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Please view our Autumn 2011 Newsletter * for review of

Mercersburg Inn - September 25, 2011
The Tea Trolley - October 13, 2011


Please view our Summer 2011 Newsletter * for review of

The Royal Tea Room - May 21, 2011
Tea on the Tiber - June 25, 2011


Please view our Spring - April 2011 Newsletter * for review of

Tea by Julia Faye - March 26, 2011
Cherry Blossom Cruise and Tea in DC - April 2011


Please view our Winter - January 2011 Newsletter
for review of

Historic Tate Farm Cross and Bluebird Tea Room - October, 2010
Moulin de Paris, a Euro-Asian Bistro - October 23, 2010
Sweet Remembrances - November 13, 2010


Please view our Autumn - October 9, 2010 - Newsletter
for review of

Fifth Annual Covered Dish Tea Luncheon - July 17, 2010
Sinking Springs Herb Farm - August 21, 2010
The Joy Garden - September 11, 2010


Please view our Summer - July 8, 2010 - Newsletter
for review of

Sweet Simplici-Teas - April 10, 2010
Beebe's Tea Room - April 26 & 28, 2010
Lavender Patch B&B - May 15 & 16, 2010
Anna's Tea Room - May 25 & 27, 2010
British Belle Tea Room - June 12, 2010
The Tea Trolly - June 30, 2010


Please view our Spring - April 14, 2010 - Newsletter
for review of

Spring Time Tea at The Front Porch - March 27 and 28, 2010


Please view our Winter - January 23, 2010 - Newsletter
for reviews of

Lavender and Lace Tea Socials with Rose Ortel
Turn of the Century Holiday Tea at June Mumma's


Autumn - October 19, 2009 - Newsletter
for reviews of

The Royal-tea Club’s 4th Annual Covered Dish Luncheon
Higinbotham's Tea Room, Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Sweet Simplici-Tea, Saturday, August 8th, 2009
The Victoria Parlor, Saturday, September 19, 2009



A Review of SUSQUEHANNA MANOR

by Amy Easley

After a long two hour drive, we arrived at a breathtaking Victorian Home that was so welcoming you could not wait to park to see what was inside. The front porch was very inviting with wicker furniture and tables set in such a way to encourage you to sit with your friends and fellowship. I personally just wanted to sit and have a spot of tea on the porch and enjoy the view. It was breathtaking.

Upon arriving, our hostess, club member Diane Tanruther, gave us the option of being served in the Music Room or in the formal Victorian dining room. Both rooms were exquisite and inviting. Prior to beginning our tea, we were able to take a tour of the Manor which offers luxurious and elegant bed and breakfast get-a-way weekends. As you entered the foyer you were immediately drawn to the parquet floor and the magnificent chestnut staircase that led you to elegantly furnished rooms where you could leave the noise and pace of your life outside while you unwind and are pampered in style.

Our tea began by welcoming our new member Jan Myers followed by soothing Blossoms of Spring tea provided by club member Marian Miller of the Lavender Patch Bed and Breakfast. Our servers Brianna, Fred, Alli and Melanie were attentive, knowledgeable, and were as elegant as the tea. We were served orange current and cream scones with red raspberry jam, lemon curd and fresh clotted cream that melted in your mouth! This was followed by a very unique salad of a watermelon square on a green leaf with walnuts, feta and goat cheese, with a dressing of olive oil infused with blood orange and aged balsamic vinegar. It was so refreshing and light, everyone's plate was clean!

Our sandwiches were freshly prepared as follows: cashew chicken salad on a croissant, a pineapple, cream cheese and walnut spread on raisin bread, ham on whole wheat with a cream cheese spread topped with sliced radishes and green onion strips, and the traditional cucumber sandwiches that were heart shaped. Everything was so delicious and went so well with the tea! Everyone was relaxed, enjoying the company of our friends and left our cares outside.

Marian Miller also provided an excellent dessert tea: Lemon Meringue. It was just like having a piece of pie without the calories. It was the BEST! Our desserts were beautifully prepared as we were served a Madeleine, a key lime tart with toasted coconut, and a chocolate shell served with chocolate, strawberry or lemon mousse with a piece of fresh fruit on top.

The door prize was won by Sharon Cuneo. It was a "Happiness" plate donated by Sharon Hart

As an aside, our newest member, Jan Myers, found a wooden handled kaleidoscope with colored jewels that brought back so many childhood memories! Jan was able to "borrow" it from the music room for the members in the formal dining room to enjoy. Judy Dixon was also spotted with the most colorful designer shoes that brighten your face with a smile. They were as elegant as the tea.

All in all, everyone had a delightful, afternoon of excellent tea, delicious food and an elegant atmosphere that made it hard for anyone to want to leave. We left with our bellies full and our minds at peace after such a wonderful tea. If you missed this tea, don't miss it again! Please check out their website as they offer many one of a kind parties, and don't forget to visit Marian Miller at the Lavender Patch Bed and Breakfast.

 

A Review of Reynolds Tavern - May 30 , 2009

by Roxanne Batterden

On Saturday May 30th, the Royal-tea Club traveled to Annapolis for our second tea at Reynolds Tavern. We enjoyed our first group tea here on September 16, 2006 and our return was way past due! We chose a beautiful day to have tea in Annapolis. Many of our club members were sited at the City Dock enjoying the sun, shopping and ice cream, following our ample tea meal.

The delightful servers at Reynolds Tavern served the Colonial High Tea which features the choice between two soup selections, house salad or two quiche selections. I heard reports from many ladies that the crab bisque and salad were delicious! The tea selections were ordered per table and were refilled frequently and quickly.

The first layer of our three tiered server featured light and flaky cranberry scones served with clotted cream and jelly. The second layer was filled with an assortment of mini Shepherd's pies, mushroom

tartlets, traditional cucumber sandwiches on white, egg salad on wheat bread, and ham on white. The tiered server's top layer held a decadent selection of mini desserts and a chocolate dipped strawberry. Many ladies went home with "to go" boxes as the tea fare was quite filling and enjoyed by ALL!

The Tavern gift area features a lovely selection of tea pots and tea cups as well as other tea accouterments and gifts. I went home with a James Saddler teapot featuring a touch of Britain, reminding me of our tea club trip to London and our upcoming voyage to the British Isles!

Our club will return to Reynolds Tavern in the future. As a peek into our club's future plans .... we will be returning to Annapolis for a tour and tea at the Naval Academy on Monday, October 19th. I plan to go to Reynolds Tavern that day to enjoy lunch before our 1:30 PM tour. More information in this newsletter!

 

A Review of Palmdale Cafe in Hershey - May 9 , 2009

by Roxanne Batterden

On Saturday, May 9th, we traveled to Hershey, Pennsylvania to enjoy tea at the Palmdale Cafe, located at 1736 East Chocolate Avenue. This cafe is located in a round building!

Owner and chef, Kathy Boyd, served a unique tea meal. At each place setting we were greeted by a bright pink place card with the following message:

"Refresh".... and rest your weary self ....with a tall glass of our unique fruited punch
"Warm".... your soul with a selection of fresh steeped teas
"Nourish"....your tummy with pleasant tasting sandwiches meant to be eaten with your fingers
"Partake of comfort"....of a cup of zuppa, so warm and tasty it may ....remind you of other simple pleasures in life
"Delight".... In varying sweet light and airy fulfilling and just in time to complete, to make whole ....your perfect day.
"Grateful and Delighted"....we are.... for sharing your valuable day with us. "The Palmdale Staff"

Our tea menu was as follows:

Republic of Tea teas - Excellent selection Fruited tea punch served with blueberries - Refreshing!
Blue Berry Scone with individual servings of clotted cream and ginger jam - Delicious!
Choice of lobster bisque or tomato basil with tortellini croutons - Both were flavorful!
Squash Blossom served with Olive Tapenade - Unique!
Apple Walnut Chicken Salad on Apple Crumb Bread - Yummy!
Tuna on Flat Bread with Melted Cheese - Delicious!
Melon Salad Flambe on greens with Feta cheese, asparagus, candied walnuts with Raspberry Vinaigrette - Divine!
Petit Fours - White with chocolate ganache and spice cake with white icing
Three layer lemon sponge cake
Cinnamon roll with peanut butter icing
Whipped cream with organic flowers

Desserts were all a "sweet" ending to our Palmdale Cafe tea!!

 


Historic Oakland, October 23, 2008

 

A Review of SEVEN OAKS TEA ROOM - April 14, 2009

by Donna Lerew

The Royal-tea Club had two evening teas in April at Seven Oaks Tea Room in Pigeon Hills near Spring Grove, PA. This is a charming tea room located in Deb and Bruce Stambaugh's home. Deb cooks, (with Bruce helping) and Bruce serves wearing white gloves and a colonial style shirt and vest. The menu started with herbal wild raspberry tea and lavender strawberry scones with clotted cream. The salad of greens, including escarole, with dried cranberries, shaved Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinaigrette followed. A barley vegetable soup with kale and garbanzo beans was next. Savories included a sweet potato biscuit with smoked ham, carrot tea sandwich and bacon, tomato, provolone cheese with sundried aioli all garnished with cantaloupe, red grapes and orange slices. Dessert was a poppyseed cake with lemon curd cream and strawberries.

On Tuesday, the 14th, despite the cool, cloudy and wet weather, the tea room was cozy and very relaxing. Everyone enjoyed the tea and left with full tummies. For some, finding the tea room was a challenge - thankfully cell phones came in quite handy as calls were made to the tea room for directions. I later found out that some slid off the driveway into the mud and had a little problem getting "unstuck"!

The Thursday evening tea group had a beautiful spring evening to attend the tea. Both groups enjoyed a wonderful tea with good company. Deb and Bruce were very welcoming and gracious hosts. I am sure many of us will return again to the tea room in Pigeon Hills.

 

A Review of Cafe Chocolate - November 1, 2008

by Amy Easley

The weather was glorious, the town of Lititz so quaint and welcoming that traveling to the Cafe Chocolate for tea was the lemon curd on the top of the scone!! Or actually fresh limes atop an organic key lime dark chocolate cookie crust. Our party was the first seating at 11:00 a.m. From the moment we first entered the tea room, our eyes were greeted by the warm, smiling welcoming faces, the absolute beauty of delectable pastries, chocolates, fruit, and an array of desserts that had everyone drooling before we even made it back to our special seating area.

We were greeted by Dr. Selina Man, our hostess/presenter, and Mr. Larant, his first day as her assistant for an afternoon tea, and all of our friends from the club: Sharon Hart, Roxanne Batterden, Donna Lerew, Phyllis and Joel Clements, Chris Peace, Barbara Kase, Sharon Cuneo, Pat Easter, Betsy Green, Kathy Meacham, Mary Burns, Janiene Shahidi, Ann Shoemaker, our guest, Kathleen McCormick, and myself.

Dr. Selina Man was so gracious and knowledgeable; an expert on tea and its history and the perfect hostess. She was so humble she did not even want to disclose the vast knowledge and education she had obtained around the world. She was born and raised in Hong Kong, enjoying many traditional teas, such as the British style of drinking tea in the afternoon, the Southern Chinese styles, the Japanese tea ceremony, and many Dim Sum teas. Her tea education continued in Canada with her travels throughout Canada, including the far north. Dr. Man came to the states to continue her tea education though extensive travels and tea drinking throughout Asia, specifically, Japan, China and Korea. Formerly in her career she was an international financier and through her travels, she was able to enjoy the art of tea in England, Europe, Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand. Dr. Man obtained her doctorate from Princeton University. She told us her "mid-life crisis" brought her to Lititz, PA to start her own tea room!

Mr. Larant is originally from Holland, is a trained professional ballroom dancer, teaches at his own studio, and competes in worldwide ballroom dancing competitions. Mr. Larant was only too happy to be a host and assist Dr. Man. The tables were decorated with rich colors of orange and mustard yellow colored flowers with beautiful multicolored green leaves. The table was set with square fern colored plates, mustard colored napkins and white round saucers with clear glasses.

Dr. Man was overflowing with such interesting history about teas since the beginning of time. She informed us that only male royalty drank tea and only the Emperor was allowed to wear yellow. Tea was an extravagance and only the rich could afford to purchase the tea. Peoples from all over the country and varying continents would be lured to travel so far for these teas and were believed to have medicinal purposes. The Queen of England has her tea only in original Asian tea ware that includes tiny cups with no handles and a small tea pot to steep the tea.

Tea is the oldest non-alcoholic drink, existing for over 25,000 years. Wine has been drunk for only the last 10,000 years. The Chinese symbol for tea is very similar symbol to that for people. Women were not allowed to drink tea or to eat chocolates until 15,000 year ago and then it was only for the rich and royalty. Teas were used to cleanse the palate so that the taste buds were most effective for tasting both the tea and the flavors of food. Japanese women did not need to wear perfume as they would drink a tea with the scent of flowers or fruit she liked and she would then have that odor breathing through the pores in her body.

Our first tea was a white tea from the plant Camellia Sinensis plant which was served without sugar or milk so that the flavor of the tea was embodied in our taste buds. While we enjoyed the wonderful teas we were served the following savories: organic quiche with leeks and vegan sausage (delicious), vegetable dumpling crisps (out of this world), black rice risotto with shiitake mushroom in tofu puff (almost too beautiful to eat and black rice has the most protein), and Buddhist style meatless Roast Duck. High gluten flour is made into a dough, the "flour" is washed away, and then the meat is pounded into flat pieces of "duck." Even though there was no meat, we were unable to tell the difference.

We enjoyed a green gunpowder tea. It began as black, hard, small rice-shaped pellets. Once water was added, the shells opened and you could see the tiny dark shaped individual tea leaves. The tea was bitter at first to the taste buds, but the more you drank of the tea the sweeter in taste became. Interesting enough, we were informed that the green and white teas reverse the stimulation of our taste buds.

