Friday, June 24, 2022

Fort Hunter Mansion & Park - Afternoon Tea

We are fortunate to have the Fort Hunter Mansion and Park located just north of Harrisburg and situated on along the Susquehanna River. Having a history of serving as a war fort and also an exclusive private estate, it is preserved for the public and offers a variety of exhibits, musical programs, and special events throughout the year. Recently, in May, we attended an Afternoon Tea and program coordinated by the Friends of Fort Hunter and held in the stately 1876 Centennial barn.
The barn offers a lovely wide open venue to host a gathering of tea and history buffs. Prior to the Afternoon Tea, there was a program presented by Dr. Donald Koontz on the artistic talents of Violet Oakley (1874 - 1961). This amazing woman was a painter, muralist, illustrator, portraitist, writer, civic leader and advocate for world peace. She was the first female artist commissioned to create murals for the Pennsylvania State Capitol. Dr. Koontz shared the story of these murals (over 40 of them) as they depicted the history of William Penn. His enthusiastic and informative presentation was captivating.

After the program, we found our seating. The colorful centerpieces brought the garden indoors. After the event, we were encouraged to take the bouquets to enjoy at home.

Once seated, tea service began immediately, and a hot pot of English Breakfast tea was presented to each table. Once the tea pots were served, the main plate appeared. It held a generous portion of chicken salad on a crisp romaine lettuce leaf with a few pickles and tomatoes. Sweet heart shaped scones were on the plate along with a French Madelaine, and a frosted sponge cake topped with edible flower petals. Additional scones were offered by the volunteers.
Towards the end of the tea, an ice cream sundae was served to each guest. A sweet ending to a fun afternoon tea.

If you are in the southcentral PA area, the Friends of Fort Hunter typically host an afternoon tea in May and again in early December.

We were fortunate to have Dr. Koontz join us at our table. As we introduced ourselves, he fondly remembered our mother as many years ago he coordinated with her to present adult education programs about herbs and tea at the local community college. 

1 comment:

Marilyn Miller said...

How special to have Dr. Koontz sit with you over tea. What a special tea time. I would love see the paintings of William Penn, an advocate of peace.