MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA — Approaching the
entry to Sweet Remembrances Tea Room, a visitor can’t help notice
the building and the street, which look as though they are from
another century. Market Street, where the tearoom stands, is lined
with quaint, narrow, two-story brick buildings built in the early
1800s. Their character and appearance have changed little since
The name, Sweet Remembrances, is taken from a quote from
Shakespeare: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” As a
visitor steps through the door of Sweet Remembrances, the
experience truly is of taking a step back in time. Period antiques,
charming dishes and herbal prints round out the decor. Lace
curtains, draped with herbs and swags, frame tall windows, making
it easy to imagine you’re meeting friends for afternoon tea after
stepping out of your carriage. Now you have nothing to do for the
rest of the day but enjoy your tea and gossip about Society.
In 1990, Nancy Reppert opened Sweet Remembrances next door to
The Rosemary House herb shop that her mother had opened in 1968, as
a place to serve tea and hold lectures for events hosted in The
Rosemary House. The business thrived, and soon Nancy was including
all her family members in the enterprise.
The Rosemary House shop overflows with herbal goodies and gifts,
including its own line of seasonings and herb mixes. A charming,
narrow side porch houses plants in season. The back yard is a maze
of fascinating little gardens where the family hosts teas, Civil
War programs, children’s activities and occasional weddings.
Nancy started her business by offering a place for special
luncheons and teas, wedding receptions and other special events.
She provided full meals or refreshments. Soon, customers were
coming specifically to experience what a relaxed, elegant afternoon
tea once was.
Nancy loves to cook and entertain people. She’s so quiet and
perpetually organized that you hardly realize you’ve been served:
Dainty teapots arrive on the table filled with steaming, perfectly
steeped teas, and elegant appetizers, exquisite main courses and
bountiful desserts quietly materialize in front of you.
Nancy produces her delightful foods from scratch, whipping up
amazingly colorful dishes, which customers greet with murmurs of
Visitors’ choices of breads include Orange Glazed Poppyseed,
Apricot Coriander, Lemon Pecan Buttermilk Tea Bread or Strawberry
Bread with Cream Cheese Rosebuds. Traditional English scones are
served warm from the oven, smelling and tasting as pretty as they
look. Tea sandwiches served include Chicken Salad in Cheese Puffs,
Pineapple and Pecan, Curry Coconut Rounds and Rolled Asparagus
Sandwiches, in season.
Dessert selection may include Raspberry Cheesecake Bars,
Chocolate Cheese Cupcakes, Vanilla Rosemary Cookies or Lemon
Tartlets. Each is served with a perfectly brewed tea.
But afternoon tea, often accompanied by special programs, is
what patrons praise most highly. In October, Amanda McQuade
Crawford, an herbal practitioner and member of the American
Herbalists Guild, will present a medicinal herb seminar, with
special afternoon tea.
In December, Sweet Remembrances will host an elegant tea party
and class Nancy calls “Festivi-tea” with scrumptious, festive
foods, followed by a class in which participants create a small,
charming Christmas ornament to take home.
In January each year, Sweet Remembrances hosts “A Tea for All
Seasons,” an elegant, colorful afternoon tea to break up the gray
of winter — a very popular event. In addition, the tearoom offers
the much-appreciated “Super Scone Saturdays,” where visitors enjoy
an assortment of freshly baked scones, jellies, homemade lemon
curd, fresh fruit and toast with select teas.
For more information, contact Sweet Remembrances, 118 S. Market
St., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055; (717) 697-5785; www.sweetremem
Jim Long is a contributing editor of The Herb Companion and
author of several books. Learn more by visiting his website at