CHATHAM, NJ - Sally Lunn’s, a small tea shop located on Roosevelt Avenue, is one of the most unique businesses in town. Apart from selling and specializing in tea, Sally Lunn’s brings a different atmosphere to Chatham--one that is foreign, antiquated and elegant all at the same time.
On Roosevelt Avenue, a small street at the far end of Chatham is a building with pink banners and a sign of a girl that looks like an old English oil painting. This is Sally Lunn’s--a tea shop that specializes in its quality teas and foreign dishes. One of the first things that will become obvious to whoever enters the shop, is that the entire place has an old Victorian feel to it and this is perhaps, what sets the business apart from others in Chatham.
Instead of modern chairs and glass tables, one will find old wooden chairs and tables with finely embroidered pink tablecloths that remind one of spring. The painted glass plates that sit on shelves near the counter, give a house-like feel to the place and catching the eye of any customer that walks through the front door. And the paintings and knick-knacks that hang on the wall, remind one of England and its traditional ways. The music items, dolls, and Victorian style oil paintings in the back room, entice the customer and momentarily transports them to a simpler time, where elegance was both appreciated and admired by guests.
Behind the counter, stands Teresa Gaffney the manager of this restaurant, because as it turns out, Sally Lunn’s also serves meals. “We have all kinds of tea,” said Gaffney. “Black tea, green tea, herbal tea, herbal fruit tea, and smoked teas that come from all over the world,” she says pointing to the menu she has placed on counter. “We also have special teas that are brewed every day. And we also have seasonal teas,” she added.
“Some teas like strawberry kiwi and ginger peach and chai are made only during certain seasons,” she said. “The first one is made during the summer and the last two during winter. But we aren’t just a tea shop, we have a full menu,” she said. “We have lunch specials like apple French toast and we’re famous for other dishes. We are known for our quiche which we make ourselves and for our scones.”
Right on top of the counter, there are also entire trays of cookies, brownies, pies and other baked goods--other items that Sally Lunn’s is known for making. “We have regular food items too like salads, sandwiches, desserts, and English treats,” she said. A board behind the counter reveals that there are also soup specials offered every day. “We have different soups that are prepared daily. Today’s special is tomato bisque."
If one was wondering if there was a possibility of trying some of these meals outside of the shop, Gaffney adds the business offers catering services. “Lunn’s caters weddings, tea parties, corporate breakfasts and lunches,” she said. “A lot of people like what the business offers, so tea is very ‘in’, at the moment. And besides, it’s what I specialize in."
A showcase of Sally Lunn’s products can be found at the Chatham Farmer’s Market, Saturdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.