Saturday, January 18, 2020

Afternoon Tea at Emigs Mansion, York County

After the holiday season, a gathering of family and friends journeyed south to Emigs Mansion in Emigsville, PA to enjoy an elegant afternoon tea in the stately 1810 mansion. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the mansion is presently a bed and breakfast establishment and destination for afternoon tea for groups. 

This stately dining room with the gorgeous stained glass window was the setting for our Afternoon Tea.

 A fresh fruit cup was served first.

Two types of tea were offered. The first tea, poured during the first three courses was a nicely spiced seasonal black tea, perfect for the holidays. A second flavor was served during the last three courses and that was a garden blend with a hint of spearmint.

Scones with sweet cream and lemon curd were served next. The cranberry orange scone was topped with a glaze. A hearty creamy cheddar corn soup was presented next.

Salad with fresh leafy greens, thinly sliced apples, and walnuts dressed with a delicate vinaigrette was offered next. 

A plate of savories included a broccoli cheese quiche, cucumber sandwich, and  mozzarella and tomato skewer. We could smell the quiche baking as we arrived. Everything is so fresh.

A dessert medley included a miniature cheesecake, lemon squares, and yummy caramel chocolate. Following the tea, the owners offered a tour of the mansion. We were able to peek into the beautifully appointed guest rooms and learn a little history about the mansion.
An enjoyable time was had by all.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Camellia's Sin Tea Parlor, Carlisle, PA

Once Angelica was home from college, and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season was pretty well under control, we were able to schedule an Afternoon Tea at a local tea room, Camellia's Sin Tea Parlor in Carlisle, PA. An easy drive from Mechanicsburg we eagerly anticipated a very relaxing Sunday before family would arrive for the Christmas holiday.
A signature of Camellia's is their wide variety of beautiful place settings, each table unique. We enjoyed the winter snowmen at our table. Since the tea room was aflutter of activity, I wasn't able to snap the other coordinated table settings, but a post from 2018 can be found here that includes a peek at some of the other table settings.

Once we ordered our tea, a choice of soup options were offered including Wild Mushroom (Susanna's selection), Butternut Squash (Angelica selected this soup) and a Tomato Basil Bisque (Nancy's choice) shown here. Served piping hot, we all enjoyed our choices.

A lovely salad of seasonal greens, fresh fruit, feta cheese and a poppyseed dressing was presented next. This was fresh and tasty and just the right portion size. We sampled a variety of teas during our visit here from Snowflake (always a favorite) to a spicy Nutcracker.

Camellia's offers a choice of scones, and you are served one. Knowing this, when we made our reservations, we requested extra scones because we didn't want to decide among the selection of different flavors! The selection included Andes chocolate mint scone, pumpkin spice, white chocolate cranberry almond, caramel apple cinnamon and a savory rosemary cheddar scone. We enjoyed them all! And were quite happy to be able to savor each one. Cream and curd were included with the scones.

A tiered tray plated with sandwiches and desserts completed the tea service. The sandwiches included a Cucumber tea sandwich, Gruyer mushroom and caramelized onion tart, Tiny Tim's Christmas tree bites, and Turkey breast in a cranberry orange muffin. The miniature desserts featured Snow Fairy Cupcake, Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and Traditional Thumbprint Cookies.

The tea room is located on Pomfret Street in Carlisle which has a nice variety of little shops and galleries. They coordinate activities throughout the year, have painted statues and artistic touches to discover. It was a mild day, so we enjoyed 'shopping the block'. and found these clever wings on the side of a brick building waiting for a photo opportunity.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year!

Life is short! Eat dessert first! Here's a sampling of sweet treats served in the tea room.

May your new year be sweet!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Christmas Tree Tea Cups!

This collection of holiday teacups feature a variety of delightful Christmas trees. Shown here is a Royal Albert tea cup with the Old Country Roses style and a festive Christmas tree front and center, complete with ribbon swirls, classic gold rim, and the iconic pink and yellow roses we all love about this Royal Albert pattern.

Another familiar style is the Spode Christmas Tree pattern introduced in 1938. This vintage Spode pottery was originally made in Stoke-on-Trent in England and conjures memories of Christmases past with celebrations around the tree. Modern versions of this pattern are available as platters, pitchers, and more.

This colorful teacup pattern from Japan is called Happy Holidays. It features a decorated tree complete with presents under the tree. The familiar Nikko bear is front and center among the gifts. Introduced in 1986, the pattern was discontinued in 2014.

