An Afternoon at the Purple Door Tea Room discussing Poor Things

In Features by MontiLee Stormer1 Comment

In celebration of the opening of Poor Things (2023), Raposa and I were treated to an Afternoon Tea at the Purple Door Tea Room in Ferndale MI. When reviewing a movie that is set in Victorian Times, only a nosh at a Victorian-style tea room will do.

Opening in May of 2014, The Purple Door is on a quiet corner, off a busy boulevard. The bright purple door set in a small white unassuming building only hints at the quiet refinement inside.

Once inside, I was greeted by Matthew Dixon, owner of the Purple Door. He offered to hang my coat, and once past the small hostess station, I entered a delightful riot of pink and purple pastel walls, cozy seating that was both intimate and spacious. Table configurations offered a variety of seating possibilities and The Purple Door can accommodate 1-30 guests.

Once seated, I had my choice of a full Afternoon Tea or the Magnolia Tea. The difference is Afternoon Tea serves soup and salad, as well as two desserts. I, however, am a lady, or at least I was that early afternoon, so I opted for the more dainty menu. I was not disappointed.

From a generously stocked tea caddy, I choose a Honeybush, Mandarin, and Orange tea from Twinings. I was looking for something bright and sweet that would complement everything on the day’s menus.

The Winter Soup sounded delicious, but I opted for a salad of fresh greens, apple, dried cranberries, croutons, and feta cheese with a raspberry vinaigrette. Every bite was sweet and crunchy.

The entrée sandwiches were a mix of traditional and modern. Ther was an English Cucumber sandwich with dull dressing cut into the shape of a flower, turkey with pesto butter and smoked cheddar on a wee croissant, a well-seasoned chicken salad served on a thin slice of apple, and a sundried tomato bruschetta flatbread.

I’m not ashamed to tell you between sips of tea, I gobbled it down. Daintily. I didn’t use a fork, and I don’t care who knows.

Poor Things is a coming-to-maturity tale from the perspective of Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), a woman of Victorian London with the transplanted mind of an infant. She is allowed, under proper supervision, to experience the world in as many ways as her mind can take in. Bella openly questions social constructs and constraints, allowing herself to experience as much as she can as her growing mind expands.

I received a pair of sunglasses, a lovely leather case, and postcards with Bella’s various outfits, and a t-shirt that says, “Polite Society Will Destroy You”. I believe I will wear it until it falls off. It is all Crow-Approved.

Dessert was a rum cake with a spot of whipped cream, which Matthew Dixon, the chef and owner, says his mother makes, and it was delicious.

The experience was so enlightening, that I made a reservation to return the following week with a friend. The Purple Door Tearoom is not a treasure to be hoarded but shared with as many people as possible.

The Purple Door Tea Room is located at 701 Livernois Ave, in Ferndale MI. They are open from 11 AM to 5 PM daily, and dark on Mondays. The full menu is available on their website at  The Purple Door Tea Room. Reservations are required.

Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.


  1. Thanks for spending some time at the Purple Door and for the kind write-up!

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