Each table participated in mixing the matcha green tea. This tea was is made from the top 2-3 leaves of the tea plant; the very best, youngest and tenderest leaves that are ground on granite stone to a fine green powder. This fine green powder cost $100.00 an ounce and continues to be used in Japan for tea ceremonies. We were graciously shown how to use a whisk in a ceramic bowl to mix the tea after hot water was added. Once the tea was mixed, the bowl was passed to each guest to drink and wipe of the area that had been touched by his/her lips before passing it to the next guest. This tea contains 70 times the antioxidants of orange juice and nine times the beta carotene of spinach. The tea contains 137 times more EGCG, the most potent cancer fighting green tea anti-oxidant. Other health benefits include increased energy without the caffeine jitters, improved mental alertness and calmness while reducing stress, boosted metabolic rates, lowered blood pressure, powerful anti-aging activity, deceased LDL or bad cholesterol, minimized symptoms of PMS, super immune-boosting activity, and an excellent blood cleanser and detoxifier. This tea has been consumed in Japan for over 1,000 years and was first drunk by Buddhist monks as it was needed to keep them awake and alert for endless hours of mediation and also to keep them calm.

A flowering tea ball was placed at each table in a clear container so that we were able to see the ball opening as it was gently shaken from side to side until the tea ball fell to the bottom of the container. The beautiful flower was open, exposing 5 jasmine flowers, tiger lilies, an orchid and an osmotic flower. The entire process was awe inspiring and the tea was out of this world! The flowered tea ball could be used several more times to prepare tea as it was still very potent. Its' gentleness and beauty were amazing.

The sweets were served and looked too divine to eat. The chocolate dipped mini Madeleine cake melted in your mouth and the Premium 70% dark chocolate truffles left you hungry for more. The organic key lime tart in a deep chocolate cookie crust was delectable, for the finishing touch, we enjoyed a slice of a fresh Asian apple pear. It was absolutely delicious. We learned that the truffle had cocoa equal to 32 Snickers bars! All of the chocolate had 1/4 the carbohydrates of regular chocolate and the 3 oz. of double dark chocolate contained antitoxins equivalent to a 5 oz. glass of red wine. All of the chocolates made at the shop had no artificial colorings, flavors, preservatives, trans fatty acids, no artificial sweeteners and were totally peanut free. What more could any girl want!!!!

This was such an enjoyable, educational experience that tickled your taste buds to the point that you hoped the experience would never end. But it did, and Dr. Man and Mr. Larant made the experience one to be well remembered with fondness; of the hostess, the host, the foods and the teas! If you ever have the chance, this is not an experience you want to miss!

 

A Review of TranquiliTEA - September 20, 2008

by Joann Jennings

What a beautiful day to take a ride through Pennsylvania and Maryland country side to Waynesboro, Pennsylvania on September 20th. The weather was perfect. You couldn't ask for a better day. Most arrived early so they could shop in the lovely tea room. A lot of different gifts, tea gadgets, tea cups, tea jewelry, books, cards, bears, pocketbooks and tea.

This tea was attended by a large crowd. Every table was full. We started with each table getting a white tea pot with Almond and Amaretto and a pink tea pot with Blue Lady tea. Everyone at my table enjoyed the Blue Lady. We were then served a Tomato Bisque soup for our first course. It was served in a small glass flower pot and was delicious. After that, we were served chocolate coconut apricot scones with lemon curd and almond cream. Then came the sandwiches, six or seven to a person. There were carrot raisin on cinnamon swirl, strawberry cream cheese and hot pepper jelly on white and wheat, baby spinach on pumpernickel, egg salad on pumpernickel rye swirl, chicken salad in phyllo cups and a tomato and feta puff.

Last, but not least, came desserts: vanilla chai shortbreads, macaroon cookies dipped in chocolate, and delicious butter bars.

Then there was more shopping and conversations with friends. I didn't hear of anyone going away hungry. I feel everyone had a good time and made it home safe and sound.

'til the next tea party.......

 

A Review of the 3rd Annual Covered Dish Tea - July 19, 2008

by Diane Hughes, Southern Roving Reporter

What a wonderful experience. Once again the Codorus Church of the Brethren was the site of our annual covered dish tea luncheon. The aroma of lavender filled the cool air as guests arrived. Decorations on the tables were lavender filled sachets and hydrangea arrangements with the date and the event on the outside of the box. We do have talented members. I was a lucky member in that I won one of the table decorations and it now graces my office.

Members began arriving about 11:30ish. Everyone got caught up with old and new friends, looked at and bid on the silent auction items, perused and bought books. All told, there were 80+ members attending.

Roxanne Batterden started things off with a rousing game of Getting To Know You. The game involved asking members questions and getting them to sign your game paper. There were thirty questions in all. After a tie-breaker question, the game was won by Diane Frankenfield.

During the luncheon, musical entertainment was provided by Will Stanley and Jason Kram. Will did the lead vocals, aided by Jason on guitar with backup vocals. Jason is Sharon's nephew. Both young men were the only males in attendance and were much admired and fussed over. Be on the look-out for these guys - their star is on the rise. I think Sharon already has them booked for next summer!

The food was . . . WOW! Everything that I tried was wonderful. There were two cold soups: a strawberry and a gazpacho. Perfect for such a hot day. There were salads and meats, deviled eggs and pasta dishes. The desserts were decadent - pies, cakes, cookies, oh, my. If anyone went away hungry, it was their own fault.

Members had been encouraged to bring their own tea cups and there were many lovely settings all around the room. The Club provided tea bags and the two new hot water urns were put to very good use. There was also an iced garden tea brought by Marian Miller and a pink lemonade brought by Sheree Smith.

After the luncheon, Donna Lerew led everyone in a game of Royal-tea Bingo. Prizes of 2009 membership were awarded to Lara Frashure and Patricia Hyman, who were both guests at the event.

During all of this, members kept going back to the silent auction tables and checking their bids and upping the bid, if needed. The last call for bidding was announced and the winners were called. Members were thrilled with their purchases. All in all, $799.50 was raised. This year the money will help to replenish the coffers of the Club.

Sharon presented prizes for the games and thank you gifts to the club and decorating committee members. Helen Henning emceed the door prize drawings. The grand prize was a gift certificate for a stay at Lavender Patch Bed and Breakfast donated by Marian Miller. It was won by Eileen Vogelpohl.

This was another successful event with the Royal-tea Club. Here's to more fun and fellowship next year: good friends, good food, good conversation. What more can you ask for?

Editors Note: Jason and Will will be performing in "Jack is Back" at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg for their Howl-o-Scream September 19th through October 26th.

 

A Review of Ye Olde English Shoppe and Tea Room - June, 28, 2008

by Roxanne Batterden

A Touch of Jolly Old England - On Saturday June 28, 2008, the Royal-tea Club took a trip down memory lane for some. We had tea at Ye Olde English Shoppe in Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Our England travelers felt like they "were home." We were greeted by a portly and proper English butler statue on the porch. The charming gift shop was filled with British food items like digestive biscuits, HP Sauce, and PG Tips tea, as well as pottery made in England. And, the owners, Annette and Carol, had that wonderful, distinctive British accent. There were wonderful paintings of Cotswold cottages, hunting dogs, and other sites of England throughout the three rooms where we took tea.

There were two seatings for the tea, one at 11 AM and one at 2 PM. RTC committee member Donna Lerew served as the hostess for both events. Of interest, there were gentlemen joining their wives at both teas. Our door prize winners were Karen Beveridge and Sheree Smith. They won crystal candleholders and a recipe book, respectively. Both items were donated by Jeany Devese.

The tea fare was much like one might truly experience in England. A "warm from the oven" plain scone and an apple cinnamon walnut scone were served with real clotted cream, thick lemon curd, and strawberry jam. Delicious! We were able to select teas from the limited tea menu. Everyone found a favorite hot tea and iced teas were also available on this hot summer day.

The three tiered servers held abundant food! Each person had two of four, larger than usual, different tea sandwiches: egg salad on wheat, cheese and tomato on white, ham and mustard on white, and salmon with cucumber on wheat. Sweets were lovely to look at and even more delicious to taste! I happen to love lemon so I was very happy! We had round puff pastries filled with lemon curd and fresh cream and a moist iced lemon layer cake. There was also a pastry horn filled with strawberry and cream, drizzled with chocolate, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Yummm. Many to-go boxes went home! The tea room staff was so kind to keep the food boxes in their refrigerators as the Royal-tea ladies enjoyed shopping in Intercourse!

I know I will be returning to this charming tearoom. As a matter of fact, it will become a regular stop when I shop and visit the Lancaster area. If you were unable to make this tea with our club, please call and make reservations when you are in the area.

 

A Review of The Victorian Parlor - June 18, 2008

by Elaine Kohles

On the evening of June 18th our members arrived at the beautiful Victorian Parlor with lots of oohs and aahs. The outside gardens, pond, and gazebo are lovely and serene. Paula and Daryl Senft, the owners, have decorated their tea room in a true Victorian style. A new area in the front of the house has been beautifully done with an antique organ. The fireplace mantel was decorated with florals, peacock feathers, and cascading crystal beads that looked like a waterfall. The rooms we were in are decorated with pictures of Victorian ladies, dolls, hats as well as a gift shop, which we all love. You can even buy the hats, unless they're Paula's favorites. Marion "Madhatter" Coccagna tried every hat on before she bought one. Diane Adams looked adorable in the hat she was convinced to buy.

The food is always exceptional and is one of my favorites. We began with Peach tea. Then there was Ambrosia fruit cup, pasta salad, warm honey buns, cranberry scones, and chocolate fudge brownies to die for, ham and cheese wraps and egg salad with bruschetta sandwiches. There was also a delicious Chicken pasta soup. Dessert was orange cream cake. A wonderful time was had by all and Shirley Smith won the door prize, which was a set of cups and votive candles donated by Linda Smith.

 

A Review of Moulin de Paris - May 12, 2008

by Millie Liberatore

I want to thank Sharon for taking me to this wonderful tea room and Carol Lee Bettendorf for providing our ride. When we arrived we were greeted so cordially by Aina, one of the owners. We were then escorted to our room and seated at a beautiful U-shaped table which allowed us all to see one another as we enjoyed our tea experience. The ambiance with fresh flowers on each individual table and candlelight set the mood for the evening.

We were presented with a tea menu which gave a description of many different teas. Once we selected our choice, a wonderful pot of tea was delivered to each of us. We were given a choice of three different soups which included shrimp coconut, French onion, and chicken noodle. What a wonderful selection! This was followed by their signature mango salad. Oh, how delicious! We were then presented with a three tier of sandwiches and savories, scones and desserts. The savory was a beautiful shrimp cocktail and the sandwiches were apple chicken salad, tuna fish, and ham and cheese on a homemade mini croissant. The desserts were a lemon tart, pecan square, French vanilla raspberry mousse, a meringue, and a chocolate dipped strawberry.

We were so full and had such a wonderful time at this very special tea room.

Editor's Note: We will be scheduling a weekend event here next year so more can attend.

 

A Review of Tea at The Johns Hopkins Club - May 3, 2008

by Roxanne Batterden

The Royal-tea Club was afforded a wonderful glimpse into the venerable The Johns Hopkins Club on Saturday, May 3, 2008. This private university club was the setting for our tea. The colonial style brick building is situated on the beautiful campus of The Johns Hopkins University at 3400 North Charles Street in Baltimore, Maryland. Thanks goes to our honorary member, Shifra Rubin, whose membership in the Hopkins Club allowed us to experience this charming environment.

Our tea was held on the second floor North Lounge. The spacious area featured small groupings of love-seats and chairs around tables and small tables with garden chairs. It exuded old English charm. There were beautiful curtains on open windows which looked out over the trees of the campus. The decor was just charming..... Many of our Royal-tea Club members were dressed for the affair with hats, gloves and tea party dresses. We were a fabulous group!

Donna Lerew and Patty Suchy served as our event hostesses in Sharon Hart's absence. They provided that special welcoming touch and "behind the scenes" work that always occurs to make our teas happen. We had three door prizes for this event which were won by Lois Mintun, Eileen Vogelpohl, and Anna Martin. Suzanne Krause, celebrating her birthday, was given a gift by

The Hopkins Club, a very nice and kind gesture. Lois' door prize was also donated by The Club. Members Patty Suchy and Shirley Smith donated the other prizes.

The tea fare was served buffet style with a separate tea and drink table. We enjoyed Bigelow teas served in a fine tea chest. Our menu featured: large strawberries and grapes; tea sandwiches of salmon, roast beef and horse radish, and black olive and cream cheese prepared on various styles of bread; choice of spinach, broccoli and cheese, and shrimp and cheese mini quiches; Brie cheese with apples en crute served with sliced baguette or ginger cookies; and desserts of mini fruit tarts, mini eclairs, lemon squares and mini cheese cake squares. There was ample food and many of our ladies enjoyed several extra quiches and desserts! Yummm..

This tea was a wonderful opportunity for The Royal-tea Club to enjoy the esteemed and historic The Johns Hopkins Club. It certainly met my expectations. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and many of our attendees.

 

A Review of Anna's Tea Room - April 25, 26, and 27, 2008

by Roxanne Batterden

If you missed the three day tea marathon at Anna's Tearoom the weekend of April 25, 26, and 27, 2008, you sure did miss good company, good tea and even better food!

I was fortunate to join a group of ladies for the Sunday afternoon tea at Anna's. I heard first hand reports that the Friday evening and Saturday afternoon teas were equally as enjoyed by our Royal-tea Club members. I believe this is the first time Sharon has had to arrange three seatings because so many tea enthusiasts wanted to attend.

Brenda and Barry Lucas were the hosts for our teas. As many of you know, it is actually Barry's culinary genius which makes Anna's the special tearoom it is. Brenda supplies the charm and Barry does the cooking!

As we were seated each guest was treated to a cup of welcoming lemon tea and each guest selected a pot of tea to share or not to share! I personally enjoyed the Snowflake tea which is one of my favorites. I also had the opportunity to taste the Walnut Creme. Another lady at our table selected a fruited tea which was a beautiful hue of red.

We were treated to April's menu which included a delicious Springtime salad with a vinaigrette dressing and a savory creme Springtime soup with asparagus. The soup was served with a warm cheddar cheese scone. I adore the savory scones - a nice change from the fruited scones which most tea rooms serve.

