Once upon a dream - East Valley Tribune: Events

Once upon a dream

Charming cottage in Mesa brings princesses to life

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Posted: Sunday, April 27, 2014 6:18 am

There’s a cozy little cottage that dates back to the 1930s in downtown Mesa surrounded by a white picket fence and vibrant green grass. It’s hard to miss the cottage despite its small stature because of its light green paint, purple shutters and touches of pink on the front porch’s railing.

The historic cottage packs a lot of charm both outside and within its confines, and it’s a place where every little girl can spend a special afternoon with friends, family and a fictional princess brought to life.

Mrs. Potts Tea Party, a family owned business, provides a place for children to live their own fairy tale, at least for two hours. They can dress up as princesses, have their face painted, sing and dance, eat unlimited finger sandwiches and have a tea party with apple juice and pink lemonade.

Each party includes a package where the only thing guests need to bring is a camera to capture their memories. Guests can enjoy a party hosted by a princess of choice, dress up, and story time and take home a tiara and wand to remember their experience.

It’s a magical experience for the children and for owner Charla Chilcott, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and visited Mrs. Potts Tea Party to escape the stress and anxiety associated with her disease.

She says visiting the house during her 16 weeks of chemotherapy helped her keep a positive attitude. She has now been in remission since May 2013.

“It’s a happy place. I could go there and forget about the cancer and the chemo. The house has a really good vibe. It has helped me through a lot,” she says. “You can’t go there and not be happy.”

Chilcott started her business in 2002 after taking a medical leave from her job as a flight attendant. Mrs. Potts Tea Party moved to its current location off Second Street in 2004.

Mrs. Potts Tea Party started off with one princess, Belle from “Beauty and the Beast,” and has grown to include 11 Disney princess, as well as Alice from “Alice in Wonderland,” Sofia from “Sofia the First” and Tinkerbell from “Peter Pan.”

“It’s exciting to get everything together for the princess, from designing the costume to all the accessories that bring the character to life,” says Chilcott.

The assorted characters host four types of private parties: princess party, dress up English tea party, Mad Hatter tea party and rock star party. Mrs. Potts Tea Party also hosts bridal showers, baby showers, and adult and teenage parties, and Chilcott wants to host small weddings in the backyard space behind the house.

“Adults have fun here, too,” she says.

Mrs. Potts Tea Party offers discounts to people employed by an airline, police department, fire department and to active duty military members.

If you go

What: Mrs. Potts Tea Party, a business specializing in princess parties

When: Open to private parties 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; reservations required.

Where: 264 W. Second St., Mesa

Cost: All-inclusive packages start at $300 for six guests.

Information: (480) 827-0654 or MrsPottsTeaParty.com

• Kelly Kleber is a senior at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is an intern with the Tribune this semester. Reach her at tribintern@evtrib.com.

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