Sunday, October 29, 2023

A Hauntingly Delightful Afternoon Tea

The spiders are out in full force since afternoon tea during the month of October includes two very festive spooky tea time events.

The tables anticipate the arrival of witches, Halloween goblins, and other festively dressed guests. Susanna cleverly coordinates the menu to suit the theme. Tiny black coffins filled with chocolate treats and jelly pumpkins were presented as favors this year.

Once everyone had a pot of properly brewed tea, the first course was served. It featured a savory helping of fresh tasty Entrails. This slaw had everything from apples to craisins, celery to peppers and onions, sunflower seeds and grated carrots, all mixed with a base of red and green cabbage and tossed with a creamy sweet dressing.

The sandwich course included: It's Toasty and it's Cheesy Parmesan Pumpkin, Bare Bones Skull 'n Turkey with parsley & shallot mayonnaise, Pumpkin Butter & Goat Cheese on Pumpkin Bread, Anyone missing an Egg Salad Eyeball?, RIP Pimiento Cheese Coffin on Pumpernickel, and a Magikal Green Eyed Monster. 
The scones included Casper the Friendly Ghost, and the Bermuda Triangle Cinnamon Chip Scone. They were served with sweet cream and raspberry preserves. A serving of sliced granny smith apples with Caramel Apple Dip completed this course.

And for dessert, Have you ever seen a Purple People Eater? 'Tis said they have Gingerbread for Brains. and a Wickedly good Frosted Pumpkin Cookie with a ghost added for good measure.

We certainly encourage everyone to stroll the haunted gardens if they dare, as you never know what you might find out there.

Friday, October 27, 2023

A Birthday Celebration - Afternoon Tea - Our Fair Lady

A Victorian Bed and Breakfast in Bellefonte, PA was our destination to celebrate a special birthday. Angelica has returned to Penn State as a graduate student, and specifically requested an afternoon tea gathering to celebrate her October birthday. There aren't many tea rooms in the northern PA tier, but we were quite happy to discover 'Our Fair Lady', a bed and breakfast in the charming town of Bellefonte that also offers Afternoon Tea. Bellefonte is the county seat of Centre County, and has a historic downtown with a variety of shops to visit and Victorian era architecture to admire.
We were seated in our own private dining area, with a casual place setting. Once settled, we were offered a glass of prosecco, and we happily toasted the birthday girl.

A small bowl of warm potato leek soup was offered next followed by a tasty lemon sorbet in a delicate crystal cup. Our hostess came to the room offering the house blend of tea, refilling our cups as frequently as we desired.

The tiered tray was presented next, and that included a variety of sweets and savories. The bottom tier of sandwiches consisted of chicken salad triangles, cucumber sandwiches, and egg salad on pumpernickel while the top tier held triangular scone sections and a medley of desserts.

The desserts included an apple pastry, a chocolate macaron, strawberry meringue, a chocolate rolled pastry, and a chocolate candy. The other triangle was the blueberry scone.

We had a joyful time celebrating the birthday girl. Bellefonte is a quick drive from Penn State, and any time we can gather around the tea table is always extra special. As October draws to a close, and the end of a month of celebrations, we hope the birthday wishes may all come true.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Vintage Tea Trips, Dublin, Ireland

Afternoon Tea on a vintage double decker bus has been on Nancy's bucket list for years! Ever since it was discovered that this experience happens in London, she has wanted to partake of the adventure. Happily, Vintage Tea Trips in Dublin offers the same opportunity in a 1964 double decker brought in from London, named Katherine, or simply Katie, and affectionately referred to as a 'Biscuit Tin on Wheels'. 

Once we safely stowed the rental car, we wandered our way through narrow streets filled with hoards of tourists to find our destination. The majority of the seating is on the top deck, with an extra fee for the two sections that provide a front row forward facing view. With a gathering of eager tea goers waiting around the bus, we were eventually called by name based upon when you reserved your seat. The place settings were on the tables along with the two tiered tea tray laden with sandwiches and sweet treats.

The two youngest in our party hopped on and settled into the front row seats (only two were available when we made our reservations).

 The sandwiches and desserts were already on the trays and at the tables. We were informed that the scones would be served warm at a later time in our journey. A small efficiency kitchen along with some additional seating comprises the bottom half of the bus.

The sandwich selection included Coronation Chicken Salad, Traditional Egg Mayo, and Ploughman's Pickle Brioche Bun. Scones with Jam & Clotted Cream. and the Dessert medley featured  Lemon & Raspberry tart, Raspberry & Vanilla Choux, and White Chocolate & Raspberry Cremeaux. 

There was a variety of drinks offered, including Barry's Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey, or green tea, coffees, hot chocolate, fruit juices, or bottled water. They were happy to provide as many beverages as you requested. The hot drinks were served in a sturdy covered 'to go' cup with their logo printed on the souvenir cup. 
The warm scones were served from a cloth lined basket, and a hostess followed behind and offered cream for your scone.
Love the twinkly lights in the flower border running the entirety of the bus. Such a festive little touch.

Not the entire time, but periodically a representative would share tales about Dublin and the sites we were seeing. We passed the Guinness factory, went thru Phoenix Park and saw the president's official residence, and passed Trinity Church and admired the grand buildings of Georgian Dublin..

While out and about, we spotted the Vintage Tea Tours bus as it traveled through Phoenix Park. It was an enjoyable adventure, everyone was so pleasant, and the Afternoon Tea and beverages were tasty and filling. And now we have discovered that New York City is also offering Afternoon Tea and Tour on a bus called Tea Around Town. Cross one thing off the bucket list, and something else pops up.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Finding Tea in Ireland

Just some quick glances at tea time discovered during our recent journey to Ireland. This 'Anytime tea/coffee' was right outside the car rental location near the airport. As noted on the sign, it was for 'Diesel Customers only'. No tea for us at this stop. 

Breakfast was guaranteed to have tea of some sort. A good strong black tea, either Bewley's, Barry's Gold, or Lyons. The guest lodgings where we stayed offered the same variety of tea bags to enjoy in your room at any time of the day.

This fun display of tea pots were available for use at breakfast. The hostess prepared a hot breakfast, but there was also a small buffet with fruits, toast, yogurts, and tea.

A quick stop at a tea room in the middle of the country provided a nice respite of tea and cherry scones on a drizzly day. Yum!

At many of the landmarks or castles that we toured. you could usually grab a quick cup of tea or hot chocolate at one of the pop ups. This one proudly announced they had Bewley's available to purchase.

How fun is tea on a bus! So happy we were able to enjoy this adventure in Dublin. Will share more in another post. It was a very memorable experience.

Looking for a tea room in the park? You got it. We found this one in Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland. There were many opportunities to enjoy tea while on this trip, and we tried to partake of them all!