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splinterswerve
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
splinterswerve.hotmail.com

 





 

by Rosemary Fodor

1112 – 6th Avenue South, Lethbridge

Homemade Pies, High Tea Sandwiches,
Cakes, Cookies, International &Custom Blended Teas
Antiques..........from everywhere
Charming Visual Decor…Soft Music

Pleasant Service…Delightful Food 

  Kathleen Wilson Thomson, Jasmine Tea Room
  Kathleen Wilson Thomson, owner, Jasmine Tea Room

For several years now, I have frequented the Sixth Avenue 'JASMINE ROOM' TEA and ANTIQUE HOUSE.  It is an 'Off-Centre' lovely historic oasis away from the bustle of the busy city.  I would call it a "Tea Retreat".

I interviewed Kathleen Wilson Thomson recently, owner of The Jasmine Room business, and she shared her recollection of her grandfather's old Grocery Store. The Wilson family came from Scotland and in 1917 James Wilson purchased the building. It became a major retail food supplier for the young city of Lethbridge. Those were the early years of mining in the region. The building has remained in the Wilson family ever since then.

Kathleen remembers her mother’s story. Her father had fallen in love with the new female staff member in the store. Her mother had come to work in the store. She has a very special feeling with positive vibes for her at all times. Kathleen also said that when she envisioned an Antique and Tea Oasis for the building, she didn't have her late father around to inquire of him if the idea would work. From time to time she feels his presence with her in the building, especially at moments when the small wooden panel located above the entrance door opens unexpectedly. She knows then that her father is around her and all will be fine.

Jasmine Tea Room, Lethbridge
The Shop  

From the street the building appears as one solid structure, but it is really three adjoining buildings.  A Barber Shop was located on the west side and also later a Beauty Parlour.  A Barber Shop Red and White Pole was situated outside indicating 'Open for Business’. When renovations were underway after the western side of the main building drywall was removed, they found there were many names scribbled on the external original wood frame.  Signatures of the past!

The menu describes special teas from around the world and their sandwiches, homemade pies, cakes and cookies are presented by friendly and courteous ladies. Aprons are worn by the staff. Tables are covered with white tablecloths.  Antique miniature salt and pepper shakers are displayed along with subtly-flavoured, white sugar sprinkled with touches of purple and yellow sugar specks. Even a little tea bag saucer is on the table.

Kathleen and her staff offered a special 'High Tea' on a Sunday afternoon this past May. While staff were getting ready the night before, about, 11pm, their CD of the El Divas was playing.  All of a sudden the music became VERY loud. This happened twice.  It was a good omen.  They are planning on doing another 'High Tea' in the not too distant future. Stay tuned.

There is an aura of peacefulness in each area of the Jasmine Room teahouse, even in the preparation area. Their choice of music is soothing. The visual environment is delightful, seeing old things remembered and put forth for sale. Cherished old hats decorate the walls.  It truly is living history on site and a touch of grace and charm in Lethbridge.

Kathleen's vision demonstrates an ethos of original thought.  Her courage and soft demeanour offers Lethbridge elegance from the past, an oasis from the busy hustle of everyday life.  Enjoy when you enter, return for a 'Good Cup of Tea'. Look for an Antique.  Smile with glee!  

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The Jasmine Tea Room