My first afternoon tea review is actually not in California at all! My parents were lovely enough to bring me to the local to them tea shop over winter break when we visited ☕ I did also visit it at the very end of 2022 but this will also serve as a test run of this rating format for my future tea visits 💕
Getting to Casting Whimsy is very easy if you live in or around Woodstock IL. They have a decently large parking lot and could easily be walked to from the Metra station downtown Woodstock if necessary. It's rather small inside so I don't know that they would be able to accommodate more than a group of 10-12 people (if you didn't mind being split up in a lot of tables)- it's set up best for groups of 2-6. There were lots of options for add-ons and gluten free choices.
Ease of Access: 7/10
Photo by Joe Follmann from the Google Business Page
The inside is small but cute- it has a vaguely Alice in Wonderland theme and was also dressed up a bit for the holidays! Lots of windows and natural light. The staff was very friendly, very small town feel- we even got a little backstory from one of the owners of how they started with a tiny toaster oven in the first place and were happy to finally move to this new space with a full kitchen!
The price was $19.99 for the tea plus more if you wanted to do any add ons. (I highly recommend the earl grey cinnamon roll add on!) You got a lot of goodies for this price! Though it was very sweets heavy- especially if you got some addons. Super affordable price for the amount of goodies and tea you get.
Tea selection was varied and a little overwhelming! You choose by looking at their wall of tea for sale and letting the staff know which you want. It was nice being able to sniff each tea before choosing but there were actually not a lot of teas I was personally interested in. The tea I got was good but overall not to my personal taste. They did keep us very well supplied with hot water!
The scones themselves were tasty and seasonal (I got eggnog <3) but did not come with any of the fixins I was used to (jam, cream etc.)
When you make your reservation you get to make a bunch of choices off the monthly pre-fix menu and there is a single savory included with the tea. While the quiche we got was super tasty it meant that the rest of the tea was incredibly sweets heavy. I'd like to see another savory option in the add ons in future so if you want you can balance a little more.
Slight lack of savories aside the sweets portion was delicious! There was a lot of variety (especially with the add ons). The table favorites were the earl grey cinnamon roll add on and the cranberry tarts!
Overall I'd recommend trying out Casting Whimsy if you are ever in the northern suburbs of Chicago, have a hankering for something sweet, and want to try out an affordable afternoon tea experience with a cute and small town atmosphere! I'd like to return during a different season to check out their other seasonal selections!
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