Patriot Place is the last spot you might consider to experience high tea, but a new “Alice in Wonderland”-themed cafe hopes to change that.
After a couple weeks of soft open, Alice in the Village officially debuted at Patriot Place in Foxborough on April 15. Inside the store, guests are immediately greeted by a retail space and to-go counter, which offers an Eat Me! Drink Me! menu featuring French macarons, cake pops, cookies, scones, crumpets, and an extensive list of teas ranging from bubble tea to color-changing butterfly pea tea to more than 150 loose-leaf options from Harney & Sons. If the thought of sitting down for tiers of crumpets and crustless sandwiches seems daunting, there is the à la carte menu as well, featuring tartines, soups, salads, and other nibbles.
But the real highlight of Alice in the Village is the tea service: High Tea, Afternoon Tea, and Nursery Tea, which are reservation only until Memorial Day.
“For most people, it’s their first experience with tea service,” owner Ellie Greenberg told Boston.com. “People don’t realize it’s a full meal. Everybody leaves with boxes — it’s a lot of food.”
Each tea service includes tiers of sandwiches, scones, a selection of desserts, and a pot of tea, with the addition of quiches, salads, and a starter plate depending on the tea service. Guests also receive a Wonderland Drink Me! potion: a bottle of “potion” that, when mixed with blue butterfly tea, changes color in each cup. Kids can get in on the interactive experiences, too; the Nursery Tea includes cupcakes with white rose frosting, and children are given brushes and red food coloring to decorate each cupcake.
“We also allow people to order a mystery tea,” Greenberg said. “We decide what tea they’re getting, and if they can figure out which one it is from our list, the tea is on us.”
The tea shop and cafe is the second location of Alice in the Village. Greenberg opened her first shop in Mystic, Ct., in 2016, but the two outposts have a distinctly different vibe. Mystic’s rustic tea room is outfitted with a Mad Hatter theme, while Patriot Place’s tea room, which is decidedly more upscale and uses white tablecloths, centers around the Queen of Hearts, with a red throne and a portrait of the mad queen, among other themed decorations.
“When you go to Patriot Place, it’s not rustic at all,” Greenberg said. “I knew that I had to create something very different. When I was imaging what I was trying to do, the first thing that popped into my head was the Queen of Hearts — something regal and fancy. When you go into the tea room, you feel like you’re being transported into her castle.”
Since opening, Greenberg has seen a steady stream of people come through her doors — mostly women, she acknowledged, though she emphasized that there is something for everyone, and that she is planning future events that are geared toward both men and women, like a pop-up Harry Potter tea and a Sherlock Holmes tea. As for why she has dedicated not one, but two tea rooms to Lewis Carroll’s beloved tale, she said it is the perfect merging of her two interests.
“I absolutely love ‘Alice in Wonderland,'” she said. “It’s all about imagination. It’s very colorful, and every time you read it you discover something new. And I absolutely love tea. What can be better than a tea party? Putting the two things I love together is fantastic to me, and apparently other people like it, too.”
Alice in the Village at Patriot Place; 266 Patriot Place, Foxborough; Sundays through Fridays from 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; aliceinthevillage.net