Tea Time

Eugene offers a caffeine fix and more

By: Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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 campus.


The Campbell House Inn
10 percent commission
252 Pearl St. 800-264-2519 www.campbellhouse.com

Eugene Saturday Market

Picc-A-Dilly Flea Market
Held twice each month

Ruthie B’s Antiques and Tea Room
100 Main St., Springfield

201 W. Broadway

Shelton-McMurphey-Johnson House
3rd & Pearl streets

University of Oregon