We were served our tea sandwiches on individual plates with a parsley sprig. The abundant homemade shrimp salad on French bread was absolutely delicious. The fresh baked pork loin with a cranberry glaze was served on a rosemary scone and tickled my taste buds! The stuffed cranberry with herb cream cheese on whole wheat bread is different than most cucumber sandwiches.

In addition to our savory scone, we were served a warm fruit and nut tea bread accompanied by lemon curd, mock clotted cream and jam. Delicious. The crowning moment was the homemade chocolate mousse dessert served in beautiful stemware.

Everyone left Anna's tearoom full of tea, delicious food, and tea jewelry with promises to return again. I know I will be there very shortly!

And by the way, many thanks from Sharon Hart to Donna Lerew for hosting the Friday evening and Sunday afternoon teas and to Dottie Johnson for welcoming our members on Saturday afternoon.

 

A Review of Gypsy's Tea Room - April 15th, 2008

by Donna Lerew

Gypsy's Tea Room is located in a 1730's farm house originally owned by Mr. Westminster (town founder). He came from England with John Carroll (Carroll County) and at the age of 36 married 19 year old Lydia. The farm house sits on the edge of town surrounded by a large lawn and gardens. The tea room is divided into 4 separate rooms, 2 upstairs and 2 downstairs. It was sometimes a surprise to find someone was present since we only saw them at the end of the tea.

We sampled three teas - Countess Grey (orange, spice and bergamot), Gypsy house blend (raspberry vanilla decaf) and Good Hope (vanilla rooibos). Menu for the tea was minted pea soup, lemon scone with raspberry jam and clotted cream, three-tier tray of savories and sweets which included cucumber sandwiches, cheddar-almond-olive spread on French bread topped with sprouts, roast beef on whole grain, shrimp butter on whole wheat, fresh fruit, strawberry parfait trifle, white chocolate covered spice cake bon bon, and a chocolate dipped butter cookie. The final offering was a berry-berry sorbet topped with a violet.

There is also a gift shop with books, tea accessories and all the teas served by the tea room. Many tea club members were seen carrying purchases. A lovely tea in a beautiful setting.

 


Susan Gloecker, one of our California members
at The Pink Bicycle, March 29, 2008.

A Review of The Pink Bicycle Tea Room - March 29th, 2008

by Barbara Zinn

On March 29th thirty-five members and guests traveled to Historic Occoquan, Virginia for "The Queen's Tea" at The Pink Bicycle Tea Room. It was a cool, sunny day but the signs of spring were very present especially after traveling south and crossing into the state of Virginia. We were represented by six states; Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia and California. Four of our guests enjoyed themselves so much that, before heading home, they decided to join our club. Two ladies from California also joined us for tea. They travel to areas they have not been to before, and Virginia was chosen for their recent trip. One of these lovely ladies, Susan Gloeckler, brought each one of us a small bag of loose tea. What a nice gift! We also had the pleasure of having four gentlemen join us at this tea.

Our first course started with our first selection of tea, a sugar caramel oolong. This tea consisted of premium green oolong leaves, tightly rolled and infused with sweet essences of rich caramel and burnt sugar. We then had our choice of roasted red pepper tomato bisque soup or spring greens with Lisa's zippy tomato basil dressing.

The second course was strawberry or pecan and white chocolate scones with Devonshire cream and strawberry jam. The choice of tea was a South Pacific delicacy of long, green leaves with the subtle nectar of young coconut instilling a tropical sweetness.

Our third course consisted of English cucumber sandwiches, Lisa's mango chutney chicken salad on cinnamon raisin bread, turkey with basil pesto, tomato on sourdough, salmon mousse, pineapple pecan cheese spread on crackers and fresh fruit. The desserts were chocolate covered strawberries and triple chocolate brownies with cheesecake. The third tea was Ceylon from the Shawlands with long crisp, dried leaves, dark brown with tawny tips. This excellent food was enjoyed by everyone.

Linda Day was the winner of the door prize, a tea pot night light. Linda will be opening a tea room in Cumberland, MD in the near future. Congratulations Linda on winning the door prize and best wishes with your tea room.

What a delightful day! Being a *newer* member of the club I feel so blessed to have met so many wonderful people and to be a part of the Royal-tea Club. I look forward to seeing all of you again....soon.

 


Cheryl Schroeder wins one of the door prizes
at the first of our two Christmas Teas,
Sweet Remembrances, Mechanicsburg, PA, December 8, 2007.

 
A Review of Sweet Remembrances Tea Room - December 8, 2007

by Cheryl Schroeder

On December 8th we had the pleasure of visiting Sweet Remembrances Tea Room in Mechanicsburg, Pa. It lived up to its name. From the moment you crossed the threshold you were taken back to days passed. I observed many others besides my friends looking at all the displays and commenting on things saying, “I remember that from when I was younger.” Or “ My grandmother or mother had one of those.”

The tables were adorned with their Christmas finery. We enjoyed looking at the different Christmas patterns of the teacups and saucers.

Our first taste of tea was a selection chosen by our hostess. Each table was given a steaming pot of a holiday blend tea. My table received Sugar Plum Cinnamon, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We then received Apple Salad, followed by tea sandwiches. The Artichoke Cheese Triangles seemed to receive the most compliments. The pastry was flaky and it just seemed to melt in your mouth. The next favorite was the Sweet and Savory on Pumpernickel bread. We found this sandwich to be the one that we tried to figure out the ingredients, because of the pleasant blend of flavors. We were also given a Cucumber Sandwich, Ham Salad in Phyllo, and Veggie Confetti with French Style Cheese Spread Sandwich. All were very tasty.

The next course to be served was an eye appealing scone plate. It consisted of a Traditional English Cream Scone and a Cinnamon Chip Scones. Our plate was adorned with fresh fruit, cream, jelly and lemon curd. The Cinnamon Chip Scone for me brought back memories of my childhood when my dad would pop cinnamon buns in the oven. The smell would drift its way upstairs where we would be getting dressed.

Of course everyone saved room for the dessert plate. Chocolate Velvet Cheesecake, Egg Nog Cream Puffs, and Toffee Studded Snickerdoodles; what more can I say! Looking around the room and listening to the laughter and light conversation anyone that walked in could tell that all had a good time. Upon leaving there were wishes of Merry Christmas and Happy New Years abound.

 

A Review of The Rose Room Tea Parlor - November 19, 2007

by Kathryn McClung

On Monday night, November 19th, our Tea Club had tea at The Rose Tea Parlor in Gettysburg. Judy, the owner, graciously greeted everyone. Two beautiful chandeliers lit up the room while the white lace curtains set the Victorian mood. The walls were done in a pretty pink color and each table was set with a beautiful tablecloth and a white lace tablecloth was draped over it. Each table had different tea cups which were exquisite.

We were given a tea menu and the teas I chose were very good. I had the English Toffee which had a smooth subtle buttery caramel taste and my second pot of tea was the Hampton Court which was very good. Butternut Squash Soup was served first. I have to say it was the best Butternut Squash soup that I have ever tasted. The Pumpkin Ginger Scones were very good and they were served along with clotted cream. Next a three tiered tray was brought out. On it was asparagus, ham and cheese wrapped in phyllo dough which was delicious, foccacia bread with tomato and melted mozzarella cheese and a pesto spread, toasted rye with roast beef topped with caramelized onions, turkey with parmesan butter and spinach on white. The desserts were Amaretto mousse in a chocolate covered phyllo cup, apple cake, pumpkin cheesecake with a gingerbread crust and chewy nougat bars. We had a lovely time.

 

A Review of Over The Teacup

by Becki Lorden

We had a beautiful fall day to travel to Camp Hill, PA to a quaint little teahouse that held approximately forty of our members. The trees were as colorful as the array of women who were about to share the afternoon over tea. Upon our arrival we were met by a delightful group of men and women from the Jane Austen Society. Before the tea began to flow, Sharon Hart had a few announcements to make to our group.

Next, owner Janet Young welcomed us to her teahouse and presented each of us with a crocheted angel ornament. She and the others serving were completely delightful and more than accommodating. Then, the teapots began to pour and didn't stop until we could drink no more. Over the course of the day we enjoyed four different teas: Ginger Peach, Petals and Fruits, Flowers and Fruits, and Pumpkin Spice. Each tea had it's own distinct flavor and we enjoyed them all.

Course one consisted of a delectable cold pear soup. It was thick, smooth, and so sweet that I thought we were beginning with dessert. Course two came. It was a platter with a menagerie of finger sandwiches. They consisted of a cucumber sandwich, a carrots and ginger sandwich, a croissant with ham salad, cranberry orange tea bread with a pear filling, and my personal favorite, the onion/pineapple crostini. Our final course was a delicious variety of desserts that came with an incredible cranberry scone served warm with clotted cream and jam. The desserts were stuffed dates, decadent rum balls, and a sweet banana pound cake.

Members of the Jane Austen Society entertained us while we were enjoying our teas and delicacies. They were dressed in period costume and shared information about Jane Austen and their organization. To finish off a perfectly wonderful afternoon, many of us browsed and made purchases in the darling little gift shop. There was a great variety of merchandise and the prices were more than reasonable. In my opinion Over the Teacup was "over the top" and I can't wait to go back for another visit

 

A Review of Seven Oaks Tea Room - October 23, 2007

by Lois Mintun

On Tuesday, October 23 we enjoyed High Tea at Seven Oaks, which is tucked away in the Pigeon Hills. Despite the warm temperature outside, the porch and tearoom was transformed into a fall wonderland with leaves, pumpkins and tiny white lights. The tea began with dried pear with ginger scones served with Devonshire cream. Tea was a fragrant, tantalizing cranberry-apple with a touch of cinnamon. A crisp salad of greens and assorted vegetables was served with a Chiffonade salad dressing and was prepared by our server Bruce. The next course consisted of fresh cauliflower soup, made with purple cauliflower. The taste was delicate and delicious. Thin slices of kiwi fruit, cantaloupe and grapes were served on a beautiful fine china plate, which belonged to their great-grandmother. A beautiful antique picture of the great-grandparents hung on the wall. Our tea sandwiches included a fresh tomato basil biscuit, lightly buttered and filled with thinly sliced smoked ham, a home-made cheddar cheese cracker spread with red onion and marmalade, and a vegetarian caviar, which we correctly guessed as being eggplant. Dessert was a pumpkin Bundt cake with a warm, walnut glaze served with vanilla ice cream.

The room in which we were seated was added to the original house, before they envisioned a tearoom. The beautiful polished floorboards were made from wood that was rejected casket bottoms.

This was my third visit to Seven Oaks and some members from the previous club (Editor's note - The Queen's Tea Club, now disbanded) may remember the balcony above the doorway where we were entertained by family members, in costume, performing Romeo and Juliet and the famous soliloquy recited from the balcony. This tearoom is worth several visits for its ambiance and delicious food.

 

A Review of Serenity Tea Room - October 6, 2007

by Ann-Margaret Arnold

On October 6th, The Royal-tea Club journeyed to Frederick, Maryland to take tea at the Serenity Tea Room. What a charming town Frederick is! There just happened to be a fall festival taking place that day so the streets were abuzz with people, and it was the perfect setting for a fall teatime. After a few minutes of peeking in the window of this charming tea room, the door opened and we were welcomed in by one of the hostesses. Tea times with the club are always a treat, as they are a perfect time for catching up with friends and sometimes meeting new ones. The room was soon filled with laughter, warm hellos, and lots of oohs and aahs as everyone enjoyed looking at the pretty teatime pictures, dainty teacups, and charming decor of the tea room. As we began to find our seats, Blanch Henry, the owner of the tea room came in to welcome us and let us know they would soon begin serving tea. We were given tea menus with a wonderful selection of black, green, white, and herbal teas to choose from. One would soon discover that this would be a difficult decision, as there were so many tempting teas from which to make a selection. I chose the Blood Orange black tea and was simply tealighted with my choice! The warm flavor of fresh oranges was truly a cup to savor! Everyone had a unique teacup so we all enjoyed chatting about the pretty patterns and styles of each one. Ah, soon it was time for the presentation of the three tiered tea trays, each adorned with beautiful treats. Just like children anticipating opening a special gift, we all eagerly eyed the decorative trays as they were placed on the tables. Now, just what shall we try first? The English golden raisin scones seemed to be the first treat of choice. And, with homemade fresh fruit jams or lemon curd, they were simply delicious, especially when topped with a dollop of clotted cream! Our savories included egg salad sandwiches, cashew chicken salad in pastry shells, and cucumber finger sandwiches. As delicious as these goodies were, we could not wait to try the sweet treats. My favorite was the fruit tart. A dainty pastry shell filled with a delightful creamy filling and topped with fresh fruit*just the right amount of sweetness! Homemade tea cakes in the shape of teapots added a whimsical touch to the tea tray, and the chocolate covered strawberries were simply decadent! I saved mine 'til last, and it was the finishing touch to a truly enchanting teatime! Once we finished those last few sips of tea, we enjoyed perusing the tea shop which was filled with a variety of teas, teatime accessories, and unique gifts. Blanch answered various questions regarding the teas and other products, and her love for teatime was obvious as we chatted with her and experienced her warm personality. With the assistance of her family, she made the afternoon one to remember. Our visit to Serenity Tea Room was the perfect respite from the busy fall season. After an afternoon of tea and friendship, one cannot help but feel refreshed and ready for the days ahead!

 

A Review of Anna's Tea Room

by Bernie Taylor

A gloomy summer evening was turned into an amazingly memorable event at Anna's Tea Room in Glen Rock. This was my first dinnertime tea. I did not know what to expect, however, I was delightfully surprised.

The evening started with Roni Dunford winning the door prize of a British Tea Book donated by Patty Suchy. Next, each of us chose a tea for the evening from a list of over 20 different flavors. We had our tea delivered to us in the most beautiful tea pots ranging from a tea pot in the shape of a piano to others in the shape of houses and even a fisherman going fishing.

