Tea Time Disconnect at Wishes Brew

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(Editor’s note:  Office Manager Anne read the following post and commented is was a “scathing review” of Wishes Brew Tea House.  Ouch.  I did not mean to be “scathing.”  There were some, easily correctable, negatives about Wishes Brew, but our overall experience was more positive than negative.  However, re-reading the review I found some cleverly worded phrases that I am loathe to revise.  *sigh*.  These are the challenges of the journalistic artist…Your comments…as always…are very much appreciated–LanceAround.)

After the lovely experience we had at the Hart Sisters Tea Room in Sanford, we decided to use TeaMap.com to try some other nearby tea shops.

Tea rooms near Disney are becoming hard to find as both Sherlock’s in Celebration and Churchill’s on West Hwy. 192 have closed their doors.

The next closest tea room is the Wishes Brew Tea House of Hunter’s Creek.  Our experience there proved to be as schizophrenic as the name of the tea shoppe.  Is “Wishes Brew” meant to be a play on the expression “witch’s brew?”  If not, the unfortunate allusion proved to be prophetic.

The first thing you notice upon entering Wishes Brew is the dichotomy of the furnishings.  Interspersed throughout the elegant, Victortorian style tables, chairs and place settings are seatings obviously designed for the masculine set; dark wood, upholstered chairs with masculine table settings and chess sets are a stark contrast to the whimsical “Alice in Wonderland” tea set or our dainty, white table.

In the center of the room was a platform containing extra large, king and queen throne-like chairs.  According to our waiter they are used by “reservation only.”  These different table settings further added to our dual feelings about this place.  We loved the creativity and whimsy; the yin and yang.  But what lay ahead?  Were in for “Wishes” or “Witches” a-brewing?  Turns out, it was a little of both.

The menu was a typical tea room menu and Mrs. LanceAround and I eagerly ordered the afternoon tea while Number One Daughter selected the hummus platter.  Our second disconnect occurred with the waiter, who was a handsome, eager to please young man.  He was personable and engaging, but lacked some of the social graces one might expect from a person charged with the serving of an afternoon tea.

The tea, scones, sandwiches, pastries and hummus were served.  Thus came the final disconnect.  The hummus tasted like it was a store bought.  The pita was sliced, buttered and toasted.  This did not disguise the fact that it was quite old.  The egg salad and cucumber filling for the sandwiches were wonderful–but, again, this did not make up for the bread which was so old the exterior was hard and stale.  The small scones were okay, but the miniscule amount of cream provided was not enough to make for a satisfying scone topping.  Lastly, the pastries were all store bought, not fresh made.  Albeit, we did enjoy the familiar taste of Walker’s famous shortbread cookie.

You might be surprised to hear that, despite our experience, we actually think that Wishes Brew is worth a visit–especially if you have never had a tea room experience.  Anyone can have a bad day.  It won’t take much for them to ensure that they use fresh bread next time.  Who knows, maybe even someone from Wishes Brew will read this review and offer Mrs. LanceAround and me a chance to try them again.  Maybe even give us a free tea?  We are not above such petty bribery.  Be forewarned, however,  just because you give us free food does not guarantee that we will amend this posting with a more positive rebuttal!  Our fine readers deserve our honest opinion!

In the meantime, we are heading towards Tampa to try out another tea room that is currently ranked #3 in Florida by TeaMap.com.

Stay tuned, we’ll post about it soon!

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13 Responses to “Tea Time Disconnect at Wishes Brew”

  1. Heidi Says:

    Lance~ I think this is a great review! I head up a large product review team for the magazine that I work for. The one thing that I stress more than anything else is HONESTY. Your readers want to know the truth! I think that you balanced this review quite nicely – you shared the good and the bad – that makes for a well-written review, in my opinion.

    Now, you’ve really got me longing for some tea. I really need to make some plans. 🙂

  2. Heidi Says:

    Oops! I forgot to change my web address above. Fixed now.

  3. reina ziegler Says:

    I disagree with your review and it sounds like we went to two totally different tea houses. I noticed you didn’t mention the tea which puzzles me since that is the first thing I ntoice in a tea house. I had an amazing Assam and would definitely return if just for that tea. I also had the devonshire cream which was delightful seeing as it was double devon and fresh. I feel like you ownly post people who agree with you, since the other office manager post you referred to is not available to view. But I guess a true journalist would know better than to keep a conversation one sided, let’s see how you measure up.

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Reina: Thanks for sharing your comments. I have to confess, you are correct that I barely notice the tea when I go to a tearoom–I generally focus on the scones and clotted cream! (This probably explains why I am so overweight.) My hazy memory of the tea at Wishes Brew is that it was good. However, the stale bread made it difficult to focus on the positive. But as I mentioned, anyone can have a bad day. I’m so happy you have enjoyed your time there and took the time to post so that others can benefit from your experience. Regards, LanceAround. PS: Just for the record, I never censor a post (unless it contains inappropriate language or references) and my office manager did not do a post–She just read my post and verbally responded to me in the office. I apologize if I was unclear about that.

  4. Diana B. Says:

    As an avid tea drinker and traveler who makes a living incorporating both, I would love to add my experience at Wishes Brew.
    Very recently in my visits to Wishes Brew, yes, that is right, I have been there several times already since I discovered the centerpiece of our lovely community, & I could not be more elated and pleasantly charmed to have a Tea House worthy of a visit in Orlando, finally.
    There is nothing commercial or average about this Tea House, which is such a common denominator & disappointment in some places. The owner’s vision and exceptional attention to detail covers it all, from the decor to the delicious menu, excellent service, & social gathering events, like Social Cinema night, this Tea House is a great place to enjoy a lovely cupa Tea!

