The Gypsy Tea Kettle. Polly's Cheerio Tea Room. The Mad Hatter. The Blue Lantern Inn. These are just a few of the many tea rooms - most owned and operated by women -- that popped up across America at the turn of the last century, and exploded into a full-blown craze by the 1920s. Colorful, cozy, festive, and inviting, these new-fangled eateries offered women a way to celebrate their independence and creativity. Sparked by the Suffragist movement, Prohibition, and the rise of the automobile, tea rooms forever changed the way America eats out, and laid the groundwork for the modern small restaurant and coffee bar.
In this lively, well-researched book, Jan Whitaker brings us back to the exciting days when countless American women dreamed of opening their own tea room - and many did. From the Bohemian streets of New York's Greenwich Village to the high-society tea rooms of Chicago's poshest hotels, from the Colonial roadside tea houses of New England to the welcoming bungalows of California, the book traces the social, artistic, and culinary changes the tea room helped bring about.
Anyone interested in women's history, the early days of the automobile, the Bohemian lives of artists in Greenwich Village, and the history of food and drink will revel in this spirited, stylish, and intimate slice of America's past.