Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Charleston's oldest Tea Room continues beloved tradition
The 61st annual Tea Room and Gift Shop sponsored by St. Andrew's Parish Church (Old St. Andrew's) will be held March 24 – April 5. Lunch is served Monday - Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and features Lowcountry favorites from time honored recipes.
The Tea Room menu includes she-crab soup, okra soup, chicken salad and shrimp paste sandwiches, salads and homemade desserts. The Gift Shop features handmade craft and food items. Church tours are offered each day and each Wednesday (March 26 and April 2) at 12:30 p.m. there is a musical presentation in the church.
Proceeds from the Tea Room and Gift Shop support the mission, outreach and parish programs of The Church Women of Old St. Andrew's.
Reservations for groups of six or more are encouraged and can be made by contacting the church office at 766-1541 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cash and checks only, please.
• Background: St. Andrew's Parish Church was established and built in 1706. After rice and indigo brought immense wealth in colonial days, the parish suffered through the nineteenth century. After the death of the Reverend John Grimké Drayton in 1891, the church was dormant for the next 57 years. After it reopened in 1948, the ladies of the church often spent all day cleaning and preparing the church for worship services. Since there were no restaurants nearby, they often brought their lunch and found themselves sharing it with tourists who stopped in to see the church on their way to the Ashley River plantations. This simple act evolved into the much-anticipated Annual Tea Room and Gift Shop. The church history is detailed in a new book by Paul Porwoll – Against All Odds: History of Saint Andrew's Parish Church, Charleston, 1706-2013.