Thursday, March 28, 2024

Spring Tea - Chef de Crepe, Camp Hill, PA

The local creperie in Camp Hill, PA, Chef de Crepe has started offering occasional tea time experiences. They featured a holiday tea during December, and recently offered the Spring Tea from the middle of March until the end of the month. Reservations may be made on-line, for either the featured tea, or simply to enjoy their various flavorful crepes from sweet to savory.

A friend and I had their Spring Tea this past Saturday. Hot tea choices included Chamomile, Raspberry, Moroccan Mint, Earl Grey, Decaf Ceylon, Green Tea or Red Rose. As I discovered, the Red Rose is not the traditional black tea found in the supermarkets, but rather Numi Teas White Rose tea with a delicate hint of roses.

The tea is served in pretty pink pots and macaroons are tucked in a bowl served with the tea. Perhaps a subtle lesson in the difference between macaroons (traditional drop cookie made with coconut) and macarons (a French specialty, a sandwich cookie made with almond flour and filled with sweet icing, curd, or jam) as both were served at different times with this tea.

Fellow tea room owners (past and present) enjoyed the unique interpretation of afternoon tea. One of the joys of visiting different establishments that offer Afternoon Tea, or Spring Tea in this case, is that they are never alike. Variations on the theme make the experience fun and enjoyable, and the owners interpretation of taking tea is to be appreciated.
The tiered tray was laden with sandwiches on the bottom and assorted sweets on the middle and top tier. The sandwiches featured Mom's Chicken Salad Croissant and Pop's Salmon Biscuit Sandwich with a creamy dill spread. On the middle tier there was a large slice of New York cheesecake and a Strawberry Belgian Waffle. The top tier held an Italian Puff Pastry Chocolate Braid, assorted Parisian Macarons (chocolate and vanilla), and Tulip shaped Frosted Sugar Cookies.

Nancy (left) of Sweet Remembrances and Janet (right) of Over the Teacup shared tea time on a rainy Saturday in March, and shared many of the tea time sweets with family later in the day.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

TranquilaTea, Waynesboro, PA

A quick trip south (a little under an hour) took us at TranquilaTea Tea Room and Gift Shop in Waynesboro, PA. We enjoyed the Queen's Tea here which includes endless pots of tea, chef's choice of soup or salad, scones, assorted sandwiches, and petite desserts. The tea list is extensive, and the option includes either hot or iced, and no need to commit to one or the other as they will make your first pot hot, and a second glass iced. It was fun to have that option available. 

Several of us selected hot tea to begin, others choose iced. Susanna and I tried the iced Sweet Tea after first having a pot of hot tea. Little warmers keep the tea hot. Sugar syrup is offered as a sweetener for the iced tea.

A tomato bisque soup was the first course served. There are packets of the soup available in the gift shop if you want to recreate the flavors at home. Once the soup was completed, the tiered tray was presented. The bottom plate had two petite scones served with cream and lemon curd. The middle tier held a variety of tea sandwiches described as little bites with lots of flavor, including their signature cucumber sandwich tied with a colorful ribbon. The dessert trio included a chocolate cheesecake (yummy), a tea bread, and chocolate peanut butter layer bars.

We certainly enjoyed our visit at Tranquila Tea. Any opportunity to take tea is a joy. The two young adults in our group had just spent several days navigating Washington, DC, including the metro and various museums. They regaled us with their adventures during tea.

 For tea tea room details, menus, and photos follow the Tranquila Tea Facebook page.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Happy St. Patrick's Day Afternoon Tea

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day in the tea room with our annual tea. The tables were set with cheerful green shamrocks and gold chocolate coins. Shamrocks decorated the tea list and the menu.

The first course was an Emerald Isle Kiwi & Blueberry Salad with fresh zested lemon dressing, topped with blueberries, kiwi pieces, and shredded KerryGold Dubliner Cheese. Various specialty tea offering included Irish Whiskey Cream Tea, Irish Breakfast Tea, Creamy Irish Breakfast, or Shamrocks & Shenanigans Tea. The Shamrocks & Shenanigans tea is a whimsical blend of chocolate strawberry flavor with shamrock candy pieces and ice cream bits. Delicious hot or iced. These specialty teas are still available at The Rosemary House for a limited time.
The sandwich course included Savory Feta Shamrock Sandwich, Blue Cheese & Asparagus Rollup, Good Luck! Goat Cheese Tomato Tartlet, a Top O' the Mornin' Reuben Wrap, Good Cheer! Wee Cottage Pie, and Grannie's Flavorful Sausage Roll. Many of the sandwiches featured were served warm from the oven.
Next up, scones and tea breads which included Orange Marmalade Tea Bread and Luck of the Irish Soda Bread Scone served with Sweet Cream and Lemon Curd alongside fresh orange slices and dried Kiwi pieces.
The dessert medley featured Lucky Leprechaun's Very Minty Trifle, Lad & Lassies Irish Cream Truffle Fudge, and Old Irish Pub Chocolate Guinness Cake. A sweet ending to a festive tea time. Following dessert, we welcomed some step dances from Coyle's School of Irish Dancing. With the upbeat music, the fancy footwork, and energetic stepping, it was an uplifting way to end the day. Sweet Remembrances shared a live video on their Facebook page which can be viewed here.
May you always have
walls for the winds, 
a roof for the rain, 
tea beside the fire, 
laughter to cheer you, 
those you love near you, 
and all your heart might desire.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Miss Pat's Tea Pot Museum