Another Royal Albert holiday design is this Christmas Magic tea cup from 1990, A variety of toys can be found under the tree, on the back of the cup, and on the center of saucer. The familiar country roses pattern encircles the cup and saucer with holly leaves and berries dancing around the china and among the flowers. This pattern had a short run, and ended in 1993. 
We love setting the table with this colorful assortment of Christmas tree tea cups!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Growing Rosemary

This is an excerpt from Bertha Reppert's book on Growing and Using Rosemary, published by Storey Communications:

On mild days in the winter, I put my collection (of Rosemary plants) outside for a breath of fresh air. If the weather reports are favorable, they can stay outside for several days, much to their liking. Moving the plants is a bit of a nuisance but well worth the effort. I can hear the grateful rosemaries whisper, "Thank you."
 Here in Central PA, we are lucky when a Rosemary plant survives the winter outdoors. We always leave a few planted in the ground but the majority are in large pots and we bring them in on New Year's Day and take them back outside on St Patrick's Day. Rosemary can easily go down to 22 degrees or even a bit below and they prefer the out doors to our hot dry houses. 

Friday, December 6, 2019

Ho! Ho! Ho!

The culinary Santa collection is once again on display in the hallway. Santas of various shapes and sizes adorn the oak side-by-side and also perch atop the old radiator greeting our guests as they enter the tea room. The Santa collection has grown over the years and includes gifts from family and friends, and a few souvenirs from travel destinations. Such a jolly old elf!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Sugarplums and Tea, Lancaster, PA

In October, members of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association gathered together at Sugarplums & Tea located in Lancaster, PA for their quarterly meeting. Tucked in a somewhat residential area is this stately building that houses the tea room.
Linda (Tea on the Tiber) and Terry (Dollies Tea Room)
We always enjoy a morning reception provided by the host tea room as members of the association arrive at different times, traveling from NJ, MD, PA, and VA for this particular meeting. Quiche (two varieties), scones with assorted toppings, fresh fruit cup, and tea round out the morning options.  
The tea room has several seating areas, and we were seated in the enclosed porch. With lots of windows, it offered a cheerful open feeling. The day started with a program by Amy Thorn, artisan wine maker and motivational speaker entitled 'From Passion to Purpose'. Amy and her family own Thorn Hill Vineyards which specializes in hand-crafted artisan wines. She shared her story with us, and offered inspiration as we each discover our passion.

After the program, Afternoon Tea was served. We each selected a flavor of tea from their extensive list of teas. First course included a pumpkin bisque and a spicy cheddar scone. Perfect for a beautiful fall day.

The tiered tray included their traditional Hawaiian Chicken Salad, cucumber with carrots and dip, a petite quesadilla, salad greens, and an array of desserts on the bottom tier.

The dessert trio included a petite pumpkin cheesecake, peanut butter mousse in a chocolate cup, and a third dessert. We also enjoyed a little bubbly from the Thorn Hill Vineyard to tie in the program and tea.
Karen (Greenhalgh Tea) Mike & Deb Raab (Tea-for-All)
Following the afternoon tea, the business meeting conducted by current president Deb Raab of Tea for All rounded out the day. We are pleased to welcome Justine Cooney, owner of Sugarplums and Tea, as a new member to MATBA.

Monday, December 2, 2019

What's in a Tea Cup? Memories!

We welcome December with all the joy associated with the celebrations held throughout the month. A month of tea parties in Sweet Remembrances, a month of preparation, shopping and more shopping to find the perfect gift from The Rosemary House, a month of friendship, and a grand finale with family gatherings. December is busy! But this fine bone china tea cup (decorated in England) also holds a bounty of memories.

This festive December teacup reminds us of our travel destination several years back, 2016 to be exact, when we headed to Vancouver to attend the 17th Annual International Bell Symposium (Angelica and the local bell choir rang in the concert along with 800 participants from around the world and 3,500 bells). After the symposium, we took the ferry to Victoria, British Colombia with a side trip to the Butchart Gardens. This lovely souvenir overflows with memories of a warm summer and beautiful vacation with family. We leisurely strolled the fabulous gardens abundant with colorful flora, and then enjoyed Afternoon Tea in the Dining Room where we overlooked the Italian Gardens. Simply lovely memories.

Afternoon Tea at The Butchart Gardens