Sunday, November 4, 2018

Charleston Tea Plantation, South Carolina

A short hop to South Carolina included a visit to the Charleston Tea Plantation located on Wadmalaw Island, in the heart of South Carolina's lowcountry. Billed as America's Tea Garden, this destination has long been on the bucket list.

The gift shop is nestled among nature's bounty of old oaks, and upon entering, the visitor is offered a selection of self-serve tea, either hot or cold.

Hop aboard the green trolley for a tour of the tea garden where hundreds of thousands of tea plants (Camellia sinensis) stretch as far as the eye can see. Our animated guide shared the history of the plantation, the harvesting, and stories of the animals found in the area.
We hopped off the trolley to check out the tea plants up close and personal in the greenhouse. Rows and rows of young plants are tucked in here, being coaxed along and closely monitored until they are large enough to plant in a new field.

This large green machine is their one-of-a-kind tea harvester. Most proud of this monster, it harvests the tea bushes all summer long which are then dried and processed in their factory. A walking tour of the factory offers a glimpse into the actual production of tea. We visited on a weekend in October, both the big green machine and the factory were at rest.

What a fun stop!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

East Bay Meeting House, Charleston, SC

 A long distance jaunt south took us to Charleston, SC (the oldest and largest city in South Carolina) where we had reservations at the East Bay Meeting House for Afternoon Tea. Located in the heart of the French Quarter of this historic town, the East Bay Meeting House offers lunch and dinner, and during the off peak hours of 4 - 7, they provide Afternoon Tea by advance reservation.

 Elegant place settings provided a hint of what was to come. The tea tray was situated in the center of the table prior to our arrival, wrapped in paper towels to keep the sandwiches fresh. Once we sat down, the paper towel draping was removed to display the array of tea time treats garnished with flowers and a variety of fresh green leaves.

Our hostess offered an assortment of tea selections from Mighty Leaf tea. Individual little tea pots, with the tea bag steeping, were brought to each guest. Our choices ranged from a white tea, to Bombay Chai, to English Breakfast.

The tiered tray had a wide variety of sandwiches on the bottom tier, each one as tasty asa the previous one. The middle tier held a slice of rum cake, a layered chocolate cake, and a sugar cookie while the top tier held orange scones with cream and jelly. We savored each bite, enjoyed gathering at this location with family, and would certainly return if we were in the area again.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Tillymint's Tea Room, Souderton, PA

Here's another little peek at the very decidedly very British decor found in Tillymint's Tea Room in Souderton, PA. From a beautiful collection of English bone china tea pots, very stylish Sadler tea pots with a literary theme to a small homage to Yorkshire Tea, the second most popular tea brand in England, this tea room shouts We Love England, We Love Tea!

Above, a private collection of all things British including celebratory china for a variety of royal weddings. Below, the Union Jack flag bunting is so typical of British locales, and who doesn't love Harrods?
Everywhere you turn, there is something representative of Britain.
Including a hedgehog collection in the powder room!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Birthday's Come and Birthday's Go!

August included a birthday celebration, and a visit to Tilly Mint's Tea Room in Souderton, PA was the location for said celebration.

Birthday Plate & Colorful Napkin

We thoroughly enjoyed the wide variety of tea pots that are used in the tea room.

Fresh salad greens, a warm tomato savory with fresh rosemary garnish started our tea time experience.

The colorful three tiered tray was laden with a bountiful array of tea sandwiches, 
scones, and festive dessert. The sandwiches were all quite tasty, from cucumber round with fresh dill sprigs, to tiny lady bug sandwich with tomato wings and black olive head, cheese and chutney, to a watermelon and feta bruschetta, each bite was flavorful.

The cream, curd, and jelly were served in petite teacups from a child's tea service.

Desserts were plentiful, yummy, colorful and tasty! A miniature creme brulee with the blackberry was a favorite with that glazed sugar crust on top.

In addition to the special birthday plate and napkin, a little plate with a birthday candle was served to the guest of honor. On the plate was an individual teabag of tea to enjoy later, at home. What a fun touch.
Tilly Mint's Tea Room is located at 20 W. Chestnut Street, Souderton, PA.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Bon Appetit Tea House, Mahwah, NJ

A family excursion this summer took us through NJ. Having read about the Bon Appetit Tea House in TeaTime Magazine, I knew the expressway we would be traveling would take us right past the Mahwah exit, so reservations were made for a Sunday Afternoon Tea. Located at 180 Franklin Turnpike in Mahwah, this establishment has a tea house on one side and a French bakery and cafe on the other. 
There was a certain elegance and European flair to the dining room with linens, lace, elaborate floral arrangements, comfy chairs, and glitzy chandeliers. 

With a range of different options from the Lady Anne tea, the Victorian Tea, the Queen Tea, and the Royal Tea, we selected the Royal Tea. Little warmers kept the pots of tea at just the right temperature.
A fresh salad with a warm savory was presented first.

The three tiered tray held an assortment of finger sandwiches, chicken salad, egg salad, turkey and cheese. Their signature scones were on the middle tier and the toppings were plated in petite mix and match vintage china. An array of desserts completed the top tier, macarons from their bakery, chocolate cake, and more chocolate sweets.

Tea, savories and sweets to nourish as we began our jaunt towards the final destination. It offered a lovely interlude as we traveled north for a short family visit with our NY sister, her husband, and their precious granddaughters.

Monday, October 1, 2018

What happened to September?

October! What happened to September? A whirlwind of a month, September quickly transitioned into October, as if in the blink of an eye. September is the month of festivals in our little part of the world. The month begins with our Annual Fairy Festival, its 27th year. The fairies flitted and fluttered about, in the gardens and in the back alley. We played and laughed and danced and tossed glitter. Saturday was the perfect day, Sunday was a very rainy day. Nevertheless, we had fun.

And the last weekend of September, we celebrated the Camellia sinensis plant with all things tea at our 2nd Annual PA Tea Festival. As if on command, our humble little QVC mail order tea plant sprang forth in blossom for the festival.                                                                                                     A row of tents lined Rosemary Alley and vendors from NJ, PA, and MD sold their tea wares to crowds of tea enthusiasts.

Sweet Remembrances served Afternoon Tea both in the tea room and in the gardens, pushing the waitstaff to their limit! At the peak lunch hour, every table was filled, both inside and out. A real challenge for the staff, Claudette and Lori deserve a hearty kudos for all their hard work. Jillian and Cedar, too.

Monday, August 27, 2018

A Magical Fairy Door Hunt

The 25th Annual Fairy Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th. Held in the herb gardens behind the shop, and sprawling into the little alleyway behind the business, this event is perfect for ages 3 - 11, and all who believe!
Do you believe in fairies?

One of the activities at the Fairy Festival is a fairy door hunt. These colorful and creative fairy doors appear throughout the garden, tucked in little nooks and crannies, just waiting to be discovered!

Some folks try to find every door and others just enjoy the surprise of finding one or two.

I am sure someone special lives here.

We've been told this is the hardest one to find!

Would you hunt for fairy doors?

Won't you come and play with us! Find all the details about the upcoming Fairy Festival on this website: