RV Three tiered tray
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Afternoon Tea at Sheetz Gas Station in Sterling, Virginia

Xak and I obviously love food. So, it’s no surprise that our friends also love food. Our friend, Pablo, is always down for our food adventures. He’s part of our Nacho club, Oreo club, and our unofficial “eat tacos after Pokemon Go” club. He’s also been a part of several important events including attending our wedding, taking us to our first civil war reenactment, attending our first Pokemon Go fest, and so much more.

However… Pablo has NEVER had afternoon tea with us.

(insert record scratch noises)

Naturally, I looked for reasons and availability in everyone’s schedule for us to be able to correct this as soon as possible. Luckily, an opportunity presented itself.

In October, Pablo excitedly told us about his brand new purchase: an RV. While Xak and I are complete homebodies and enjoy using a bathroom that’s not on wheels, Pablo loves traveling, photography, and is definitely more adventurous than us. 😄

Pablo’s plan was to spend Winter Break doing an East Coast road trip. However, before embarking on a week-long journey “roughing it” in the RV, it seemed like a good idea to test it out a bit. After his RV finally arrived in December, he did a few test day trips which were a success but still wanted to test out the appliances.

What is a more perfect way to test appliances in your new RV than with an afternoon tea at Sheetz? (Nothing)

We made plans to celebrate his exciting new purchase with an afternoon tea in the RV followed by an afternoon of Pokemon Go catching on December 17, 2023. Sheetz, tea, and PoGo. What a great combo!

Meet Van Solo

When Pablo told me about the RV, we started thinking about names. After he rejected some of my fine ideas (like Vanna Black 🤣), he decided on “Van Solo” which I heartily approved. The day of the tea, he pulled up to our house and gave us the full tour, showing off the kitchen area, dining room, the bathroom (!), and all the cool features and hidden storage. We oohed and aahed for several minutes until we realized, we had a tea to start setting up.

Heading to Sheetz

Our Pokemon Go event started at 2 PM. We knew we needed around an hour to drive to the location, get everything set up, and allow us enough time to eat before we played. Even though our tea party was from a gas station, we still wanted time to enjoy it.

Our goal once we got to Sheetz was to try and find everything as fast as we could to give us plenty of time for tea. This meant we would have to “Supermarket Sweep” our way through Sheetz, finding all our items as fast as we could.

Sheetz exterior
Sheetz: home to coffee, fried appetizers, and maybe afternoon tea?

While we are no stranger to Sheetz, we have never attempted to have an afternoon tea there, meaning I had no idea where anything other than the Air Head extremes were. I was feeling a little nervous since we had no backups. We did however bring the following items with us:

  • A Three Tiered Tray – I’ve never had afternoon tea without one, and I think it’s safe to say that this would likely not be at Sheetz
  • Tea (Lady Grey, Darjeeling, English Breakfast) – While Sheetz probably did have tea, I wanted to at least guarantee we would have a nice cup to drink if everything else was bad.
  • Sugar Cubes – There would certainly be Domino and Splenda packets, but nothing beats the “plop” of a cube in a cup
  • Tiny jars of jam – Every diner we’ve gone to always has individual Smuckers packets and I’m sure Sheetz does too, but the jam tastes better out of a tiny jar!

Outside of these items, we would have to hope everything else would be at Sheetz.

Since this was Pablo’s first afternoon tea, we also knew we had to offer guidance on what to look for and how to make his selections. We explained we were on a hunt to each choose a sandwich, a dessert, and to somehow track down scones. 

Choosing the Sandwiches

Sheetz sandwiches
Lots of sandwiches like tuna salad and pimento ham that I’ve always walked by and never paid much attention to 😄

The first task would be the easiest: finding sandwiches. At all the Sheetz I’ve been to, there’s a grab and go refrigerated stand that carries things like sandwiches, wraps, and fruit. Jackpot! There were a variety of sandwiches from us to choose from, and I immediately chose Egg Salad. While I would normally bypass the egg salad sandwich during a regular Sheetz run, this would be perfect for an afternoon tea.

Xak chose the Chicken Salad Sandwich, another one of our classic tea sandwiches. All we needed was a cucumber sandwich to complete the trinity of tea sandwiches. However, there were none, so Pablo would have to choose something else.

In my mind, I started contemplating whether or not we could do pinwheels from the Turkey Wrap, or maybe even have a little “charcuterie” spread (aka a Lunchable). However, Pablo decided for his selection, he wanted the Ham Salad.

Ham salad???

-Me, extremely skeptical and suspicious

I have never had a ham salad sandwich at tea. Actually, I’ve never had a ham salad sandwich in my life. I had no idea what to expect, but I wanted to keep an open mind. For all I know, maybe it could be my next go-to for all future tea parties… 🤷🏻‍♀️

Choosing the Desserts

Xak and I usually have a ton of home baked goodies on our desserts tier. While Sheetz does have quite a number of sweets, they’re not exactly home to petit fours, madeleines, or mini pavlovas. As we looked at the bakery menu and strolled around the store’s aisles, we stopped at the packaged desserts section and I felt a little dizzy from the overwhelming amount of Hostess and Tastykakes. However, nestled amongst the logos were some items from a brand called Bon Appetit that looked like good candidates for our tea party. I’ve only seen these at convenience stores and gas stations so this felt much more in line with our tea party challenge.

Sheetz sweet snacks
Hostess cupcakes are great, but what’s great for tea time?

