Westminster has not only one, but two local businesses that people can visit to escape all of the holiday hubbub and relax with a steaming cup of tea; Gypsy’s Tearoom, and the CUP Tea Bar and Cafe.
Gypsy’s Tearoom is housed in the oldest standing house in Carroll County. The house, which dates back to 1760, belonged to William Winchester, the founder of Westminster. The father and brother of his wife, Lydia Winchester, also have the distinction of each founding the towns of Hampstead and Manchester respectively. A portrait of Westminster’s founder hangs in the Winchester room at the tearoom.
The tearoom was opened by Gypsy (Jo) Fleck in 2001 as an extension to the gift shop Inspirations that was founded in 1997.
Fleck’s daughter Lora Andrews, tearoom manager and chef, comments that “Eventually, the tearoom part of the business outgrew the gift shop and now we have seating for up to 65 guests. On a typical Saturday, we may serve afternoon tea to up to 100 people!”
Gypsy’s holds numerous special teas throughout the year for those of all ages, past events including Mystery Teas, Mother’s Day Teas, a Summer Tea club, a “What’s in Your Cup” class, and “American Girl Goes Around the World” tea tasting for children. Tea lovers can look forward to upcoming holiday events at Gypsy’s, such as “Tea With Mrs. Claus” on Dec. 8 and a Candlelight Dinner Tea.
Reservations for these special events are required, but for those who simply want to treat friends and relatives to a more elegant holiday treat, the tearoom’s afternoon teas are sure to please. Christmas shoppers will also find that the gift shop Inspirations is stocked with house blend teas, teapots, jewelry, cards, jams, scone mixes, tea mystery books, and more!
CUP Tea Bar and Café, located on Main Street in Westminster, was started by Andrews in 2011.
Andrews explains that she opened the cafe “in order to offer the health benefits and traditions of tea to a wider audience. The cafe setting allows for a more casual experience, and since opening we have introduced many people to the goodness of tea.”
Besides offering the tea and scones that Gypsy’s is known for, the CUP also provides different types of grilled sandwiches, soups, salads, breakfast items, and even locally roasted coffee. A fun feature of the downtown café is the “Live Lunches” that take place every Saturday from 12-2 pm, in which local musicians will play for patrons. The CUP is also open during special events such as the Holiday Electric Parade and Tree Lighting, Fallfest, Midnight Madness and Starlight Shopping.
Whether you prefer the more elegant, Victorian setting of Gypsy’s Tearoom or the casual coziness of the CUP Tea Bar and Cafe, you are always guaranteed a delicious cup of tea and a time away from all the holiday hustle and bustle.
Gypsy’s Tea room can be found at the Historic William Winchester House on 111 Stoner Avenue,
Westminster, MD 21157. Their website is www.gypsystearoom.com.
The CUP Tea Bar and Cafe is located on 7 East Main Street, Westminster, MD 21157 and can be found online at www.cupteabar.com.