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Diana: Wow, what a wonderful and elegant review of Wishes Brew. I went to your website and it looks like you have a fascinating business that provides tours to different countries with a specific focus on their tea ceremonies. I would love to hear more about it! I keep hoping that my next visit to Wishes Brew is better–Since it is the closest Tearoom to me, I would like to go there more often. Do you have a business relationship with Wishes Brew? I sent an email to Wishes Brew with a link to my blog post and I have not heard from them yet. But today I got two comments from customers of Wishes Brew so I am wondering if they have mentioned the blog post?

    • Diana B. Says:

      To answer your question … No, while in Wishes Brew your blog was not mentioned.
      I happen to come upon it as I was posting my review on Tea guides. I am glad that I was able to post a comment here as well about my wonderful experience there!
      Have a Tea-Rific Day….

      • LanceAround Says:

        Thanks for contributing to the conversation, Diana. I’m glad you had such a positive experience there. I would love to have a good tearoom close to us. But I’m too disappointed by my first visit and the subsequent response from the owner that I probably won’t go back. Have you tried Infusion tea in College Park? That place has incredible food and wonderful tea. I also enjoyed Hart Sisters in Sanford and Windsor Rose in Mt. Dora. I haven’t had a chance to visit Ye Olde English Tea Room in Lake Mary. Have you tried them? Are they good? As I mentioned, I’m not much of a tea connoisseur–But I know a good scone when I eat one! LanceAround

  5. Fanny Perez Says:

    FYI Tearoom Response, from TeaMap.com
    Dear Lance, thank you for your recent visit, I am disappointed you did not enjoy the bread served. I am though, quite confused on your contradicting post on your blog https://lancearoundorlando.com/2010/01/12/tea-time-disconnect/ regarding Wishes Brew. We are a very new Tea concept here in Orlando, and we do not claim a Victorian style Tea House, but an eclectic blend of many styles that represent our community and not geared only towards women. It is a very unique place that has taken quite some time to develop, and reading upon your background, it seems you know a lot about hard working people struggling to live their dreams. Although you said your visit had more positives than negatives, I feel it was rude to ask and be ‘bribed’ to accept ‘free tea’ in return for a ‘possible’ amendment to a positive rebuttal on your blog.’ You also did not comment on the ‘Tea’ served which is quite excellent. There are no ‘witches a ‘brewing’ in our establishment. ‘A Brew of Wishes’; combines a beautiful relaxed atmosphere, excellent and affordable Tea products, your family friends and neighbors, and Time to Enjoy Life to the Fullest. Our doors are always open to anyone looking to enjoy excellent Tea, from Tea connoisseurs to future Tea lovers.
    Fanny Perez
    Owner/Founder
    Wishes Brew Tea Company

  6. A. Devlin Says:

    I will never know if Wishes Brew is as good as its owner says it is, or more like LanceAround says it is. A social group to which I belong placed reservations weeks in advance for a group of us, and at the last minute were informed that somehow, an error was made, and a shower was being held at the location, so our reservation was not good. This mistake cost our social group its meeting for that month, and although my family and I often drive all the way to Mt. Dora to enjoy a teashop there, and have also enjoyed the teas at the Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World quite a few times, we will never go to Wishes Brew. Any business that makes that kind of error and just shrugs its way out of the error, does not deserve my money, no matter how wonderful it says it is.

    On behalf of witches everywhere, I am pleased that the owner denies any witches are ‘a-brewin’ at her shop.

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi A. Devlin: Thanks for joining the conversation. Based on the comment from the owner of Witches Brew…er…um…Wishes Brew…I’m not surprised at what happened to you. I know that if I served someone bread that was so stale as to be crusty (as happened to Mrs. LanceAround and I) I would be very apologetic and do anything I could to get them to give me another try. (Rather then call them “rude” for suggesting a free tea was in order!) I’m curious, were you offered any kind of compensation for the “error”? Also, have you discoverd Teamap.com? It’s a great resource for tearooms all across the country. I also love the tearoom in Mt. Dora. LanceAround

  7. Jennifer Says:

    I have been to this tea room twice, last year. We went back because I enjoyed the first experience. Loved my tea and purchased some for take home.
    However, the second visit was completely different. The staff/waitress was eating her lunch towards the back of the room at a table. She wasn’t using utensils, was very crude and it was unpleasant to have to witness such behavior at a tea room, of all places. The food was subpar on the second visit. The waitress had no idea about differences with any teas that we asked about. Very disappointing training going on here.
    As for your review, why didn’t you register any of the issues while you were there? I truly support small business owners and find that if you nicely let them know the issues they normally try to correct things. There wasn’t a manager visible when we were there, but I did comment about the inappropriateness of staff eating in the dining room and lacking common table manners. It was a young girl working that sadly, seemed clueless. She could have at least said, I understand and I’ll pass your concern onto the owner.
    However, from the owner’s response to you, she clearly doesn’t get it, so I’m not sure anything would help at this point.

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Jennifer: Thanks for joining our conversation. You have a good point that I should have registered my concerns while I was at the tearoom. To be honest, it’s been so long ago I don’t recall if I did or not. Of course, on my blog posts I can’t mention everything that occurs in the course of a visit, so perhaps I did register a concern and found the response to be un-noteworthy. But most likely I didn’t say anything. I agree with your final note that the owner clearly doesn’t get it. I love tearooms and, had the owner provided me with good customer service when I wrote my blog post, I would have returned to them many times. As it is, every time I drive past Witch’s Brew…er…ummm…Wishes Brew, I remember the stale bread and the defensive response from the owner and I shake my head and drive on by. Pity. We need a good tearoom on this end of town. As it is, I keep driving to Orlando to enjoy Infusion Tea. LanceAround

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