City officials and employees help Diane Kippes snip the ribbon at Stillwater House Tea Room on Prentis Street last week.
City officials and employees help Diane Kippes snip the ribbon at Stillwater House Tea Room on Prentis Street last week.

Archived Story

Tea room pours out blessings

Published 9:02pm Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The owner of a new tea room hopes to pour out blessings and kindness, along with the beverages that give the new business its name.

Diane Kippes named her new venture Stillwater House Tea Room, after her mother’s hometown of Stillwater, Minn. She also drew inspiration for the name from Psalm 23: “He leadeth me beside the still waters…”

The 59-year-old has dreamed of owning a tea room since she picked up a book, “The Twelve Teas of Friendship,” by Emilie Barnes, in a bookstore one day. For the past several years she has been working at the With Flair Tea Room in Chesapeake, whose owner recently retired and sold the building.

Diane Kippes shows off the book that inspired her to open a tea room as she sits at a downstairs table at Stillwater House.
Diane Kippes shows off the book that inspired her to open a tea room as she sits at a downstairs table at Stillwater House.

“When I found that out, I decided, ‘I’m going to do this now,’” said Kippes, who also used to sell houses in Governor’s Pointe.

The home is decorated with paintings, teapots and trinkets Kippes has been collecting to support her dream, which is now coming to fulfillment.

“My husband is glad it’s out of the house,” she said. “I’ve been putting this stuff in our home for 20 years.”

Kippes hopes her customers will use their visits to the tea room as a way to de-stress and learn to slow down.

“If I can bless someone that just needs to be heard that day, that’s what I want to do,” she said. “This is a place where people can come to be blessed, a place where ladies can learn to be slower. I just like being able to honestly bless the women that come in here.”

The historic home was built in 1859 on Pinner Street. In 2001, it was moved to its current location at 201 Prentis St. to avoid demolition.

The home is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for high tea, with lunch served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Offerings include salads, quiches, sandwiches, soups, Virginia ham on yeast rolls, fruit and cheese, sweets and, of course, an almost unlimited variety of teas.

A children’s menu offers tea or lemonade as well as sandwiches, soup and sweets. Dress-up tea parties for children are also available and include the use of dresses, hats, feather boas, costume jewelry and fingernail polish.

Stillwater House is also able to accommodate bridal and baby showers and other special events.

“It’s not work; this is fun,” Kippes said. “I’m here to use the gifts and talents God has given me.”

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