The Tea Ladies
Annette Phillips and Renee Petro have been friends since they met in 1989 while working for Cleveland Ballet. Through the years they raised significant funds in support of Northeast Ohio nonprofits, all the while sharing ideas and dreams about someday creating a business of their own. Their years of planning successful fundraising events as well as a shared passion for all things Victorian laid the groundwork for the idea that was to become Quintealia’s Tea Parlor, which opened in September 2013.
The parlor’s name was selected in honor of Annette’s grandmother, Quintilia, who was of Italian decent. Quintilia was renamed “Clara” because her given name was deemed too difficult for others to pronounce. A slight variation in the spelling of her name gave Annette and Renee an opportunity to play on the word “tea” while paying homage to a woman whose inner strength and brave spirit epitomized their own leap of faith. Quintilia’s photograph, along with the first tea set she gave Annette as a child, grace the mantle in the main parlor.
Annette and Renee share a passion for the elegance and tradition of the Victorian era. Their attention to detail can be found in every aspect of the decor throughout all three parlors. Each room is unique and charming in its own way: The Main Parlor boasts a fireplace, an 1880’s Queen Anne velvet settee and matching ladies chair, and is decorated with rich gem colors and dark woodwork. The soft and feminine French Room is draped in lace and pastel pinks, and the table service is set with gold cutlery. The Ford Room, named after George Ford, the grand old home’s original owner, is adorned in quarter-paneled wood walls, old trunks, oversized wingback chairs and accents reminiscent of Old England.
Furniture, linen, dishes and proper tea service indicative of the period fill the house with a warmth and sense of tradition. Menu items include customary English fare such as savory finger sandwiches, hearty meat pies, scones with Devonshire cream and jam, tea beads and bread pudding. Additionally, quiche, seasonal salads, hearty soups, fresh baked pies and more than forty kinds of organically grown tea tempt guests into regularly returning.
Quintealia’s is located in the historic Ford House, a beautiful 1891 mansion built by George H. Ford, Burton’s first mayor. Five fireplaces grace the home, and original woodwork and inlaid wood flooring, leaded glass and crystal chandeliers all add to the ambiance of an elegant era long since past. Quintealia’s sits regally on the corner of the square in historic Burton Village, a charming destination for local and long distance travelers searching for the feel of yesteryear. Year-round activities include the annual spring maple season, Amish and historic tours during the warm months, The Great Geauga County Fair in the fall, and some of the best antiquing to be found.
Come visit and step back in time. Enjoy delectable English fare and delicious teas. Take time to enjoy the quintessential atmosphere and the unique experience that is Quintealia’s Tea Parlor.