Friday, March 27, 2015

Helping Little Girls Become Ladies: Charlotte's Tea Room

Charlotte's Tea Room in Warwick, New York
For what it's worth, I consider myself a gentleman. I open doors for women and children, and I stand when a lady enters a room. I know the difference between a salad fork and a dinner fork at a formal meal. I usually don't chew with my mouth open or put my elbows on the table. Most of the time, I know when locker room talk is appropriate and when it's not. Generally speaking, I refrain from breaking wind in mixed company. As a father, I feel fairly comfortable and confident that I can pass along my lifetime gentlemanly experience, suggestions, and tips to The Favorite Son.

Joanne Graney's Charlotte's Tea Room:
Porch View
However, as my readers know, I am also the father to two beautiful, motherless daughters. Frankly, when it comes to being a lady, well, I know what I like in a woman, but since I'm not a woman, I really am not able to help much.

While there are certainly other ways to fill the numbers for which a single father doesn't have the brush or the paint, I've supplemented with my own appropriately gentle ideas about manners and lady-like behavior with the assistance and reinforcement of some great platonic female friends. I also use a secret weapon: Charlotte's Tea Room.

The reception space at Charlotte's Tea Room

Time for "Thanik You's?"
Charlotte's Tea Room is unique eatery located on Oakland Avenue in the charming village of Warwick, New York. As the name suggests, Charlotte's Tea Room specializes in, well, tea. The tea selection is extensive for folks who enjoy that sort of thing, and the menu includes traditional English "afternoon tea" edibles including a variety of sandwiches, scones, pastries, and quite a bit more. It's not the menu, however, that has been my secret tool to assist me in instilling sophistication in my beautiful daughters. Frankly, it's not only the Charlotte's Tea Room standard and professional formality, but Charlotte's Tea Room also offers parties during which an etiquette consultant can be enlisted to provide a fascinating and practical history and use of manners.

Party-Goers

That's just what I did for The Second Beautiful Daughter's 10th birthday a few years ago. In addition to the spacious second-floor reception room that Charlotte's Tea Room boasts, tea, sandwiches, sweets and more are served in a formal manner to the guest of honor and her party. For a reasonable additional fee, an etiquette consultant can provide the context and practice of ladylike behavior at such events.

A Happy Birthday Girl
Look, I know my limitations as a single father and, in truth, I still strive to find answers to some of the questions I face every day. When I find an answer, though, I share. Although many readers of The Single Father's Guide Blog do not reside within driving distance of Charlotte's Tea Room, I'm sure the owner of Charlotte's Tea Room, Joanne Graney, would be happy to point any single father in the right direction. Call her for a referral or reservations at 845-988-9499.