Our first course was the Presidential Salad known as a favorite of President Eisenhower. It consisted of lettuce, spinach, fruit, peppers and a delicious country French dressing. Our salad was followed by mouth-watering cream of crab soup with soft cheese-pizza scones. Our main course was beef tenderloin mini sandwiches on rye bread with a horseradish sauce and fancy plum tomatoes topped with herb cream cheese and bacon bits.

At this point I was ready for my dessert, but to my surprise, dessert was not next on the menu. We were served huge succulent shrimp cocktail. Some of the shrimp were quite feisty. I believe I saw one of them jump out of Justine Gonshor's hand almost hitting Suzanne Krause in the eye. Just kidding! I was lucky I had not eaten much that day because I could never have finished eating all this wonderful food. Many of us took home doggy bags.

Dessert came next - strawberries with clotted cream and apricot filled scones. They were the best! I was ready to call it an evening when out from the kitchen came fruity caramelized custard. I don't ever remember eating a more delicious dessert!!

In addition to the scrumptious food, we had the company of great friends in a beautiful home. Thank you to everyone for a fantastic evening!

 

A Review of Piccadilly's - September 18, 2007

by Cindy Fischer

On Tuesday, September 18th, members of the Royal-tea Club gathered at Piccadilly's Tea Room in Taneytown, MD. for an afternoon of tea and fellowship. Upon entering the tea room you couldn't help but be drawn to the many unique gifts offered as we made our way to the tables, each beautifully decorated with Royal Albert china. Prior to the tea, members were greeted by Sharon as name tags were handed out and announcements were made. We were then able to select our own flavor of tea from a wide range of assortments.

As we waited for tea some browsed again at the gift wares while others conversed at their tables. It was a long wait for tea and unfortunately, the tea was weak, but our group was large. To start, we were served a most delicious bowl of butternut squash soup followed by white chocolate raspberry scones. We then enjoyed a salad. The next to follow was our sandwiches, fruit and desserts served on the traditional three tiered holder. Finger sandwiches included egg salad, cucumber, crab melts and delightful turkey wraps. Fresh strawberries and grapes were accompanied with imported English apricot white Stilton cheese. Then, of course, the desserts which included Boston creme puffs, shortbread, double chocolate truffles and apple turnovers. It was a wonderful time of food, friendship and fun. Maybe just a little overwhelming as there were only two overworked servers and 40 of us. To sum it up, Piccadilly's was delightfully decorated and the food was good. Maybe in smaller numbers it could be more pleasantly inviting.

 

 


Carolyn Troy and Suzanne Krause have a cuppa
while at Crown and Thistle, Sparks MD, August 11. 2007

 

A Review of Crown and Thistle Tea Room - August 11, 2007

by Mary Burns

We had a lovely warm day to travel to Sparks, MD. to enjoy an afternoon tea at The Crown and Thistle Tea Room. Upon entering the tea room a wonderful baking aroma tantalized our senses. We couldn't wait to taste the food! The establishment is divided into two rooms - to the left is the Scottish Room which is surrounded by beautiful murals of castles, lochs and glens and to the right is the Garden Room with walls adorned with hand painted magnolia flowers, birds and butterflies amid tree vines. Such a warm and inviting atmosphere. Our group of six decided to have our afternoon tea in the Garden Room. The tables were set with beautiful floral china and silverware, cloth napkins and fresh flowers. After being seated we were greeted by our server, Dawn, who was delightful and very accommodating. She explained the tea menu which consisted of white, green and black teas as well as herbal varieties. Our group ordered Mint Julep Tea made of spearmint , peppermint and raspberry leaves and also Peach Melba Tea made of peach, vanilla and raspberry leaves. My favorite was the Mint Julep . . . no, not an alcoholic drink . . . rather a very fragrant, delicious minty tea.

Our first course was a choice of either cold cucumber soup with fresh dill or tomato bisque. I tried the cucumber soup which was very yummy. Next we were served a spring salad mix with pinenuts, dried cranberries, blue cheese and raspberry vinaigrette dressing which drew favorable comments from our group. After quite a wait, a three-tiered dish arrived at our table filled with kiwi and strawberries, crab balls, fruit and Scottish cream scones, lemon tarts with blueberries, tea cookies, various tea sandwiches and scrumptious chocolate peanut butter truffles. The amount of food was so copious that several of us left with take home containers.

The tea room also has a small gift shop full of beautiful tea-related items. You can also order tea from the tea menu consisting of approximately 70 varieties. The owner, Jennifer, introduced herself to all of the club members adding a personal touch to our visit. Thank You to Phyllis and Joel Clements for donating the scented jarred candle door prize won by Lorraine Loverde.

What a wonderful afternoon spent enjoying laughter with friends, a warm and inviting atmosphere, delicious food ,and of course, delectable teas for all of us " tea lovers".

 

A Review of Second Annual Covered Dish Tea Luncheon - July 21, 2007

by Sandy Guilbeaux

What a WONDERFUL tea luncheon !! As we arrived at the Codorus Church of The Brethren, a smiling Sharon, greeted 74 Royal-tea members and guests. The decorations and treats on the tables by the decorating committee were very creative and appreciated by everyone. While members were arriving we all had an opportunity to meet new friends, see friends that have recently attended a Royal-tea Club event together and members that hadn't seen each other for awhile were happy to meet again with a lot of friendly chat, which was a very fabulous beginning to this wonderful luncheon. Everyone was very interested in the fabulous silent auction set up by Shirley Smith. It included her donations of a Red Hat collection with over 2 dozen red and purple hats from a mini tea set hat to a Christmas decorated hat, hat boxes, jewelry, clothes plus much more. Also other members were very generous with donations of tea sets, gift baskets, and many other fabulous items. The silent auction bidding began .... While we arrived and through the luncheon, Donna Lerew was definitely a most thoughtful member to keep all of us happy with plenty of iced tea, hot water, a large selection of tea bags plus lavender sugar, fresh mint, lemons everything for a great "cuppa" iced or hot tea. The delicious looking food kept coming. Wow, can our members cook! I am looking forward to the cookbook completion. We settled in after chatting and played a "Getting To Know You" game which was a lot of fun asking questions to other members and getting them to sign your game paper. We had four winners with the most signatures. We all enjoyed meeting and learning about our new friends. The silent auction bidding continues on throughout the luncheon with lots of excitement about the many items.

Then we enjoyed the lovely and delicious buffet that all our members prepared. Everything I was able to try was delicious !! When we were all finished eating, we played a game of Royal-tea Bingo which was a neat bingo game. Sharon gave out prizes for the games, door prizes, and gifts to the Decorating Committee and Club Committee members.

The last call for bidding was announced and the silent auction winners were all thrilled to have won their item(s). The auction was very successful and great fun. A portion of the proceeds was donated to a charitable organization, New Life for Girls, which is a Christian, residential rehabilitation program for troubled girls and women. The Royal-tea Club donated $700.69 to New Life For Girls .......WOW... what a wonderful group the Royal-tea Club is to be able to help others !!! As we departed there were many Happy Royal-tea members who had an EXCELLENT time at the Second Annual Covered Dish Tea Luncheon !!!!

 


Something must be interesting for
Roni Dunford, Donna Lerew, Roxanne Batterden and Barbara Mazol
while at The Lady Bug Tea Room, East Berlin, PA, July 11, 2007.

 
A Review of The Lady Bug Tea Room - July 11, 2007

by Patty Suchy

Charming ambience, great food and pleasant company -- that to me is a perfect tea. And that's what the club members experienced at the newly opened Lady Bug Tea Room. Owners Millie and Don Liberatore take great pride in what they've accomplished in the last year. First they purchased a lovely red brick 101 year old Victorian (which they've also made their home). And the restoration was a long and grand family affair -- with their niece, a restoration expert, offering advice. Their efforts brought many surprises -- including taking up over 3500 pounds of all kinds of flooring and finding a hidden staircase and door. The wrap around porch with wicker furniture is a grand invitation to the tea room, which is located on the ground floor. Garden tables and seating are also available. Period furniture tables occupy the two main rooms. I like the idea that when you come to tea, you might be sitting with others (although there are tables for small parties as well). A large hutch occupies one of the walls and is the housing for the many teapots and tea cups you get to choose for your tea. I loved the fact that we each had our own tea pot with a cozy. And our inventive napkins were handkerchiefs reminiscent of years gone by.

Our high tea was typical of the four course teas served Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM each week. The cost is $18.95 plus tax/tip. Of course the tea room handles private parties as well. The tea started with a selection of one of the many home blended teas done by Millie -- all named after family members. I had Captain Joe's made from two kinds of black tea leaves, marigold petals, and Sri Lanka. Around ten teas make up the basic selection, and Millie is often adding something special for the day -- that night an apple honey iced tea was offered. And herbal varieties are offered - for example, the Lady Kristin made from blackberry and marshmallow leaves and peppermint -- or the Bossy Boots Louise tea made with calendula and red clover, lemon balm, and lavender flowers. Now for the food, which Millie takes great pride in because it is all homemade and often comes from her garden. The first course consisted of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres -- ours included a fruit kabob, chicken salad in a plum tomato, homemade cracker with bacon wrap, and a bread crisp with gorgonzola and honey.

Then came the soup. We had a choice of Great Grandma's chicken soup or cream of vegetable. Our scones this evening were date and accompanied with Millie's homemade clotted cream and jams. The mixed garden salad followed with, of course, homemade vinaigrette. And no tea would be complete without a lovely selection of desserts. Millie didn't disappoint us there. A selection was offered including lady bug Linzer cookies with raspberry icing to chocolate cups with raspberry and blueberry filling. Our sweet tooth was certainly satisfied. So if you were unable to join us at this Royal - tea event and are looking for a new tea experience, head to the Lady Bug Tea Room in East Berlin Pennsylvania.

 

A Review of Apple Blossom Tea Room - June 26, 2007

by Roxanne Batterden

It was a hot and humid Summer evening on Monday, June 26th in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania as the Royal-tea-ers enjoyed our evening tea at Apple Blossoms. It was so hot that no one opted to take tea on the very inviting porch!

Brandi Bolger and her "serving crew" were very sensitive to the high outdoor temperatures and served us un-ending glasses of Briar Patch iced tea. This delicious raspberry mint tea satisfied our thirsts! Our second cold drink option was yummy pink lemonade which tasted as good as it looked in the crystal pitcher! A few tea "purists" selected a hot tea from Apple Blossom's tea menu. Our evening tea fare started out with our fresh from the oven black cherry and white chocolate chip scones served with Devonshire cream, cherry preserves and apple jelly. Then came fresh salad made with spinach leaves topped with fresh strawberries, blue berries, almond slivers and crumbled blue cheese. The surprise dressing, pomegranate vinaigrette, provided a punch of delicious flavor. Yummy!

We were served a delicious cold orange-melon soup. The flavorful soup was refreshing and a perfect taste treat for a Summer's eve tea.

The featured tea sandwiches were a cucumber and cream cheese on white with a skewered olive, a spicy chicken and grape salad in pastry shell, and pimento cheese on pumpernickel rye swirl bread. The sandwich tier of the server was garnished with radishes - a spot of color!

Most of our ladies were so full that desserts went home to eat! Not me! My palate required immediate satisfaction! The moist and tasty Apple Blossom apple cake was topped with powdered sugar. The chocolate peanut butter loaf slice was delicious and the raspberry chocolate bar tickled the taste buds!

Brandi has contacted us with sincere apologies for the air conditioning not working properly that evening. It has since been repaired and she invites all back another time with $2.00 off an item from the menu or gift shop.

 

A Review of Lavender Patch - June 9 and 10, 2007

by Jill Euclide

Saturday, June 9, 2007, was a perfect day to revisit the Lavender Patch B & B. Run by fellow club member, Marian Miller, we experienced some additional special touches. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Sharon and some cool mint tea to sip outside in the beautiful gardens. The day was complete with a cool breeze and bright sunshine, making it perfect for observing the rolling hills, flowers, and herb gardens. We were then led as a group to the dining room, complete with curio cabinets displaying various tea pots and saucers, as well as a view of the Lavender Patch*s grounds.

Some of us were lucky enough to be served on china edged in an ornate strawberry pattern. Each plate was decorated with a tussy mussy, a bouquet of wildflowers picked by our hostess (and a few helpers) along the roadside! These were our favors from Marian. She should take up floral arranging as more than just a hobby! After sitting, Marian explained the menu and introduced her granddaughter and friends who would be serving us our tea and other edible delights. The girls* outfits were complete with beautiful aprons and white gloves, and they were impressively professional in serving all of us.

Our plates were adorned with a chilled peach soup in wine glasses. While we savored the soothing peach flavors, we were served lavender scones with Devonshire cr*me and lemon curd. Marian explained that she uses many herbs grown in her garden when creating recipes for her guests. A flavorful hot blueberry tea was served. Subtle in its blueberry overtones, it was not overpowering and proved to be a complementary rather than primary taste and did not compete with the various flavors offered to our palates. The scones were followed with cucumber sandwiches with mint butter, Waldorf tea sandwiches as well as turkey roll ups. Conversation flowed easily at the three tables, and laughter floated across the room as we enjoyed the many delicacies offered to us.

And of course, the best was saved for last: Dessert! Ginger bread fingers with orange filling, forest brownies with raspberry cr*me, cream puffs, and chocolate cups filled with raspberry cr*me were passed around the tables. I think our table savored the look of the desserts arranged on a tiered glass server, as we took a picture of it before digging in! One after another sweet treat was truly savored; conversation was temporarily halted, replaced by sighs of contentment and advice over which of the desserts to save for last. Our table couldn*t stop oohing and ahhing over the chocolates with raspberry cr*me! Marian had a special treat for us as well: strawberry Bavarian torte. Made with angel food cake and fresh strawberries, it was light and refreshing, a perfect end to a lovely dining experience. (Editor's Note: Look for the recipe in this newsletter.)

