Cool Britannia: Brambles' double celebration inspires a tea of William and Kate’s favorites

Scott and Heather Burgess, right, owners of Brambles Tea Room, enjoy the sun at an outside table. The English couple bought the restaurant in 2008. Joanna Chau

Photo by JOANNA CHAU // Buy this photo

Scott and Heather Burgess, right, owners of Brambles Tea Room, enjoy the sun at an outside table. The English couple bought the restaurant in 2008. Joanna Chau

The Brambles Tea Room special royal wedding tea is in honor of Prince William and Kate Middleton's nuptials on April 29, 2011. The tea is served with assorted finger sandwiches, scones with Devon clotted cream and strawberry preserves. In addition, there are two specially commissioned pastries decorated with the bride and groom's first initials, a chocolate truffle and a pot of tea. Joanna Chau

Photo by JOANNA CHAU // Buy this photo

The Brambles Tea Room special royal wedding tea is in honor of Prince William and Kate Middleton's nuptials on April 29, 2011. The tea is served with assorted finger sandwiches, scones with Devon clotted cream and strawberry preserves. In addition, there are two specially commissioned pastries decorated with the bride and groom's first initials, a chocolate truffle and a pot of tea. Joanna Chau

  • What: Brambles Tea Room: Royal Wedding Tea & Celebration
  • Where: Brambles
  • Cost: $21.95
  • Age limit: All ages

Full event details »

The owners of Brambles Tea Room, Heather and Scott Burgess, will celebrate their 40th anniversary on April 24, a few days before another important wedding date — that of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

In celebration of the nuptials, the Burgesses have created a special Royal Wedding Tea that is available now until April 29, the day of the ceremony. On that Friday, there will be a party for the royal couple complete with favors and champagne.

“Everyone loves Prince William and Kate. It’s not just the English,” said Heather Burgess, who has owned the tearoom with her husband for two years. “We want to celebrate with the world and make a splash in our restaurant.”

The special tea menu is $21.75 per person and includes assorted finger sandwiches and the restaurant’s well-known scones with Devon clotted cream and strawberry preserves. In addition, there are two specially commissioned pastries decorated with the bride and groom’s first initials, a chocolate truffle and a pot of tea. The restaurant has about 40 different kinds of tea, from tropical flavored ones with coconut and kiwi to basic black. The Burgesses said they prefer a strong, full-bodied unflavored kind like most English people, including the royal family.

“Flavors and light teas are more popular in America. The British like strong teas with a little bit of milk,” said Scott Burgess who bought the consummately British restaurant and gift shop from its fourth pair of owners. The tearoom has been under English ownership since its opening in 1993.

The day of the royal wedding at Westminster Abbey, the Burgesses will throw a party in honor of the newlyweds. Heather Burgess said the entire restaurant will be decorated to celebrate the nuptials, and guests are encouraged to wear wedding hats. Those who do will receive a free glass of Champagne or pot of tea. Patrons will also walk away with wedding favors.

“We thought it would be a great way to celebrate their wedding and our anniversary as well,” said Heather Burgess who owned two businesses in England before coming to Naples. “It will be a special day and a lot of fun.”

For those who want to appreciate a royal tea now, however, it is available.

Last year, the Burgesses had a similar tea service in conjunction with the exhibition of Princess Diana’s gowns and memorabilia at the von Liebig Art Center. Heather Burgess’ mother, Joan Johnstone, had ties to the princess. As chairwoman of a charity called the Albany Community Centre in London, Johnstone participated in several events with Princess Diana, who served as president of the center.

“My mother always told me how wonderful and natural Diana was,” Heather Burgess recalled. “She said that on a boat trip Diana sat on the floor with the children and ate their crisp along with them.”

- A group of Naples women celebrate a birthday at Brambles Tea Room. From left, are Ada May Fearon, Carol Willwerth, Virginia Blakenbaker and Nancy Seeley. Joanna Chau

Photo by JOANNA CHAU // Buy this photo

- A group of Naples women celebrate a birthday at Brambles Tea Room. From left, are Ada May Fearon, Carol Willwerth, Virginia Blakenbaker and Nancy Seeley. Joanna Chau

On a recent Thursday afternoon, the quaint tearoom, decorated with English rose wallpaper and gold-accented sconces, was filled with lunching ladies and visiting couples from the North. They poured tea from vibrantly colored teapots and drank it from intentionally mismatched teacups.

Four women sat in a center table, getting together for the first time in a year, while another group of four sat in a back corner celebrating a birthday. Burgess said many of the tearoom’s customers are commemorating a special event, whether it is a birthday, bridal shower, anniversary or just friendship.

“This is the fourth year we have had my birthday here,” said Naples resident, Carol Willwerth, who was dining with friends. “It’s charming, relaxing and different.

“The atmosphere is just perfect for a celebration.”

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