Lunch is always a special event at Blue Willow Tea Room, which offers visitors an authentic British tea experience.

“Most tea rooms in America today are not traditional,” says Sid Scott, the owner of the Blue Willow Tea Room. “But here, we do everything in exactly the English fashion.”

Visitors to the Blue Willow can partake of all levels of tea service, from half-crème tea, consisting of a pot of tea with scones, jam, and Devonshire cream, to a full afternoon tea, which features scones, jam, fruit curd, a soup du jour, canapés, and tea sandwiches.

All teas served at Blue Willow are made by the master tea blenders at Harney & Sons and their pound cakes, jams, and curds are made by Rowena’s, a renowned Virginia bakery. All the soups and sandwiches served are homemade, and much of the produce is acquired locally.

Sid also owns and manages an antique shop called Penniston’s Alley, which is actually connected to Blue Willow. Visitors can take a break from browsing the fine objets d’art at Penniston’s and relax with a pot of fine tea, a cup of coffee, or a lovely brunch. The Blue Willow name comes from the exquisite pattern on all their serving china, which was originally sold at Penniston’s. “This tea room has been fifteen years in the making,” Sid says. “I think it really filled a need here in Petersburg. I think we’re really unique.”