Sitting two stories above downtown Mount Vernon inside the Old Town Grainery building is a wonderland of tea parties fused with theater known as the White Branches. Matthew White, proprietor, and entrepreneur, opened the wide doors of White Branches in April 2022, bringing with him years of experience as a merchandising director for Teatro Zinzanni in Seattle. Combine this skill with his flair for event planning sprinkled with a magical twist and you have a winner.
Tea in Mount Vernon Like Nothing Else You’ve Experienced
Incorporated into his logo is an image of the White Rabbit suggesting a connection and familiarity to the playful world of Wonderland.
Invited to an evening show, we arrived ready to be transported and enthralled! Our first sense of curiosity began at the elevator doors decorated on the exterior with the White Rabbit logo. The adornments next to the elevator, including the oversized clock, mirror and gilded branching archway begin our journey to the upper floor of enchantment. There is even a sign reading “Escape the ordinary” reminding you that you are about to visit somewhere extraordinary. There is nothing in Skagit Valley quite like White Branches.
Stepping off the elevator we sensed this was not your average tea house. We could not help feeling awestruck as our eyes moved around the richly decorated lobby. Fantastical tidbits including an almost life-sized giraffe are scattered among the elegant furniture.
It feels like walking into a grandparent’s attic attired with antique treasure and lost dreams. Each room carries with it its own vibe and decor. A walk down the hallway leads into a traveler’s caravan equipped with fortune telling, crystal balls and tarot decks.
We were generously given a tour of White Branches in its entirety. Including the performance spaces, boutique shop fit for every princess, grand tea room and the secret Wonderland room where you and your closest friends can fall down the rabbit hole and throw a madcap tea party.
Matthew is a mastermind of the fantastical. Visiting this fusion of tea room meets theater is to step into the creative mind of Matthew and his dream for the world. It is a place still filled with wonder, beauty, and curiosity.
Beyond the traditional tea service, White Branches hosts shows, such as the cabaret show we attended, and events as spectacular as the sparkling tiaras for sale next to the circus masks and assortment of decorated tea cups.
Bring the kids to family-friendly shows by day, then get a babysitter and return for an evening of bawdy fun more suited for adult audiences. At White Branches, expect the unexpected as well from circus performers, magicians, fortune tellers, drag queens and cabaret singers. The magic happens here.
It’s always tea time, or at least it is in Wonderland. Delicately designed china tea cups with matching saucers adorn the table settings in this large, airy and slightly eclectic room. Bouquets of white and gold flowers stand as sentinel centerpieces. Sit at a table and be transformed into royalty, even if it is only for the afternoon.
The Main Tier Menu includes savory sandwiches, homemade scones, fruit and an assortment of sweet desserts. A pot of their signature crème de la earl tea – a creamy version of the traditional standby – pairs well with this variety of edibles.
Additionally, they strive to accommodate different dietary needs offering a kid’s menu, a gluten-free menu, a vegetarian and a vegan menu. Be sure to let them know in advance of any dietary needs. If you prefer something stronger than tea there are a variety of cocktails and spirits available. Sometimes a mimosa or refreshing gin and tonic hits the spot while sampling those savory morsels.
Throw your own mad hatter tea party inside the exclusive tea room straight from the pages of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Complete with flying playing cards, chess pieces, an array of clocks and painted red roses this whimsical room will have you feeling like Alice herself.
A special menu with gourmet sandwiches, salad, scones, tea, and a sparkling punch is dedicated to creating an enchanting experience inside the Wonderland Room.
Not looking for a full tea service? White Branches has you covered. Sit inside their lounge and order whatever strikes your fancy from their menu. This is the perfect spot for a business meeting over hors d’oeuvres, catching up with a friend over tea and scones, or sip on a glass of wine before an evening out on the town. White Branches is an inclusive space made for every one of every age. Embrace your inner child, sit back and soak up the ambiance.
White Branches is a unique venue and asset to the diversity in Skagit County. One that will take you beyond your imagination. For more information, visit the White Branches website.
The Old Town Grainery Building
100 E Montgomery Street Suite 210, Mount Vernon