Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Royal Tea Club, Alfred's Victorian, Middletown, PA

The Royal Tea Club, an organization of women that love to attend tea, recently visited Alfred's Victorian in Middletown, PA for an afternoon tea. They had such a wonderful response to this adventure, that two Saturday events were scheduled this past August. This charming old Victorian home has been a favorite restaurant in southcentral PA since 1970. They now offer themed seasonal teas. The menu, tucked in the water glass enticed us all with what we were about to experience.

Assorted teabag flavors were offered, and a fun assortment of unique tea pots filled with hot water were brought to each table. Our table had this cheerful little Mad Hatter offering teas to us.

Although tea bag tea may not be your preferred method of enjoying tea, it served the purpose of quickly serving well over 40 guests at one time, and allowing each guest to select their own flavor of tea. We had 4 different flavor options at our table. Everyone was happy. Lemonade, Iced Tea, and coffee were also options available.

We filled the mansion with Royal Tea club members!

and happily, guests are also invited to join in the fun. Susanna and Nancy are both members of the club, and we try to make the effort to attend at least one event each year. Our schedules don't always work with the events the club scheduled, but we were happy to be able to attend this event as we haven't enjoyed tea at Alfred's Victorian. Cedar was equally as happy to be able to visit a friend's house instead of joining us for tea.

Soup and Salad were served first on a sweet little hostess tray. Cold seedless Cucumber Soup was refreshing for an August summer day. The salad featured Blueberry & Feta with Mixed Greens and dressed with a Honey Poppy seed dressing. Tasty, and just the right size.

Sandwiches and Savories featured Mediterranean Crab Crostini, Pinwheels, and Chicken Salad Finger Sandwich along with Skewered Tomato and Mozzarella and a Parsley covered cheese ball.

The vegetarian sandwich option had a tasty sandwich with Eggplant Parmesan and tomato sauce and an Heirloom tomato sandwich along with the skewered cheese and parsley covered cheese ball. 

Dessert included Creme Caramel, Key Lime Pie, and a Strawberry & Cream topped pound cake.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

#TBT - Throw back Thursday!

Here'a a peek back in time with an article that appeared in the local Chamber of Commerce newsletter in early 1974. By this time, The Rosemary House was open for 6 years and our mother, Bertha Reppert, had given a little section of the shop to her daughters to manage. There was a lesson in retailing hidden somewhere in this endeavor. It was simply fun for us - but look where it has lead. All the daughters that were involved with The Rosemary House while growing up are still in the retail business in one way or another. Carolynn, the oldest daughter, was away at college when Rosemary House was established. This little corner of the store is no longer filled with love beads and buttoms, but is now our very special little Fairy Corner jam packed with items for fairy gardens, books, jewelry, and fairy soaps and other fun items for fairy lovers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tea Room Decor, Teaberry's Tea Room

Just a quick peek at some of the tea room decor at Teaberry's Tea Room located in Flemington, NJ. We stopped here for a private evening tea as we journeyed home from our Hudson Valley adventure. What an amazing collection of teapots! And this is just a small sample of the owner's collection.

A charming little collection of teapots and creamers sitting atop a mantle.
            Another little collection of vintage china elegantly displayed to capture your eye.
                 An upside down Christmas tree bedecked in fall finery greets you in the entryway.

An elegant dining area, and more tea related treasures tucked in every nook and corner available.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Teaberry's Tea Room, Flemington, NJ

Our Traveling Herb Seminar adventure included a visit to Teaberry's Tea Room in Flemington, NJ as we journeyed back towards PA. This stately old Victorian home offers an elegant afternoon tea experience. Located behind the tea room is a Carriage House that serves as their well stocked gift shop. We enjoyed a leisurely afternoon tea, and then took advantage of the opportunity to shop afterwards!

Fresh flowers, linen covered tablecloths, and a hint of delicious things to come greeted us as we arrived. Our hostess offered several varieties of tea to begin the evening. Pouring from a cozy covered teapot, there was a Mint herbal, a spicy Rooibos, English Breakfast, and more.

The evening started with individual plates of petite sandwiches! From sliced cucumber, to a sweet filling on apricot tea bread, to chicken salad, and miniature grilled reubens, there was a wide variety of flavors to tempt the palate. Each  sandwich was just as tasty as the previous one.

A basket of assorted a scones was offered next alongside a plate of delicious toppings. 
And the dessert variety was full of choices also. Lemon bars, rich chocolate brownie, shortbread teapots, and raspberry crumb bars, were a few of the desserts. Yummy!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Flowering Tea

One of the teas that we sampled while visiting Silver Tips Tea Room was this flowering tea. Flowering Teas are also referred to as Blooming Teas. They are quite amazing when you consider the artistry involved in creating this very special tea. This very tight little ball of tea leaves and flower blossoms (on the right) is hand sewn into rosettes by artisans in China. A variety of flower blossoms may be used as the center such as globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, hibiscus, or jasmine. When steeped in hot water, the tight ball slowly opens up to produce this beautiful flower (on left). Not only is it a unique and clever work of art, but the green tea is very flavorful and may be resteeped several times. Of course, it is important to use a clear glass tea pot that will properly display the floral rosette as it unfurls. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Silver Tips Tea Room, Tarrytown, NY

Another fun stop on our Traveling Herb Seminar included a visit to Silver Tips Tea Room in Tarrytown, NY, one of the rivertowns along the Hudson. We stopped here in the morning and had a delightful Tea Tasting accompanied by a nice variety of scones.

Susanna introduced us to the energetic and informative owner, Anupa Mueller. Anupa was pleased to share her love of tea with our group of herb and tea enthusiasts. Having grown up in Darjeeling, Anupa has developed her knowledge of tea thru her heritage.
Silver Tips Tea Room offers walk in service for lunch or afternoon tea and also holds private parties. They have a nice gift shop and a wide assortment of loose leaf teas. Anupa tells us that when she first opened in 1999, the community was doubtful that a tea room would be able to survive. We visited the tea room in 2002, and since that time, they have doubled their space. Happily, the community has indeed supported them. 

The scones we enjoyed, along with our flight of teas, made this a very pleasant morning.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Herb Festival at the John Jay Homestead

It's always fun to visit a herb festival and this one was no exception. The New York Unit of the Herb Society of America puts on an annual Herb Faire at the John Jay Homestead in Katonah, NY, traditionally the third Thursday of September. This was their 67th year for this event, and how special it was to connect with Daughter #1 (far right) who happens to live in the area.
They sold home made jams, jellies, shrubs, dried herbs and their famous Tarragon Mustard at the Herbal Pantry booth. Multiple booths were set up under a huge white canopied tent.
Fresh cut herbs and some flowers were sold at the fresh herbs booth. They also had books for sale, a gardeners green elephant booth, and a plant sale. Luncheon including their signature lovage soup, fresh sandwich, cookies and chips was available to purchase and enjoy under the shade trees.
The John Jay homestead is unique in that many garden groups help to maintain the property.  The Sundial garden is supported by the local garden club.

The herb garden is maintained by the New York Unit of the Herb Society of America.
The herb garden was laid out to feature household, culinary, fragrant, and dye herbs.

John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the US, the president of the Continental Congress and an American Statesman.