Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Holiday Afternoon Tea 'To Go'

With a mandate from the Governor, restaurants (tea rooms, too) in PA were officially closed down Dec. 12th through Jan 4th. Having supplies on hand for Afternoon Tea to be served on both Saturday the 12th, and Sunday the 13th, the tea room staff had to transition to Plan B. Everyone with reservations for the weekend was contacted and Afternoon Tea 'to go' was offered for pick up on Sunday. 

The Apple Cranberry Salad featured leafy green lettuce, red and green apples, craisins, sugared pecans, all topped with feta cheese. A small container of cranberry apple dressing was included in the box. The festive holiday doily lined container featured fresh fruit and the sandwiches: Sliced Turkey & Havarti Cheese with Basil Pesto Mayonnaise, Roast Beef with water chestnuts,  onion and mayo on pumpernickel, Olive Pecan Squares, Brie Tarts with Raspberry & Pecans, and a Triangular Ham & Chicken Salad Sandwich with orange curry butter.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Scones, prepared and baked fresh in the morning, included traditional English Cream Scones alongside Cinnamon Chip Scones with a small tub of raspberry preserves and sweet cream.

The dessert variety included Peppermint Meltaways, Spice Cake decorated with a holly leaf, Pound Cake with cream cheese frosting and green sprinkles, a petite Chocolate Cup filled with Strawberry chocolate sauce and mascarpone cheese, and a layered Chocolate Coconut Bar. Yumminess! It was a morning full of prepping, baking, packaging, and more packaging. Once everything was in the little to go containers, the Afternoon Tea; placed in a large bag (as shown above), along with a sample of loose leaf tea, was ready to be picked up and enjoyed in the safe confines of home.

One of the tea party 'to go' recipients shared this beautiful photo of their very special tea party set up at home using the holiday china. What a fabulous way to make this holiday Afternoon Tea Party 'to go' extra special. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

It's a Tea Themed Tree!

The table top tea themed Christmas tree has been in place for a few weeks as the tea room is decorated just before Thanksgiving. The little tree is adorned with a myriad collection of miniature themed tea pot ornaments, some collected during vacations in far away places, others received as stocking stuffer gifts through the years, and even more are pieces of tea themed jewelry acquired at gift shops; all with the purpose of sharing our love of tea!
If you look closely, you will see that the tree is stuffed to the gills with miniature treasures. This is my favorite tree! I love setting it up, and I'm saddened when it's time to take it down.
To add to the joyful spirit of the tree ,the small cloth nestled underneath is a piece of teapot themed material with gaily colored teapots, a Mary Engelbreit design. In keeping with the theme, holiday teapots are placed around the base of the tree because they make me smile. 

Monday, December 7, 2020

A very Festive Afternoon Tea

December is a month for holiday teas, although we scheduled fewer events this year, we held our popular annual Holiday Craft and Festivi-Tea this past Sunday. As our guests arrive, they place their order for tea. While they are creating their craft, guided under the tutelage of Susanna, the kitchen crew is busy brewing pot upon pot of tea, ready to pour when the craft is completed. The tea began with a Holiday Coleslaw laden with green cabbage and savoy cabbage, green apples, pecans, craisins, red onion, and a delicate dressing.

Sandwiches included a Cranberry Pecan Triangle. Sliced Turkey with orange marmalade on rye bread, toasted Crostini with Apple and Brie (oh, yum!), Sweet & Savory Pimiento Cheese on Pumpernickel with a thin layer of strawberry jam, Sliced Prosciutto with homemade fig preserves, and a Benedictine Sandwich with cucumber and onion, parsley garnish and a cutout tree topper.

Oven fresh scones featured our Traditional English Cream Scone (always!) and White Chocolate Apricot Scone served with sweet cream, apricot preserves and a portion of fresh fruit including pomegranates.

A dessert medley included Pumpkin Cheese Cake, White Chocolate Shortbread Cookie, and a Chocolate Cup filled with mascarpone cheese and a chocolate raspberry sauce in the bottom of the cup. Fresh raspberries were added to this festive trio of desserts.