Lucky for us, the day wasn*t over yet! Marian surprised us with a guest speaker, Vera, who spoke on fanology, the study of fans. Vera had much interesting information for all of us of the history of fans and their many purposes, flirting among them! She then showed us her collection of fans, the Cambodian hat fan being among the favorites. Our afternoon concluded with an invitation to see the rooms as well as to spend more time in the gardens. It was a delightful end to a delightful day! Thank you, Marian!

 

A Review of Skipjack Martha Lewis Sail and Tea - May 19, 2007

by Patricia Cumori

What a wonderful day for a tea on the water. On Saturday May 19th the Royal Tea Club traveled to Havre de Grace, Maryland to board the Skipjack Martha Lewis, owned by the Chesapeake Heritage Conservancy, Inc. It was a beautiful day with blue skies and sun. Some may have gotten a little red.

The Martha Lewis is a V-bottom, two sail skipjack. She is one of the few remaining dredge boats that make up the Chesapeake Bay oyster fleet. She is the last to fish commercially under sail in the United States of America. Built in 1955 and restored in 1994, the Martha Lewis is now part of an alliance with Havre de Grace & Havre de Grace Maritime Museum. She is 49' 5" in length, beam 16'7", and 8 gross tons.

The Captain, Greg Shinn, met us on shore to welcome us. He gave us the history of the Martha Lewis and what her present role is there at Tydings Park where she is berthed. We boarded the ship and took our places along the seating areas in the middle of the ship and proceeded to move away from the pier. Once out on the beautiful Susquehanna River we helped put up sail. With a number of the club members taking part, I being one of them, it was some task doing the lifting of such a large sail. Later, due to wind conditions, we had to lower the sail in order to enjoy the beauty of being on the water and the tea that was to be served by our hosts, tea club members Phyllis and Joel Clements, who also volunteer for the skipjack. First mate, Cindy Beane, stood by to make sure things ran smoothly and to help make our tea so pleasurable.

We were served the choice of either hot or cold delicious Green Tea with Redbush product of the Eastern Shore Tea Company. Then followed by a variety of dainty finger sandwiches, scones, and desserts. This was truly the tea not to miss. The crew did an outstanding job serving us with glass glasses, tea cups, linen napkins, and plates. It was truly a wonderful experience to have a full service tea on the deck of a skipjack on the Susquehanna River.

The ship had a rich life and always did well in the oystering and racing of the skipjacks. It will continue to work at serving and reminding all of us of her rich heritage.

 

A Review of Finnerteas - May 2, 2007

by Rosemary Rittler

Finnerteas Tea Room located in Hampden is a delight! There were fourteen Royal-tea members and three guests present - all of whom enjoyed a first class tea. We had a choice of twenty-three different teas as well as iced tea, which certainly made this tea drinker happy. The hot teas were served in tea presses rather than teapots. I personally would have enjoyed a lovely teapot instead of a tea press, but I had the iced tea so can't complain. All of the food was served on individual plates rather than the traditional three tier holders. The scones were served first, piping hot from the oven. They were accompanied by clotted cream and strawberry jam. We each received two scones; one plain and one raisin - yummy. Our next course was the savories. There were five sandwiches: cucumber with watercress, tomato with pesto, strawberry and cream cheese on raisin bread, honey peanut butter with almonds and black olive. We also had spinach spanakopita, chicken salad and shrimp salad in puff pastry - all were excellent. Our dessert was a strawberry brownie trifle accompanied by almond French tea bread and a cream cheese sugar cookie. Needless to say, we were all happily full.

We then had a delightful visit from the owner, Alice Ann Finnerty. Mrs. Finnerty told us the background of her tea room and how it got its name. She said that she loved going to tea at Hutzler's and raised her six children to believe that "tea" was the cure for all. She invited us to go upstairs to see the Children's Tea Room and the Conference Room. with brass sconces, porcelain plates, a lovely antique needlepoint sampler, an interesting painting of Hampden House and much more. You can visit Finnerteas at www.Finnerteas.com; or better yet, just go there - you won't be disappointed!

 

A Review of Coffee, Tea and Krumpets - April 15, 2007

by Suzanne Raymond

On Sunday, April 15th, members of the Royal-tea Club gathered at Coffee, Tea and Krumpets in New Cumberland, PA. for an afternoon of tea, friendship and hospitality. In spite of the damp, dreary weather, our spirits were lifted as we entered the cozily lit establishment. And for a few brief hours it seemed as though we stepped back in time as Coffee, Tea and Krumpets is reminiscent of a colonial tavern - with it's decor, table settings, massive fireplace and Williamsburg-styled fruit decorations.

Prior to tea, members were warmly greeted by Sharon handing out name tags as everyone perused the assortment of teas, gift ware and Vera Bradley items for sale. Tea officially began with the serving of the house tea and strawberry-kiwi tea as Sharon announced upcoming events. The door prize was awarded to Kathy Erdman who received hand cream and a tea cake mix that could be baked inside the terra cotta pot that came with it. A special thank you to Phyllis and Joel Clements for the door prize donation.

The first food offering was delicious pasta salad followed by crumpets that were accompanied by strawberry jam, clotted cream and lemon curd. Moist cranberry scones were next and then a gourmet chicken salad in puff pastry shells along with petite egg salad sandwiches. Rounding out the tea was almond pound cake with a cream cheese spread and bananas. And last, but not least, orange marmalade chiffon cake and chocolate mousse, as well.

Needless to say, it was an afternoon well spent - enjoying wonderful food, good friends and hot tea. And for the devoted Vera Bradley fans, it was a great shopping day!

 

A Review of Serenity Station - March 29, 2007

by Shirley Smith

I'm not good at this but, somehow, Sharon Hart has worked her magic and has me writing a review of our Tea at Serenity Station. So I will now attempt to write one and amaze-myself. As you can see, I have nothing up my sleeves; no tea cozy, no lace hankie, no Royal Doulton with hand-painted periwinkles. I will say Sechung-Ooiong three times and, poof, it appears. It was the first tea served to us. The Sechung-Oolong is an organic nearly green tea. I thought it was quite an unusual choice for a "Tea" but I'm no expert and I always love trying something different.

While we were sipping our tea, Steve Smeltzer, who owns Serenity Station along with his wife Barbara, gave us a brief history of the building. The building was built in 1838 and has had various transformations throughout the years with the last being a store called Elmer's before Steve and Barbara bought it. They opened Serenity Station in May 2005. There is a restaurant, a Wellness Center Spa (offering massages, a hot tub, and a day spa), a bike shop (the York Heritage Rail Trail runs right behind them), a catering service, and live entertainment on certain nights. They also have a wonderfully eclectic selection of gifts for sale that are displayed throughout the restaurant. Many of them are beautifully made by local artists. I know the handcrafted purses were especially irresistible to some. Barbara personally selects the gift items she sells. As busy as she was, Barbara also helped the wait staff serve. She was there to help bring us our first course of a delicious mildly spicy chicken and dumpling soup. Then came generous platefuls of warm orange and cranberry scones. A cranberry chutney and clotted cream with sliced fresh strawberries were already sitting on the table waiting to be slathered on them. Oh Yum! Another selection of tea called Sweet Peace was provided. According to Barbara, this is a special blend made by her tea person and the ingredients are not revealed to anyone. All of the tea served here is organic. A plate full of butter cheese garlic biscuits accompanied Sweet Peace. Finger sandwiches of roast beef, turkey wrap, and vegetarian wrap soon followed. A savory red rooibus was offered along with the sandwiches.

A dessert tray of delectable bite size, pieces of chocolate Bundt cake, brownie, and cannoli was brought next. Wow. I was stuffed but I couldn't resist the chocolate Bundt cake. It was somewhat of a quandary as to where to place that bite of cake since our plates had been removed. That dilemma didn't last long though because I spooned some clotted cream on top and it suddenly disappeared. Barbara and Steve were gracious and friendly and their wait staff was efficient. All during the serving and eating, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. This was the first tea for quite a few new members of the Royal-tea Club. Myself included. It didn't seem like it though. Everyone was chatting and laughing like old friends. It was a cheerful evening with much of the kudos going to Sharon. Her sparkle and kind spirit illuminated us all.

 

A Review of Brighton's of Harbor Court - March 10, 2007

by Mary Ann Williams and Patty Hinegardner

Once inside the Harbor Court Hotel, following the grand staircase up to the second floor, Royal Tea Club members found themselves at the entrance of Brighton's. This was the location for our March 10th afternoon tea. Pale yellow walls & tablecloths were accented by the center table upon which were several vases filled with yellow tulips, yellow roses & yellow lilies. Large windows facing the Inner Harbor allowed tea attendees to enjoy a lovely view of the harbor while sipping their tea & enjoying conversation with friends.

The afternoon tea commenced with pink champagne. Three choices of tea were offered: Wedding Tea (a vanilla tea with a hint of citrus flavor), Raspberry Tea & Darjeeling Tea. A tasty oatmeal raisin scone, lightly dusted with powdered sugar, was served first. This was followed by a plate containing four bite-sized entrees: pineapple & ham served in a phyllo cup and three open-faced style sandwiches (salmon with cream cheese on a triangle of rye bread, crostini bread topped with blue cheese & an apricot, and a slice of cucumber & radish with cream cheese on white bread).

Next, a plate containing five small sweets was presented to each attendee. Included was an almond-flavored petite four, a fruit tart, a Russian Tea cookie, a spritz cookie topped with a dab of raspberry, and a Grand Marnier chocolate mousse cup. This was followed by a serving of freshly cut strawberries topped with whipped cream and your choice of either Grand Marnier or Creme de Cassis (a black currant-flavored liqueur) drizzled on top.

Among the 45 Royal-Tea members in attendance were several first-time attendees. Special thanks to Sharon for arranging for the Royal Tea Clubs' first tea of 2007'

 

A Review of The Old Farm House - December 16, 2006

by Barb Stevens

The day started out warm, sunny and a great day to celebrate the Christmas Season at The Old Farm House Tea Room. This year's unusual weather made the holiday seem very different somehow; quite a bit like when I lived in Florida. This was my first tea with all the gals and I was really looking forward to it. I left early from my house, in case of traffic, but made it about 40 minutes early so I turned around and went back to the Flea Market at Morningstar just down the road. Having a Bed & Breakfast doesn't allow me to go "fleaing" much anymore and I relished the chance to poke around for 15 minutes at least. It didn't take me long and I was dragging a beautiful needlepoint Victorian chair back to the car!

When I entered the tea room, there was Sharon looking out for me (she always makes you feel so comfortable) and offering me a seat next to hers' - she's such a caring person to know that at a first tea where you only know two people, sitting next to one of them really makes you feel welcome right from the start!

We started out with some prizes - to Kathy Erdman a free 2007 membership, Marion Coccagna received a Christmas mug with Christmas tea, and Diane Rankin received a wonderful gift donated by Marion! Lynn Smith also won a door prize of a silver candleholder. Meanwhile, Amy was finding hats in the back room to match everyone's outfits and was running around placing them on our heads (she's such a stitch)!

The tables were decorated for the holiday, each table with a different theme and all very lovely. Christmas tea was served immediately with fresh fruit (tropical mango, coconut, honeydew, apples, grapes and oranges) and apple/cranberry juice which enhanced the red in our table settings. Scones and cakes came next. There were those with cream cheese icing, chocolate, sweet oatmeal cinnamon bread, pumpkin cake and apple scones. Each place setting had a Christmas candle beside it and we found out they were our favors! A choice of bean soup or chicken soup with stars came next, with a delicious chicken salad wrap to top it off! Then there was a choice of raspberry cheesecake or chocolate peanut butter cake ended the meal on a delightful note. Everyone was filled to the brim with tea and goodies.

Afterward, we began singing together with owner Sue Kline playing the player piano (we have found a very talented friend. Not only is she a great cook but give her a piano and she can belt them out). Then we broke up, after much good conversation and fun, to run next door to the little antique shop before it closed. We then headed home, satiated, feeling a little plumper (kind of like plum pudding) and happy to have spent a wonderful afternoon with such nice gals! There was actually some soup left over which some of us managed to purchase at the back door (where the owner's dog hangs out). My husband and I enjoyed it another evening during the week and he raved about it, too! I'm going to try to make it to many more of these delightful gatherings. I had a great time!!!

 

A Review of The Carriage House Tea Room - November 20, 2006

by Cindy Boyer

Well this was my first tea experience with the Royal Tea Club and I was "volunteered" to write the review by my good friend, Carol Bowers, who wrote the review on her first tea with the group.

Upon entering the cozy room, I was greeted by a big smile from Sharon - what a comfortable feeling from the start. After taking our seats, we were greeted by Ed, one of the owners, who filled our water glasses and directed us to the tea menu. I have never seen such unusual names for teas, Almond Joy, Candy Apple, Hawaiian Breeze, etc. We decided to try the "Hawaiian Breeze," a coconut, pineapple and vanilla blend. Ed poured it over each of our individual tea strainers. Three at our table had never used a tea strainer before. It was a nice touch! The tea was yummy. We all liked it even more as it sat and cooled a bit.

The first course was an Autumn Garden Soup. It was nice to have something warm on such a cold autumn evening. I liked the roasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top of the cheddar cheese garnish. We then were ready to try another kind of tea. We ordered "Angel Lace," a blend of orange, cinnamon, coconut and rose blossom. I thought it tasted like "Red Hots," the candy.

We were then treated to a three tiered server filled with sweet and savory items. Mary, the other owner, amazed me when she went to all four tables and recited the names of the many food items before us - what a memory. I found out later, from her husband, Ed, that she single handily prepares all the food, so naturally she would know everything so well. My favorites were the Chicken Herb Stuffing Coronet with Cranberry Relish and the Gingerbread Raisin Scone with Clotted Cream. We finished every last bite of food and all were stuffed!!!!

We ended the evening by walking around back to their gift shop. There you could buy loose tea, teapots, tea cups and various crafts. It was just as inviting as the quaint tea room. I will be sure to tell my friends and family about this darling little tea room in New Oxford.

congratulations to Barbara Mazol for winning the door prize of the evening. She won a Victorian puzzle donated by Shirley Calp. Apparently, Barbara is no stranger to winning, since this was her second win this year.