I selected a Lemon Cake slice since I love lemon, and it is perfect for all afternoon teas, even a gas station tea. Xak chose a Pound Cake. Since the main flavor is buttery sweetness, it’s neutral enough to go with just about anything. Pablo decided he wanted banana bread. I normally don’t have banana bread during tea parties, but I do like to enjoy it with a cup of tea from time to time.

With our desserts picked out, we were finally ready to tackle the most difficult challenge.

Finding “Scones”

As we perused every aisle, not a scone was in sight, nor was there anything suitable for a scone replacement. Xak decided to check the MTO (Made to Order) menu while I went through the aisles one last time hoping that I had simply missed something. 

Luckily, Xak’s search turned out to be a success!

While there were no surprise scones on the menu, there were biscuits which… in this case we’ll make an exception. Xak promptly ordered 3 biscuits, and I headed to the checkout to purchase the remaining items.

Checking out

On my way to check out, something else caught my eye. While we already had desserts, I saw some cream puff donuts. These looked awesome! I grabbed it and made sure to avert my eyes from anything else to avoid temptation before checking out.

All in all, our total came out to under $35 for everything. Not bad. At most tea places, $35 is on the lower end for just one person.

Once Xak’s biscuit order was called, we quickly picked it up and headed back to Van Solo for our tea adventure to begin.

Setting up Afternoon Tea in the RV

Usually for our tea parties at home, there’s a lot of chaos. The sounds of timers going off, frantically finding trivets and hot pads for baking sheets coming out of the warm oven, the growing pile of dirty mixing bowls and spatulas in the sink, however then everything just seems to come together. Despite the chaos, it’s complete comfort for us.

Sheetz tea in an RV though is quite different. Since everything is already pre-made, there’s no warm and cozy kitchen atmosphere. So to set the atmosphere, we put on one of our favorite soundtracks, Downton Abbey with a little extra: ambient nature sounds.

Pablo and Xak setting up for tea while Downton Abbey and recorded bird sounds play in the background 😄

As Xak and I set up our three tiered tray to place the food, Pablo took over water boiling duties. This meant having to bust out the induction stove, still packaged with cellophane and covered with a gigantic, inconveniently placed sticker. We were, after all, here to test things too. After much struggle, the water was finally boiling.

I cut the sandwiches into smaller triangles and put them on the bottom tier. Although the biscuits were fairly warm, we popped them into the microwave for a quick zap (and a quick test to make sure the microwave worked). Finally, I placed a few of the cream puff donuts on top along with the cake and banana bread slices. 

With the water boiled and our tea steeping in our Yeti tumblers, we were ready to start.

Afternoon Tea in the RV

RV Three tiered tray
Three tiered tray of food from Sheetz! Also pictured, our sugar cubes and some jams I swiped from home.


The egg salad and the chicken salad were pretty good! The ham salad however will likely not make a future appearance at our teas. Surprisingly, it didn’t taste terrible, but the mushy, pink meat mixed with Miracle Whip didn’t look very appetizing (I do not even like typing that description out!). Since it was Pablo’s first time picking out a tea sandwich, we decided to give him a pass, but never again!

Scones (Biscuits)

While the biscuits certainly didn’t have the same flavor, bake, or rise of the cream scones we generally eat at our teas, they were still really good! Believe it or not, Sheetz has no clotted cream (what a surprise) so we had to make due with our Strawberry jam. We all enjoyed the biscuits and ate every crumb. This might have also been to get rid of the taste of the ham salad sandwich from our mouths. 🤣


The desserts were all a hit. While the banana bread and the pound cake were good, my favorite was definitely the lemon cake and the chocolate covered cream puff style donut. It reminded me of a very tasty eclair without the mess. Luckily everyone was able to have two donuts each. Delicious!

Final Thoughts

With the exception of the ham salad sandwich, Sheetz Afternoon Tea was awesome! While we did bring a few items from home to supplement, ultimately we were pleasantly surprised at how tasty everything was. Since this was Pablo’s first tea, he didn’t have much to compare it with, but Xak and I thought our experience with Sheetz at $35 for 3 people was even better than some of the actual afternoon teas we’ve been to! All you need is a three tiered tray, and you can have a nice afternoon tea wherever you go.

Bonus: Pokemon Go and Broken Chairs…

After an excellent tea, it was time to go catch Pokemon! We ended up walking around Claude Moore Park, which is a great location for Community Days. Since it was a little rainy and cold outside, not too many people were there, which meant Xak could have an uninterrupted photo shoot with some of the seasonal decor.

As we headed back to the RV after an excellent afternoon, Pablo attempted to turn on the vehicle… only it wouldn’t start. During our tea party, we had swiveled the passenger’s seat next to the driver’s seat to face the dining room table and unfortunately it was now stuck. Thanks to the the RV’s safety “features”, we couldn’t go anywhere unless all the chairs were facing the front. 🤦🏻‍♀️

At this point, it was close to 6 pm, which is closing time at Claude Moore. I know this because a worker was yelling in a bullhorn that the park was about to close. As the clock dangerously approached 6, Pablo was on the call with support to figure out how we could get the RV moving. With about 10 minutes to spare, finally we were able to turn the chair around and the RV started! 😅

As we headed back to our house, I realized I needed another afternoon tea to relax. Too bad we didn’t pass by Sheetz on the way home 😄 Perhaps next time.

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