Dunbar House Restaurant & Tea Room

Dunbar House Restaurant & Tea Room

Written and Photographed by Pat O’Connell

Dunbar House Tea room
Dunbar House Tea room
Dunbar House Restaurant & Tea Room
Dunbar House Restaurant & Tea Room

Before there was a tea house, here was a house at 1 Main Street in Sandwich, MA since the first European settlers arrived in 1650. Sandwich is the oldest town on the Cape and John Dillingham was one of its founding fathers. John Dillingham built a small house on the 1 Main Street site in the center of town when he first arrived. It was built on a rise overlooking Shawme Pond and a grist mill. The pond is fed by a fresh water spring and there is also a herring run that is maintained by the town to this day.

In 1740 the original house was moves to 17 Main Street, where it still stands. At that time a much larger and more impressive house was built on the site by Dillingham’s decendants.

Dunbar House Restaurant & Tea Room
Front of the Dunbar House

During the two hundred and fifty years of the houses existence, there have only been five families who have lived in the house. The Dillingham family lived there until the 1860’s. At that time it was purchased by Anthony Chapouil. Mr Chapouil worked for many years as a accountant for the Boston & Sandwich Glass Works. An interesting note is that. Mr Chapouil’s brother was the grandfather of the well known children’s book author, Thorntan W. Burgess and the Burgess House where he wrote, is within walking distance of the center of town.

In the 1920’s the house was purchased by Colonel Henry Dunbar. He had been assigned the task of supervising the widening of the Cape Cod Canal and wanted to live in close proximity to the work. At that time he added the Carriage House, a billiard room and tennis courts. He also planted an elligant roes garden.

During the time that the Dunbars were living in the house Mrs Dunbar established a tradition of serving tea.

In 1974 the town of Sandwich purchased the house, however, in 1990 it was returned to private ownership when it was bought by the Bells. In the spring of 2000, Jim and Paula Hagarty who were from Milton, MA moved into the house and commenced to do a complete renovation. The goal was to restore the buildings to their original grand scale. In the process they have maintained Mrs Dunbar’s elegant tradition of serving tea in the lovely and comforting atmosphere of the adjacent tea room.

In addition to afternoon tea, the Hagartys serve a wide selection of British fare. Lunch and tea can also be enjoyed in the new Tea Garden Room This room has lovely views. The original tea room sits in the old wood paneled billiard and gentlemen’s smoking room. When you enter you no longer hear the sound of clanking billiard balls, you are greeted with the sound of clinking tea cups and the aromas of baking scones, shortbreads, pies and cakes.  All of the Dunbar’s deserts are made in house.

Both the original tea room and the dining room have fireplaces that are lit and stoked in the winter.  During the summer one can enjoy cool breezes inside or out on the patio that is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens.

The menu is innovative and the selection of quality teas have attracted visitors from around the world. The Dunbar House also serves a wide variety of British ails and European wines, ports and sherries.

The Dunbar House Restaurant and Tea Room are just a thirty minute drive from the Palmer House Inn.

Dunbar House Restaurant and Tea Room
1 Water St, Sandwich, MA 02563


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B

While all of the bedchambers at the Palmer House have their own romantic elegance, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs for a relaxing stay before and after your day.

TGC Grille

Beautiful plate. TCG Grille
View from the patio.
View from the patio.

It’s a bit off the beaten path but well worth the trek to North Falmouth. Chef/owner Jonathan Philips and his wife Jill have done it again. Their flagship restaurant C Salt, on Davis Straits in Falmouth is among the finest on the Cape and now they have opened their newest venture the TGC Grille at The Golf Club of Cape Cod in North Falmouth. Both locations are  trendy, Cape Cod restaurants and wine bars, blending American Cuisine with French and Asian influences. The restaurants feature full bars along with various wine and food pairings to accommodate a variety of tastes and budgets.

C Salt Wine Bar & Grille and the TGC Grille specialize in exceptional food, an extensive wine list and great service.

Beautiful plate with greens.
Beautiful plate with greens.

The Golf Club of Cape Cod partnership with Falmouth’s acclaimed, award-winning C Salt Wine Bar & Grille provides members and their guests with exemplary service, a relaxed atmosphere and exceptional food. From a masterfully prepared three-course meal to the new lunch and light fare menu the Grille is outstanding but the best part is that it is open to the public. Diners are invited to make reservations to dine.  Casual elegance and world-class meals are the hallmarks of the dining experience.

Chef Philips’ menu for the TGC location will be different from the original Falmouth location, but the concept of Contemporary American Cuisine with French & Asian Influences will remain consistent.  Don’t be surprised ,however, if some of his signature dishes can be found across town.

TCG Grille Pre-opening party
Pre-opening night party in the dining room at the TGC Grille.

Cape Cod evokes, a casual, relaxed atmosphere that is an important element of the TGC Grille’s mission. The casual atmosphere gives the diner the opportunity to escape the busy life. This presents a challenge to traditional dress code policies. At TGC, members, and guests are permitted to wear denim at lunch and on casual nights. It is only on Friday and Saturday evenings that traditional country club casual attire is required.

