“Not a full blown baby shower, just a sprinkle,” a wise friend of my sister’s said. My sister was having baby #2, (a baby girl this time), and I envisioned a casual but hip venue to gather a few women together to ooh and ahh over pink tutus, pastel hair ribbons, and the doll-sized dresses we stared longingly at while we were (not unhappily!) trapped in onesie-and-t-shirt-world for baby #1 (obviously a boy, if you have not guessed). All this against the backdrop of sugary scones and overflowing cups of tea. (Okay, not overflowing because that would be very messy, but it just sounded nice and very Lewis Carroll-ian).
So I scratched my head, and scratched again (helps me think, no lice here), and think back to hip places where I’ve experienced tea and merriment. I had a good experience throwing a casual “you’ve been dubbed my bridsmaid/bridesman” tea at Royal/T in Culver City a few years earlier, so Royal/T was a natural, easy choice for this occasion as well. (The 5% Yelp discount didn’t hurt either).
Entering Royal/T, the adjective that flashes through my mind instantly is whimsical. Part store/cafe/art space, Royal/T has a decidedly Japanese slant with Asian waitresses dressed in french maid costumes adding to a perma-harajuku girl vibe in the air. Royal/T is self-described as “LA’s first Japanese-style cosplay,” which after I looked that up online (who wouldn’t?) stands for costume play outside of the stage usually sourcing from anime. Who would have known that existed? Not I.
I walk in and see a DJ spinning LOUD drum n’ bass near the entrance. I look at my 83-year old grandmother who just walked in the door looking bewildered and deafened. Hopefully I did not err on the side of too trendy. But then the other guests arrive, the DJ thankfully stops eventually (not that we’re not appreciative), and we start conversing at normal human volumes. Less ungst ungst club, and more appropriate baby sprinkle atmosphere. Time for tea.
The aesthetically-pleasing high tea set fuses together Japanese and French snacks with interesting twists (green tea sponge cake?) and other inspired sweet and savory canapes. I opted for a pot of the house milk tea and was not disappointed. The brunch and lunch menu looked very good, evidenced by the other items ordered by the group.
All in all, an easy, low key and playful space to celebrate the kid inside, as well as the kid, well… literally, inside.