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When Ladies Gather for Tea

July 08, 2001|LESLEE KOMAIKO

Tom Trikilis and his wife, Jeanine, opened their first Olivia's Doll House Tea Room eight years ago in Valencia. Today there are three Southern California locations, and two more on the way. The tearooms--colorful, lacy, feminine affairs--are favorite party destinations for young ladies who enjoy not just a spot of tea (actually lemonade), but the chance to don one of the hundreds of dress-up gowns on hand, as well as full makeup and coiffures applied by tearoom staff. Trikilis, 52, formerly a television producer, names his daughter Olivia, now 12, as the principal inspiration for the venture. "She loved to dress up," he says. Furthermore, he adds, "'I thought the birthday party places were crappy. They smelled and gave you nothing, and got you in and out as fast as they could. Olivia's Doll House is beautiful and smells like a rose."

We dropped by the West Hollywood location for the birthday party of Katie Contreras, a second-grader at American Martyrs School in Manhattan Beach, who invited about a dozen friends to celebrate the Big Eight.

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Alexandra Baaden, 8

Is this your first tea party?

Actually, I've had two of my own here. I've been here five times.

How much tea do you drink a week?

Like two cups.

What's the best food to eat with tea?

Probably tea sandwiches.

Should you stick out your pinkie when drinking tea?

No.

What's the best birthday present you've ever gotten?

Capri pants with embroidery and a top with swirls.

Is it better to give or receive?

It's better to give. When you receive you get more greedy.

Do you usually wear makeup?

No. I usually put sparkles on my arms.

When is the right age to begin wearing makeup?

Like 13.

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Katie Contreras, 8

How much tea do you drink a week?

All I like is milk and water, naturally.

What's the best food to eat with tea?

Tootsie Rolls and lollipops.

Should you stick out your pinkie when drinking tea?

Sometimes I do that. Sometimes

I don't.

What's the best birthday present you've ever gotten?

Most likely my Barbies or

my Gameboy.

Is it better to give or receive?

Kind of both.

Do you usually wear makeup?

My mom doesn't like me wearing makeup. Sometimes I try to sneak it on.

When is the right age to begin wearing makeup?

Ten or 12.

Monica Daegele, 8

How much tea do you drink a week?

I don't really drink it.

What's the best food to eat with tea?

Chocolate.

Should you stick out your pinkie when drinking tea?

No. It does not look like a lady. It does not look like Britney Spears.

What's the best birthday present you've ever gotten?

Roxy [girls' clothing line] stuff: a T-shirt, a hat and a bag.

Is it better to give or receive?

Give.

Do you usually wear makeup?

Yes. Light blue shiny eyeshadow and lipstick.

*

Franceska Bellas, 8 1/2

How much tea do you drink a week? None.

What's the best food to eat with tea?

Pizza.

Should you stick out your pinkie when drinking tea?

No. I wouldn't do it. Your pinkie would get tired.

What's the best birthday present you've ever gotten?

My boombox.

Is it better to give or receive?

Give. I get a lot of gifts, so I would give them.

Do you usually wear makeup?

Sometimes. My mom gives it to me when it runs out or she doesn't want it anymore.

*

Stephanie Schlabach, 8

How much tea do you drink a week?

I don't drink tea.

What's the best food to eat with tea?

Peanut butter sandwiches.

Should you stick out your pinkie when drinking tea?

You shouldn't.

What's the best birthday present you've ever gotten?

A makeup kit.

Is it better to give or receive?

Give, because it's not good to be greedy.

Do you usually wear makeup?

No.

When is the right age to begin wearing makeup?

Nine.

*

Danielle Rode, 8

How much tea do you drink a week?

I drink some soda, Coca-Cola.

What's the best food to eat with tea?

Pizza.

Should you stick out your pinkie when drinking tea?

No. I don't.

What's the best birthday present you've ever gotten?

A Poochie. You know, the electric dog.

Is it better to give or receive?

Receive. If you give a gift that you really like, you have to give it away to someone else. But going to a birthday [party], I get a gift in return, a goodie bag.

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