Though she’s clad in her finest tiara and dress, the princess does not, in all the excitement, notice that there is icing on her nose. However, this potential party faux-pas goes unnoticed by her fellow princesses, as they’re all occupied with contributing to the symphony of giggles and jubilant chatter reverberating off the tea room’s pale pink walls. Despite their attire, this royal crew is not based in a fairy tale but rather partaking in one of Chelsea's Tea Room & Boutique’s glamorous princess dress-up parties. Dedicated to fostering magical moments such as these, the tearoom’s staffers help youngsters let their imaginations run wild via well-planned parties and events.
Amid the elegant tearoom, staffers gild the faces of partygoers in makeup and festoon their nails in fairy dust before unleashing them upon the wardrobe of dress-up clothes. Wee guests hop into the finery of their choice, solidifying their official princess status during a regal strut across the stage and down the runway. Newly minted sovereigns then sip giggle tea and snack on treats such as scones, teapot cookies, and chocolate truffles. Trained in the art of make-believe, staffers remain on hand throughout parties to entertain crowds with riveting stories and etiquette sessions that teach skills, such as table manners and the importance of saying "please" and "thank you."
Along with glitzy parties, Chelsea's Tea Room & Boutique also hosts Princess Summer Glamour Camps designed to promote values such as self-respect, spoken and written communication skills, and confidence among its campers. Its shelves brimming with vibrant decor and sparkly togs, the on-site boutique enables guests to stock up on all things girly during pre- or post-party shopping sessions.
Elizabeth Samudio, owner of Elizabeth Anna’s Old World Garden, cultivates an eco-friendly urban sprawl of thriving flora and fauna situated just minutes from downtown. Wander through rows of edible, unusual, and native plants whose organic designation signals freedom from synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, and whose lushness and vibrancy make them ideal camouflage for secret backyard wrestling leagues. Secure a romantic rendezvous with beguiling rose varietals, or nurture fruit trees and veggie starts into fully stocked, self-replenishing produce aisles. Samudio and her staff of greenthumbs will gladly aid customers with photosynthesizer selection, sharing planting and care tips for aesthetics ranging from asparagus ferns and creeping ivy to topiaries shaped like the mailman.
Mailed announcements take on an air of artistry at Paper Planet, an all-purpose paper outlet whose designers craft handmade stationery sets, elegant invitations, and monogrammed mailing supplies. Textured bouquets of paper and ribbon bloom in a variety of colors and original designs, ensuring that every invitation, program, napkin, and custom greeting card arrives emblazoned with a personal touch. Stationery sets ($18.50) come in over 60 bold color schemes, such as a tart cherry tone that complements lipstick-stained seals and a pink azalea and poppy theme that soothes the sting of breakup notices. A personalized monogramming service embellishes stationery with calligraphic initials as customers explore the shop’s collection of gel pens, and printed ribbons. Paper Planet’s designers can assist in efforts to create the perfect invitation, and artists hand-forge any letter of the alphabet in aluminum ($18.75+), creating personalized gifts or props for space-age adaptations of The Scarlet Letter.