The Dushanbe Teahouse

Our fun and fabulous girls’ day was a say spent in Boulder. We started off at Bookcliff Vineyards Mini Vacation is Over and then met up with the rest of the beautiful ladies at the Dushanbe Teahouse for an afternoon tea.

The Dushanbe Teahouse is an exotic, one-of-a-kind structure that is truly a gorgeous work of art, both inside and out. It is designed in the Persian style of art and architecture that has been artistically displayed for about 2000 years. It was designed and created as a gift from Dushanbe, the capitol of Tajikistan, which is the sister city of Boulder. The name Dushanbe, pronounced {doo-shan-bay’} means Monday. Mondays were the day of the week on which a bazaar was held in the village on the site. We went of a Friday, instead of a Monday, and it was a beautiful and delicious way to end the week and to start the weekend.

The outside of the Teahouse. We did NOT sit in the gardens, as it was pretty cold out and snow was still all around. But it would be a perfect place to dine in the warmer, sunnier times.

In Central Asia, teahouses serve as gathering places where friends meet to talk or play chess over a cup of tea. Many teahouses are traditionally decorated with Persian art, characterized by the use of motifs from nature – stellar, solar, and floral, by the repetition of patterns, by form over representation and pattern over detail, and by lavish decoration and color. It was crafted by more than 40 artisans in several cities of Tajikistan created the decorative elements [the] Teahouse, including its hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, tables, stools, columns, and exterior ceramic panels. Often these skills are handed down from generation to generation within families. Lado Shanidze served as chief architect.

These handcrafted tiles are just gorgeous and the attention to detail is amazing.

In the 7th Century BC, the area we now know as Tajikistan was settled at the eastern periphery of the Persian Empire. Situated a bit south of the Silk Road trails, the area has seen invasions by Alexander the Great, Mongols, Arabs, Turks, and Russians. Today, Tajikistan, with a population of 7 million, is about the size of Iowa, and is bordered to the east by China, to the north by Uzbekistan and Kyrgystan, and to the south by Afghanistan. At the western end of the Himalayas, its terrain is 93% mountainous, with peaks towering to 24,000 feet. The Tajik language is like Persian.

The Dushanbe Teahouse offers a varied menu, for both lunch and dinner, but we opted for the high tea experience instead. It was a lot of fun. I have dined there for both lunch and dinner as well, and the food is exquisite. As you might guess, tea is the main attraction, and they feature teas from around the world.

The inside of the Teahouse is just as beautiful as the outside, with just as much, if not more attention to detail. These lovely ladies are known as the “seven beauties”. They represent social justice, morality, and appreciation of nature. In the middle ages, the number “SEVEN” was considered a sacred number. Both mythological and scientific beliefs of the day held that the world was divided into seven countries, there are seven planets, weeks are divided into seven days, and the spectrum is composed of seven colors.

The seven beauties were the seven wives of the Shah of Iran, Bahram, based on a famous Persian poem. On the proper day of the week, Bahram would dress himself in the appropriate color, and go to visit the wife that corresponded with the day. Each woman would relate to him a story from her native land and praise the attributes of her own color. All the tales are closely related to popular folklore and combine the scientific and philosophical views on the symbolic effects of the colors. The poem inspires honesty, virtue and kindness, while denouncing arrogance, villiany, greediness and treachery. And so, the princesses’ tales serve not only to entertain the Shah, but to ponder life and consider the secrets on the universe and human nature.

Our group for the day consisted of not seven beauties, but eight – starting from the left and working around, we have Lauren, Karen, Priscilla, me, Laura, Su Yeun, Linda and Janet. We also enjoyed some beautifully delicious foods as well.

We started off with some scrumptious samosas, with both a yogurt raita and a mango chutney.

Then our very fun and friendly server Carrie, started us off with our teas. We all ordered a different kind of tea. The teas were set on a timer to make them just right. When the sands of time had dropped, our teas were ready for us to enjoy.

Next, Carrie brought out some delicious butternut soup in little individual cups. Carrie was so full of personality and she really helped to make our day into a very fun and entertaining experience.

We all raved about how delicious the soup was.

And then came all the finger sandwiches and pastries, along with the clotted cream, lemon curd and strawberry jam, all served in the manner of a traditional English tea.

The entire tea experience was an absolute delight. This is not something we can do everyday, but it is sure fun to do for special occasions. The best part of our tea adventure though was getting together and visiting with so many wonderful ladies. We were old friends and new all joined together to celebrate each other.

The Dushanbe Teahouse is located at 1770 13th Street, Boulder, CO. I would definitely make reservations, since it is always a very popular place. You can either make reservations online at info@boulderteahouse.com or by phone. 303-442-4993. The Teahouse is closed on Mondays, but is open for tea Tuesday-Sunday.

Make the most of everyday, and celebrate life with friends and family, since after all, that’s what make everyday a celebration. Stay well and stay safe Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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