Monday, August 31, 2015

Coffee, Tea, and Thee, York, PA

August always offers us a little bit of a break before the Fairy Festival and subsequent busy fall season. Since August is Nancy's "Birthday Month" we always try to search out some new tea rooms to visit.
That's what brought us to Coffee, Tea and Thee located at 15 S. Pershing Avenue in downtown York, PA. The owner wanted to make tea parties affordable for all, so you can order each course separately or you can purchase the Royal Tea, which includes all of the courses. We like to go for the gusto and experience all that the tea room has to offer, so we selected the Royal Tea.
The tea service began with a fresh fruit cup of seasonal cantaloupe. There were several hot tea choices to select, some regular and others decaffeinated. We were offered two different flavors of tea.
The next course featured the heart shaped scone and moist banana walnut tea bread with cream and orange marmalade.

The salad course was a choice of Cream Slaw or  Vinegar Coleslaw (pictured) and the soup options were Tomato Pasta or Cream of Potato Leek garnished with fresh chives and oyster crackers.
A variety of tea decor ornamented the room where we were seated. Tables were set and at the ready for walk in traffic, although the owner requests reservations for groups of 3 or more. Inspirational materials were available if you desired.

The variety of sandwiches were served on very fresh bread. This was the vegetarian selection which included a delicious and unique combination of carrot, raisin and peanut butter sandwich. There was also pimento cream cheese, tomato and lettuce on whole wheat and a cucumber sandwich with cream cheese.
Even Cedar was happy at this tea room as they were able to accommodate his request for a simple ham sandwich.

The choice of desserts included ice cream and a cookie or peaches and confetti cake.

Ice cream, not your typical tea party dessert, was a popular choice at our table.
Mary, on the left, is the owner.  She and her husband were missionaries in Zaire for decades. She sees this tea room as a continuation of her mission work and took prayer request after we finished our desserts.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Making of The Fairy Festival

 This post was written and shared by our intern Molly Sams

Every year The Rosemary House is in a buzz the month of August preparing for The Fairy Festival. A lot goes into transforming the garden into a fairy haven but it has become a well-oiled machine that shows the wonderful talents of everyone who is a part of the house.


A few weeks prior to the festival the family and coworkers work to create fun, miniature fairy scenes that children find throughout the garden. Nestled underneath the fig tree or surrounding the pond there are always fantastic little surprises for children to discover and that may be one of my favorite parts. On a large scale the garden really jumps to life during this weekend but what really makes it is that the garden is full of small treasures you can find all over.


Not all the preparations are done at The Rosemary House. Some of the products are made else where. One product is actually made in Lancaster County. Our troll booger and fairy soap is both made by LancasterCounty Soapworks. Each piece is made by hand and decorated individually. This year we were able to do a lot of fun work mixing our soap with exciting elements such as fairy dust (mica) and drippy, gooey troll boogers (glycerin soap). It was a lot of fun to experiment to find out what would work best and we cannot wait to see what everyone thinks!



Everyone during the two days of the festival has his or her own job. People find a job that best suits them. For some that may mean using chalk to color the little ones’ hair and for others it may mean being the Quidditch coach. It’s a wonderful time where kids are free to be wild little sprites and adults can be kids again.

Possibly my favorite aspect of the festival is that they strive to have something for everyone and to make sure each person has fun. I love the fact that The Rosemary House tries to make new crafts, decorations, and events each year to make it more fun and enthralling for everyone who attends. They also want to make sure everyone feels welcomed and happy to be here. Which may be why it is such a magical place.
Thanks to guest blogger Molly Sams.  It was fun to see the festival written from your perspective!

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!