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Bakewell Bakery Serves Up a Proper Afternoon Tea

This south suburban bakery is keeping an English tradition alive.

Photo: Jeff Marini

Bakewell Bakery is a Mayberry-esque shop with a British accent. The adorable 20-seat bakery and café in downtown Flossmoor is closed on Sundays—unless, that is, you have a reservation for its proper afternoon English tea. When you arrive at the appointed time, the front door might be locked, but if you knock, genial chef-owner Pat Ledsham will answer and lead you and your dining companions to a table set for a homey tea party.

The single-page menu offers six teas from Darvilles of Windsor, ranging from English breakfast (for novices) to Assam (for aficionados). You are bound to smile when your order arrives in a jaunty red double-decker ceramic pot along with a timer for precise steeping.

You don’t have to make any more decisions after that because a three-tiered feast is set before you. A word to the wise: Pace yourself. Start at the bottom and nibble on finger sandwiches made of smoked salmon on white bread, roasted ham on house-baked brioche, egg salad (made with mayonnaise from a closely guarded family recipe) on wheat bread, cheddar from Derbyshire (also on brioche), and mini sausages wrapped in housemade puff pastry.

The middle tier holds less complicated pleasures: still-warm currant scones with clotted cream, strawberry preserves, and lemon curd. You might want your second pot of tea before starting in on the sweets at the summit: raspberry macarons, lemon tarts, mille-feuilles.

If you can’t finish, not to worry: Ledsham boxes up your leftovers. If you do finish, she replenishes anything you particularly loved.

The whole shebang is $30 per person, and you won’t be hungry for dinner. (High tea is also available during business hours Wednesdays to Saturdays, but you must still have reservations.)

1050 Sterling Ave., Flossmoor

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