BRISTOL BOROUGH >> A Tea Room? In historic Bristol on the Delaware?
Yes! AND you CAN wear pearls in this tea room that conjures up visions of crumpets and china.
Instead of just understated tones for the walls and furnishings, everything in the Bricky Girl Tea Room is beautifully bathed in invitingly fantastic, appealing colors, encouraging patrons to slow down and enjoy both refreshments and good company without distractions.
You are cordially invited to just SIP down and relax in a setting of civility and harmony.
Their vibrant, rich, sumptuous selections of teas are bracing and comforting at the same time.
Beauty is in the eye of the TEAholder. It’s well worth raising a pinky for!
Within the charming residential neighborhoods of Bristol on the Delaware where tradition and history are so important, the community is punctuated with a currently resurging attractive walking district of fine stores, excellent schools, vibrant houses of worship, and a history that fits the Borough to a “TEA”.
How very interesting! They first bagged it right here in Bristol! No TEAsing!
Right here in the Borough, after the Grundy Industrial Complex’s career ended as a textile mill, an extremely successful operation for milling, storage and power, part of the complex on Canal Street was used to warehouse the National Tea Packing Company inventory.
In August 1920, Benjamin Hirschhorn and his brother Louis filed a USA patent application for a ‘tea cartridge’. The patent for a tie down reinforced infusion bag was issued to the Hirschhorn brothers.
The very first tea bags were made of a gauze porous fabric and then, constructed of paper with a heat seal and a staple.
Recognition of the past is an important part of history's cultural origins and a significant source of Bristol’s endless fascination.
So WELCOME FRIENDS!
A visit to the past in a vintage atmosphere that is both elegant and relaxing just may represent a warmer, sweeter, more hospitable time. Enjoy the ambiance!
The Bricky Girl Tea Room & Gifts shop held its Grand Opening on Sunday, October 11.
Meet the owners Carmen Harris and Luisa Sanchez-McFadden!
Carmen Enid Harris, with the support of her husband, Craig Russell, Sr., is wholeheartedly and purposefully progressing from tragedy to tea.
Carmen's three adult children, Tess Maria, Eric Joseph and Ryan Michael, along with her beloved grandchildren keep her quite busy.
She was born and raised in Philadelphia. After graduating from Cardinal Dougherty High School, she enjoyed working in a hair salon as a hair dresser, and then pursuing a career as a medical assistant.
Carmen worked in healthcare for 15 years and she truly loved working with the patients.
“But I always had a passion for Victorian stuff and I hosted tea parties in my home, Christmas Victorian teas for my family and friends and Valentine teas,” shared Carmen.
“I had been more of a coffee drinker!”
She takes a real liking to the elegance, ornate furniture and oodles of lace of Victorian times, the love of a time gone by, and the friendships that develop over a cup of tea.
“Teas are a perfect time to spend with family and friends. And the world was a song. And the song was exciting. There was a time. Then it all went wrong.” - Lyrics from the song, "I Dreamed a Dream" from the 1980 musical ‘Les Misérables’, composed by Claude-Michel Schönberg.
On July 18, 2018, Carmen‘s youngest son Ryan was hit by a car while riding his bicycle in Florida where he lived. He sustained life-threatening injuries and a traumatic brain injury.
While Carmen took care of her son to help with his recovery, she lost her employment.
This is when she made the decision to follow her lingering passion to open a tea room with the hopes that this new journey would bring joy to both herself and to many others in Historic Bristol Borough!
Her favorite song is “"I Dreamed a Dream". She admits that Susan Boyle empowered her.
“A friend recommended Mill Street and this shop had great open windows and a good sized space and everyone in town is so kind, friendly, and supportive.”
“There was a time when men were kind. When their voices were soft. And their words inviting.”
Carmen signed the lease on January 1, 2020.
Carmen and Luisa, her Tearoom partner on a part time basis just for now, met many years ago when they were neighbors in Philadelphia.
For Luisa Julia [Sanchez] McFadden, “being part of the Bricky Girl Tearoom is my dream come true”.
She grew up in the Dominican Republic and her dear late Aunt and Godmother, Tata Puras, was the baker in the family. “She owned ‘Tata Bakery’ that specialized in cakes,” explained Luisa.
“She taught me from my very early years everything that I know today about baking.”
Luisa spent summer vacations in her Aunt’s bakery where she learned how to make and decorate cakes for any occasion. She also gained experience working in a famous Rillings Philadelphia family bakery for a few years. *German immigrants Willy and Martha [Schmid] Rilling opened their first bakery in 1936 at 26th Street and Girard Avenue.
“Now I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and creativity on Mill Street.”
Luisa has been working on her own since she came to live in the USA in 1980 with her mother, Maria Martinez who was working for the Dominican Republic Council [Consulate-Dominican Republic] in Philadelphia. “My mother still lives with me now.”
The very first cake she ever made was for her own brother’s wedding.
Luisa also has previously worked as a Toll Brothers draftsman. Currently she is still maintaining her postion as a Special Education assistant in the Philadelphia School District.
Her husband, Neil is a PSD building engineer and he generously assisted them with painting and getting the Tearoom together. Coincidently, her first date with her husband was at the King George II Inn!
Luisa will be doing everything from baking to washing the dishes after hours at the Bricky Girl Tea Room.
“It is beautiful. It makes me out of breath. Every detail is gorgeous pink and lavender – female colors. Everything is perfect!”
Among the many delicious and gorgeous, amazing delicacies that Luisa will be creating are seasonal finger sandwiches, house-made scones, bread pudding, and incredible sweets like mini cupcakes, Petit Fours, and lemon bars. A most carefully created menu to please the palate of any age!
Classical and Victorian music will be playing in the shoppe, completing the elegant ambiance.
All will love the feel, the look, and the comfort of the Bricky Girl Tea Room.
“And the world was a song. And the song was exciting…. “
“We admire what Carmen has done with the Bricky Girl Tea Room. She overcame one challenge after another and kept plugging. It takes grit and determination to open during a pandemic, but they have their restrictions in place and are ready to go. The room and furnishings are beautiful. It’s not my “cup of tea” but I hope men will visit to purchase gift certificates for the special women in their lives. This will be a hit for Mill Street,” confirmed RTB President/ author, William M. “Bill” Pezza.
Check the Bricky Girl Tea Room Facebook page for upcoming events.
The Tea Room kitchen is NOT free from dairy, citrus, corn, gluten, nuts, soy, or other allergens.
Gift items include unique Victorian greeting cards, candles, mugs, and natural goat’s milk bar soaps.
Historic Bristol Borough postcards will also be available.
No real dress regulations for all guests [children, school age and over are invited to attend], but MASKS ARE REQUIRED! Wednesday through Sunday 10:30AM- 3:00PM [Last seating at 2:00PM]
Senior 10% off discount day is Wednesday.
The service is warm and friendly; while the menu is an unfussy affair, very approachable.
Afterward, take a walk around the inviting waterfront town. Bristol Borough on the Delaware is quaint and unhurried, much less hectic than neighboring towns and boasts a distinct charm all of its own!
They hope to see you soon!
Bricky Girl Tea Room & Gifts (Victorian Tea Room) * For Afternoon Tea & Events, 236 Mill Street, Historic Bristol, PA 19007. 215.458.8307