The tearoom is decorated for the holiday season with festive touches here and there. Holiday events are scheduled throughout the month, although not as many as past years. Covid decided we needed to limit the number of guests at our teas this year, and although social distancing and mask wearing change the festive atmosphere ever so slightly, the joy among our guests attending the holiday events is still evident.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020


Today we turn the calendar to the last month of 2020. December brings frigid temps amid eager anticipation of the holiday season. This holiday teacup is a souvenir of our memorable visit to the Butchart Gardens near Victoria on Vancouver Island, Canada. It always brings forth a wave of memories of a glorious garden, beautiful flowers around every turn, colorful blossoms in every corner each garden more beautiful than the previous one. We also enjoyed Afternoon Tea in the library, another fond memory! This teacup is full of lovely memories!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

A Presidential Tea - 2020

Every four years it has been our tradition to host a Presidential Tea as a culmination to the months (years) of campaigning that leads up to a presidential election. We hold this special event on the Sunday before the election while everyone is still hopeful that their candidate will pull through as the winner. The tea room transitions to an elegant dining establishment, the tables are set with the finest china, touches of gold along with red-white-and-blue sets the scene. A Chardonnay Lemon Spritzer with fresh fruit and frozen raspberries welcomed the guests as they arrived.

The first course featured a Pear & Pecan Salad topped with spring onions, parmesan cheese, goat cheese, sugared pecans, and ripe pears all dressed with a Parmesan Balsamic Dressing. We offered a range of hot tea selections honoring our Allies around the world that include The Paris Accord (black & oolong blend with vanilla, currant, bergamot & caramel), A Very British Herbal Tea (with herbal symbolism, mint for courage, lavender for luck, and marjoram for virtue), Morning Mist (a light green tea with a soft sweet taste), Keemun Superior (a plain black tea with earthy notes), and Red, White and Blue Lady (a flavored black tea with strawberry, coconut & kiwi flavors).

An array of sandwiches included a Cranberry, Rosemary, and Pecan Cheese Spread on Wheat crackers with a tiny sprig of fresh rosemary, Marinated English Cucumber Sandwich, Cheesy Mozzarella Pumpkin Tartlet, Sliced Turkey with Parsley Shallot Mayonnaise with a Star studded topper, and Chicken & Almond Tea Sandwich with Basil Butter.

The scone course included a Traditional English Cream Scone served with Sweet Cream and Raspberry Preserves alongside a slice of Red, White, and Blueberry Bread with fresh raspberry touches. Petite gold stars graced the Sweet Cream.

Dessert included a Rosemary Shortbread Eagle sprinkled with gold sugar and a Petite Chocolate Toffee Torte which consisted of layer upon layer starting with a crisp pecan base, a chocolate ganache filling, a yummy toffee mousse, and a swirled whipped cream rosette with a dusting of chocolate shavings.
Our guest speaker was John Moeller, author of Dining at the White House.  His passion for cooking inspired a journey to France which eventually led him to the White House. Chef Moeller served at the pleasure of three First Families over a thirteen year span. He was part of the team responsible for creating the dining experience at the White House, featuring a wide variety of meals, from formal state dinners to outdoor picnics to small intimate dinners for the President and First Lady. John Moeller was an interesting and entertaining speaker as he shared his experiences and personal stories about both Bush presidents and Clinton in between. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Masks of Mechanicsburg - highlighting The Rosemary House

The Downtown Mechanicsburg Partnership is sponsoring a social medial spotlight on downtown businesses and how they have adapted to the Covid 19 pandemic. Area businesses large and small have struggled during this time, trying to maintain normalcy in unique times while safely operating their business and offering a safe haven for customers. Below is the story that Susanna shared about The Rosemary House, including a recipe for a do-it-yourself disinfecting spray. 

