The Tailored Tea

Tailored Tea exterior.jpg

Tea with a view

By Casey Normile

The historic farmhouse at the end of the runway at Albany International Airport runway sat vacant and in disrepair for years.

It had once served as a private home, a post office, a town hall, an inn, and was where a plan was hatched for the infamous Cherry Hill murder. It was even moved -- the whole house, moved -- 600 feet, at one point.

The house has now found a new life as the home of The Tailored Tea -- a tea room for breakfast, lunch, brunch, afternoon tea... and plane watching.

Ebenezer Hills Jr., a Revolutionary War veteran, lived at the family farmhouse until the 1800s, when he became the Watervliet town supervisor and his home became town hall. It went through many other lives before finally falling into disuse. Albany International Airport eventually bought it. And if the house hadn't been placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, it probably wouldn't be standing today. But because of its historic status, the 1785 farmhouse was moved 600 feet by Albany International Airport a few years back and restored.

The house's historic status is derived in part from events in 1827. Jesse Strang and Elsie Lansing Whipple planned what became known as The Cherry Hill Murder -- the murder of Elsie's husband John Whipple, a member of the prominent Van Rensselaer family. Strang was arrested, tried and hanged -- the last public hanging to take place in Albany.

Tailored Tea interior.jpg

Today the old farmhouse is more of a meeting place for families and friends than secret murderous lovers. The Tailored Tea opened in April and is owned by recently-retired Shaker High School teacher Ann Misir. It's been a lifelong dream of Misir's to open a tearoom. She's been collecting vintage tea sets and linens for the past 10 years. And she finally found the right spot for her tea house a year ago in the restored Ebenezer Hills home.

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The tearoom offers breakfast, lunch, brunch and a special three-course afternoon tea session in the 18th century dining room. There are also a couple of private tearooms upstairs for small groups. The selection of tea varies monthly and comes from both Divinitea in Schenectady and Harney & Sons in Millerton. The menu consists of what Misir describes as "simple, traditional American comfort foods" and includes sandwiches, simple salads, and even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crusts cut off. They also serve an afternoon tea every day after 2 pm complete with tea sandwiches, scones and desserts.

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In addition to the perk of continually hot tea (each pot is served with a votive candle to help keep it warm), all of the artwork on the walls is by local artists. There's free wi-fi and prime plane-watching seating. They're also working on a patio for both patrons and their dogs.

"We just want people to stay as long as they want," says Misir, "to enjoy the tradition of tea, and to get away from the business outside for a while."

Elsewhere:
+ Emily after visiting The Tailored Tea: "I loved this place so much, I could totally go here every Sunday morning with a different female friend and probably run out of female friends to ask before I got sick of it."

Find It

The Tailored Tea
1010 Troy-Schenectady Road
Latham, NY 12110

The Tailored Tea
518.608.5137
M-F 8am-7pm
Sat-Sun 8am-4pm

Free Wi-Fi

Comments

OH MY GOD I WANT TO GO HERE. I wish my mother-in-law lived closer - she would looooove this! :)

Thanks for posting the hours. I had the impression, riding by on my bike, that they didn't open until tea time -- 2 pm, by the sign outside. Looks lovely but now that I've seen the inside, I'm glad we didn't drop in in our sweaty spandex for a quick iced tea.

I wished I lived closer! Feeling myself relaxing already thinking about sipping tea over good conversation. Putting this on my have to do list next visit.

My husband was just scrolling through this story and suggested I open a place like this when I retire. Oh the linens! Oh the history! Oh the scones! Can't be beat.

I had the pleasure to eat here last month. Unfortunately, we arrived during a pretty busy time. So, it was a little chaotic and the service was a little slow. The food was absolutely delicious! The tea was great as well. I definitely recommend the place to others and plan to visit there again myself.

I went during the second week they were open and was extremely disappointed. There was only one other table filled, the service was so slow, and their oven smelled terrible! They were just warming it up for the day but it was the worst electrical odor. I wouldn't say this place is kid friendly either - I was so nervous about their china and linens and I have an excellent toddler. I much prefer the Ballston Spa Whistling Kettle.

I'm glad to see the old farmhouse re-occupied! Kudos to the airport for saving and restoring the building. The Town of Colonie has lost so much of its history to careless demolition.

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