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Dining Out: Farewell to a beloved tea room


For nearly 16 years the Talking Teacup has been a beloved Bucks County tea room, drawing customers for birthdays, showers, lunches, breakfasts and a simple well-made pot of tea.

On June 30 the Teacup will close its doors for the last time after an open house to bid farewell to the many customers who have become like family to owner Kathy Heck.

“We are going out on a high note,” said Heck, who wanted to reassure her customers that she is not closing because of her five-year battle with ovarian cancer.

“I am retiring because it’s time to retire,” she said, while her health is stable and she and husband, Eric, can do the things they want to do. Those include traveling and downsizing their own home.

Heck opened the tea room in the circa 1761 farmhouse in Chalfont because of her own love of tea, which began when she shared her first cups with her grandmother when she was a young girl.

“It was the same sense of comfort and family that I wanted to create here,” she said.

Over the years she has succeeded. “We have shared in so many moments in people’s lives,” she said, including births, deaths and marriages. “The staff that started here in high school is all grown up,” she said, and has been back to the tea room for their own celebrations.

Highlights of the past 16 years include opening day, when Heck held an open house and hundreds of local residents stopped by. Over the years she also has enjoyed the trips to Europe that are organized through the Teacup, and trips to Cape May at Christmastime to see the holiday lights.

The yearly Candlelight Christmas Dessert Teas at the tea room also were a favorite, from their inception 15 years ago.

The Teacup is a cozy restaurant with a country-style décor that was designed to be comfortable for both men and women. Heck and her staff have crafted a menu of scones, tea sandwiches, cookies, cakes, soups and salads that are available for breakfast, lunch and high tea.

The tea list at the Teacup is extensive, including black, white, green and herbal teas in a variety of flavors, and the staff is expert at brewing the perfect pot. Coffee and ice teas are available for those who prefer them.

For those in search of a tea room after the Teacup closes, Heck suggests Tilly Mint’s Tea Room in Souderton and Teaberry’s Tea Room in Flemington, N.J. Those who have Teacup gift cards can use them through June 29.

The closing is the right thing to do, Heck said. “For me emotionally it’s the whole concept of being at peace with it being done.”

That will come at the end of the day on June 30.