Tuck Box English Tea Room Carmel by the Sea 


Carmel by the Sea is one of California's top culinary destinations for its size of city. While up and comers of the culinary world, and those who've made their mark in famous restaurants and hotels come to relax and ply their trade in the small tourist destination known for quality cuisine, Carmel is also a city of traditions in dining. Bay Area residents and tourists through the years have come to Carmel to re-visit their favorite food haunts. One such tradition is known as the Tuck Box English Tea Room.

As charming as the shady, tree lined street on which it sits, this cottage of  is a Carmel tradition, established in 1927 as a restaurant called Sally's.  Now over 80 years old, the cute little cottage still serves warm hospitality along with heart-warming tea.

Tuck Box fits charming Carmel, one of the most European of cities in California. Its cobbled streets with names that signify the place instead of street addresses fit the fantasy-looking tea house that was inspired by Hugh Comstock and his wife's collection of Otsy-Totsy dolls.

Today Tuck Box serves breakfast and lunch, always with your choice of English teas, and the traditional British comfort foods such as scones.

The quaint little cottage inspired by an Otsy-Totsy doll of the early 1900s looks too cute to for grown up people, but on the contrary, it fits the bill for great, English traditions such as a pot of tea and scones. Tuck Box English Tea Room (tuckbox.com)  in Carmel was built in 1927 by Hugh Comstock and was based on his wife's doll collection. Opened in the early years as a restaurant called Sally's, it wasn't till the 1940′s that the building on Dolores Street between Ocean and 7th Ave. in downtown Carmel took on the persona fitting its shape and character.

The restaurant once was a garden shop (in between its life as Sally's and Tuck Box.) Two sisters from England fell in love with the charms of the cozy building and built the  dream business, carrying on their British tea-drinking traditions in the U.S.  Mrs. Bumbridge and Mrs. Watson, opened the tea house  and ran the business for 8 years during the tumultuous times of WWII and its aftermath. They sold the proper British tea room to a  British couple, thus continuing what they had envisioned as a way to not only serve ex-pats living in the U.S., but introducing the tea concept to Americans and tourists visiting Carmel from around the globe. 

John and Elsie Grandfield purchased Tuck Box Tea Room, keeping the name, but changing a few things.  Elsie was a great cook and she  made her mark with gourmet recipes that created the wow and memories people return to Carmel to experience today.  While the Tuck Box has passed through many families and hands since its inception, many of the famous recipes Elsie created are still served at the restaurant and some are sold and shipped around the globe.

Tuck Box is open from breakfast and lunch till about 2:30 p.m.  Restaurant phone (831) 624-6365.  When visiting, be sure to check it out!  tuckbox.com


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