Tuesday, August 25, 2020

A Tea Trio

This classic Noritake China set from Japan with its dainty cluster of assorted blossoms and blue and gold edging is considered a trio. A trio consists of the tea cup and saucer and a slightly larger sandwich/dessert plate, perfect for an Afternoon Tea treat. At the moment, there are several styles of trios available at The Rosemary House to help you enjoy your afternoon tea break in style.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

A Birthday Tea - Manchester Teas & Tarts

A recent birthday celebration was cause for a family journey to the Winters Heritage House Museum in Elizabethtown, PA to attend an Afternoon Tea catered by Manchester Teas & Tarts, where they promote 'A Little Taste of Britain'. Once we were seated, our hostess offered a variety of teas including English, Irish, Welsh, or Scottish (a range of black teas differing in strength and intensity) or several fruit flavored blends were suggested. We each selected our own flavor, and were advised that the pots were endless. Sugar cubes and cream were available on the table.

The beautiful Made in England Royal Albert 'Sweet Violets' bone china place settings matched around the table. The colorful teapots came in various shapes, sizes, and colors. Shortly after we poured our tea, individual tiers arrived for each guest. They quickly filled the table with a delicious variety of afternoon tea treats. The bottom tier held tea sandwiches, two of each variety. There was egg salad, cucumber with cream, and a cheddar chutney mix. The sandwiches were all very fresh and tasty.

English Scones, both plain and with raisins, were served with individual tubs of Devonshire cream, lemon curd, and strawberry jam. The dessert tier held a variety of British pastries from a spiced cake topped with candied orange zest to a sponge cake filled with raspberry jelly and topped with an icing swirl, Cambridge Chocolate Fingers, and a miniature Bakewell Tart.
 The owners/hostesses, Melissa and Michelle proudly presented a tiered tray of lovingly decorated jelly filled cupcakes in celebration of the birthday. What a fun and tasty surprise!
                                      (P.S. The August birthday belongs to the photographer.)

Thursday, August 13, 2020

A Magical Tea at TranquilaTEA Tea Room

We journeyed to Waynesboro, PA last weekend to experience the 4th Annual Waynesboro Wizarding Weekend. Scattered all about town were special crafts for kids, a wand decorating workshop, a demo on the care of magical creatures, potion paint parties, and vendors along Borogon Alley. It was a fun experience with wizards roaming the streets, masks abound, and social distancing maintained. We strolled the streets, avoided overly crowded activities, and shopped some unique stores and antique malls.
What really pulled us to the event was the Magical Tea hosted by TranquilaTEA Tea Room. Seatings for the Magical Tea were set for 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. We opted for the 1 pm tea which allowed us travel time and shopping time before we could sit down and relax for tea. Susanna in her 'muggles' shirt was pleased to see the 'welcome muggles' sign. Angelica in her Hogwarts t-shirt and Gryffindor socks attracted comments from passersby throughout the day. Hedwig greeted us at the door when we entered.

 We thoroughly appreciated all the little touches in decor, both on the tables and in the tea room. They have fun decorating for this event!

 Once we were seated, our hostess provided a scroll that listed the menu for the day, and included a list of suggested teas, Snape's Potions. Each tea represented the Hogwarts Houses; Griffindor was a bold black tea, Ravenclaw was a blackberry, wild and black as a raven's wing while Hufflepuff was a sunny and bright herbal blend and Slytherin was dark and smooth with hints of chocolate, caramel and pecan. We ordered three of the four teas and sampled them all.

The first course was Leaky Cauldron Soup. Warm and tasty, it was a good beginning to our Magical Tea. 

 The three tiered tray was presented in all its glory. The bottom tier held Bathilda Bagshot's Blueberry Scones. A small dish of Lemon Curd and Almond Creme was shared among the table.

 The sandwiches included Professor Sprout's Cucumber  Bites. Note that each little cucumber sandwich is tied with a very thin ribbon - this is a signature sandwich at TranquilaTEA. The long skinny sandwich was Troll Fingers and included a thin spread of strawberry cream cheese, a thin slice of whole wheat bread, and a layer of hot pepper jelly all sandwiched between white bread. Hogwarts Express Chicken Salad Croissant, and Mrs. Weasley's Carrot Cake Tea Sandwich completed the sandwich selection.
The dessert assortment included Butter Beer Bars, Chocolate Peanut Butter Frogs, Authentic Miniature Banoffie Pies, and Pumpkin Pasties. Yum! We certainly had a fun afternoon strolling town experiencing the wizarding weekend, and capping off the adventure with A Magical Tea was the perfect way to forget the din of the world.

Something quite magical and mysterious here... this photo appeared in my camera roll. Not sure who the culprit was that snapped it, but I have my suspicions.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

A Sampling of Spanish Tapas

Special events in the tea room came to a screeching halt with the advent of Covid complete with an across the board shutdown in early March. Mid-June, restaurants in PA were allowed to open at 50% capacity only to be restricted to 25% capacity shortly thereafter. The challenges of being a small business during this global crisis certainly weighs on all entrepreneurs. Many events have been reduced in size, and creativity has become the name of the game. We were excited to be able to present a sampling of Spanish Tapas in early August with seating both inside the tea room and outside under the pavilion. It was a blessing to enjoy a balmy summer evening nestled between two rainy days!
Tapas are small appetizers served in the pubs and casual dining places throughout Spain. They were originally served on small plates that would be placed on top of the beverage as it was carried out to the table. Some Tapas are complimentary in an effort to encourage the purchase of more beer or wine. Several different cookbooks were utilized as a resource for the Tapas recipes. Both the Tapas book and The Food & Wines of Spain were authored by Penelope Casas. They are a great reference for a variety of tapas.

The first course featured a cup of Gazpacho Andaluz with homemade croutons and veggie toppers. This cold tomato soup is typically found in southern Spain where the chilled soup is a welcome relief on hot sunny days. Two types of olives graced the plate - olives marinated in thyme (aceitunas al tomillo) and olives marinated in a spicy blend of herbs influenced by the Moors (aceitunas a la Sevillana). The little puff pastry encased spicy sausage pieces (Chorizo en hojaldre). A glass of chilled Sangria rounded out this course.

The second course included Pincho Moruno or Miniature Moorish Kabobs; pork cubes marinated in a spicy blend of herbs and spices. There was a coleslaw type dish, Ensalada de Repollo that was a mixture of cabbage, green pepper and raisins in a light olive oil and vinegar dressing. Patatas Alioli, a potato salad with homemade garlic mayonnaise completed this dish. 

Ensalada de Pollo, or Chicken Salad was featured in the next course. The chicken salad was made using slow roasted chicken and included apples, pears, celery, and red pepper. Accompanying the chicken salad were Sliced Eggs with a garlic & parsley sauce or Huevos Duros en Alino. Dessert was an Apple Tart, Tarta de Manzana. Angelica Brill presented a program on the food, culture, and customs of Spain. She spoke in between each course, bouncing from inside the tea room to under the pavilion, and included information about each course, her linguistic studies and shared a few Spanish tongue twisters. Don Quixote statuary graced the tables, along with red and yellow carnations representing the colorful Spanish flag.