Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Tuck Box at Carmel by the Sea

Hello Everyone,

This is my first Teacup Tuesday and I'm fairly new to blogging so please excuse me if I faux pas. There is not a teacup in site in this entry, just one of the most enchanting places to eat and have tea, at the Tuck Box in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California.
The Tuck Box built by Hugh Comstock in 1927
Carmel became known as a storybook hamlet in the forest. It was because of Hugh Comstock who built the first fairytale house in 1924 for his wife Mayotta. She made and sold Otsy Totsy dolls and needed a place to display them. For $100 he built the first house, The Doll House, later renamed Hansel. Comstock built a second whimsical house then Gretel and continued to build houses, he was called "Carmel's builder of dreams." Others started to also build in the style and today architects are designing homes that have similar charm but with modern amenities.

The Tuck Box was built in 1927 and first became a tea room in the 1940s. Ownership has changed a few times over the years but the charm of the hand crafted house remains. I've had meals and tea here a few times since the late 1970s. These photos are from a visit in August, 2009, it was an unusually quiet Friday afternoon, I snapped a few pictures avoiding people. Next time I will need to include people to get the proportion of the small house.
Just inside the front door
Just inside you can see the roof pitch starts at the top of the windows.
Waiting area by the window
Many times the tiny waiting area is full and people are waiting outside. The tables are set with simple green paper place mats and paper napkins. Oh! There are two tea cups at the table, very ordinary restaurant quality, as it has always been the times I have visited. I go for the ambiance of the dreams in the architecture.
Service area in background

Scones, preserves and whipped cream
Many of the recipes continue to be used but I do miss the roast beef meal that used to be served. The scones have not changed, years ago I was told they were Scottish style. What happened to our tea cups on the table? It's time for another visit for more photographs.

Beams and water closet door
The water closet sign is appropriate, it is a little coat closet sized rest room with a toilet and tiny corner sink just big enough to wash your hands.
Table legs
The table legs have lots of wear, just adds to the charm. I took this so hubby can make a similar table for my dream tea house, Dutch style.
Out of focus, shelves and teapots
The Tuck Box is casual, no lace or tablecloths, the minimal decor allows the  architecture to stand out. Comstock used pine needles in the plaster and hand cut every shingle. Visit The Tuck Box website to see a couple of early photos, one on the About page and one on the Wholesale page. You will get a sense of the proportion of the building with people and cars.

If you love the charming Carmel architecture see my August 29, 2009 entry to Casanova Restaurant.  

Next week, on Tea Cup Tuesday, I promise to be more on topic with teacups and maybe my teapot wall. To cheat a little you can see my January 4 entry, last week, it has a cinnamon drink served in a mismatched teacup and saucer. It warms a tummy and brings back memories of my wonderful Mexican grandmother.

Maybe by then I can figure out why some of my entry titles are invisible unless you scroll over them, same thing on the archives and some labels, grrr. I visited the help entries and checked settings and design and don't see how to correct it.

Stay cozy and warm,