I was very pleased with my first tea with the club and look forward to returning to future teas with the group.

 

A Review of Sugar Plums and Tea - November 11, 2006

by Connie Phelps

Plan on arriving early to Sugarplums & Tea if you want to park anywhere near this Tea Room and be sure to get specific directions as this location is nestled in the Rockvale Square Outlets in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and is not the easiest location to find. (Editor's Note: This was Veteran's Day with lots of sales).

The Tea Room is located in the rear of a very busy retail area selling teas, pastries and various other interesting items. Our group enjoyed a "Private Party" status and was treated to a delightful Courtyard Tea. This included the following teas - Peach Mango, English Breakfast, Decaf Apricot and Vanilla teas served in pastel colored individual tea pots. We were then treated to a fresh fruit cup along with various scones and lemon curd. The triple tiered tray then arrived with Spinach en Croute, Hawaiian Chicken Salad on Pineapple Bread with a very spicy chutney sauce, Roast Beef Pinwheels, and Turkey Breast with Cranberry Mayo. Sweets included Tasca, Lemon Bars and a delicious Chocolate Covered delight. Anne, our hostess, was delightful and is thinking of becoming a member of the Royal Tea Club herself after seeing how wonderful our group is.

The afternoon ended with many members heading out to explore, enjoy and shop at the many stores in Rockvale Square Outlets. This afternoon was a great way to start the Holiday Season.

 

A Review of Eternity - October 7, 2006

by Donna Rott

After a wonderful drive along the historic Route 30 we came upon a delightful tea room, The Eternity Tea Room, which was nestled in the mountains of Everett, Pennsylvania. When we entered the beautifully decorated Victorian Room the aroma and the soft music was heavenly. The atmosphere lends itself to a place where one could relax with good friends and feast on good food. It was decorated with pictures, hats and a vintage dress on the wall leading to the upstairs. We had a choice of the fancy hats to wear. The hats and the dress had belonged to Debbie Blankley's (the owner) grandmother.

We were served three delectable tea's starting with Brandied Apple Black tea, Pecan Pie Decaf Tea and Lady Londonaire Black Tea followed by an abundance of petite sandwiches, freshly baked scones and other assorted desserts. Everything was freshly made /baked by Debbie. (Debbie gave me the menu and I apologize that I've misplaced it. But trust me, the food was wonderful).

Six first timers, Virginia and Judy Laucks, Sandy Montag, Linda Day, Michele Hartlove and Sharon Cuneo joined us and "Moonlight Sonata" was quietly playing as we welcomed our new friends. The lucky winner of the door prize was Mary Burns. The prize was handmade and donated by Susan Snyder.

There was a small gift shop of tea related items, framed spiritual sayings, many teas, and decorating items available to purchase (and you know we did). Debbie and her husband, Gary, helped everyone make decisions on what to buy. You could tell Debbie works so hard, but it's easy to see that it's her "labor of love." This was a bit of a drive but well worth the trip. A good time was had by all.

 

A Review of Civil-La-Tea, Gettysburg, PA - September 25, 2006

by Carol Bowers

This was my first tea with the club and Sharon asked me to write the review! I wasn’t sure if that was good or bad, or if she just thought I would be afraid to say no. As it turns out, this review will be a little prejudiced since I went to my very first tea at Civil-La-Tea many years ago and it has been a favorite of mine ever since. I had to fight my way through New Oxford to get there (apparently there was a bomb scare and the whole town seemed to be blocked off). I saw parts of New Oxford I hadn’t seen in many years, just trying to get around the square! When I finally arrived at Civil-La-Tea in Gettysburg, it was, as always, set up beautifully. With 17 people in the small eating area, it was a little crowded, but manageable. The featured tea was Ginger Pear, which was delicious. Later, we had samples of Blackberry and Strawberry Cream, which were also good. We were served tomato dill bisque, ginger pear scones, three types of tea sandwiches (caramelized onion with gorgonzola, turkey with basil mayonnaise, and cucumber dill), and four desserts, (chocolate chip coconut cookies, harvest pumpkin bars, apple toffee bars, and apple bread). I thought everything was very good and quite filling. The door prize was donated by the owner of the tea room, Pat Hartman, and was won by Annie Sanford. This tea was on a Monday afternoon and the Civil-La-Tea tea room was serving its final tea on the following Saturday, so we were quite lucky that we got to experience this tea room one more time before it closes. Since the tea room is closing and is up for sale, everything in the store was 40% off, so the ladies were all going on a buying spree before and after the tea. Delicious food, good tea, excellent companionship and bargains, what more could we ask for? My first tea with the club was very enjoyable and I look forward to many more. I especially thank Sharon and my table mates (Dottie and Mimi) for making me feel welcome.

 

A Review of Reynolds Tea Room - September 16, 2006

by Deanna Rankin

On Saturday, September 16th I met with a few of the tea club members and headed to Annapolis, Maryland. We met up with the rest of the group at the Reynolds Tea Room on a quaint square with-a harbor view. It was a beautiful historic building built in 1747 with a tavern downstairs, two tea rooms on the main floor, and upstairs was a very beautifully decorated bed and breakfast. They also served tea out front on the sidewalk.

Our tea started at 1 :00 PM with the serving of Chanitcleer tea. The tables were adorned with fresh Freesia and sugar cubes shaped like diamonds, hearts, and clovers. First, we had a choice of Spinach Quiche, Quiche Lorraine, Southwest Chicken Chili, or a house salad with a wide variety of dressing choices. The next course was on a three tier server with the first layer consisting of chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate mousse cups, plain and caramel pound cake, raspberry bakewell cake, lemon bars, lavender shortbread cookies and hummingbird cakes. The second layer was the savory plate. Here were tiny ham sandwiches, egg salad on wheat bread, open faced cucumber and dill sandwiches, wild mushroom tartlets and mini Shepard's pie. The bottom level had plain and raisin scones, and of course they were served with raspberry jam and clotted cream. Everything was delicious, salads colorful, chili spicy and presentation absolutely lovely. The tea room was beautifully decorated with pictures of past royalty/officials who had visited the business, sconces, a fireplace and tea related ceramics. We believe a good time was had by all, especially Anna Martin who won the door prize of a teacup & saucer, tea bag holder and tea donated by Barb Mazol.

 

A Review of Progressive Tea - August 26, 2006

by Diane Frankenfield

A group of 20 members of the Royal-Tea Club spent the afternoon visiting three different tea rooms in south-central Pennsylvania. We started our adventure at Over the Tea Cup tea room in Camp Hill, PA. This small building was originally a workshop garage, but the family fell upon hard times during the Depression, and was forced to convert this garage space into a home where five children were raised (and everyone shared one small closet!). Three rooms were nicely appointed with lovely touches, and there was a small gift shop in the back and a bustling working kitchen. The tables were set with different patterns of fine china, with delicate hankies serving as our napkins “poofed” in our teacups. Janet greeted us and described the food selections we were to enjoy. A black English tea called Black Dragon Tea was served to everyone. We were presented with large trays of delectables at each table: clams casino served in the half-shell, an open-faced cucumber/cream cheese sandwich on rye bread, rolled asparagus wrapped in phyllo dough, chicken salad with a red grape garnish on puff pastry, and thinly sliced ham with pineapple and cranberry chutney sandwiches on white and brown bread. The quantities provided were generous; at some tables, the ladies could not finish what was put before them! As we were leaving, Janet called ahead to let them know we were on our way for the second course of our Progressive Tea.

Our next stop was Sweet Remembrances tea room in Mechanicsburg, PA. Proprietress Nancy Reppert greeted us as we arrived. This charming tea room was tastefully decorated with an assortment of interesting collectables, including McCormick’s teapots and tins, Hershey’s tins, wooden rulers and numerous other items of yesteryear. Serious collectors would enjoy looking at the various items throughout the rooms. Many other interesting and unique items were found in the gift shop called The Rosemary House next to this tea room, owned by Nancy’s sister Susanna Reppert-Brill. Soft classical music played throughout our repast. Each place setting had a pretty menu that we were free to take with us that explained what we would be served. A vase of fresh flowers from the garden served as the centerpiece for each table. A teapot with a pretty tea cosy that was labeled with the type of tea awaiting us was placed on each table – the choices were a caramel rooibas decaf, Monks Blend (vanilla and grenadine), Palm Court, a cherry almond decaf, vanilla, spiced plum, and French caramel crème brulee. They were all delicious…we heard many compliments in particular for the French caramel crème brulee tea. We each were served a large plate filled with fresh scones that Nancy had just taken out of the oven: a traditional English cream scone, a dried cherry scone, and a white chocolate/apricot scone. It was hard to pick a favorite! The scones were served with mock clotted cream, Sweet Remembrances lemon curd, cinnamon honey butter, and raspberry jelly, all artfully placed on the plates with the scones and a selection of fresh fruits of the season: raspberries, kiwi pieces, minted pineapple (my favorite!), orange slices, and mascarpone topped strawberries. Nancy donated Sweet Remembrances Recipe Collection Cookbook as a door prize, which was won by a very surprised Susanne Shaulis !

Nancy explained that she is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association..a group of people who are not in competition with one another but work to support one another and spread the message that they are all having fun serving tea! She believes that each tea room reflects the owner’s personality (and possibly quirks!). She also explained that her mother, Bertha Peplau Reppert, was noted for her herbal expertise, and raised the herbs for her one-of-a-kind herbal and spice gift shop, and passed along her love of herbs to her daughters. There are three distinct gardens behind the tea room and gift shop buildings that we were invited to explore after our dining, and several of us enjoyed strolling through them. One is a traditional English cottage garden with brick paths her father, Byron Reppert, laid down for his wife Bertha in the mid-1960s and a pretty wooden arbor with bench. The second garden is a low maintenance garden with raised beds – a culinary garden located closest to the kitchen so that Nancy can easily get the herbs she uses for the treats she serves in the tea room. The third garden is what she called a Higgly-Piggly garden – whimsical and changing, always fun. This is her sister Susanna’s garden, and had such unusual things as a tree with real teapots attached to the branches, an old-fashioned bathtub and an old wringer washing machine (circa 1930s) serving as large planters for beautiful plants, a gazebo, and a stream flowing into a small pond with ater lilies, reeds, and goldfish. After enjoying the tea, scones and fruits, the gardens, and shopping in the gift shop, it was time to make our way to our third stop of our Progressive Tea……

Camilla’s Sin tea room in Carlisle, PA. The name is a take-off on the botanical name for the tea plant which is camellia sinensis. The proprietress, Linda Jackman, said this has been a tea room for only ten months. Before, it was an apartment owned by the fire company. She and her husband knocked out some interior walls to create a lovely large room with dozens of hats lining the walls which many of us had fun trying on. The gift shop is in the front of this building, and was full of unusual items, including jewelry, tea-related items, more hats, and shawls. Their signature tea is called Camilla’s Blend, which is a combination of four black teas: assam, Ceylon, oolong, and China black, along with four flavorings: currant, caramel, Bergamot, and vanilla. She also offered an Earl Grey and an orange pekoe decaf. We were each served a plate with a small round cheesecake with a graham cracker/chocolate/cinnamon crust topped with a dark chocolate covered strawberry, a pastry swan stuffed with raspberry cream, and a rosemary shortbread cookie…..all delicious!! As if this was not enough, she then brought out small pedestal sherbet bowls filled with homemade strawberry lemon-mint sorbet! We sang Happy Birthday to Sharon’s mother, Betty! Our afternoon adventure had come to an end, and everyone took their leave, heading back home. We all had a great time, enjoying many selections of tea at our three stops as well as lots of tasty treats, and agreed that we definitely should plan another Progressive Tea! Many thanks to Sharon for all her hard work in organizing this event….we all really enjoyed our adventure!

 

A Review of The Covered Dish Tea - July 22, 2006

by Mimi Johnson

Our 1st Royal-Tea Club Covered Dish tea was lovely. It was held in Loganville at the Codorus Church of the Brethren. Donna Lerew arranged for us to use her church hall. She also entertained us with selections collected by the organist from the church that dealt with 'tea' as the subject or incorporated in the song. She played several. We --well, not ALL of us--stood and did the 'I'm a Little Teapot' song, with the motions. It was a great time. We had several guests attend, along with members. Some were from Virginia, but, unfortunately became lost on their way there. They eventually made it, and a couple joined our club! Welcome. Two men joined our ranks for this get-together. One is a member, Joel Clements, who was there with his wife, Phyllis. The other gentleman was How Calp who was there with his wife, Shirley. Sharon had a couple of wonderful games for us to play. The first was a 'get-to-know each other' by finding the people who fit in the category such as who is a teacher, someone going on the Philadelphia trip, someone from Maryland, and so on. It was a lot of fun to learn names of members that we don't get to visit with often. The door prize was won by Shirley Calp and 19 lucky people discovered a tea pot stamp under their placemat. This meant they got to take home one of the potted plants that were the centerpieces on the tables. Lynn Gurtler and Peggy Holbrook each received club membership for 2007 as prizes for the Royal-tea BINGO games. Everyone was encouraged to bring a tea cup and there were lots of beautiful ones there. Many used tea bags and there was a very wide selection available. Hot water, a selection of iced teas and cold water were available to members on arrival. The food was fabulous! There was so much that each of us probably didn't need to have supper that night! From strawberry soup, to scones and breads, salads of lettuce and shrimp and pickles and egg, sandwiches of all kinds. The sweets were all decadent. I was especially fond of too-die-for brownies (someone must give that recipe to others). I wasn't as creative as so many others. I brought sweetbreads, while many outdid themselves with their beautiful, marvelous, edible creations. Thank you to all. Let's hope to see more members there next year as it was a tremendous way to showcase our mutual love of tea and the foods we love to share with our comrades.

