Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Frosted Tea Party

Our new pavilion was put to good use earlier this summer as we created the "Gardens of Arendelle" for our Frosted Tea Party. 

The children were all provided with skirts and capes to borrow while they were here for tea. The tea decor, the skirts and capes and centerpieces were provided by The Enchanted Teapot. Many of the young girls came dressed in their finest tea party garb.

The event began with everyone enjoying a festive afternoon tea party prepared by Sweet Remembrances Tea Room. Assorted pots of hot tea or sweet lemonade were offered to moms, grands, and kids alike. A fresh plate of Strawberries and Almond Cream started the day followed by the presentation of the tiered trays.

The tiered tray featured a variety of children friendly sandwiches: Egg Salad Fingers, Cucumber Rounds, Snowflake Cheese Sandwiches, Butter Sprinkle Hearts, and Peanut Butter and Jelly. The middle tier held Chocolate Chip Scones warm from the oven with Sweet Cream and Jelly. The top tier featured large and small Snowflake Cookies.

Next our special guest, the younger snow sister came to play games with the children,  She sang songs (and everyone knew the words and could sing along), face painted and provided a little craft necklace for everyone to make.

                       Such a joyful afternoon! There were lots of smiles and happy little girls!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Goodbye Greenhouse, Hello Pavilion!

Over 40 years ago our mother nestled a little green house in the gardens behind The Rosemary House. Top of the line for the times, this all glass greenhouse which was heated with electricity was showing its wear. 

We faced the difficult decision of either replacing the greenhouse or creating more garden beds or ?? The decision was made to remove the little structure. Our friendly handyman Ron began dismantling it late last fall. The glass was recycled by the hardware store and the metal pieces were easy to recycle.
We decided to put in a large patio area. The decision was made to remove these old cold frames as well to make the patio area even larger. This patio work was done last December. Our landscaper friends squeezed us in after holiday decorating jobs were complete and just before the snow plowing jobs began.

We loved how our patio started to transform and develop. Good thing herb plants are resilient as that construction equipment was placed here, there, and everywhere!
When spring came we decided on a large pavilion which would provide protection from the sun and the rain. Steve Bupp of Cross Creek Farm created and installed this pavilion for us. Made of hand hewn oak from his own mill, Steve (and his wife Caroline) knew exactly what would work.   
 We are still imagining all the possible uses for this new space. Of course it will be put into use during the Fairy Festival in September  The few large plants that were over wintered in the green house have since found a new home.

The construction zone has been closed, and multiple events have taken place under the newly crafted pavilion. From casual classes to children's Fairy Tea Parties to a gathering of family and friends during the spring Art & Wine Walk in town, many have enjoyed the peace and tranquility the herb gardens provide.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Take Away Picnic Tea

As we were leaving The Polly Tea Rooms, we spotted this promotion in the window. A little Take Away Picnic Tea complete with scones, clotted cream, and a nice variety of tea sandwiches sounds like fun! If we had spotted it earlier, we might have ordered one 'to go'. Had to lookup the word 'tiffin'. It's a mid-day meal or snacks.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Polly Tea Rooms

The last tea room we visited during our England trip was The Polly Tea Rooms Marlborough. As we worked our way back towards London and the airport, we stopped here. Founded in 1912, it has developed into a rather business place. According to the website, Kate Middleton enjoyed the blueberry muffins here every Wednesday with her girlfriends while attending Marlborough College.

Colorful and charming, it was crowded while we were here. Many people will tell you that a tea room is a restaurant, and that is true, But there is a difference in feel and style between a tea room and a restaurant. However, this tea room leaned more towards being a restaurant.

Decisions! Decisions!

Asparagus pasta served with the house blend of tea.

