The black London cab and the red telephone booth outside the small, yellow cottage set the scene for afternoon tea at The English Tea Room. Nestled adjacent to a picturesque courtyard garden, The English Tea Room is a celebration of global tea and British food and culture. Owners Tim and Jan Lantrip, a builder and pharmacist, respectively, found a way to channel both of their passions into the elegant trans-Atlantic cafe. Tim, for instance, assembled the decor, while Jan champions the health benefits of the more than 150 loose-leaf teas from around the world that line the shelves.
Fine china and linen napkins set the tables where British-inspired meals are served, from bacon-topped breakfast casseroles and coronation chicken-salad sandwiches to shepherd's pie and tea-infused soup. Events such as classic mid-afternoon high tea in the courtyard and themed kid's birthday parties in the secret courtyard that only children can see contribute to the elegant, authentic feel.
United Apparel Liquidators' fashion-savvy buying team compiles an immense stash of brand-new clothing and accessories from acclaimed designers, slicing 70–90% off their original retail price before featuring them on the boutiques' shelves. The stores—which have garnered press from fashion magazines such as Lucky and InStyle over their 30-year history—brim with men's and women's attire, shoes, and jewelry from prominent high-end labels such as Alexander McQueen, Chanel, and Marc Jacobs. Staffers aim to keep the vast collection current and up to date, harnessing their knowledge of the fashion scene to scope out threads from emerging designers and time-traveling thrift-store owners.
It was a quiet Sunday morning when Kerri Blache decided to drive her car into Old Mandeville, meandering through its forests of gnarled trees and verdant marshes. As she drove past a small, sunny clearing dotted by pine trees, something caught her eye—an enchanting cottage with a fairy-tale entranceway, rustic arches, and a white picket fence. Instantly smitten, Kerri knew she had discovered the site of her future international teahouse.
Today, the cheerful cottage is home to Vianne's Tea House, where Kerri and her husband Michael pair a menu of more than 120 teas with scones, salads, and sandwiches. As Michael, the house's executive chef, bakes homemade pastries and stirs daily soups in the kitchen, Kerri delivers pots of steaming white, green, black, and specialty teas out into the four tearooms. The colorful, sunlit rooms boast cushioned chairs, fine curtains, and chandeliers that start blinking if someone uses the word "penultimate" correctly.
Every morning, the bakers of Cupcake Concept round up the fresh ingredients needed for the day’s menu of confections, which include six daily cupcake staples and a few rotating specialty flavors. Bakers manipulate flavorful batches of batter into classic cupcakes, miniature cupcake bites, and besticked Lollicakes, creating confections just the right size to equip a party or plug up a transdimensional wormhole. Available in flavors such as mint julep, Nana’s banana pudding, and strawberry lemonade, the frosted cakes can be artfully displayed in multi-tiered party arrangements or outfitted with optional sprinkles and seasonally shaped fondant decorations. The shop gives back 10% of its income to local organizations, helping to return the favor to the customers who support it.
In 1997, mother-and-daughter duo Ronda and Cherrie Myers searched Slidell in vain for a gift idea that was both eye-catching and delicious. They decided to take matters and some cookie dough into their own hands, launching Creative Cookies in the kitchen of Ronda's home. Word of their fresh, colorfully decorated cookies spread, and Ronda and her father eventually constructed a cookie shop on the side of her home. The business continued to grow and found a new home in a retail shopping center in 2002.
The Myers and their staff sweeten celebrations with treats such as cakes, cookie platters, or 12-, 16-, or 18-inch cookie cakes designed to be dunked in oaken barrels of milk. Kids and adults can also go to the shop and decorate cookies using the staff's design suggestions or their own inspirations.