 

A Review of A Country Tea - July 11, 2006

by Sheri Moyer

It was a steamy July evening when we ventured to New Freedom for a country tea. The tea room was in a house which was built in the 1800's. The manner in which the house was decorated was like taking a step back in time and our hostess was Susan Freese (who is also a tea club member). All I kept hearing about was how beautiful this tea room was when decorated with Christmas trees. I think I have to go back in December. The tea was a delicious raspberry zinger. Our meal began with warm scones and gingerbread muffins served with Devonshire cream, raspberry jelly, and coconut flavor butter. The gingerbread muffins were a big hit! Next was beef rice with vegetables soup. It tasted delicious, however for me it could have been a little hotter. Our main course consisted of a tuna stuffed pasta shell on a lettuce leaf with tomato and onion and poppy seed dressing. This was a perfect summer dish and a nice change from the normal tea sandwiches. Dessert, which we all know is the most important part of our meal, was a tea pot shaped sugar cookie, a pecan tassy and chocolate cup filled with raspberry cream (are you noticing a theme here?) To finish the meal off our hostess came around to each and everyone of us and offered a dab of hand cream (this I found to be very elegant). The evening ended with a story which was written by Susan's daughter-in-law entitled "Nana's Tea Room." We talked, laughed, had a delicious meal and just thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

 

A Review of The Joy Garden - June 19, 2006

by Donna Lerew

The beautiful, white conservatory sits nestled in the midst of a lovely garden on a warm evening in June. The Royal-tea Club gathered for tea at The Joy Garden. We started with warm watercress soup followed by melon salad with honey lime vinaigrette. Nutmeg pecan scones were served with lemon curd and clotted cream. A three tier server held tea sandwiches of roast beef with spiced spread on multi grain bread, marinated tomato with spinach, herbed cucumber on white bread and French vanilla with orange on blueberry bread. For dessert we dined on rose cakes with raspberry glaze, Chai and chocolate tarts and the tea room's signature lavender joys. Tea selection included Rose of Venice and Garden Party and citrus punch iced tea. This is one of the most beautiful tearooms I have visited. The white walls are lined with purple wisteria and vines. French doors open onto a serenity prayer garden. A fountain stands at the entrance to the tearoom, inviting all to enter and take tea. Nancy Swingler, the proprietor, and her staff were efficient and gracious as they served us. At each place setting was a small packet of garden party tea. We will remember our time in the garden when we sip the tea in our own homes.

 

A Review of Heritage Tea Room of Havre de Grace - June 10, 2006

by Rita Miller

Armed with an address and Mapquest directions, my friend Josie and I found our way to the Heritage Tea Room of Havre de Grace for our first Royal-tea event. I had read the tea room's reviews on the internet only the day before and they ranged from one star to five stars so I was curious to see how this would evolve for us. The tea room itself is located in the historic section of town down by the water. Just entering the establishment gave me good vibes. There was a hint of strawberry aroma in the air and the tables were set beautifully. Everyone was dressed so lovely. including some with hats and some with strawberry-themed outfits. The tea started with fresh strawberries, served with optional sugar and cream. They were the last of the local crop the owner, Debbie, told us and they were so sweet. We had a choice of two strawberry iced teas and two different strawberry hot teas. Comments were favorable from all. This was followed by warm strawberry scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. A three-tiered tray of delicious tea sandwiches came next. Dessert was glazed strawberries with three heart-shaped pie crust cookies accompanied by a birthday candle for one special lady, Alma Bethke, celebrating her special day. All in all, it was truly enjoyable and it looked like a good time was had by all. I hope to enjoy this tea room again with friends. It should be noted there is a special room in the back of the shop that children can have their own special tea. There are gift shop items on shelves in each of the rooms to pick up a lovely memento of the day. I would say I had a successful inaugural club outing and would encourage everyone to enjoy the Heritage Tea Room of Havre de Grace.

 

A Review of Victorian Parlor - May 20, 2006

by Debbie Angermaier

When I first saw the Victorian Tea Parlor, I thought how quaint the house looked with its yellow shutters. I later learned that the house was built in 1841 and it's one of the oldest houses in Spring Grove, PA. Once we entered, I thought the atmosphere was both warm and inviting. I noticed several people trying on hats, then I noticed there were lots of hats, all different sizes and colors. What fun we had trying to choose the perfect hat and watching others choose theirs. While we waited for our tea, we were served a fruit salad. Our tea for the day was Strawberry. A salad with poppy seed dressing came next. Then we were served an assortment of scones and muffins. Our tea sandwiches were cucumber with basil spread on pumpernickel and chicken salad with cole slaw on sour dough bread. Both were delicious. A big bowl of chicken soup came next. Our dessert was cake and strawberries with a coconut sauce. A perfect ending. Each treat from savory to sweet was presented on fine china and linens. I certainly enjoyed the pleasure of a perfect tea. I can't wait to go again.

 

A Review of The Lavender Patch Bed & Breakfast - May 9, 2006

by Annie Sanford

A first impression is a lasting impression ... the senses of Royal-Tea Club members were tantalized during our first evening tea of the year at the Lavender Patch B & B in Marietta, PA. Our eyes were drawn to the lovely gardens, our sense of smell was pleasantly greeted with the soft fragrance of lilac ... the smiles of our "tea goers" became more evident as we entered the foyer and were escorted by Chet Miller into the dining room.

Our hostess, Marian Miller, who was the RTC's 100th member, welcomed us. Familiar music greeted our ears as the RTC members were seated and began admiring the decor of the B & B. Club members enjoyed gazing at the gently sloping hills and gardens outside the door. The three tables were elegantly and tastefully set. Napkins rings were decorated with freshly cut pansies. A tea favor was placed by each guest's place setting. Lemon curd and Devonshire cream awaited our arrival and our filled water glasses invited us to start our gastronomic venture.

A fragrant, delicious raspberry tea was served along with our first course of an inviting ambrosia consisting of fresh pineapple, bananas and strawberries topped with cream and garnished with a sprig of mint that was served in a hollowed half of pineapple. Simply superb!

After indulging in the food of the mythical gods, we indulged in buttermilk cinnamon scones served with lemon curd and Devonshire cream, followed by chocolate covered strawberries. Marian's three gracious granddaughters continually filled our teacups and water goblets. Deviled eggs were then served with three different tea sandwiches: ham salad, cucumber, and a turkey, spinach and cream cheese wrap.

A second tea, an aromatic fruit and almond, was offered along with mini cupcakes to celebrate Sharon's birthday! The mini cupcakes were arranged as a floral decoration in a terra cotta flowerpot. And if that weren't enough of an indulgence, RTC members were served a "Swirl" dessert that is Marian's mothers recipe. The "Swirl" consisting of light lime jello and whipped topping atop a bed of chocolate wafer crumbs cleansed the palate.

Amid much laughter and praises to our hostess, door prizes were drawn and the winners were Mimi Johnson, Mary Stempinski, Pat Easter and Mary Burns. Marian invited us to tour the rooms and gardens of her B & B. Members chatted and admired their surroundings and, all to soon, we realized it was time to say good night.

This tea was very special for me, since it was my first with my daughter, Missy. I look forward to tea and enjoy spending time with new friends!

 

The Royal-tea Club's Inaugural Voyage - April 1, 2006 - A Success

by Roxanne Batterden

A group of 25 adventurous tea club members and friends traveled south to Georgia for the club's first "road trip" from April 1st through 8th. Gorgeous weather, beautiful cities, Spring foliage and flowers, and great venues added to the trip's success.

Our first "official" stop was in Weldon, North Carolina to have tea at Cicada Jane's Tea Room. We were welcomed with Southern hospitality to the 1938 brick home where owner Jackie Green lived as a child. It was a beautiful place for tea! Our menu featured a tropical fruit dish; chicken salad, cucumber, pineapple and pimento cheese tea sandwiches and two varieties of mini quiches; an assortment of scones, including white chocolate raspberry, apple cinnamon and blueberry served with lemon curd and Devonshire cream; key lime pie for dessert and three different teas, Palm Court, Lemon Herbal and Sencha Green Tea. Afterward Jackie hopped on our bus and gave us a guided tour of Weldon. There was even a photographer from the local paper!

We arrived in Savannah on Sunday and many of the group headed to River Street to visit the eclectic shops located on the Savannah River. We then boarded the bus and traveled to Tybee Island where we had dinner at The Crab Shack. This was a "low country" culinary and cultural experience.

Monday's travels were dedicated to experiencing Savannah. Our tour guide, Wendy, helped us take a peek at the life of Paula Deen in Savannah before and after her fame on the Food TV network. She added humor to our adventure and great information about the town. We saw lots of Savannah's sights while we headed to Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House for lunch. Bubba is Paula's brother. We had a great lunch and those charbroiled oysters were divine!

Horses Charlie and Dell pulled the carriage as we had an up close and personal tour of Savannah's beautiful squares! For those of us who read "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," we were delighted to see some of the sights featured in the book! The day was completed by an invigorating gospel dinner cruise down the Savannah River on the "Georgia Queen."

On Tuesday our tour guide, Sue, gave us another glimpse of Savannah as we toured three beautiful homes: the Stephen Williams House, the George Baldwin House and the Purse-Thomas-Levy House of Dr. John Duncan. Each home was different and special! A delicious lunch, catered by Gaston's, was served at the Baldwin home.

We had tea at The Tea Room Savannah, a tea room of sophisticated elegance. Our tea menu included finger sandwiches of cucumber, egg salad, smoked salmon and tomato. Scones were cranberry and mandarin orange and blueberry served with clotted cream and raspberry jam. The dessert plate consisted of spice shortbread, lemon petit fours, cake slices and chocolate covered strawberries. The house tea, Emperors Bride, a black tea with pineapple and orange slices was served.

Many of the travelers enjoyed dinner at "The Lady and Sons," Paula Deen's downtown Savannah restaurant to experience authentic Southern cuisine.

On Wednesday, we boarded the Conestoga Coach and headed to Atlanta after stopping in Vidalia, Georgia at the Onion Factory and Gift Shop. Lunch was at the delightful Steeplechase Grill and Tavern. The feature of this day was dining at Emeril's Atlanta. We all enjoyed excellent meals!

Thursday was dedicated to touring Atlanta. Local guide Martha filled our brains to the brim with information and sights. We experienced the 1864 Battle of Atlanta at the Cyclorama; saw the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Fox Theater, Uptown and Midtown Atlanta architecture, and Oakland Cemetery. We drove through the Buckhead area with a stop at the beautiful Swan House Mansion Museum. We also lunched at "Underground Atlanta," toured the Coca Cola Museum and the CNN building. The day ended with a tour of the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum and a buffet dinner at Ryan's.

On Friday we were headed North towards North Carolina but stopped first in Atlanta at the wonderful Lenox Square Mall and Teavana.

Mail and Teavana. Many of our ladies enjoyed tasting the specialty teas and brought home Teavana bags full of teas and accoutrements. We enjoyed a full afternoon tea at Tea Leaves and Thyme in the Dawson Home of Woodstock, Georgia. This tea room had a fantastic gift shop and the shoppers among us were very happy! The tea was delicious and was voted as the "best" tea room we visited. Our menu included sweet potato pear bisque and a savory choice of a sun dried tomato tartlet or chicken salad on croissant or lettuce with slivered almonds. The beautifully presented tea tray included cranberry, nut and vanilla scones with fruit, Amaretto cream and lemon curd; tea sandwiches of pumpkin cream cheese on pumpernickel; a Mayflower sandwich (cream cheese with orange zest), cucumber mint, curried almond chicken roll and a ham stripe; and five desserts featuring lemon squares, carrot cake muffin, creme de menthe brownies, raspberry chocolate bar and a lemon tartlet with almond. Each table selected their own teas. My table sipped on Berry Patch, Emperor of Japan and a peach tea.

We arrived in North Carolina late Friday evening after eating and shopping at a Cracker Barrel. On Saturday, we hit 1-95 and headed towards Maryland and Pennsylvania. The bus was filled to the brim with tired travelers and shopping bags! It was a great trip! Thanks to our very own Royal-tea er extraordinaire, Sharon Hart, and Krouse Travel for organizing our Georgia adventure. Our travel escort, Marilyn Brown, kept us all on task and provided friendship and kindness and our superb driver, Don Kohler from Conestoga Motor Coach, provided safe travel to and from!

 

A Review of The Black Rose Tea House - April 22, 2006

by Jo Ann Lambdin

After a very rainy ride, our high tea with proprietor Helen Widdowson and her friends from the Black Rose Tea house began as we were cheerfully greeted by Sharon. Due to some township issues in Hanover, Sharon actually hosted this tea in her beautiful Abbottstown home. What first impressed me as we entered Sharon's home were all the magnificent tulips in her neighborhood landscape. Then, as we walked in Sharon's home, you would have never known we were not in an actual tea room. All our 36 tea friends were totally enjoying themselves as Helen and her friends had turned Sharon's home into an elegant tea room, accessorized with everything from beautiful tablecloths to our tea cups and china. Absolutely elegant!

First we were served a delicious cold strawberry soup. Then we were delighted with a tray full of assorted scones (cranberry were my favorite), lemon curd and clotted cream, raisin sandwiches, chicken salad with oranges and sesame in a pita, cream cheese, onion, bacon and pepper sandwich and artichoke salad in a phyllo shell. Everything was absolutely scrumptious. Oh yes, the tea "Summer Dream," a peach and vanilla iced tea was served in a sugar-rimmed glass with an orange slice. I think this was a hit for all of us as it was marvelous! I had the "Blue Bell" tea for my hot tea which I thought complimented the meal to a "tea!"

Not only did we have dessert but we had three delectables from which to choose. First a sugar cookie in the shape of a teapot, then a citrus flavored cupcake with icing and an edible pansy on top. Last but not least, a chocolate mint leaf shaped candy for the finale. Absolutely delightful!

I look forward to my next tea with the wonderful friends in this club. Sharon has done a tremendous job in coordinating these awesome events. Thank you Sharon!

