More than 24 different custom loose-leaf teas and herbal blends line the shelves at Teatotaller Tea House for patrons to peruse. Panini sandwiches stuffed with sweet and savory fillings, scones, and gluten-free treats accompany cups of freshly steeped tea or specialty coffee drinks.
After the Stark Mill brewery closed, many feared Manchester would fall victim to the unchecked infiltration of commercial and contract beers. Determined to save New Hampshire's Queen City from such a foamy fate, master brewer Peter Telge gathered his wits, a group of supporters, and 20 years of brewing experience to reopen the historic Millyard District brewery under the name Milly's Tavern. Now operating as a brewpub, Milly's is home to a passionate staff that serves up juicy burgers, baby-back ribs, and beer-battered fish 'n' chips alongside microbrews crafted in the onsite brewery.
Milly's microbrews are pure works of art, even earning the 2009 Readers' Poll award for Best Local Microbrew from New Hampshire Magazine (not to be outdone, their chili won as well). The all-natural brewing process begins with imported malted barley, sometimes up to 1,300 pounds of it, depending on the beer. After stirring the barley by hand and singing it to sleep with a lullaby, brewers blend it with hops from Washington’s Yakima Valley and Europe’s agricultural hotspots. An Old World–style fire heats the brewing system, caramelizing the sugar to imbue batches with unique and subtle flavors. Milly's always keeps at least 12 beers on tap, ranging from cream ales and IPAs to stouts, porters, and seasonal brews.
Milly's is not just a place to relax and enjoy a leisurely pint. At night, the eatery transforms into a nightclub and lounge, treating guests to DJ tunes, live entertainment, and local musical acts. When not setting the scene for evening revelry, the space can be used to host affairs for up to 100 people, with special catering options available.:
Since 1958, George's Bakery has stocked everything necessary for a Mediterranean dinner party or an authentic Wednesday night. Crowding the shelves are specialty spices, fresh pita breads, olives, and all kinds of imported canned goods. Along with baklava and other pastries, the store sells hookahs and the flavored tobacco they need to survive.
Combining two romantic gestures doesn't always work—it's hard to write a love letter in chocolate or hug someone while you're kissing their hand. However, Jennifer Dumais consolidates romantic gestures with great success when she bakes up cupcake bouquets that look like flowers in a vase with blooms of icing. She also sculpts and frosts customized cakes for any event, as evidenced by her gallery of edible art. Idiosyncratic cakes that resemble a tool belt or a gathering of jungle animals complement tiered wedding cakes, which can sport spiraling accents and actual flowers.
Jennifer and her staff prep a whole range of homemade confections, from fruit and cream pies to cinnamon chip cookies. Their impressive list of cake flavors covers classic tastes, such as chocolate and old-fashioned lemon, in addition to slices of pumpkin, white chocolate spice, and seasonal passion fruit. All these are available as cupcake flavors as well. Guests can even learn how to bake and decorate their own cupcakes during two-hour parties with optional add-ons such as photographers and goodie bags.
Heather and Gary Labbe unveil a passage to bygone eras with the ornately decorated Clipper Merchant Tea House, "a destination that is simply unforgettable," according to Tea Time Magazine. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home-turned-luncheonette holds up to 40 guests in rooms that, despite brandishing the same elegant woodwork and birth certificates, take on different identities through an assortment of statues, vases, paintings, and knickknacks. Inside the Colonial-themed Hawthorne room, diners toast with more than 80 different teas that swirl around inside each of their cups. Toward the back of the house, the China Room plays host to a couple who can scale the Tower of London's three tiers of tea sandwiches, warm scones, and petite desserts. Antique china, silver, and linens—all of which Heather inherited from her aunt—help whisk visitors further into the depths of grandeur.