Tea room offers a spot of tea in historic setting

Published 2:17 pm Thursday, July 15, 2021

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From homemade sandwiches to craft beer and an authentic afternoon tea, Rosewood Café and Tea Room offers a family-friendly environment right in the heart of Lunenburg.

Located across the street from the Lunenburg Courthouse, the husband and wife team of Paul and Kathy Davies purchased the 221-year-old historic building in 2017 with the dream of having a tea room.

Originally from England, Paul Davies moved to the states many years ago, where he met Kathy and said he always had a vision of having a tea room where he could offer visitors afternoon tea just as many in England enjoy.

After years of working full-time jobs and not seeing each other as much as they would like, the two decided it was time for a change.

“We were living in Northern Virginia at the time we looked at this property and just thought it was a pretty cool place,” Paul Davies said.

After spending a year renovating the building, the Rosewood Café and Tea Room opened its doors May 5, 2018.

“It just seemed like a good idea,” Paul Davies said. “There are very few places around where you can go and have an authentic afternoon tea.”

Today, Rosewood has people from all around the country visiting the establishment to take part in afternoon teas and see the charm the business has to offer.

“People make this a destination to come here,” Paul Davies said. “We recently had three ladies that drove from Norfolk just to come to the tearoom. You really never know who may come through those doors.”

Paul recalled a time when a couple in their 70s stopped in.

“I asked them what brought them to Lunenburg, and they said ‘We’re walking across America,’” he said. “They lived in Oregon and were making their way to Virginia Beach.”

Reservations are required when it comes to afternoon tea as they fill up quickly with guests hosting everything from bridal showers, birthday parties and princess parties during afternoon tea, to other events including live music each Saturday evening.

During the morning hours, visitors can dine at Rosewood for breakfast while sipping coffee or tea from Virginia-based businesses.

During lunchtime, you can find Kathy Davies behind the counter preparing fresh homemade sandwiches served up with a dessert of cake or pie.

“Our signature sandwich is the grilled bacon blackberry,” Kathy Davies said. “We sell right many of them.”

Located in the adjacent room by the café, guests step into the tavern that gives a feel of an authentic English pub where they are served one of many craft beers Rosewood keeps on hand.

“Oh, this is a wonderful place to stop,” Walt Johnson, a regular visitor to Rosewood, said. “The food is great, and Kathy and Paul are the best hosts, plus you meet some of the most unique people who stop by here from time to time.”

A 221-year-old building comes with a lot of history — history that the Davies are proud to tell visitors about.

“They say Mark Twain was a guest here when this was an inn, and Robert E. Lee is said to have held a meeting here, and it’s even rumored that Edgar Allen Poe stayed here,” Paul Davies said.

Currently, the owners of Rosewood have plans to expand their business even more with the opening of a second tavern in the basement.

“There was a tavern in the basement back in the 1800s, and we would like to put one back there,” Paul Davies said.

How the two ended up in Lunenburg may have been by sheer luck of finding a listing for a building for sale. That building is now where they call home.

“We love it here,” said Kathy Davies. “We love the area, and the people here have just made us feel at home … it’s a special feeling that we’ve never felt anywhere else.”