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.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hudson Valley Highlights

Our recent Traveling Herb Seminar explored luxurious gardens and estates situated in the Hudson River Valley. With spectacular views of the Hudson River, Washington Irving's Sunnyside was our first stop.
The costumed docents provided a tour of Irving's home and a glimpse into his family history and his many writings. Although most famous for his short stories including Rip Van Winkle and his book The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving penned historical writings as well.
Lyndhurst is a gothic revival mansion and had a list of owners including: former New York City mayor William Paulding, merchant George Merritt and railroad tycoon Jay Gould. Lyndhurst is named for the many varieties of Linden trees that surround the mansion.
Caramoor, was the family home of the Rosen family and is now open as a center for Music and the Arts. The Rosen's collected rooms from around the world. The gardens featured an interactive exhibit on sound.
Kykuit was the mansion of the Rockefeller family, beginning with David Rockefeller to Nelson Rockefeller (4 term governor of NY state and VP during the Ford administration), and throughout the line of the family. This formidable estate (doesn't it look like a bank?) had a huge collection of sculpture and fine art but was a summer home that was clearly enjoyed by the Rockefeller family. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sereni-Tea Victorian Tea Room, MD

A recent family outing took us to Maryland where we enjoyed the Royal Tea served at the Sereni-Tea Victorian Tea Room in Funkstown (near Hagerstown).
A fluted glass of chilled sparkling peach juice awaited our arrival. We sipped on the sparkling juice as we selected our tea from the extensive tea menu.

Loose leaf tea is strained through individual silver plated stainers. The little drip catcher held the strainer when not in use. The rich burgandy tableclothes, delicate lace coverings, and matching china exuded Victorian wealth. We knew we were in for a treat.
The first course featured fresh peaches with an amaretto glaze. The hint of almonds complemented the fresh fruit nicely. The petite serving was just the right size as there was much more to enjoy.

Following the fruit, we were served the Soup-du-jour which was a thick creamy corn bisque. Very tasty, and again, just the right size.

The summer salad featured fresh tomatoes, cucumber, and onion in a delicate house-made vinaigrette served in this sweet pedestal dish. We enjoyed the multitude of little courses.  

Next, we savored individual portions of a filo crusted quiche nestled in a roasted red pepper coulis which brought forth oohs and aahs when enjoying the crunch of the filo along with the tasty sauce. Yum!

And then, the arrival of the three tiered tray!

The sandwich assortment was on the middle tier and included a pimiento cheese on pumpernickel bread, there was a tomato crostini topped with cheese, a tiny filo cup with spinach and cheese, a cucumber sandwich, and an egg salad sandwich. All very fresh.
The top tier held petite scones and assorted tea breads and muffins served with fresh fruit. A side dish held their version of clotted cream, lemon curd, and strawberry preserves.
And the bottom tier featured a wide selection of tasty desserts that included bread pudding, chocolate brownie, lemon poppyseed florette with lemon curd, a cookie, and a blackberry topped tartlet. Yes, we needed a 'to go' box as we were unable to finish the desserts. What a wide variety and lovely Royal Tea we enjoyed!

Ranota Marcotte is the owner, and she was assisted by her granddaughter. They are standing in front of the wide assortment of teas that they serve in the tea room, and also offer for sale.