It comes with unlimited tea, iced tea, or coffee.

Or you can order tea and food separately. The menu includes an assortment of scones, soups and salads, including Goat Cheese Salad with dried cranberries, candied walnuts, shaved red onion, crumbled goat cheese, and apple cider honey vinaigrette; and Quinoa with cucumbers, tomatoes, pineapple, mint, and cilantro lime vinaigrette.

Sandwiches include Turkey, Brie & Green Apple with sriracha aioli on multigrain bread; Open-faced Smoked Salmon with dill spread and avocado on pumpernickel; and the Hummus Wrap with tomato, cucumber, red peppers, red onion, mixed greens, and house vinaigrette.

Entrees include Quiche & Salad, Chicken Pot Pie & Salad and the Chef’s Whim Flatbread. There’s even a children’s menu featuring kid’s favorites. Kids can also pick their own tea or hot chocolate.

Robinson’s Tea Room is the perfect place to come for birthdays, holidays, dates, special occasions and girlfriend get-togethers, or to just enjoy a little taste of England.

“There’s a lot that goes into creating the experience,” Munoz said. “People just love it.”

The tea room only has a capacity of 30 people in order to maintain a level of intimacy and excellent service, so reservations are necessary.

Call for reservations at (631) 751-1232

Robinson’s Tea Room
97 Main St, Stony Brook, New York 11790, Inner Court