The Sweet Afton Tea Room and Restaurant is a smoke- free tea room, presented in British tradition, serving savories, sweets and heartier fare. Our teas are imported from London and are served in a personal pot.
The Sweet Afton Tea Room and Restaurant has a long legacy of creating wonderful times and memories that connect generations. The original site was established by Sylvia Thacker and opened on December 1, 1988 on Mill Street in Plymouth’s Old Village. She decorated the tea room with the 19th century Welsh hutch as well as an old National cash register and an antique display case which are all still in use.
The Sweet Afton Tea Room was named after the Afton River in Ayrshire, Scotland. The river is known the world over because of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns. His poem Sweet Afton, written in 1791, is a lyrical poem describing the River Afton. The poem was presented by Robert Burns to Mrs. General Stewart of Slair in 1791 and was inspired by her home Afton Lodge in Ayrshire on the banks of the Afton River. The Mary in the poem probably refers to Mary Campbell, whom Burns courted in 1786. The poem was later set to music as “ Flow Gently Sweet Afton” and is sung to the tune of the popular Christmas Carol Away in a Manger. Many artists have performed it over the years, including the progressive acoustic trio Nickel Creek in 2000.
In 1990, Christine Banion and Norma Reynolds purchased the tearoom and moved it to a larger building at the current gaslight street location at 450 Forest Avenue in historic downtown Plymouth. The new owners immediately created the unique tea cup chandeliers which continue to illuminate the dining room.
In May 1997, Sweet Afton Tea Room was sold to Cynthia Belanger, a Sweet Afton employee, and her mother Nancy Burton. They ran the tearoom and restaurant until 2005 when they sold it to another Sweet Afton employee, Mary Ann Rye and her son Scott. The Rye’s ran the tearoom until April 2008, when Phyllis and Al Wilkerson, retired educators, purchased the establishment. They are working hard to keep the history and legacy of the Sweet Afton Tea Room and Restaurant in place. The Wilkerson’s goal is to continue the tradition of serving excellent home cooked food and offering an outstanding tea drinking experience with a personal touch to each patron.
Our three daughters have fondly enjoyed the "china and linen" tea experience at Sweet Afton's Tea Room for the past 15 years. They have celebrated bridal showers, baby showers and have enjoyed high tea here on many occasions. It is always wonderful.
The long history of creating memories that connect generations of families is why we are happy to share our special place with you and your friends and family.
Phyllis and Al Wilkerson