Jacqueline Soley has just put her eponymous tearoom in Freeport up for sale. She said she’ll likely continue to sell her teas online. Little girls everywhere are weeping into their cups of Duchess of Cambridge.

The tearoom is filled with frilly, floral fabrics, its tables set with real English china. Three rooms, lit by crystal-and-pearl chandeliers, are separated by sliding French doors. Soley serves a variety of teas, along with food such as finger sandwiches and scones with English clotted cream and lemon curd. It’s a place where mothers connect with daughters, couples celebrate anniversaries, and women throw bridal showers.

Soley, who opened the tearoom in 2005, said her children convinced her she was working too much and could just as easily sell her teas online. She’s trying to sell the tearoom business along with the house that it’s in, but if the house sells on its own, the tearoom will be closed for good.


Signs of spring: Fiddleheads from Maine and soft-shell crabs from Maryland are showing up on menus. Back Bay Grill in Portland announced last week that it was getting its first batch; Walkers Maine in Cape Neddick has been serving the crabs for about a month. If soft-shell crabs don’t appeal, how about Louisiana crawfish? Po’Boys & Pickles’ wildly popular Parking Lot Crawfish Boil is being held this spring from noon to 3 p.m. on June 3, marking the seventh year Portlanders have gathered at the New Orleans-style sandwich shop, at 1124 Forest Ave., to suck the heads off the little crustaceans.



The Skowhegan-based Maine Grain Alliance is bringing two workshops to Portland in May and June for people interested in learning to make crackers or wood-fired pizza. The workshops, $50 each, will be held at O’Maine Studios, 54 Danforth St.

“Crackers!” – the exclamation point shows you really, really like crackers – is slated for the evening of May 24, and taught by Jeff and Lisa Dec of Brazen Baking, a wholesale bakery in Waldoboro that uses Maine-grown grains to bake traditional whole grain breads and flatbreads. Participants will bake hardtack, that old-time cracker that broke the teeth of sailors and Civil War soldiers alike, and they’ll create their own cracker dough to be evaluated in a group tasting and discussion. The wood-fired pizza afternoon workshop, on June 10, will be taught by Alec Rutter and Kim Chaurette of Rover Wood Fired Pizza and Bagels in Biddeford, where their pizza and bagels have won over the locals.

For more information or to register for the classes, contact MaineGrainAlliance.com or call (207) 272-6844.


Here’s your chance to sample a variety of Maine-made spirits before throwing down $40-plus for a bottle of something you may or may not like. The Maine Distillers Guild, along with the blog Eat Drink Lucky, are hosting a “Make Mine From Maine” (the guild’s new slogan) cocktail party from 6 to 8 p.m. June 8 at Thompson’s Point. At least 15 local distillers are participating, pouring samples of their products in the Brick South building. Tickets must be purchased in advance and cost $45, which covers drinks, food and parking. Buy yours at eventbrite.com



It’s time to raise a glass to Herbie again. Herbie, a “tribute beer” created last year by Liquid Riot’s Portland brewery in honor of what was once the largest American Elm tree in New England, will be sold at the Yarmouth Farmers Market when it opens for its fourth season June 7 at 317 Main St.

Herbie the tree succumbed to Dutch Elm disease in 2010, at age 217. Herbie the beer will be available in a can exclusively at the Yarmouth Farmers Market, which operates from 3 to 6 p.m. every Thursday until Oct. 11.

Organizers of the market have also brought back MarketFest, held this year on June 21, July 19, Aug. 23 and Sept. 20. On these monthly special market days, the market stays open an extra hour and features a bar, live music and extra vendors.


South Portland House of Pizza is moving from Meetinghouse Hill to 180 Waterman Drive. The business was obliged to move so that Cumberland Farms, which owns the building at 433 Cottage Road, can expand. The last pizza will be served there on June 22 – and the last calzones, grinders, burgers and pasta, too. The new location is in the former Famous Footwear storefront, next to Anytime Fitness in the Shaw’s Mill Creek Plaza.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad

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