Three for Tea

A trio of St. Louis tea rooms revive a lovely, genteel tradition

If my hopeful resolution to make everybody rich and full of leisure time doesn't happen until everybody retires, then we'll most likely take our teas at the Ladies of Lucerne, which must be what nice-old-lady heaven looks like. The tea room is nestled in the second floor of a two-story gift emporium, jam-packed with endless lavender lotions, scented sachets, fancy candles and the like. Eating here, therefore, feels a bit like eating in the middle of Pier 1.

As at the Sappington Barn, the teas at Ladies of Lucerne are bagged (Harney & Sons, widely considered the best bagged brand), but they come in the widest array of flavors: English Breakfast, green, Ceylon, peaches and ginger, hot cinnamon spice and the ubiquitous Earl Grey. As bowled over as we were by the scones and Devonshire cream at the Ritz-Carlton, the scones at Ladies of Lucerne came out on top for us thanks to the addition of lemon curd, a tart and equally creamy alternative.

The height of civilization: Pastry chef Voula Natsis sweetens the Sappington Barn Tea Room
Jennifer Silverberg
The height of civilization: Pastry chef Voula Natsis sweetens the Sappington Barn Tea Room

Location Info


Sappington Barn Restaurant

1015 S. Sappington Road
Crestwood, MO 63126

Category: Museums

Region: Crestwood/ Sunset Hills/ Sappington/ South Lindbergh

Ladies of Lucerne Tea Room

930 Kehrs Mill Road
Ballwin, MO 63011

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Manchester/ Ballwin

The Lobby Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton

100 Carondelet Plaza
Clayton, MO 63105

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Clayton


(tax and tip not included) Ritz-Carlton $46
Sappington Barn Restaurant and Tea Room $25.90
Ladies of Lucerne (traditional) $33
Ladies of Lucerne (Royal Tea) $45
Ritz-Carlton St. Louis-100 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton, 314-863-6300. Hours: Tea served Tue.-Sun. 2-4 p.m.

Sappington Barn Restaurant and Tea Room-1015 S. Sappington Road, Crestwood, 314-966-8387. Hours: Tea served Tue.-Sat. 2-3:30 p.m.

Ladies of Lucerne-930 Kehrs Mill Road, Ballwin, 636-227-7300. Hours: Tea served Wed. and Sat. 2-4 p.m.

But what's best about the tea service at Ladies of Lucerne is the option of having a Royal Tea, which means the usual assortment of foods and teas, accompanied by wine or port. I can't imagine anything making tea better than getting a little tipsy while you're having it.

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