High Tea and B.C. History
in Charming Fort Langley
BEHIND the counter at the Yorkshire Tea Shoppe: (L-R) Peggy Hendricks, Thomas Messent, owner Claire Turner and Gerard Overvoorde.
THE FRONT sign outside the Yorkshire Tea Shoppe in Fort Langley, B.C.
By CATHOLINE BUTLER
FORT LANGLEY - The Yorkshire Tea Shoppe opened their doors just over a year ago on Glover Road in the downtown area of historic Fort Langley. It has already gained a reputation as the place to go for an authentic English high tea. Owner, Claire Turner is originally from Hull, Yorkshire, England.
Mother's Day was a beautiful sunny Sunday and Maura and I drove out to Fort Langley to enjoy the special Mother's Day Strawberry High Tea at the Yorkshire Tea Shoppe.
When we arrived the establishment was a hive of activity both inside and outside on the patio area. The cosy tea room can seat 34 and the patio 16, so reservations are required for weekends and special events.
We had reservations for the 1 PM seating and with the hour's drive from Vancouver, we arrived ravenous. When the three tier platters of home baked scones, fresh strawberries, clotted cream, finger sandwiches, sausage rolls and pastries arrived at our table, we were spoiled for choice and later a pot of freshly made Yorkshire tea was just the right finish to a most delicious high tea.
I later spoke with Claire Turner about the Yorkshire Tea Shoppe and future plans.
"Ever since I was a little girl in England, I've wanted a tea shoppe with books in it," said Claire. "Actually, I wanted a pub with a tea shoppe attached and if the right location presents itself, that's what I would eventually like to open because I feel that concept would go really well here.
"Really with the high tea, it hasn't taken us very long to become established. I pride myself on the fact that it's British. It's got all the British pastries on it and things like that.
"We also serve sandwiches and two items that are very popular are our roast chicken sandwich with homemade stuffing and a roast beef sandwich with red onion and horseradish sauce, which I have named after my dad."
Claire also offer one speciality soup called farmer's sausage vegetable soup. She said, "actually that soup came about by accident because one day I ran out of chicken for the soup and substituted with sausage and now people love it. They come into the shoppe and ask for it by name.
"We also have the bakewell tarts, sticky toffee pudding, victoria sponge, English trifle and butterfly cakes. These items may not all be on the menu each day, since I bake different ones each day.
"Our cream tea is also very popular and consists of a pot of Yorkshire tea, a scone, clotted cream and jam. It's very popular in the morning or as an afternoon tea.
"Up until now, I have been doing all the baking on my own but the shoppe is getting so busy I'm going to have to hire more help. But I don't want to get away from the home baking since that is what we have become known for."
Speaking about future plans for The Yorkshire Tea Shoppe, Claire said, "I'm in the process of applying for my liquor license and plan to serve British beers, red and white wine, and specialty coffees."
On Father's Day, June 21, Claire will be serving a traditional English breakfast with black pudding, real British sausage and bacon, fried tomatoes and mushrooms. Reservations will definitely be required.
After you have finished your high tea at The Yorkshire Tea Shoppe, you may consider taking a walk around the historic village of Fort Langley, which is what Maura and I did. It's a wonderful way to spend a leisurely afternoon.
Fort Langley has a charming frontier small town feel, which dates back to its roots well before Vancouver and Victoria were built. In the 1830s the Fraser River was the highway and Fort Langley was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post and the only European settlement for miles. There's lots to see and learn about in Fort Langley.
The downtown core has an abundance of small specialty boutiques, antique shops, and art galleries. You can also visit the Fort Langley National Historic Site and explore the actual site where British Columbia became a colony.
The Yorkshire Tea Shoppe is located at 4-9110 Glover Road, Fort Langley, B.C. For reservations or more information, call (604) 513-9876 or visit: www.yorkshireteashoppe.com.