The matriarch of tea rooms in the Lowcountry is celebrating its 60th birthday.

Considered the area’s oldest, the Tea Room at Old St. Andrew’s Church is under way Monday-Saturday this week and next.

Lunch will be served 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the historic parish, 2604 Ashley River Road.

Guests will find a treasure of Lowcountry favorites such as okra soup, chicken salad and shrimp paste sandwiches and homemade desserts.

Also, the church’s gift shop will be open, featuring handmade items, jams, jellies, pickles and other foods.

The church held its first tea room in 1943. Since there were no restaurants in the area, women who cleaned the church for worship services offered to share their lunch with tourists passing by.

As a means of raising funds for the restoration of the old church, the women began selling sandwiches, tea, coffee and lemonade.

Proceeds from the tea room support the Episcopal Church Women mission and ministry programs at home and abroad, parish programs and the preservation of the church.

Reservations are accepted for groups of six or more by calling the church office at 766-1541. Takeout orders also are available.

Additionally, guided tours of the church are offered daily, and a concert will be given at 12:30 p.m. today and March 20.

More information is available on the church website at

Teresa Taylor