secret garden tea tours
small group tours with an emphasis on afternoon tea
The Secret Garden Tea Room and Gift Shop is located to a beautiful Victorian Mansion in Sumner, WA. The charm of the original Queen Anne and Italianate architecture provides an elegant, yet warm ambiance in which to enjoy a scrumptious lunch or a traditional English-style afternoon tea.
We are proud to say that all of our food is prepared in-house with our own "from scratch" recipes. We even grow many of our herbs in our gardens.
Our gift shop is stocked with tea-time treasures and a variety of delightful gifts including our own house-blended loose leaf teas, fanciful jewelry, hats, handbags, scarves and accessories, and charming floral accents for your home. Many of our most popular items can be purchased in our online shop.
We believe that the celebration of Afternoon Tea is a congenial and civilized way to share a meal, and it is our enjoyment of this experience, combined with our love of exploring the world through travel, that gave us the idea to invite other tea and travel lovers to join us.
Our tours are designed for those who enjoy the experience of afternoon tea...the dainty sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, the pastries and the tea. Part of what makes afternoon tea such a delight is the attention to detail put into such a meal. Fine china, pretty linens, and ambience are as important as the food and most of our participants are avid collectors of all things tea and antiques, enjoy gardening, baking and shopping, so our tours cater to these interests. We are delighted that many of our participants develop lifelong friendships, as they bond over common interests.
Our tours are small, (generally no more than 14 participants) so that we can are able to get into tiny tea rooms and antique shops and other places that big tour groups cannot. This also means that we can move about more easily, using a variety of transportation modes. We don’t climb into a big bus and just see the sights as we pass by. We hop aboard trains and boats and carriages and trolleys and trams to experience the area.
Speaking of experiences, we include them in the price. We don’t sell “optional” tours, because we feel that if there’s something wonderful to see or do, we should include it! We try to allow enough time in each city to experience much of what it offers.
We are excited to add Northwest Tea Tours to our schedule and while we enjoy exploring the world, are always grateful to live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. What could be better than exploring our own region with a group of delightful folks, and then savoring afternoon tea together?! Whether you are local or visiting the area, you will enjoy the adventure!
Elizabeth and Mark, tour leaders
The tour planner and coordinator, Elizabeth, is one of the founders of The Secret Garden, and does a bit of everything in the business: menu planning, a dab of cooking and baking, all business marketing and is the buyer for the gift shop. Elizabeth graduated from Pacific Lutheran University many years ago with a degree in History. History majors generally do not have many in-field career options, but are experts at research. Trip planning requires a LOT of research, so she is glad that her parent’s investment in her education is being utilized. An avid collector of antique and vintage dishes, Elizabeth enjoys the thrill of the “hunt” in shops and markets.
Mark is the executive chef of The Secret Garden and when accompanying Elizabeth on a tour, serves as the executive baggage handler and official comedian, chief logistics officer, and drives the big van when needed. A former foreman for a large commercial roofing company, Mark much prefers the more genteel world of afternoon tea and estimates he has made over half a million scones in the last twenty years.
Mark and Elizbeth, together with their daughter, Viola, pretty much eat, sleep and breathe tea, since they live upstairs in the Victorian mansion that houses The Secret Garden. We get great pleasure in sharing our love for afternoon tea with others, and exploring this beautiful world while getting to know our guests is our favorite part of the tea business.
We hope you can join us for a 'tea-lightful" adventure soon!