Friday, August 8, 2014

Hometown Hidden Gem

I found out a few days ago that I'll be moving to San Diego at the end of the school year.  I grew up in Albuquerque and went to school in Arizona. only to come back to the home I loved.  While I''m still here, I want to visit all of the places I love, or have heard of but haven't had the pleasure of visiting yet and share those experiences with you.  I love to find those fun little known places to do/go to/eat at. You know those mom & pop, hole in wall kind of places. So when I was contacted by RelayRides to join them in their Hometown Hidden Gems campaign, I was excited to share some of the awesome gems we have in the great city of Albuquerque. RelayRides is a peer-to-peer car rental service throughout the country, which is perfect if you don't want to go the traditional car rental route while traveling. You can visit their Pinterest board to visit other bloggers and read their posts.  

 I'm going to open a linky party this month if you'd like to add a post about one of your favorite places in your hometown.  I think this is a great way to get to know each other.  And then if we're ever vacationing, we have a place to go to get ideas on where to stay, eat, shop, and more!  We can even plan our blogging meet ups in some of these fabulous locations!  I can't wait to see what you do when you're not grading papers, writing lesson plans,  laminating, crafting, and blogging.  Please link up at the bottom of the page.  Again, you have all month to join us, so go enjoy your favorite places, take some photos, and share a blog post with all your fabulous blogging buddies!  Mine is a long post because I wanted to share all of the amazing things this place has to offer, but please don't feel like you have to post so much. Can't wait to see your posts and learn more about you!

So while I'm still living in Albuquerque, I want to post about some of my favorite places. A charming place I had in mind was, The St. James Tea Room.  Luckily, my husband took me there for our 4th wedding anniversary.  And I just happened to have my IPad since I had been taking pics of my classroom decor and some of the projects I'd been working on that day.  My apologies in advance because I took a ton of pics, I'm not a photographer, and I didn't have a flash.  This place is absolutely stunning and my post doesn't do it justice. So, drum roll please...

The entrance is a beautiful courtyard adorned with bridges, and adobe walls (made of mud and straw), cottonwood trees, and little ponds.  
The theme while we were there was 

This month menu is
 This Month’s Menu 

While waiting to be seated you can browse these adorable shop items, shop for teas in the front room, sit in the comfy outdoor patio (which is lit up at night), or purchase some bakery items to bring home for later. 

Keep Calm and Visit The St. James Tearoom


 You can also sign up for their newsletter, sign their guest book, and leave a comment using this adorable vintage typewriter.  How cute is this?

 When it's time for your group to eat, they ring the bell and then take each party to his/hers private room for tea time.  The waiters and waitresses look like they've stepped out of Downton Abby and speak with English accents.  They have exceptional service, manners, and always have a smile. Our waitress was even willing to take a photo...such a trooper!  Notice the vegas and latillas (the wood beams on the ceiling you see in the picture on the right.)  They are typical in traditional New Mexico homes and restaurants. They are beautifully crafted and each have unique characteristics that add an unsurpassed beauty.

Walking down the hallway towards your individual rooms, you pass the wall of hats.  By the way, do you see these gorgeous floors?  Saltillo tile is my favorite!  These are hats that are available to you if you'd like to wear one during your tea time.  This is one of my favorite parts of the whole tea experience.  I just love trying all these gorgeous hats.  I totally felt like Kate Middleton, who I think has the best fashion style ever!   



Our room was fashioned with regal pillows, royal dog portraits, embellished curtains, beautiful china that had secret messages, and The Wind in the Willows Menu.  Notice the personalized note they left us on the table...


Here's a picture of another private room that's available.  They also have rooms available for larger parties.  Some even have fireplaces and bookcases filled with Beatrix Potter books, of course!  She is one of my all time favorite authors.  My first grade teacher, Ms. Hirsch, did an author study unit on her, and that's the first time I fell in love with Peter Rabbit, Miss Moppet, Benjamin Bunny, Squirrel Nutkin, and all the other cute characters. I fall in love with them all over every time I read one of her stories. Visit the link above to read more about the author, visit the bookshop, play games, and even find amazing teacher resources! 


  We were snooping around and came across this note...
I love it!  I think I'm going to put little notes like these in the drawers in my guest room.

  It's great for birthdays, anniversaries, and other events.  They even do tea parties for little girls! This is my friend, Tina, with her daughter.  She's on my fourth grade team, and I found this beautiful photo on their website.  There are hundreds more on their site, so make sure to visit.  Again, I haven't been able to capture the true magic of this place. 


We had a great time celebrating our anniversary here.  I told my husband that he has to bring me here every year.  Of course, we found out a few days later that we'll be moving, but I'm sure I'll find some amazing places in San Diego. I will definitely be coming back to The St. James Tea Room again before I leave and also when I come back to visit.What a dreamy place!!!


  1. First off, I can't believe you're moving! Wow! Second, I love the St. James Tearoom! It is so fun and fancy! Let's get together once the bts crazy slows down.

  2. Hi Melissa! I loved reading about your favorite spot. I LOVE afternoon tea places. If you are ever in the Southern California area, you should check out the Huntington Library in the San Marino area. It is a gorgeous garden and Art museum (I believe parts of Memoirs of a Geisha) was filmed there. When you are tired of walking and enjoying all the gorgeous scenery, you can go have afternoon tea!!! Another great hidden gem is in Glendora. It's called Two-a-Tea. It is in a very obscure location, but they have THE best afternoon tea and petite sandwiches/scones/desserts/custard there. =)