The restaurant hours are:

TGC Grille menu
Menu

Lunch
11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Wednesday though Sunday

Pub Menu
3:00 am to 5:00 pm, Wednesday though Saturday

Dinner
5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Wednesday and Thursday*
5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday
5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Sunday
*Live Music Thursdays with Harry French

Reservations are strongly recommended by clicking here, or by calling Ron Nichols at 508.457.7200, Ext 2.

For all event inquiries, contact Kate Wolstenholme at TGC Grille by C Salt, 508.457.7200, Ext 111.

The C-Salt Story

As Executive Chef at TGC prior to establishing C Salt Wine Bar & Grille in Falmouth, Chef/Owner Jonathan Philips made a name for himself among Falmouth locals and tourists. In 2015, Boston Magazine recognized C Salt as “Best Cape Cod Restaurant” and with the aid of Maitre d’/Sommelier Errol Joseph, Wine Spectator Magazine gave C Salt’s Wine Program it’s prestigious “Award of Excellence”.

“TGC Grille by C Salt is a second C Salt concept open seasonally from mid-April through October. While the golf course remains private, TGC Grille by C Salt offers lunch & dinner to the public.  Reservations are encouraged.

Directions to the The Golf Course of Cape Cod and TGC Grille from the Palmer House Inn:

Turn right as you exit the driveway. At the blinking yellow light turn right onto Route 28. Follow Route 28 until you come to Route 151 towards Mashpee/Hyannis/New Seabury. Turn slight right onto MA-151/Nathan Ellis Highway and follow for 1 mile. Turn right onto Falmouth Woods Road.

TGC

132 Falmouth Woods Road
East Falmouth, MA 02536

Reservations Suggested

508-457-7200 x2


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B

While all of the bedchambers at the Palmer House have their own romantic charm, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs for a relaxing stay before and after your day.

Spice & Tea Merchants

Spice & Tea Merchant Sign

Spice & Tea Merchants

Falmouth has a wonderful new shop where one can buy spices, teas and gifts from around the world. It is the Spice & Tea Merchants (website) at 245 Main Street and is located less that a ten minute walk from the Palmer House Inn. Browsing through this store is truly like stepping back hundreds of years in time. It takes the shopper back to the days when sailing ships traveled the earth’s oceans in search of spices, teas and exotic items.

Spice & Tea Merchants shop
Spice & Tea Merchants

There are history books that tell about wars that were fought to control the spice routs. Many fortunes were made by people who imported exotic herbs. Imperial China once kept its tea hidden under lock and key in its closed kingdom. And here it all is right here in Falmouth Village for us to enjoy.

This unique store has teas from every corner of the earth. They are there for all to sample. They are also expert in advising shoppers of the benefits of tea.  With over 175 different teas that include green, white, black and oolong blends, chamomile, pu-erh, hibiscus, rooibos and turmeric teas

There is a “Spice of the month Club”, that patrons can join. In addition to the spices and teas there is an assortment of Chocolates and cocoa. Their collection includes Taza Mexican chocolate  Cocoa Niles and Dulched Cocoa powder in addition to the exotic Siena Cocoa powder.

Vanilla Display, Spice & Tea Merchants
Vanilla Display

Extracts are also featured. They have almond, chocolate, coffee and orange extracts, to name but a few. They also have a variety of top quality vanilla extracts that come from Madagascar, Mexico and Tahiti.

To celebrate autumn they are featuring the fall spices, rubs and dried fruits. Those featured are Vietnamese cinnamon, clove & cinnamon blend sugars, dried cranberries and cranberry & maple rub. They are also have mulling cider and pumpkin pie spices. There is also a savory nut seasoning and a dried spiced plum herb blend. The list goes on to include a sumptuous  pumpkin chowder mix.

Shoppers will also find a wide variety of grains and pastas, such as Stanish rice & orzo, Middle Eastern couscous, Flax seed, Mediterranean orzo, orzo porcini, sweet potato orzo in addition to black, golden and red quinoa. In the rice category, one can find brown Basmate rice, carmague French rice, Chinese black rice, Rice gaba, green bamboo rice, red Himalayan rice, pican rice and purple sticky rice. Saffron and Thai jasmine rices are also available.

Wooden elephant, Spice & Tea Merchants
Wooden elephant.

In the unique gifts category, there is a beautiful display of “Himalayan Pink Salt Slab” products. Last summer when one of our daughters was visiting from California, she became enamored with the concept of of cooking and serving on these unique slabs. She thought that it was a bit to much to spend at the beginning of an extensive summer vacation. I remembered her interest, however, and when their anniversary arrived in September, I bought one of the round slabs and a book with the history of the slabs and how to use them.  She was thrilled with the gift. Because they live in southern California, they can use the slab on their grill year round.


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day exploring tea houses on the Cape, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.