Diamonds in Cincy’s Rough

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    Have a Spot of Tea

    If you’re into Britain’s favorite beverage, Yesterday’s Café and Tea Room, located in a historic 115-year-old building in Olde Florence, Ky., is your answer.

    Hardwood floors, a fireplace and friendly employees set the stage for experiencing a bit of “Merrie Olde England” in the new world. You can drop in for a solitary cup of one of the shop’s 30 loose leaf teas, eat the special of the day or call ahead and make reservations for an afternoon tea, which Yesterday’s has every day at 2 p.m.

    This afternoon event features all of the hallmarks of the famous British variety: food and drink served on antique china and tiered trays, scones, Devonshire clotted cream, curds and, of course, a perfectly brewed pot of tea.

    Yesterday’s also has a gift shop to peruse while the tea is steeping, which boasts the Tri-State’s largest collection of tea, tea pots and tea-related gifts. The shop also carries books, jewelry, Fine English bone china, scone mixes and curds, bulk tea and coffee and gift baskets.

    When in Greece

    Taste Cincinnati’s Greek influence by stopping in Sebastian’s, a staple in West Price Hill for more than 30 years. The gyro sandwich (pronounced “year-oh”), made up of ground meat with herbs and spices, sliced thin, wrapped in pita bread with tomatoes and onions, is this restaurant’s specialty. (Be sure to eat it with sadziki sauce, made of cucumbers. It’s delicious.) Other than gyros, Sebastian’s also serves a select menu of authentic Grecian cuisine, including baklava and spanakopita.

    Started in 1976 by Alex Sebastian, a Greek immigrant from a small village near Kastoria, Greece, (who will more than likely be simultaneously chatting with customers and serving gyros), Sebastian’s has a customer-friendly atmosphere. The restaurant, though small, is nonetheless packed full everyday with families and professionals seeking its down home Grecian flavor. Tiled floors, statues of Greek gods and souvenir hats from around the world complete its warm ambiance.

    Sebastian’s, located on Glenway Avenue, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    Stop by the Mariemont

    Barely 8 miles away from Cincinnati is the suburb of Mariemont, a community meant to resemble an authentic English village. In this suburb, which was planned and designed for pedestrians by Mary Emery around 1910, you’ll find the Mariemont Theatre, a welcome alternative for movie-goers sick of the latest cartoon movie or action flick.

    This theatre, recently re-opened by the Esquire, makes showing unusual or simply non mainstream its claim to fame, or in its own words, “offers films you won’t see anywhere else.”

    The Mariemont has stereo surround sound, three screens and reasonable ticket prices, from $5.50 for Tuesday discount tickets, to $8.50 for evening ticket prices. Expect the regular movie concessions, then some: the theatre sells imported chocolate and soft pretzels to its film buffs. Visit www.mariemonttheatre.com for movie showings.

    Try a New Kind of Ride

    Rather than catching some waves this summer, why not catch a train? Stop by the Lebanon Station in Lebanon, Ohio, for a nostalgic train ride on the Lebanon Mason Monroe (LM&M) Railroad through Warren County. Every weekend on LM&M’s one hour excursion, travelers can walk to the back of the vintage 30s’ era train to the open-air gondola while conductors inform passengers on railroad history and operation and conduct a locomotive tour.

    The LM&M also offers special events, such as the one coming up on July 20, 21 and 22, which is a ride on the Hogwarts Express. Harry Potter fans can travel to Platform 9 3⁄4 (a.k.a. the Lebanon station), shop in Diagon Alley, (downtown Lebanon) and eat a start-of-term feast at Hogwarts (a.k.a. the Golden Lamb). Passengers can dress up as their favorite characters and expect to be welcomed by Professor Dumbledore himself at the feast. Other LM&M events include Murder Mystery Dinners, the Madcap Puppet Train and a Civil War train and reenactment.

    Rides are offered Saturdays at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., and Sundays at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Costs are $17 for adults and $12 children ages two through 12.

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