Treasures, Traditions and Tea: Enjoy Some Enriching, Local ‘Social Capital’ at Audrey’s
Oct 31, 2011 09:39AM
● By Lee Walker
In 2004, Hurricane Ivan claimed Sonja Tilley’s home and Second Hand Rose consignment shop in Pensacola. Although the losses were devastating, it didn’t take Tilley and her husband long to turn their back on misfortune and begin focusing on their blessings. “We were grateful that our whole family, including our five beloved cats, survived the storm and that we had a small condo in Naples to go to,” she says.
Their adversity contained a small silver lining. The 2005 move to Naples not only provided Tilley with the opportunity to open Audrey’s (formerly Audrey’s Attic), one of Naples’ busiest high-end secondhand clothing, estate jewelry and antique shops, but also the tearoom she had always dreamed of owning. Tea with Me at Audrey’s, located adjacent to the resale shop, allows Tilley and her granddaughter, Ashley Means, to bring back their favorite tradition: afternoon tea.
In England, where teashops dot the landscape, afternoon tea was an integral part of Tilley’s day, just as it is now. “In England, years ago, we’d go shopping on buses and would pop in to Bobby’s for a spot of tea, and it was so gracious and posh, with silver tongs for the sugar cubes,” recalls the native of Dartmouth, a town in the English county of Devon.
Today, Tea with Me guests are treated to a similar experience, enjoying two varieties of tea sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and preserves, assorted tea pastries and a pot of tea, all served on delicate, mismatched china that lends a bit of whimsy to the rather genteel space.
While Audrey’s resale shop gives Tilley the opportunity to do something she fancies, it also offers area residents a chance to support a locally owned and operated retailer, as suggested in this month’s Green Living, “Shop Smart: Keep Dollars Working in Local Communities.”
With any purchase of ladies’ apparel, costume jewelry, designer handbags, vintage clothing or accessories, shoppers also get to meet and chat with Tilley and her granddaughter, whose daily presence adds to the enriching social capital and genuine wealth of every shopping expedition and afternoon tea experience.
Location: 104 10th St. N., Naples. For more information, call 239-403-8322 or visit Audreys-Attic.com.