The health and well-being of customers has always been a primary concern at The Rosemary House.  Whether it is suppling herbs and seasonings to enhance your daily meals or whether it is providing relaxing and fragrant essential oils to elevate or calm the mood of your personal space. For over 50 years The Rosemary House has always been there for the well-being of their customers. Currently, staff are happy to have “masked” discussions with customers about which herbs will best suit their needs. Looking to spice up your cooking or seeking herbs to help you sleep or support your immune system or simply want a tasty cup of tea? The Rosemary House is your local source for herbs, spices, teas and gifts.

Want to make your own disinfecting spray to wipe down those high touch areas? Here is a quick and effective recipe that The Rosemary House uses to keep their doors and counters clean:

  • 1 cup alcohol (either rubbing alcohol or vodka)
  • Add 30+ drops of your choice of essential oil (orange is uplifting, tea tree is anti-viral, lavender is relaxing, or eucalyptus to open sinuses, all are available at The Rosemary House!)
  • Add ¼ cup distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
  • Mix all together, bottle, and spray and spritz as necessary

The Rosemary House, your one stop herb and spice shop, was established in 1968! Herbs, Tea, and Gift items. Established in 1968, this family business is owned and operated by Susanna Reppert Brill. Parking in the rear or on the street. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

For more about the Downtown Mechanicsburg Partnership, follow them on Facebook!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Halloween Tea - 2020

 Our annual Halloween Teas, held twice during October, feature special touches throughout the menu. Creepy Crawly Coleslaw was the first course served after our guests received their pots of tea. If you look closely at the photo, you'll see tiny edible bats adorned the salad plate. They complement the black paper bats that are flying above the centerpiece.

A variety of sandwiches were served after the salad. Here you'll find The Great Pumpkin Cheese Sandwich with a touch of parsley garnish, the ever popular Toasty Ghosty with parmesan cheese, the Sweet and Savory Spooktacular Bat has a cheddar cheese filling with strawberry jam on the pumpernickel bread, Queen Adelaide's Coffin with a ham and chicken salad filling, and in the center, a Witches Eye made with our popular French Style Cheese Spread, radishes, and an olive eyeball.

The next course includes A Ghost of an English Cream Scone alongside a Pumpkin Pecan Scone. Sweet Cream and Cranberry Orange Curd plus fresh orange slices and a jellied candy pumpkin complete the plate.

For the Dessert course; 
Be prepared for a Zombie invasion (or chocolate cupcake, chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles, with a Zombie hand), Witches Finger (if you dare) (a green chocolate covered pretzel with an almond fingernail), and Never look directly into the Ogre's Eye (a matcha flavored cookie with chocolate ganache and candy eyeball). 
                               May your Halloween be creepy and super spooktacular!                                                                                    

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

American Fruit Bread with Rosemary

Debbie Hartman, of Thyme with Debbie has graciously shared the recipe for American Fruit Bread with Rosemary that she served at the Cooking with Mediterranean Herbs Class. Chockfull of yummy fruits and nuts plus the added boost of the fresh rosemary made this bread (served as mini muffins) a real treat. The muffin is very moist, but the addition of the orange marmalade with infused rosemary took it up a notch.

American Fruit Bread with Rosemary
2 c. flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 baking powder
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
fine zest of one orange
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. water
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 c. craisins, cut in half (or dried cherries or dried apricots)
1/2 c. raisins, cut in half
1/2 c. chopped dates
1/2 c. nuts
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced (or more to taste)

In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder together. Add melted butter and freshly zested orange to the flour mixture. Add orange juice, water, and beaten egg. Stir to blend. Fold in remaining fruits, nuts, and rosemary. Bake in a greased and floured bread pan at 350 degrees for 70 minutes, or until loaf tests done. Enjoy with your favorite brewed tea!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Cooking with Herbs of the Mediterranean Region

 We recently hosted a special cooking demonstration and tasting session that featured the herbs of the Mediterranean region. We were pleased to welcome Debbie Hartman of Thyme with Debbie as the instructor and culinary wizard for this program. With Debbie out front in the tea room, and her husband George coordinating things in the kitchen, it was a working team that provided an enjoyable evening for our guests.

