Tea room in Killeen has several to choose from

By Mason Lerner

Killeen Daily Herald

Grey Poupon is no longer the only affordable taste of Europe available in Killeen. King's British Tea & Cuisine recently relocated from its original location in Harker Heights and celebrated its grand opening in Killeen on Saturday. The tea room has a selection of teas from around the world and a menu of light European dishes.

"Tea is a lost art," said owner English Gehr. "It's been lost."

Not for long if Gehr's new location does as well as the original incarnation in Harker Heights. After nearly two years, Gehr said it was time for a bigger place. The tea room in Harker Heights could only seat 19. The new location at 1604 W.S. Young Drive can seat as many as 42.

"We decided we needed another place because we really outgrew the Harker Heights location," she said.

Gehr said King's allows people who have never been to Europe to experience a bit of European culture at an affordable price. Nothing on the menu costs more than $10 unless a customer opts for High Tea, which goes for $18.

High Tea allows diners to sample every sandwich on the menu and includes salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, fruit soup, dessert and the house tea. A cucumber cocktail is available upon request. Gehr said High Tea provides good value served in European portions.

"You come in feeling heavy, and you leave feeling light," she said.

And that is not only because her food makes you feel refreshed, Gehr said. She emphasized her tea room is more than just a place to eat. She said she doesn't simply take an order and sling some food across the counter when it's ready.

"The concept is socializing," she said. "We like to socialize. Families do not have an opportunity to go where it is quiet, where they can connect. We try to make it so it is intimate. It is larger, but it is intimate. You will not feel rushed."

The menu reflects the food Gehr grew up with in Brighton, England. She developed the menu, which leans toward the light and healthy, to give customers a glimpse of how people eat across the pond. Items include "The Churchill," a homemade chicken sandwich with grapes and walnuts served on a bed of leafy greens and "Cream Tea," or what Americans might call scones and fruit. Every item on the menu comes with the house tea.

A lot of Gehr's clientele are military personnel from overseas stationed at Fort Hood. But she has a special place in her heart for soldiers who come with their spouses for intimate date nights.

"The soldiers have done a lot, but they are also on a fixed income," Gehr said. "We allow them to have a good evening for a lot less than most places, and that includes everything. It's a seven-course meal with music and service. It is romantic and quiet."

And there is one thing all of Gehr's customers can count on, whether or not they are on a fixed income.

"Everyone who walks through our doors, we try to make feel like a king and queen," she said.

Contact Mason Lerner at mlerner@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7567.

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