A taste of France in downtown Orange, California
By Betty Sanz • Photography by Patrick Rogers
There’s a theory that almost everything is better when it’s French. Cheryl Turner knows it, and Paris In A Cup, her shop in Orange, California, proves it.
Cheryl had all but retired by 2006 when she sold her small tearoom and, eventually, her antique shop. She probably would have fully retired if her friends and former customers had given her peace. Instead, she was inundated with requests to bring back a tearoom experience for the Orange Plaza Historic District, one of Cheryl’s favorite places.
“I love historic districts,” she says, “and of all those in Southern California, I love Old Towne Orange the most for its layout and its feeling of community.”
When the city proposed to support her in the redevelopment of a desirable space on South Glassell Street, Cheryl realized that she had a golden opportunity not only to get back to business, but to do it on her terms: with French flare and lunch fare.
Paris In A Cup, which has been open for four years now, is a transporting experience. That is to say, once inside, you’re in Paris. Segmented into two unique experiences, Paris In A Cup greets you with a boutique where treasures from France abound (at very reasonable prices) and where you can find a beautiful little something for almost anyone: imported and signature lines of tea, handmade cards, aprons, Parisian memorabilia, jewelry, sweets, and more.
Keep going, and you find the real treasure, a tearoom worthy of the most iconic streets of Paris itself. Chandeliers, original art, glamorous French accents, and detail after detail create a rich ambience without being gaudy or overwhelming. It’s an atmosphere ideal for bridal and baby showers, women’s groups, corporate luncheons, anniversary celebrations, and office parties with a bit of panache.
But half the delight of France is its cuisine. Paris In A Cup is, after all, a restaurant, and its menu arguably outshines the décor. In addition to traditional tea and fare (scones, pastries, finger sandwiches), the tearoom offers a full lunch menu of handcrafted soups, delectable salads, and hearty sandwiches. All breads are made in-house, and the extraordinary desserts are almost as beautiful as they are delicious. If you take just one thing away from Paris In A Cup, consider making it a macaron, a treat for which the business has become famous—so famous that many proclaim these macarons to be better than those you might enjoy in Paris itself.
For visitors, Paris In A Cup offers a chance to escape to France for an hour or two. For Cheryl, it has been a dream come true and a reason to delay retirement just a little while longer.
Find Paris In A Cup at 119 S. Glassell Street, open Wednesday through Sunday (from 11:00 a.m. to the last seating at 3:30 p.m.), with the boutique remaining open until 5:00 p.m. For reservations, call 714-538-9411, or visit parisinacup.com.
From Teatime March/April 2012