After we saw the Knickerbocker Glory ordered by a guest at a nearby table and heard her proclaim 'that's the best Knickerbocker Glory', we decided we needed to try one! We discovered it is a British ice cream parlour dessert that first made its appearance in the 1930s. No two Knickerbocker glory recipes are the same. Think ice cream, chocolate, fruit, whipped cream, all topped with cookies and more cream. Okay, so maybe we should have ordered two at least!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Crop Circle Exhibition

David really wanted to see a crop circle while we were in England. While we couldn't promise that we would find a fresh crop circle, we did find an Exhibition on Crop Circles and went on opening day. Conveniently, there was a craft show and tea room there also so everyone was happy!

The exhibit was hosted by those who have an interest in crop circles and it was very well done.  Explaining the history of crop circles, noting that the first picture of a crop circle that appeared in the English countryside was published in 1990 which then created an intense public interest in crop circles. How, where and why they appeared along with the old theories as well as the new ones (they are all man made) were included in the display.

Additionally, the exhibit explained the crop circles from the view point of the farmer, in particular the loss of the crops and the subsequent damage that is done. This group has begun a "Crop Circle Pass" where you purchase the pass and the directions to crop circles and at the end of the season the money raised is divided among the farmers.

We were given directions to a fresh crop circle with a simple design that was only 3 miles away and off we went in search of it. We tried to find it, but sadly, gave up too soon. With access to the Internet later in the day, David searched on google earth and found we were only about 50 feet away. So we will add this to the list for next time we go!

The crop circle exhibit, tearoom and gift shop was located in a large, central local church that has been "remaindered"  and is now used exclusively as a public space. The tea room had a quaint charming feel to it.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Located very close to Stonehenge is the village of Avebury with three stone circles which partially encircle the village. Like Stonehenge, the exact purpose remains unknown, but it was most likely utilized for some type of worship. Today it remains a destination for many.

Avebury Manor was the home of the archaeologist that excavated the stones in the 1930s. With the joint efforts of The National trust and the BBC, the home was transformed into a museum that replicates different periods in each room. Several years ago there was a television series The Manor Reborn  and a subsequent book with the same title that portrayed the transformation of each room. It is now a museum where you can walk around at your own pace, touching, feeling and transporting yourself to the different eras represented in this English country home.

This six month project was developed to encourage the many visitors to the stone circle to also enjoy the village of Avebury. By the looks of it, this mission was accomplished as there was much activity at the museum, the manor, in the gardens, and the tea room.

We enjoyed our visit here and it quickly became a favorite with the kids as there was no concern about touching anything. Playing was encouraged!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Stonehenge was built 5000 years ago in the English county of Wiltshire.
A prehistoric temple, the stones are aligned with the movements of the sun.
Was it a place of worship or healing? or a place for dying? perhaps an ancient burial ground?
The purpose of Stonehenge remains a mystery. There will always be debate about its meaning.
 Summer and Winter Solstice celebrations are an important part of Stonehenge.
Do you have a theory? Have you walked among the stones?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Lytes Cary Manor, Somerset, England

Our Royal Oaks Foundation membership passes granted us access to all of the National Trust locations. We decided to visit Lytes Cary Manor for several reasons. It was billed as a beautiful arts and crafts inspired garden with several collections of topiary, including the twelve Apostles. We were anxious to see that!

This medieval manor house was originally the family home of the Elizabethan herbalist Henry Lyte. On display is Lyte's Herbal, a 16th century plant directory.

These leather mannequins are referred to as 'the good companions'. There use is unknown, but it is thought that they may have been brought to the table when there were 13 guests in attendance to avoid having an unlucky number at the table.

 This display cabinet is Dutch walnut and contains an 18th century miniature Regency cream ware dinner service. It is thought to be a travelling salesman's sample.

The grounds include a 14th century chapel and beautiful gardens that feature mixed borders, hidden paths and garden rooms enclosed by high topiary hedges.

The brochure promised a relaxing and uplifting visit to this harmonious manor. And the topiary Apostles, all 12 of them, well, lets just say, our pre-travel imagination and anticipation took us beyond the12 topiary shrubs grown and manicured here.