Friday, July 3, 2015

The Tea Collection Chocolates

The day Linda and I went to the Royal Tea Room [which I blogged about yesterday] she brought me a gift bag containing a box of handmade tea infused chocolates, from The Tea Collection, and a cute set of tea time linens - a dishcloth, dishtowel, and a microfiber drying mat.  I'm anxious to use the drying mat because I've seen them advertised, and they're much more absorbent than a dish towel.  

But the sweet gift [pun intended], was the box of tea infused chocolates, made in Grand Haven, Michigan.  

Believe me, they're as delicious as they look!

A guide pamphlet was enclosed to describe each chocolate.  So far I've indulged in three. The Creamy Earl Grey in the bottom left corner [my favorite], Almond Oolong [middle bottom], and Peaceful Peninsulas, made from Sri Lankan green tea [bottom right corner].  The top row which I've yet to enjoy, are L-R: Hummingbird Nectar, Heartwarming Cinnamon, and In the Mood. Thank you so much, Linda!

Wishing everyone a Happy 4th of July on Saturday!  God Bless America!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Visit to Royal Tea Room

My friend, Linda, and I hadn't talked since before I went to England, so we recently went to Royal Tea Room to get 'caught up' with each other's news.

Jennifer, the owner [pictured below], has a thriving bakery making Scottish scones, which she says are more cake-like than English scones, and opening the tea room was a natural progression. 

[Photo Courtesy of Facebook Page]

~ Linda and I both ordered Lady Earl Grey tea. ~

~ Two scones comes with tea. ~

~ Broccoli Quiche and Fresh Fruit ~

For local readers, Linda has booked the tea room for Tuesday, August 18th.  Royal Tea Room is located in Roseville, MI.  The cost of the event is $19 per person which includes everything pictured above, or chicken salad in place of quiche, and gratuity.  I will be presenting the program, Celebrating Julia Child.  Julia's birthday is August 15th, and if she were still alive she'd be 103 years old.  If you are interested in attending you can either leave a comment, or e-mail me. 

[Internet Photo]

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A "Somewhere In Time" Tea

If you've been a follower of my blog for awhile, you'll remember that I've blogged about Cristy Bennett's theme teas in East Lansing, Michigan numerous times.  My girlfriend and I went to our first tea of 2015, but our 17th accumulative tea at Cristy's on Saturday, June 13th, where the theme was Somewhere in Time, based on the romantic fantasy film released in 1980.  Filmed at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, it starred Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour.

Mackinac Island is known for its lilacs, and Cristy had just returned from the island's 66th Annual Lilac Festival [June 5-14] - the largest summer event on the island which attracts thousands of tourists.  Cristy combined the Lilac Festival with the film for a beautiful tea.

~ Cristy's cottage style house all decorated for the tea ~

Her front porch always sets the stage for the theme inside.

~ Cristy's tablescapes are always spectacular.  ~

~ Personalized Menu Cards ~

~ Votive of fresh flowers to take home ~

~ Parasol Straws in Water Glasses ~

~ Parasol Centerpieces ~

David [Cristy's husband] gave each guest a hot wash cloth to freshen their hands before the tea began.

The tea began with a glass of sparkling California Chardonnay White Grape Juice, but I forgot to take a picture of it.  It was followed by the 1st course of the tea - a cup of chilled Strawberry Soup, and a Lavender-Lemon Pinwheel Scone with luscious Lemon Curd.  

The 2nd course was a creamed Spinach & Two Cheese Quiche, a Romaine Lettuce Salad with Lavender-Champagne Vinaigrette, and Fresh Fruit Salad.

Dessert was a Chocolate Mini-Bundt Cake with a scoop of Honey-Lavender Ice Cream.  The tea served throughout the meal was Lavender Earl Grey.  Everything was delicious.

Cristy always decorates her home to coordinate with the theme.

~ My girlfriend Lori and Me ~

The tea was a delightful way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and I want to rent Somewhere in Time to refresh my memory.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tiffany's Tea-themed Bridal Shower

My oldest granddaughter's bridal shower was the following Saturday after I returned from Biltmore [May 30th].  Tiffany said she wanted her shower to be tea-themed, but preferred it not to be too frou-frou, so we followed her wishes.

As hostess, Lori, [my daughter] had the biggest responsibility in preparing for the shower, but Tiffany's fiancĂ©'s mother, sisters, and I helped.  It seemed fitting that the shower's color scheme should be Tiffany Blue [the robin egg blue color used by Tiffany & Co., the NYC jewelry company], since the bride-to-be shares the same name.

Below is the shower invitation and recipe cards that were mailed out.  [Each attendee was asked to write out two of their favorite recipes to share with Tiffany and John.]

~ Photo memory board that Lori put together. ~

The night before the shower a group of us went over to the church fellowship hall to set up tables and decorate.

I volunteered to do favors, tea, and scones.  I ordered teapot demitasse spoons, and secured them to a nylon bag with a drawstring.  A Twinings Lady Grey teabag was placed inside each nylon bag .

~ The favors were at each place setting ~

I ordered French Caramel Creme Brulee [a black tea], which is a favorite of Tiffany's. There was also punch and coffee.

Beverage table [below].  I made a tea concentrate the night before the shower, so all I had to do was add hot water the day of the event.  

~ I confess, I purchased blueberry and raspberry scones rather than making them myself. ~

~ There was only one game, and John's sister was in charge of it. ~

~ Prizes ~

~ John's mother and oldest sister did the dessert table. ~

~ Yummy filled cupcakes ~

[L-R:  John, Tiffany, Lori, and Marissa]

[Lori and her two daughters - Tiffany and Marissa]

[L-R:  Me, Tiffany, Lori, and Marissa]

~ Tiffany and John in the buffet line ~

Boneless Breaded Chicken Breast, Farfalle Alfredo, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Green Beans Almondine, Salad and Rolls - Tiffany's favorites.

~ Tiffany and John opening gifts ~

I got them a tea kettle, and a set of four teacups & saucers and luncheon plates in the Blue Willow pattern, since the legend behind the Blue Willow china is a love story [albeit a rather sad one].  I also ordered a 6-cup teapot, creamer and sugar to match, and I'm STILL waiting for them to arrive. They've been on back order since April! 

Every object in the Blue Willow pattern is from the legend, so I printed out a 'key' to help them know the meaning of each object.

~ They're opening the Blue Willow gift below ~

Lori gave them a large basket full of kitchen items [cookbook, gadgets, cleaning supplies, etc.].  I wish I would have photographed it, because among the items were kitchen towels for every holiday of the year.  She planned ahead and purchased the towels throughout 2014. What a great idea!

~ Tiffany's thank-you's coordinated with the shower color scheme ~

And now we wait for the August wedding, which will be here before we know it!