Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Best Kept Secrets Tour - September 22 - October 8

 Join in the fun! The Rosemary House is part of this special event.

What do a chocolate shop, a gourd farm, a tearoom and a purveyor of fine oils and vinegars have in common? They are 4 of the 24 tour stops on the Cumberland County Best Kept Secrets Tour! Cumberland County is full of hidden gems but many of us have not had the chance to explore our own backyard. It is time for a local fall adventure and the Cumberland County Best Kept Secrets Tour is just the event to help you find all the tucked away treasures this county has to offer. Do you know where to find the shop with 55 loose-leaf teas, sugars and local honey or the gallery with it’s own resident fine art carver? A shop with imported UK and Irish groceries? A beautiful bohemian chic boutique? A bottle of famous Sadie’s dressing? The Queen Anne full of good cheer? How about the spot where you can get a freshly made soft pretzel on Thursdays? Where to find fall flowers, pumpkins and gourds? Where to find the largest gourd crafting company in the world? The herb shop celebrating 54 years? Or where “your journey begins with a single stitch”? These spots and many more can be visited during the tour. The Cumberland County Best Kept Secrets Tour runs September 22 thru October 8. Set up like a home or garden tour, you’ll travel place to place, in your own vehicle, enjoying all the special free things (refreshments, games, gifts, demos, workshop tours, raffles, etc.) the businesses have planned for you. Your ticket is valid the entire time—do what you can in a day or tour all the days—it’s up to you. Plus, every business gives you a valuable coupon. Tickets, available at The Rosemary House, are $11 each ($1 per ticket is donated to Bethany House of Cumberland County) and are on sale beginning August 1st in our businesses. So, not only will you enjoy all the surprises throughout the county, you will also be helping a local non-profit and supporting your local economy. What a great way to enjoy the fall season!

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Afternoon Tea with TikTokker Amanda (@matta_of_fact)

Saturday, September 17th offers a very special event that features Royal expert and TikTok commentator Amanda (@matta_of_fact). Fellow Royal watchers are invited to a Meet and Greet Garden Party (10:00 am - 12:00) with light refreshments served in the gardens of The Rosemary House (this is a ticketed event - $5.00). Meet and mingle with Amanda and other fans of Royals during this casual morning gathering. Eventbrite ticket link below.

Afternoon Tea (pre-purchased ticket via Eventbrite required, link below) with a full royal menu served in Sweet Remembrances. Following the tea, Amanda will share her royal watching experience and what her journey has entailed, including some "lessons learned". She will also display her collection of tiaras.

Follow this link for the tea party announcement on TikTok by Amanda.

Menu: (We regret no changes to the menu.)

Sweet Remembrances Lemon Caesar Salad 

Queen Adelaide Ham & Chicken Salad Triangle 
Cucumber & French Style Cheese Spread 
Susie's Garden Herbs & Garlic Vegetable Bar 
Green Apple & Havarti Cheese on Raisin Bread 
Egg Salad & Chives Filled Tartlet 

Oven Fresh Traditional English Cream Scone 
served with sweet cream and raspberry preserves 
Orange Glazed Poppyseed Tea Bread 
Fresh Orange Slices 

Petite Carrot & Pecan Cake 
Rosemary for Remembrance Cookie 
White Cake with Lemon Curd & Coconut Topping 
All Served with bottomless shared pots of tea
Pre-purchase tickets for either special event through the Eventbrite ticket link below. Tickets are required for the Meet and Greet and also the Afternoon Tea Event. Ticket sales end September 10th.

Saturday, September 17

Meet and Greet: 10:00 am - 12:00 
Fee: $5.00 + $1.27 Eventbrite fee
Afternoon Tea Party: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm 
Fee: $48.00 + $3.63 Eventbrite fee

Tiaras and fascinators encouraged!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

17 Berkshire, Memphis, TN - Patisserie and Afternoon Tea

Tucked away in Overton Square in Memphis is 17 Berkshire, a charming patisserie serving home baked French style pastries, macarons, coffee and afternoon tea. The pristine white interior starkly contrasted with the touches of gold décor, both around the patisserie and on the tea table. From the place setting with gold utensils to the golden tiered tray. they had established and achieved their signature look. 

