RANDOLPH — Patty Farrin was inspired by her grandmother to serve English high tea, a skill she puts to use inside a former handbag factory and dress shop in Randolph.

The Margaret Smith handbags and dress factory operated from 1955 to 2008. Many of the customers at the Blue Willow Tea Room in Randolph are people who worked in the Margaret Smith plant and want to see how it has changed, Farrin said.

She said she was inspired by her grandmother, Dorothy Hinckley of Augusta.

“My grandmother used to serve me creamed cheese and olive sandwiches on pumpernickel bread,” Farrin said. “I learned this from her. I bake everything fresh. I bake enough to serve it right from my kitchen.”

The building is home to the tea room and Farrin’s Country Auctions, which holds auctions twice a month in another part of the building at 36 Water St.

Patty’s husband, Rusty Farrin, an auctioneer for 38 years, runs the auctions.

Patty Farrin opened the tea room in April 2012. She serves high tea, which features scones and tea sandwiches, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays. She’s also open on weekends for special events such as bridal showers, baby showers, Red Hat Society groups and birthdays.

She has five tables in the tea room, each of which seats four people, so her maximum capacity at any one time is 20 patrons. All the tea servings are by reservation only at $20 per person.

Each of the tables has its own china pattern, including Blue Willow, which gives the tea room its name; pink Depression glass from the 1930s; Chintz; mixed china; and cut glass.

Each table has its own three-tiered serving tray in the English style of high tea.

Farrin changes her menu of delicacies to fit with the season. This summer she is serving homemade scones with lemon curd and a plate of tea sandwiches.

“In the fall, I’ll have maple walnut, pumpkin spice and apple flavored sandwiches and scones,” Farrin said. “In the Christmas season we serve Christmas food and we also have Valentine’s, Mother’s Day and Easter parties.”

Farrin also cooks for the Farrin Country Auctions lunch counter twice a month and handles the administrative side of the auctions. She said it’s not unusual for those auctions to attract 300 or more bidders.

“I decided to open a tea room because I had a few pretty dishes,” Farrin said. “I put everything in there that I love. I’m sure that my grandmother would love it and I’m sure that Margaret Smith would love it. I play tranquil music. It brings the community together. It’s a happy place.”

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