We headed south towards Gettysburg, PA and journeyed to Orrtanna, PA where we visited Mister Ed's Elephant Museum & Candy Emporium. The grounds of this unique destination feature whimsical gardens, an enchanted forest, a talking elephant, and Miss Pat's Tea Pot Museum. The little blue and white out building, in the shape of a tea pot, holds their grandmother's collection of over 200 tea pots.
These tea time trinkets were on the path leading to the museum.
This whimsical wooden hanging greeted you as you entered the museum. Once inside, glass display cases along the back and side walls grab your attention. Tea pots of all shapes and sizes are grouped and displayed for all to share in the collection. From vintage tea pots, to tea for one sets, coupled with children's tea party sets, there is a wide variety of themes and colors represented. We spotted several tea pots that are in our own personal collection, and enjoyed picking out a favorite tea pot or two.

Susanna quickly found her favorite; a bold and colorful tea pot with Snoopy resting in his usual pose atop the dog house roof and Woodstock tucked down along the edge. If you look closely, perhaps you can see Susanna in the background, being transported back in time to her youth when Snoopy held center stage. 

It's hard to capture the teapots behind the glass doors, but I hope you can enjoy some of these photos until you are able to venture to Mister Ed's Elephant Museum & Candy Emporium. Their grandfather's elephant collection now holds 12,000 elephants on display! It's quite a museum. All of the small to medium elephants are inside, behind glass cases. The candy emporium has an amazing variety of sweets of every type; home made fudge, loaded pretzels, roasted peanuts, and chocolate galore. A visit here will satisfy any sweet tooth for a long while!

Monday, February 26, 2024

Wonderland Tea

Earlier in the month we attended the Wonderland Tea at The Willows at Ashcombe Mansion, in Mechanicsburg where they say 'Let's make some Magic'. The 1891 Victorian Queen Anne style mansion has had three owners over its long history. Most recently purchased in 2017, it has been transformed into a destination wedding venue. In addition, a few themed afternoon tea events have been held here, including the Wonderland Tea this February.

The tables are set up throughout the mansion from the Crystal Dining Room to the Moser Dining Room to the Parlor where we were seated. Reservations are taken on-line, and you are able to select where you would prefer to be seated. 

The tea selections included English Breakfast, Early Gray, Country Mint, or Apple Pear. A pot of hot water is brought to the table, and each guest is provided a strainer filled with their tea of choice. Hand crafted coffees and cocktails, or hot chocolate are available at an additional cost. A glass of Champagne was included with the tea.

A menu card on the table lists the tea time treats on the tiered tray. This tea included Smoked Salmon on Pumpernickel, Avocado Toast Bites, Chicken Salad Croissant, Cucumber Fingerlings and Quiche Petite. There was a French Toast Muffin cup served with maple syrup and a Classic English Scone served with clotted cream, lemon curd and blackberry Vanilla jam. The desserts included assorted Petit Fours, and a Macaron Medley.

Alice and The Queen made their appearance visiting each table in the various dining rooms throughout the day, sharing a little banter and offering a moment for photographs. After tea, we were invited to explore all three floors of the mansion, via the winding Victorian-era staircases, admiring the stained glass windows and the fabulous decor in each room. It was indeed a magical way to spend a mid winter afternoon.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

A Valentine's Day Celebration

Happy Valentine's Day! After a two month hiatus, the tea room was a place for celebrating love and friendship. Decorated with a few vintage candy boxes, and place settings with red rosebud napkins, paper hearts, and candy chocolate hearts, the scene was set for an afternoon tea party.

Once tea orders were taken and cups filled with tea, the first course was served. Loves Me, Loves Me Not Herbed Spinach Dip with assorted veggies, crackers, and a turnip shaped heart was served in a petite red cup with small white hearts.

Sandwiches included Be My Valentine! Puff Pastry with Cucumber, Radish, Tomato and Sprouts, Forever Yours Ham Salad Heart's Delight Sandwich, Sweet & Sassy Herbed Party Sandwich on Rye, My True Love's Flavortop Muffin with Pastrami, I Love You Berry Much Strawberry Chicken Salad, and Kiss Me Quick Petite Feta filled Phyllo Cup. Lots of hearts in various sizes and forms adorned the plate.

The scone course included Love me Tender Traditional English Cream Scone (in the shape of a heart) and a Hugs & Kisses glazed Double Chocolate Chip Scone. These were served with Be Mine! Sweet Cream and Strawberry Rhubarb Jam alongside Almond Cream Filled Sweetheart Strawberry and I Only Have Eyes for You Chocolate Topped Strawberry.

The dessert plate featured a Rose by any other name is just as sweet White Cake with a pink rose, Chocolate Lover's Petite Chocolate Cheesecake, and Cupid's Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart. A few jelly bean hearts were on the plate as well. Happy Valentine's Day!

And in the evening, our family celebration always includes a Cheery Cherry Cake. A yummy layered white cake frosted with a smooth creamy icing and topped with sweet cherry pie filling. Our annual treat.