COLE CAMP — A gift shop and café with a unique name is offering high teas and elegant dinners in Benton County all under the ownership of Judy Smasal.

Smasal opened Wine Women & Song in Cole Camp a little over a year ago. She also owns the Handel Haus across the street. She credits the catchy name of her new place to Martin Luther.

“Wine Women and Song was a quote by Martin Luther,” she explained. “He said, ‘he who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long.’

“The German translation, it simply means ‘life is too short to not have fun,’” she continued. “So, that’s what we do here.”

She said the new shop is different from the Handle Haus, also a gift shop and café, in several ways.

“First of all, it’s more intimate,” she noted. “Quaint and intimate. We do high tea luncheons here. We call them that because it is a complete lunch.”

High tea is served with a three-tiered platter filled with crustless salad sandwiches, quiche, scones, cucumber sandwiches, assorted sweets and pastries, Devonshire cream, lemon curd, and jam along with hot tea.

High tea, prepared by Sharon Logan, is served by reservation from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., although the shop accepts walk-in customers for a glass of wine or beer and flatbread.

“This is more of an experience or more of an event,” Smasal said of the tea. “We’ve had men (visit) and they enjoy it. They have an option if they don’t want the high tea, they can order flatbread off of our flatbread menu for lunch.”

The shop also offers a Cream Tea that doesn’t require a reservation. This tea features scones, hot tea, Devonshire cream, lemon curd and jam.

Another difference at Wine Women & Song is Friday night dinners served twice a month. Evening dinners are also by reservation.  

“(The dinners) are things most people really enjoy, but maybe wouldn’t go to the trouble to make themselves,” Smasal explained. “And, it’s a complete meal from appetizers, main course and dessert.”

A recent dinner consisted of garlic bread Margherita pizza, Hawaiian-style roasted pork loin, roasted potatoes, sweet red cabbage, homemade wheat bread and strawberry cobbler a la mode. Dinners next month are July 10 with shrimp scampi and July 24 with chicken parmesan. Dinners are limited to 24 people.

Adding to the meal is a full bar with a variety of wines from the U.S. and around the world, plus beer and cocktails. Smasal said she is infusing homemade limoncello for dinner on July 24.

Smasal added she also hosts murder mystery dinners. One was especially fun at Halloween last year. The dinner featured a CLUE game theme with Smasal dressing up as “Chef Stein” complete with a mustache.

“Those are tons of fun,” she said.

The shop’s gift boutique also differs from the Handel Haus. Many of the items are locally made. The shop carries jewelry, art, pottery, handbags and clothing.

“And, we are making the move toward all items being made in the U.S.A.,” Smasal noted. “We are doing that in both stores.”

Wine Women & Song, 100 S. Maple St. in Cole Camp, is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Reservation-only Friday night dinners are from 5 to 7 p.m. High Tea is served, by reservation, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For reservations or for more information, call 660-668-0122 or email judysmasal@gmail.com.

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Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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