The first course featured Greek Oregano, with flavor descriptors such as peppery and spicy. Oregano can be added to summer veggies, pasta, pizza, cheese and cream sauces, chili and Mexican foods for example. Debbie shared this beautiful appetizer plate that featured Mediterranean Herbed Olives (notice the rosemary skewered olive!), along side a potato appetizer, and a herbal goat cheese spread served with crackers and cucumber slices. The goat cheese was garnished with freshly zested lemon and a few oregano leaves to nibble.
The discussion continued onto Rosemary, which grows with abundance into a showy bush in the Mediterranean region. Described as piney, pungent, and spicy, Rosemary adds well to meats, poultry, veggies such as eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and beans, along with fresh fruits and baked goods. Here Debbie prepared a lovely Orange Marmalade with Rosemary served alongside American Fruit Bread. The fruit bread was moist and tasty, and included cranberries, raisins, dates, nuts and of course, rosemary.

Thyme was featured in this fabulous casserole; Creamy Mushroom Gravy Scalloped Potatoes. Thyme flavors can range from pungent to spicy, fruity and lemony. It holds well in soups, stews, vegetables, baked goods and cream and cheese sauces. Debbie considers it a multi-purpose herb that works with everything! "Salt, pepper and thyme."

Dessert featured Louisa's Cake, a lovely lemon ricotta cake and Roasted Applesauce with Sage. Sage is a dry earthy flavor, also considered savory, spicy, and perhaps astringent. It blended well with the delicious variety of apples in the applesauce.
We look forward to welcoming Debbie and her culinary talents to our team of presenters for the upcoming new year. Flat breads in March and Grain Bowls in May are a few specialty classes to look forward to when our schedule is updated! Thanks, Debbie. We enjoyed your easy style of presentation, the flavorful combination of delicious Mediterranean herbs, and the abundance of sharing hints and tips regarding using seasonal foods and culinary herbs.

Friday, October 9, 2020


We recently received a beautiful bowl of ripe figs from a friend. In the background of this photo is our fig tree and if you look closely, you can see that our figs are growing, but still very green. As the temperatures continue to drop, there is no way the green figs will be ripe enough for us to enjoy, making this beautiful and tasty gift extra special.
Deciding what creative dish to utilize these beauties was next on the agenda. The internet is a wonderful thing, and a source for many different recipes. I happened upon a relatively easy recipe, and one that consisted of ingredients I had on hand. Fig Preserves: chop a pint of fresh ripe figs (approx. 15 small figs). Place in a stainless steel pan with 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. honey, and 1/2 c. water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, reduce heat and simmer 15 - 25 min. until the mixture reduces and thickens. Remove from heat, cool, and add 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice. Pour into a glass container and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

We have enjoyed serving the fig preserves in the tea room this week. Little miniature tartlets were filled with soft brie and topped with the fresh fig preserves as a savory alongside tea sandwiches. We have also served the fig preserves with sweet cream to be enjoyed with oven fresh English cream scones. What a lovely fall treat with special thanks to DM for this beautiful gift.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Seasonal Tea Cozies

This 'tent' style tea cozy nestles directly over top of your tea pot and will keep the tea warm while you enjoy your favorite brew. We have a wide variety of seasonal tea cozies available in the shop or by mail. This grouping of three cozies, and the mighty oak leaf with acorns below are for a smaller teapot.

It's not too early to think about your Halloween table decor. Designed for a larger teapot, these colorful cozies are sure to add a touch of whimsy to your table and delight all!

Looking for a cozy that will carry you through the fall season, this one surely fills the bill! Soft muted colors with fall flowers and leaves, it will fit over a large 4 - 6 cup teapot.

Thinking of something special for your Thanksgiving table, this large cozy is simply perfect! Or the pumpkins below might be just what you need! Contact Susanna at or stop in the shop to pick out a favorite.