Originally featured in Lancaster County Magazine.
Piccadilly Coffee & Tea House’s fun vibe and taste-tempting menu instantly made it a popular spot to fete brides and moms-to-be, host a girls’ day out, celebrate a birthday, or simply treat oneself to a lovely coffee or tea break.
This modern coffee house and traditional English tea room, which is owned by Gary and Debora Hunter, makes its home in the Shoppes at Worthington in Manheim Township. Debora oversees daily operations and serves as executive chef. A native of Brazil, she grew up helping her father in his bakery. “I have a passion for cooking. I learned baking and how to run a business from my dad,” explains Debora, who graduated from Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts at YTI’s Lancaster campus in 2014. Family motivated Debora and Gary, who is a native of Philadelphia, to open a coffee house/tea room. “We have two children,” Debora explains, noting “the hours allow me to be with the children in the evening.”
Open since September 2018, the 42-seat restaurant has both a casual seating area and a more formal tea room. Dramatic color schemes denote each area. Large windows admit natural light. The casual seating area features tables, high-tops and sofas. “You can have a cup of coffee, a pastry and read a book. If you need a new read, we have a free library and are accepting books,” Debora says. The tea room’s more formal tone is distinguished by sparkling chandeliers.
Artwork in both areas was selected by Gary, who Debora says is “into art.” The artwork reflects the restaurant’s name and features some iconic London scenes, including Piccadilly Circus, which might be described as London’s version of Times Square. Photos of familiar faces – such as Queen Elizabeth and the Beatles – also fill the walls. Artwork in the tea room includes still lifes and Degas-like ballerinas.
There’s even a small outdoor seating area for warm-weather sipping and dining. “People really enjoyed that area this past summer. We had flowers to add some color,” Debora says.
Piccadilly’s tea selection is organic and interesting, with the intention of providing a “multi-sensory experience.” I sampled the wonderful French Lavender Earl Gray, a blend of super-blue lavender and Sri Lanken Earl Grey. Coffees are from Philadelphia’s Old City Coffee and are representative of organic and premium varieties from around the world. In addition to traditional brewed coffee, Piccadilly also offers French Press and Pour Over preparations. “Our baristas can create some amazing coffee drinks,” Debora notes. Loose teas and coffee (both whole bean and ground) are available for purchase.
The breakfast and lunch menus change seasonally and include pastries (created onsite by Piccadilly’s pastry chef), soups, quiche, salads and sandwiches. Soups and other items are made onsite, as well.
Piccadilly’s signature item is its Full Afternoon Tea. “Teas are all about the experience,” Debora points out. “For the teas, people often dress up. We even have some fun accessories – hats, feather boas, pearls. As we serve the tea, we do a bit of education about teas and tea etiquette. Our teas have become popular for bridal or baby showers – it’s something fun and different.”
As the name indicates, tea is served in traditional English fashion – there’s a three-tiered tea tray for guests to share, and each guest selects a variety of tea for her (or his) tea pot.
The Afternoon Tea tray features five varieties of finger sandwiches on the bottom tier. (Debora says guests may select the sandwiches for their tray.) The second layer features scones served with lemon curd, clotted cream, jam and butter. The top tier features tasty petite desserts. “Our scones are made in the traditional way – they’re round rather than triangular-shaped,” Debora explains.
Piccadilly also offers an English Tea, which features a two-tiered tray of tea sandwiches and scones; and a Duchess Tea, featuring a two-tiered tray of petite desserts and scones.
For special events, the restaurant also has a catering menu.
Piccadilly Coffee & Tea House is located at 483 Royer Dr., Lancaster. Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Breakfast is served Tuesday-Saturday, 8-10:30 a.m. Lunch is served Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday brunch is served 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Reservations are required for the Afternoon Tea and are recommended for parties of five or more. Guests may BYOB; there is a corkage fee. Catering is available. Call 717-984-6425 or visit piccadillycoffeeandtea.com and Facebook.