Ladies lunches, a relic of the past in most towns, continue to reign supreme on the west end of yupscale Fifth Avenue South in Naples. While I'm sure some tearooms still specialize in dainty stuff like Waldorf salads with peach halves and raisin bread — a meal I actually encountered once at Woman's Industrial Exchange in Baltimore — Brambles serves real food. In fact, you don't even have to sip tea if that's not your pleasure.
Wallpaper has that old-fashioned Laura Ashley appeal, a plush teddy bear occupies a chair at one of the damask covered tables and polite, efficient waitresses are properly attired in black dresses with crisp white aprons.
Brambles' lunch menu includes an excellent selection of "Olde English Favorites" (ploughman's plate, Cornish pasty, etc.), salads, sandwiches and quiches. In addition, current owners Elaine Lanzaro and Roger Shelton Osbond have extended the traditional afternoon tea hours. In fact, the word afternoon is a bit of a misnomer.
Now if you want to nibble assorted finger sandwiches and freshly made scones with Devon cream in place of brunch or lunch, there's no problem. An elegant, tiered tray of these goodies and more is available from open to close, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.