Once seated, we were offered the option to select two tea flavors from their tea varieties. We had a Classic Green Tea and a flavored black. The tiered tray arrived shortly thereafter, laden with traditional tea fare.
The tea sandwich selection featured cucumber with a seasoned spread, a baguette slice with herbed butter, and a triangular turkey sandwich with raspberry jam. The scone selection included their basic cream scone and a petite blueberry scone, both served with a creamy lemon curd. Dessert was presented with a Filled Cream puff with a bittersweet chocolate glaze, one of their macarons, and a small square of decorated white cake.  Back on the road again, tea room vacation visit number three (and sadly, the last one) under our belt.


Friday, August 19, 2022

Nashville Tea Co, A Modern Tea House, Columbia, TN

Our second tea room adventure during summer vacation took us to Columbia, TN and the Nashville Tea Co, A Modern Tea House, billed as old world sophistication wrapped in Southern charm. Located about 40 miles south of Nashville in an old restored shirt factory, now The Factory at Columbia, the tea bar, along with assorted various stores and foodie stops offers a unique destination. 

This bright and airy, casual tea house offers a wide variety of teas along with a seasonal menu. Susanna tried the 'create your own' bubble tea. Nancy selected a herbal blend, The Pink Lady, with sweet apple and roasted carnalized almond notes. David opted for one of their many green tea blends, iced.

This casual style tea house is perfect for a quick lunch stop accompanied with a refreshing choice of tea. We opted for the Herb and Veggi Pasta Salad, the Seasonal Cucumber Sandwich, the Cheese & Herb Quiche made with cheddar, mozzarella, and fresh garden herbs, and the Cumberland Scone, a seasonal scone with blackberry, maple, and sweet maple glaze.

The cucumber sandwich, a perfect summer option featured English cucumbers, gournay cheese, garlic & herbs, cream cheese, mayo & microgreens on artisan bread. It was a hearty cucumber sandwich, quite enjoyable.

This built-in wooden shelf unit featured an assortment of tea blends to purchase.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Draper Tea Garden - Afternoon Tea in VA

A journey south last week included a stop at the Draper Tea Garden in Draper, VA for afternoon tea located within Thee Draper Village. We had the opportunity for a little shopping at the unique shops before our scheduled tea time. The tea room has a large open space with several tables, and tucked off to the side is a much smaller private room with one table. We opted to be seated in the small room.

The tables are set with pretty matching china. In the center of the table is the tea selection for the day. Tea cups held three varieties of tea bags; ginger peach, blueberry sage, and English breakfast. Our hostess offered a tea pot full of hot water, and we were able to select and brew our preferred tea. More hot water was available upon request.

We opted for their 'High Tea' service which they label as a more substantial meal. We were served a large charcuterie board that included a selection of assorted cheeses, fruits, crackers, and relishes. It was a fun and different way to start our tea. Many of the treats on the charcuterie board are available in the gift shops in the complex. We enjoyed a mango cheese that was sweet with the first bite and ended with a little hint of zippiness.
Soup was up next, and it was a thick tomato parmesan soup garnished with a few crackers and cheerfully served in a tea cup.

After we finished dessert, the three tiered tray was placed in the center of the table. It held a host of sandwiches; from cucumber to pimiento cheese, to a veggie croissant along with fruit garnishes. In addition, there were vanilla scones on the top tier with clotted cream and seasonal jelly.

A separate plate was served later, and that held the desserts including shortbread, and an assortment of little cakes laden with cream. The oranges had a chocolate drizzle garnish. And, as if that wasn't enough, a chocolate trifle (cake and whipped cream, with chocolate syrup) served in a petite tea cup was the grand finale.

