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Afternoon tea sweetens Valentines Day
Marion Silva and her daughter Heidi look over the Valentine’s Day menu at The Silver Teapot – their Downtown Manteca gem that is hosting a special three-day event for the upcoming day for lovers. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
The place settings are all meticulously decorated with sterling silver accents and the finest linens.

Every chair ornately matches its place at the table, and servers with the most reserved manners are there to cater to your every whim.

Sound like an afternoon tea in London? Try the Valentine’s Day special in Downtown Manteca.

From Feb. 11 through Feb. 13, the Silver Tea Pot will be holding their annual Valentine’s Day tea event for couples or groups that wish to partake in the age-old tradition of enjoying not only tea but the small edibles that go with them – biscotti, miniature sandwiches and desserts.

According to Manager Heidi Silva, spaces for the three-day event are filling up fast and reservations are required to partake in the event.

“We’re going to have lots of hearts and lots of red to go with the theme,” she said. “The menu is also going to reflect that. It’s something that we’ve done for the last few years, and we look forward to this time of year so we can do it again.”

For some customers, a trip to The Silver Teapot involves picking one of the dozens of hats off of the wall and accenting yourself with the appropriate boa – keeping with the formal theme of “afternoon tea.”

Whether it’s a group of 12 or just two colleagues looking for a nice place to spend their lunch break, the business has made great strides to become an established part of downtown and appeal to a wide audience.

“Most people who take tea are used to using the bags, so when they come in we get to teach them how to use the tea strainers,” Silva said. “It adds another element of fun to the whole thing. That’s really what this is all about – a social event that’s supposed to be fun.”

Silva operates the business with her mother Marion – the owner of the shop – and enjoys the fact that she gets to closely work with members of her family on a daily basis.

And being from England, opening a tea business just seemed like a natural move.

“In England you take tea like 10 times a day, so you get very used to having it,” Marion Silva said. “So when we came to town and started thinking about a business, I asked my daughter ‘What about a tea room?’ We’ve been here ever since, and we’re glad to be a part of this community.”

The Silver Teapot is located at 118 N. Maple Street, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Valentine’s Tea – which runs from Feb. 11 through Feb. 13 – requires reservations. For more information call 824-8700.