Wednesday, January 23, 2019

MATBA January Seminar - Kate Pearl Tea Room

Members of the Mid Atlantic Tea Business Association gathered at the Kate Pearl Tea Room at Gypsy's in Winchester, MD earlier this week for the first quarterly seminar of the new year. Members traveled from NJ, PA, MD, and VA to reunite with fellow tea business entrepreneurs, to share their stories and welcome new ideas, to listen to an educational program, and to enjoy a relaxing Afternoon Tea hosted by the new owners of the Kate Pearl Tea Room, Becky and Jessica, a mother/daughter duo.
Pristine white china graced the tables with tea themed treasures adorned the table, The tea menu was extensive, and guests selected their personal favorites as individual teapots were offered. The delightful young homeschooler graciously served our table with ease.

Warm Spinach Dip & Crackers

The first course featured an individual portion of Spinach Dip and Crackers. Above, MD member, Janet Meyers of Tea By Two in Bel Air, MD enjoyed being served tea! Following the appetizer, a fresh veggie soup of carrots, kale, and potatoes was served next. PA member, Susanna Reppert of The Rosemary House, is anxious to sample this tasty vegetable soup. Well seasoned and hearty, it was a good starter for the brisk cold day.

The next two courses included a large lavender honey scone drizzled with a lavender glaze and served with cream, lemon curd, and jelly. The salad was offered next, and it included blueberries, crispy apple pieces, and an apple cider vinaigrette.
Sparkling elderflower rose lemonade was served garnished with fresh blueberries. And, to complete the tea service, the three tiered tea tray laden with sandwiches and delicious desserts was served.

All  delicious, fresh, and tasty, it was a real treat to be served this lovely Royal Tea. There are different levels of tea service available, the Royal Tea required advance reservations. Dessert featured an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie dipped in White Chocolate, a sinful Chocolate Truffle, and a Rosemary Lemon Bar. Of course, shopping before and after tea was a must!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Teatime for Kitty

Surprise presents are always the best! Our newest staff member brought a cat toy for our garden cats. She simply couldn't pass up this teacup cat toy when she saw it at a local pet store with her mom. Teacup shaped and filled with two little catnip tea bags, it was a very thoughtful gift.

Friskie, our garden cat, and the only one that enjoys catnip, checked it out, but sadly, wasn't really interested. He obviously prefers the fresh stuff. He'll have to wait for spring to enjoy that treat.

Here's Friskie with his nose in a healthy crop of fresh catnip. He has a wealth of catnip within his reach - spring thru summer and fall. He'll wait for the real deal.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tea Themed Ornaments

This delightful variety of tea themed ornaments were all tucked in my Christmas stocking. This pretty ceramic teapot, made in Britain, is the Portmeirion design, Rosa canina (Dog Rose) from their Botanic Garden collection. It has all the subtle designs associated with Portmeirion including the butterflies, only in miniature. It will be fun to add this to the tea pot tree.
This soft crocheted ornament was discovered at the Ten Thousand Villages shop in our area. Ten Thousand Villages promotes a global 'maker to market' concept. This was hand crafted in Vietnam, and although it's actually labeled cappuccino, it will still fit in with the tea themed ornaments.

This little tea cup was a souvenir from the Magnolia Plantation that we visited in October. Not sure how I passed it up, but on of my sisters plucked it from the display and it found its way into the stocking. A perfect reminder of a special visit to South Carolina last year. Of course the design on the cup is a magnolia blossom.                                                                                                                                                                Be sure to look for these ornaments on the tree when it returns to its table top spot later this year! 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Happy New Year!

We bid farewell to 2018 with our annual Candlelight Tea. This past year there were actually two candlelight teas, one on the 30th and again on the 31st. It is a tranquil way to end the year, and celebrate the promise of a hopeful, happy, and healthy new year. The evening tea begins with a Salad that featured leafy greens, fresh pears, white cheddar cheese, maple candied pecans, thin slices of red onion, and a Maple Dijon Dressing. Yumminess on a plate.

The Sandwich course included Cranberry Apple Chicken Salad, Melted Brie & Apple Crostini, warm Pistachio Bacon Asparagus Rollups, Olive Pepper Pinwheels, and Pear Chutney Goat Cheese Baguette served with your choice of hot tea.

Scones included Traditional English Cream Scone and a White Chocolate Apricot Scone served with fresh fruit, cream and jelly. Always served warm and fresh from the oven, these are popular!

 Holiday desserts included a miniature Caramel Pecan Cream Pie, Pistachio Shortbread Stars and Neopolitan Wedges. A fitting end to the year.

The tea room has been restored to its tranquil blue theme, the holiday decor, tea cups, and other festive decorations have been safely stowed until we find ourselves in the throws of another holiday season. Until then, here's looking forward to a happy and healthy 2019. May the new year be bright!