This was the first tea room stop scheduled for our summer vacation. We had three distinct tea room experiences during this trip. Nashville was our ultimate destination with plans to attend the International Handbell Symposium. The symposium is held every two years, and the location bounces around the world. This year, Nashville, and in two years, Japan. Angelica journeyed down a week earlier with the handbell ringers of the First United Methodist Church to attend the weeklong symposium and prepare for the final concert of the event.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Pickle Mixes! Hot - Dill - Bread & Butter

It's time to harvest that summer crop and turn it into a batch or two or three of refrigerator pickles! And we have the packet mix perfect to accomplish that mission! Order on line: Choose from Bread and Butter Pickle Mix for the person with the sweet tooth in the family. Or perhaps you want original Dill pickles, we have the perfect dill pickle mix too! and if you prefer a little spice in your life, we suggest the Hot Pickle mix. It's zippy, but let it marinate in the fridge a little while, and oh boy, it's hot.

Refrigerator pickles! Quick and easy! No canning. For the Dill Pickle Mix, we like to use a nice variety of veggies from cucumbers, to zucchini, to carrots, onion, and cauliflower. Whatever your garden is producing right now, turn it into Dill Pickles!

When we use the traditional Bread & Butter Pickle Mix we prefer to slice cucumbers and sweet onions. Simply follow the instructions on the packet, mix the prepared spice packet with sugar and vinegar, add your veggies, and wait 24 hours for delicious pickles perfect for your next outdoor gathering or picnic.

The packet of Hot Pickle Mix spices also lends itself to any variety of veggies. cukes, onions, zucchini both green and yellow, carrot rounds, and more. We notice that once the packet of spices is mixed with the sugar and vinegar (recipe on the package), it is first a 'zippy' blend, but let it marinate a week, and it becomes even zippier! For those that like it 'hot', this blend is for you!
These pickle mix packets are available in The Rosemary House and via mail order
You add the veggies, vinegar, and sugar, per the recipe on the package.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Garden Tearoom - Conyngham, PA

Members of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association gathered in The Garden Tearoom in Conyngham, PA for their summer seminar. A lovely vegan inspired welcoming reception greeted members as they arrived from all directions. Hostess and tea room owner Marnie D'Amato, along with her family, welcomed us and poured tea as we savored these scrumptious treats, from fresh fruit to raspberry muffin and an eggless 'quiche' and sweet bread, it was a delicious way to start the morning. 

Members of the association hail from eight different states. Today we had members from PA, NJ, MD, and WV represented. This charming tea room, in northern PA, was the perfect gathering place for our summer event. Following an informative program on the five elements of tea presented by Mark Reinhart of Three Pure Rivers, a studio for the arts, we were treated to A "Very Veggie Garden" Tea. The majority of the menu served included garden veggies and lent itself to a vegan afternoon tea rather nicely. 
The menu announced a hint of things to come. Marnie's attention to detail is evident from the very start of the tea. The veggie menu is printed on a backdrop with carrots. The placemat was full of photos of garden veggies, you can see a glimpse of it under the menu with the potatoes and snap peas.
The afternoon tea began with a 5-Element Salad dressed with white wine vinaigrette and served alongside a chilled carrot and orange soup. A very healthy and refreshing way to start the meal, and a subtle nod to the five elements of tea we had just discussed. Once everyone finished the first course, the tiered tray arrived.

The sandwiches included a Carrot Salad Canape, Mango Salsa in a phyllo cup, Garlic Hummus with Cucumber, and Mahammara (roasted red pepper dip). While the scones featured a Tomato Basil scone with red pepper jelly and a Zucchini Cheddar scone with chive butter. 

The dessert medley included a Chocolate Cupcake, Lavender Shortbread, and a Carrot Cake Truffle. Overall, the menu was notably vegan friendly with the exception of the Zucchini Cheddar Scone and the Lavender Shortbread.  

The tea room is quaint and cozy with lots of royal décor and teapots to be found everywhere. Special thanks to Marnie and Neil D'Amato for their gracious hospitality. The Garden Tearoom is open for special themed occasions scheduled throughout the year. At the start of our summer vacation last year, we were fortunate to enjoy an amazing Strawberry Themed tea while 'on the road'. which we posted here. It's another great example of how Marnie enthusiastically embraces a theme!