Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teaism, Washington, DC

Another quick stop, just to peek inside, was a visit to Teaism, a Tea House, also located in Dupont Circle, although there are 3 locations in DC and one in VA. It is a casual Asian inspired tea house and restaurant offering properly brewed tea, accoutrements, and quick fare.

These colorful boxes of tea were behind the counter, the tea protected from the light. As we had reservations for Afternoon Tea elsewhere, we didn't partake of the menu, but since it was Monday, their special for the day was a 'Meatless Monday' option.

Years ago (2001 to be exact) our family visited the Teaism at 800 Connecticut Avenue. My journal notes that it was 'definitely an Asian tearoom, although there was Latin music in the background'. We sampled Golden Needle, a White Mutan, Qingxiang Oolong and a herbal, Sweet leaf Hibiscus. There were no tasting notes in my journal - but what a fun assortment we tried! It's good to see that Teaism has withstood the test of time.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Capital Teas, Washington, DC

An early spring visit to Washington, DC included a stop at the trendy Capital Teas located in Dupont Circle. Billed as Fifth Generation Fine Tea Merchants, they have 6 different locations (MD, VA, DC) and promise 2 new boutiques will open soon.
They offer over 200 types of teas and infusions and encourage you to smell the teas. This wall full of their tea offerings lines one side of the long narrow boutique.

Additional tea wares and accoutrements can be found artfully displayed in the shop.

Susanna found a tropical herbal tisane to purchase - the fragrance immediately transported her to a faraway island. The teas are packaged in a very informative black tin that includes all the necessary information to properly brew whatever tea you have selected.
The staff is happy to offer any assistance or answer any questions you might have. This was a fun stop on our adventure to DC.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tea Time Magazine - May/June 2014

This was the scene in Sweet Remembrances a few months ago when photographer John O'Hagan visited the tea room for a photo shoot for Tea Time magazine.

Flash forward to the most recent May/June 2014 issue, and this is the end result: a beautiful six-page spread featuring seven tea rooms in southeastern Pennsylvania, including Sweet Remembrances.

It is such an honor to be included in this national magazine devoted to everything tea. In addition to congratulatory phone calls and private email messages from friends and tea room guests, several of my blogging friends have shared their enthusiasm for this article: Linda, at Friendship Tea Blog shared earlier this month, while Angela at Tea with Friends shared most recently. Phyllis posted her thoughts on her blog Relevant Tea Leaf.

If you would like to see a few additional photos that were captured by the photographer, check out this slide show at Tea Time magazine.

A special thank you to Linda and Angela - they both suggested a visit to Sweet Remembrances when editor Lorna Reeves inquired about tea rooms in PA. A sincere thank you to Tea Time editor Lorna Reeves, to senior photographer John O'Hagan, and to writer Karen Callaway for including our little corner of the world in this Hoffman Media publication.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

First Friday Feast

It happened again last week! The kitchen was happily turned over to the culinary talents of Chef Steve and Karen Dunlap of Mountainside Supper Club this past First Friday. They prepare a complete four course dinner, offering three entrée selections in addition to salad, soup, and dessert.

Specializing in farm to table catering using locally grown and organic produce and meats, they are happy to share their sources for the evening's fare. 

 The next First Friday Dinner is scheduled for May 2nd with availability at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm. We request advance reservation and entrée selection at time of reservations. The menu for May is posted here.  BYOB, if you like. Downtown Mechanicsburg businesses are open later on the First Friday of the month, so plan on visiting the local merchants and enjoy dinner either before or afterwards. What a great way to spend an evening! Your local small business owners will thank you!
Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Drizzle

Monday, April 7, 2014

Easy from Seed - Chervil

Chervil has a subtle anise taste that is wonderful in sauces, dips, rice dishes, eggs, or salads. Like
cilantro, chervil is strictly a cool-season annual; crops can be grown in spring and again in fall. In mild-winter climates it can be grown throughout the winter. Sow in a large pot or directly in the ground in spring or late summer

When to start: Sow repeatedly in spring, and again in late summer into fall.

Where to plant: Plant in part shade, in fertile soil.

Planting depth: Cover seeds with a dusting of soil.

Care: Provide consistent moisture.

Container growing: Chervil’s delicate beauty lends itself to container growing. Sow seeds in a large
pot10-inch or larger diameter. Use the same pot for a hot-weather plant, such as a pepper, eggplant,
or annual flowers.
Harvesting: When the plant is about 6 inches high, cut leaves as you need them.

Hint: Chervil imparts a subtle anise flavor. Its flowers are lovely, and attract beneficial insects.

Friday, April 4, 2014

And they're off!

A trip to Kentucky would not be complete without a nod to the horses.  Lexington KY is known as the  'Horse Capital of the World' and located right in the middle of this bustling city (the second largest in KY) is Thoroughbred Park. These lifelike bronze racehorses are impressive to say the least. Racing towards the finish line, you can almost hear the sound of their hooves pounding the track. 
The foals tucked amongst the greenery are peaceful. The mares are grazing in the distance while the race is ongoing.
 This beautiful and impressive artistry is attributed to talented sculptor Gwen Reardon.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Greentree Tea Room, Lexington, KY

The Traveling Tea Friends journeyed to Lexington, KY to partake of a luncheon tea at the Greentree Tea Room, 'where tradition meets style'. The luncheon tea is served Wed. thru Sat. at noon, by reservation. Spring was just beginning to make an appearance, daffodils and pansies were abloom, but a chill was still in the air.
They feature a monthly themed menu, and since we were here in March, it was an Irish inspired menu. They offer one tea that fits the theme, and it was an Irish Blend Tea, which is a blend of blacks typically including an Assam and yields a hearty bold pot of tea. Our server was attentive in keeping the teacups filled.

Back Row: Mary, Angela, Maureen
Linda,, Lori
Nancy, Phyllis, Lynn

The pristine place setting sets the scene with green napkins to complement the table setting and in keeping with the theme. Bowls of whipped butter, and Fayette Cream (their version of Devon Cream for the scones) quietly announced the joys yet to come!

Linda and Nancy (we first met as room mates during a trip to London in 2007)
The first course: Potato Leek Soup, thick rich and tasty. Followed by an Irish Oat Scone with Blackberry Jam & Fayette Cream. Loved the oat topping!

A nice hearty portion of Spanakopita was served next with a rich cream sauce. Layers of spinach and Phyllo and creamy goodness added a good base to this luncheon tea.

Following the entrée, we were invited to the buffet table in the other room where we could select the sandwiches and miniature desserts. There were Corned Beef squares, Poppy Seed Egg Salad and Benedictine Tea Sandwiches.

Benedictine Sandwich - cucumber, onion, cream cheese, tinted green

The miniature desserts included Bailey's Fudge (oh so rich!), Pistachio Cupcakes, and Greentree French Filled Wafers. The luck of the Irish was definitely with us!

Mary, Phyllis, Maureen, Angela at the Buffet Table

Here's my sandwich and dessert plate after going around the buffet. Such a pretty assortment of tea delights!

We all enjoyed our special afternoon at Greentree Tea Room.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Kentucky Blend

Sitting, sipping, reminiscing about the recent Traveling Tea Friends gathering in Kentucky. It was a special time with special friends. Linda, our hostess, gifted everyone with a beautiful English Bone China mug. We would start our mornings with a pot of freshly brewed tea in our new blue mugs. One of my purchases from our recent visit to Elmwood Inn Fine Teas was their Kentucky Blend, a premium blend of Chinese black teas from Yunnan and Anhui Provinces. It's bold, it's black, it's full-bodied - a perfect cup for a pick-me-up morning! And a great reminder, sip-by-sip of a memorable getaway.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Elmwood Inn Fine Teas - Danville, KY

The Traveling Tea Friends gathered in Kentucky for a tea themed adventure last month. One of the 'must see' destinations included a visit to Elmwood Inn Fine Teas in Danville. Elmwood Inn originally began as a tea room in 1990 operated by Bruce and Shelley Richardson. Although they closed the tea room, their contribution to the world of tea continues in the many cookbooks they have published, their speaking engagements around the country (including a program at Sweet Remembrances in 2005), and their retail/wholesale tea business.

Their upscale retail establishment offered an exciting tea tasting and shopping opportunity for our group of travelers. The upper walls exhibit the beautiful photography by Bruce Richardson which captures the many faces of tea and tea gardens around the world.

Lori and Phyllis at the tea tasting counter.

Linda, Shelley, Nancy, Bruce
We shopped, we tasted tea, we stopped for photographs, and we sat and listened as Bruce shared his stories about tea. We shopped some more, we admired the beautiful array of tea accoutrements including tea pots for brewing various types of teas. We peeked into the myriad collection of cookbooks and books published by Benjamin Press (a publishing company named after their son).

The gift shop offers a special area for tasting teas. Bruce shared about some rare Hawaiian tea he has for sale and also spoke about a Puerh cake he is holding until it ages. Our group enjoyed the selection of teas we sampled and the congenial welcome we received. Bruce shares his tea thoughts with his own blog, The Tea Maestro where he proclaims Tea is not a commodity. Tea is a lifestyle!

Angela, Maureen, Patty, Melissa, and Bruce