Well-known for its bike trails and small-town appeal, Eugene
makes a great stop for travelers along Highway 5. While the
University of Oregon students keep plenty of pizza places jumping,
clients can also explore the city’s bevy of tea-time venues.
Downtown, the sleek Parisian-style tea salon Savoure provides a
welcoming atmosphere of comfy sofas and cloth-draped tables. Diners
choose from sweet treats and more than 60 teas, many exotic or
rare. The menu also features items such as petit chicken Cordon
Bleu and feta tartlets.
In the neighboring town of Springfield, Ruthie B’s operates
inside a funky antiques shop. Tea drinkers borrow hats and boas and
sit down for a sip at tables tucked in among the overflowing stock
of antiques. After a simple lunch of salads or sandwiches, clients
will want to browse for souvenirs in this converted old house
stuffed to the rafters with goodies.
Prime Eugene lodging is provided by The Campbell House, one of
the poshest B&Bs I’ve spent the night in. Situated in the
historic Skinner’s Butte district, above the town’s recently
renovated train station, the house has gables galore and is
surrounded by gardens. Built in 1892, it opened as a B&B in
1993. Guests can stay in the main house or the more private
carriage house. My carriage house room had an old-fashioned bed but
still came with every modern convenience.
Just a short walk away, down a woodsy road, awaits the
historical Shelton-McMurphey-Johnson House, Eugene’s only Queen
Anne Revival-style house. Built in 1888, when the railroad arrived
and the town’s population began to boom, it sits at the base of a
butte covered with pine and cedar trees. The house is built from
local Northwest woods and features 12-foot ceilings and ornate
hardware. Fund-raising seasonal High Teas are scheduled for certain
holidays and include live music and a tour of the house.
Clients who want to browse for souvenirs should visit Eugene on
a weekend when the Picc-A-Dilly Flea Market is scheduled at the
Lane County fairgrounds. The popular venue displays everything from
spicy masala tea in a red silk pouch for $4, brought in personally
by the seller all the way from Tibet, to gorgeous antique Spode tea
cups for $2 each. Mellow music and pleasant conversation with
vendors emanate throughout.
Though a visit to Eugene wraps nicely around tea, clients may
also enjoy a visit to the charming shops and pubs situated inside
historical houses or a stroll through the University of Oregon