Best Tea House 

Captain's Cottage Tea Parlour

Captain's Cottage takes the old New England tea shoppe theme to its zenith. The setting is picture perfect: a restored Victorian in Old Town Pinole furnished in turn-of-the-century fashion and Lois Boyle, the proprietor, decked out in period costume. The front room is a sunny parlor, with a few cozy tables and sofas; the back room is done in a nautical theme. Tucked here and there throughout are tea knickknacks for sale, from teapots to cozies to Christmas ornaments. But besides the quaint setting and welcoming host, it's the food and generous selection of teas that keep you coming back. Boyle's version of English high tea, unlike most, is spread out over five courses. For your $15 per person ($18 on Sundays), you get a pot of tea -- 21 to choose from -- with delectable scones with jams and Devonshire cream, tea sandwiches, "hot savories," assorted desserts, and more. If modern life has you down, Captain's is a welcome step into the past.

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