Satori Tea Garden a Peaceful Retreat for Lunch, Sweets, and TeaPosted on July 27th, 2012 No comments
One of the nicest things about summertime in New Hampshire is being able to relax outdoors in the warm weather and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Add delicious food to the mix and the experience borders on transcendent—it feeds the soul. In the quaint lakeside village of Meredith, visitors and locals can find a quiet little spot tucked in a beautiful Japanese garden to sample light French luncheon fare, elegant desserts, and fine teas. This haven is known as Satori, a tea garden.
Satori is located in the gardens of the lakes gallery at chi-lin, an Asian art and antique gallery and workshop center just up the hill from The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls. Satori opened for its 11th season on Wednesday, July 25th to mild weather and a steady stream of customers. Suzanne Lee, owner of the lakes gallery and Satori tea garden, offers light vegetarian cuisine and tea at satori Wednesday through Saturday from 11:30 to 4:30. After school starts again in the fall, the tea garden will be open on Saturdays, with other days available by appointment, until the fall begins to turn chilly.
Suzanne and her daughter, who ran Satori for many years, are both mostly vegetarian, eating fish only occasionally. “We believe in the health benefits of lots of greens, vegetables, and fruit, and teas with natural sweeteners,” says Suzanne. They wanted to provide a place for others to enjoy healthy and delicious food as well. The menu at Satori changes a little each summer, but always features local, French-inspired main courses and desserts created by Ellen at Meredith Bay Coffee House, and fresh cheese and ice cream from Sandwich Creamery. Much of the produce comes from Moulton Farm. “We order everything the day before so they’re fresh and I pick them up that morning,” says Suzanne.
On Satori’s menu this summer are savory galettes filled with fresh tomato, basil, herbs, and mozzarella, or artichoke hearts, spinach, roasted red peppers, and cheddar. There is also a special quiche of the day, and a mixed-greens salad with veggies, wasabi rice crackers, a choice of cheeses from Sandwich Creamery, and dressing from Moulton Farm. Or guests can nibble on a traditional fruit and cheese plate with an assortment of French-style cheeses and the freshest fruit of the day. For dessert, Satori offers healthy and decadent Greek yogurt parfaits, fresh fruit tarts, and homemade ice cream and sorbet. For something really different and refreshing, try a traditional cold tea (Green, Oolong, or Herbal) served with fruit and nuts.
Some special orders, such as vegan or gluten-free dishes, can be accommodated with advanced notice. Suzanne also encourages reservations if possible, as space in the garden is limited. There are cozy little nooks with tables and a deck up in the trees overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee, all surrounded by sculptures and peaceful landscapes. The whole garden can be reserved for private parties of 12 – 14 guests.
The lakes gallery at chi-lin hosts many creative workshops throughout the summer, and Satori is a lovely option for a meal after a busy morning. “Lots of times people come to the workshops and then have lunch,” says Suzanne, “so it’s nice, it’s very convenient for them.”
The wonderful food and experience at Satori is sure to satisfy vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike! If you are in Meredith on a sunny day, be sure to visit this unique tea garden and gallery. You may find yourself transported to another place and time altogether!
The Mill Falls Blogging Team
Images courtesy of the lakes gallery at chi-lin
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