Tea with Kip
10169 Hull Street Road • Midlothian, Virginia 23112
804-307-1934 • teawithkip.com
Nestled in a small shopping center just southwest of Richmond, a teatime treasure awaits those looking for a respite from their hectic lives and busy schedules. That’s what Kip Barefoot hopes patrons will find when they visit her restaurant, Tea with Kip. Adorned with twinkling lights, lace and chiffon, flower arrangements, and an abundance of china, the locale allows visitors to partake in teatime in a setting designed to transport them to a relaxing oasis.
Prior to starting Tea with Kip in 2018, Kip often found reasons and occasions that would allow her to host tea parties for friends and family. While she was blessed with two sons, she often treated the daughters of friends to special afternoon teas. Monthly teatimes with girlfriends were a staple in her life for years. When presented with the opportunity to launch her own business, Kip could think of no other way to continue her tradition of sharing teatime with others than to open a restaurant.
“I needed to make some changes, and I decided, ‘Why not open a tearoom?’” Kip recalls. “Why not create a space where someone could create the same memories that I have of teatime?”
The tearoom also gave Kip a reason to utilize her constantly growing collection of china, or, as she calls them, her “pretties.” For Kip, the restaurant allows her to incorporate her pretties rather than allow them to gather dust at home. Each month, she changes the china featured at each table in the tearoom. Her love for china is no secret among her guests. Since opening, Kip says that several of her loyal patrons have brought their dishes, hoping Kip will give them a home where they can be appreciated.
“People have brought me dishes that are 100-year-old heirlooms,” Kip remarks. “They become a part of the tearoom and a part of its story.”
Kip tries to incorporate the Southern hospitality instilled in her during her childhood in North Carolina. As a part of her desire to make her guests feel like they have been welcomed into her home, each tea service starts with a blessing. Then guests are presented with the monthly selection of scones, savories, and sweets, which are all made fresh daily. Each month Kip designs a new menu, ensuring that she can make each course gluten-free or vegetarian for those with dietary concerns. Customers who enjoy afternoon tea, which costs $26 for adults and $15 for children ages 12 and under, can choose from a wide array of teas from Harney & Sons, Republic of Tea, and Elmwood Inn Fine Teas. The tearoom does have a specialty peach tea blend, which Elmwood Inn Fine Teas created, called Kip in a Cup.
“I want everyone to leave feeling full and loved,” Kip states. “I want their hearts to be as full as their tummies are. In this world with everyone’s busy schedules, they come to this place that is almost magical. It’s a place of enchantment where you forget what’s outside those doors.”
Afternoon tea at Tea with Kip, which is by reservation only, is served at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
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