 

A Review of Thir-tea First Cafe and Tea Room - March 11, 2006

by Dottie Johnson

We arrived at the Thir-tea-first Cafe and Tea Room and were greeted by the owner, whose husband took care of everyone's cars in the lot in back, even paying the meters! We were led upstairs to a room awaiting our arrival. The room was long and narrow and somewhat hard to maneuver. The tea was to start at noon, but our order for tea wasn't taken until 12:30. Our waiter, Brian, was wonderful, but was forced to make many, many trips up and down the long stairway. The individual pots of tea finally came around one o'clock. Three different types of scones were served and were scrumptious but there were not enough for everyone to try each one. Had we been told that in advance, we could have shared. The sandwiches were tiny but very tasty. A wonderful warm poached salmon served open faced was also a special treat. Our dessert was a luscious brownie topped with ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Everything was absolutely delicious.

In spite of the problems that came up (we were there until almost three) and a few pots that needed dusting, I believe a good time was had by all.

 

A Review of The Victorian Tea Cup - December 17, 2005

by Lori Kuhn

It was a lovely brisk Winter day when our group ventured to North East, MD. to have a candlelight evening tea. First of all, the town of North East was so quaint with all the shops decked out for Christmas. The Victorian Tea Cup was located off Main Street by following a beautiful brick walkway. Inside, we met with the rest of our club members, most dressed in their Christmas attire. The two rooms were small but adequate for our group. Each table was decorated with lovely china and a Christmas ornament was awaiting each participant. A menu of about eight teas was at each place setting and each guest was served a full pot of their choice. The pot did not include a cozy, therefore my tea was cool by the end of the meal.

The first course was a wonderful cheddar broccoli soup followed by a mixed greens salad topped by cranberries and walnuts. Scones (I think they were orange/cranberry) were served with clotted cream and a cinnamon butter. Then came a grand tiered serving plate full of a variety of six different sandwiches and an assortment of small desserts. The sandwiches were very good and included turkey with cranberry sauce, a curried chicken salad (my favorite), a salmon with dill spread, a spinach spread and a traditional cucumber. Our group was actually too full to partake of the dessert, but the owner graciously retrieved a box to take our goodies home. I was a little disappointed that the desserts looked like they were store bought and not homemade, but I could be wrong.

The highlight of the evening was a young gal who played the violin for our party during the meal. We heard that she was studying opera and when we inquired, she graciously sang two beautiful songs for us.

Other than a few small disappointments, the evening was thoroughly delightful.

 

A Review of The Elan Tea Room - November 14, 2005

by Barbara Young

The Royal-tea Club traveled to Gettysburg, PA. on November 14, 2005, to The Elan Tea Room to enjoy an evening tea. It included wonderful food and the chance to get to know other club members. The setting was Victorian with an eclectic edge. All tables were different and a three-tiered lazy-susan was used as the centerpiece. The owner's three teenaged daughters served us and did a fantastic job.

Each table was given one pot of tea at a time and the table could choose a second pot if decaffeinated was chosen. Our table chose tangerine/ginger decaf, passion fruit tea and Mountain Kenya tea.

Our tea started with a fresh salad served with mandarin oranges and apples in a half moon shaped dish. Next came the coconut sorbet followed by scones with lemon curd and clotted cream, then cucumber sandwiches. Our next course was cream of asparagus corn chowder followed by breast of chicken picot or chicken in pastry purses. Last, but not least, a scrumptious molded chocolate raisin cake. Yummy!

It seemed everyone had an enjoyable time and a very relaxed evening. A special treat was donated by the owner when she offered two jewelry items from her jewelry line for additional door prizes.

 

A Review of The Front Porch Tea Room - November 5, 2005

by Robin Pennington

My Mom and I approached the house. The view of the side yard was charming, full of flowers and shrubbery bursting of fall hues. Equally alluring was the porch, occupied by white wicker chairs each fitted with an over stuffed cushion of brightly colored autumn patterned fabric. We were drawn to the open door. Stepping inside, we were greeted by two walls lined with dozens of ladies hats of all shapes, colors and sizes. We stopped there to playfully try on one hat after another until just the right fit and shape was found. As more of the 40 members of the Royal-Tea Club arrived to attend the tea that beautiful afternoon, those walls became vacant. As each lady chose a hat and than a seat at one of the many tables, our hostess, Bonnie Helm, welcomed us.

The tearooms were lovingly decorated with a wide wisteria border running near the ceiling and crocheted and cutwork lace fabrics dressed the windows. Shelves of tantalizing varieties of teas were plentiful, and a gift shop located, on the second floor of the house, offered a nice selection of tea accessories as well as some unique and pretty items, greeting cards and such.

Our afternoon tea began with hot teas of Cherries Jubilee decaf or a Christmas Tea and each flavor was found to be just as delightful as the other. Next, Fruit Ambrosia, topped with toasted coconut, was set before each of us, and with what must have been only seconds, that yummy appetizer vanished and the clinking of spoons against glass parfait cups was heard. As we tried to continue conversations, a salad of assorted greens together with roasted soy nuts, mandarin oranges and dried cranberries, drizzled with a wonderful, but secret homemade dressing, was enjoyed. Immediately following, the scones were served to us, and these were truly scrumptious, having been made with the addition of lemon and ginger, cherry and apricot, and of course, accompanied by Devonshire creme, lemon curd and strawberry jam. They're always a personal favorite! Then the bowls of Cream of Pumpkin soup began to appear, and as for me, it was love at the first bite, of this velvety smooth, mildly flavored with onion, celery and a hint of bacon, topped with bourbon soaked croutons, a seasonal, absolutely delicious, gourmet concoction. Next came three varieties of finger sandwiches, one of thinly sliced cucumber, seasoned with a sprinkling of lemon pepper on rectangular shaped, thin slices of rye bread spread with cream cheese, Chicken salad on miniature croissants spread with a cranberry/orange marmalade cream cheese mixture, and circles of raisin bread filled with bits of dates, raisins, and walnuts, seasoned with cinnamon.

After all that, I don't believe there were any of us that could honestly say she had room for dessert ~ but dessert is exactly what we all delighted in next! Two equally sinful creations were described to us and it was just unfair of our hostess to require us to choose only one! But choose we each did, between the Amaretto glazed Spiced Pumpkin Cake with its Walnut Rum topping and the White Chocolate Mousse served in a Godiva dark chocolate shell topped with a Cherry Kirsch whipped cream. However, I did notice that many a dessert was being taken home in a box, where it was undoubtedly enjoyed at a later hour. Afterwards, most of us gathered in the side yard for a group photo (Editor's note - It may now be viewed on our web site). What a wonderful experience it is to partake of an afternoon tea with such a warm and delightful group of ladies. The excellent food and relaxing atmosphere is just an added bonus! God Bless you all ~

 

 

A Review of The Red Brick Bakery and Tea Room - October 18, 2005

by Roxanne Batterden

Twenty two "Royal-tea-ers" enjoyed our tea club's first evening tea on a crisp and cool autumn evening in Red Lion, PA. I might add that there was a full moon illuminating the October sky, which clearly contributed to the fun time!

The Red Brick Bakery and Tea Room is a charming tea room on Main Street, USA. The gated brick entryway leads to a quaint establishment serving delicious delights.

Sharon Hart welcomed six new members who attended their very first Royal-tea Club tea. These ladies, Susan Snell, Carol Henry, Pat Brenneman, Gail Shaffer, Diane Cochran-Adams and Pat Sauer, selected a great place to be introduced to the club, tea and tea cuisine. Our servers, George and Jared, were quite accommodating to their guests.

Our first course featured divine pumpkin spice scones served with clotted cream and apple butter. The black lemon tea arrived piping hot and was flavorful. The Williamsburg cream of peanut soup was topped with crushed peanuts. Delicious! Our sandwiches, served with fresh carrot raisin salad, were full-sized and included ham and baked apple on croissant, turkey roasted red pepper wrap and egg salad with sprouts on multigrain bread.

The second tea of the evening was a fragrant Chai. The tea ended on a delightfully sweet note with a petite cheesecake served with baked apple, chocolate ice cream cream puffs, and coconut macaroons. Yumm...

Lois Mintum was the lucky winner of the evening door prize which was delivered in an "I'm a Little Tea Pot" gift bag. Roxanne Batterden, who collects books on tea, donated a book called "Tea with Patsy Clairmont." Lois will find lots of tea story treasures and words of wisdom to read.

Patty Suchy provided each member with a 2006 Sunshine Pocket Planner. Mine is already filled with tea events for next year!

 

A Review of A Perfect Blend - October 8, 2005

by Bonnie Cooper

Lititz was really a happening place on Saturday, October 8th - there was the Chocolate Walk, the Lititz Artisans' Porchwalk, and the Royal-tea Club's visit to A Perfect Blend Tea Room! Unfortunately, it was not a good day for strolling and shopping in the many unique little shops on Main Street - it was pouring cats and dogs, which made the tea room even more inviting.

After the wet and chilly trek to Lititz, the warm Creamy Tomato Soup that we started with was wonderful. Instead of the traditional scones, we were served "Scuffins" which were a cross between a scone and a muffin (the mix was available in the gift shop), served with a great Pumpkin Butter and Sweet Cream. The assorted sandwiches were plentiful and delicious - my personal favorite was the Spinach Cheese Swirl. And the desserts were equally yummy. A harpist played during the luncheon adding lovely music to our afternoon tea. As for the service, two overworked young women who never stopped running served the entire luncheon. To accommodate a large group like the Royal-tea Club, the tearoom needs to add another server whose only responsibility would be the tea - after waiting for tea, it was poured barely warm - or it needs to provide teapots for each table.

I'd like to return to Lititz on a sunny day and visit the little shops and the pretzel factory, and might even try A Perfect Blend again.

 

A Review of Tea on the Tiber - September 10, 2005

by Mary Stempinski

On September 10th, 30 Royal-tea ladies enjoyed high tea at the lovely Victorian Tea on the Tiber in historic Ellicott City, Maryland. The tea room is decorated beautifully and very formal, yet comfortable. It has stately ambience. Cherry dining tables with beautiful china awaited. It is as British as can be, right down to the door ringer when you enter. Our servers wore black dresses with white pinafore aprons.

We had 20 different teas to choose from, and everyone had their own teapot. Our food was served on a three-tiered platter. English manor blueberry scone,with clotted cream, lemon curd, or Elizabethan fruit toppings were available. Tea on the Tiber tomato tea sandwich, sweet and smokey chicken salad croissant, pineapple cheddar spirals and cucumber-spinach tea sandwiches were next.

Our sweets were lemon mousse cup, strawberry shortcake, supreme chocolate rum mousse cake, and carrot sweet bread.

Taking tea in the afternoon has sent us home with warm memories and new friends. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

 

A Review of Freedom Log House - August 6, 2005

by Debbie Riddle

Our group arrived in Porter Sideling, PA. on this early August day, blessed with less humidity, thank goodness. Inside was a small country gift room as well as two charming and quaint tea rooms with pretty table settings and linens. We especially enjoyed the lavender glass goblets at our table. Our tea room was cool, inviting, and relaxing.

The hot tea choices were Razzy Mango and Friendship Mint. The cold tea selection was a Peach Lemon Cooler, served in a glass with a sugared rim and a lemon slice. Our table particularly enjoyed this delicious treat. Also available was a hot coffee selection known as Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble.

The first food course was cantaloupe bites with raspberry-white chocolate truffle spread, followed by warm and tasty peach scones, a slice of French Vanilla sweet bread and vanilla cream. Next came a tossed Caesar salad with carrots, red cabbage, grapes and raisins. The sandwich course featured a smoked ham spread on a croissant and White Chocolate-Raspberry truffle spread on raisin bread. The grande finale was the generous slice of French Vanilla sweet bread smothered with Cherries Jubilee and vanilla ice cream. Yum'ola! This one topped the Richter scale! Giftwares were available on the second floor, where we purchased some charming vases. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves this day.

 

A Review of Garden Angel Tea Room - July 9, 2005

by Jeany Devese

From the moment J walked up the side walk, enjoying the beautiful landscaping with all the flowers, vines and the cute little Victorian house with large rose stepping stones, I knew this place would be special inside. There were two tea rooms, one a beautiful glass enclosed atrium and the other a more traditional tea room. These were on either side of a Victorian decorated parlor. I thought the food was excellent. We were able to select from either Cherry/Peach soup or Carrot Bisque. We were also able to choose the main course. These were Ham and Cheese Strudel, Crab Quiche or assorted tea sandwiches. I choose the Carrot Bisque and the Crab Quiche. They were very good as were the Cinnamon Chip scones served with Cinnamon butter and clotted cream. A scoop of Macaroni Salad with tuna and dill was served with each entree. And there were so many desserts to choose from. The dessert plates were loaded with Lemon Bars, Caramel Chocolate Cake, Mini-Brownies, Peanut Butter Tandy Cakes, Oreo Cake and Apple Cake. The server was very pleasant and took care of us with a sunny smile. The only thing I would have liked better was to have had the tea served a little hotter, but I would like to return again to sample the wonderful delights.

 

A Review of Linens and Lace Tea Room - June 4, 2005

by Mary Schnaubelt

The Royal-tea Club ventured to Maryland for the very first time and met at The Linens and Lace Tea Room in Hampstead MD.

Upon entering the tea room, we were greeted not only by our lovely host, Sharon, and the owner, Karen Knoch, but a violinist as well, and a very good one, I might add. How delightful it was to sip tea and listen to the violin playing in the background. The size of the tea room was fantastic, as well as the floral decorations on both the tables and chairs. The crocheted napkin holders and the cubby tea cozies with the open spouts were a delightful added touch.

Our afternoon began with a selection of hot or iced peach tea and several choices of scones - blueberry, raspberry and white chocolate, and cinnamon chip, along with Florida Orange jam and clotted cream. We were then served a delicious Tomato Florentine soup, followed by several different types of sandwiches - asparagus (tied with a beautiful ribbon), peaches and cream cheese on wheat and a scrumptious crab salad on lettuce. To top the afternoon off, we were served a lovely peach tart and strawberry cake. Needless, to say, the service was excellent and the present company superb!

A Review of Aunt Pittypats Tea Room - May 14, 2005

by Debbie Green

What a beautiful day for tea in Historic Gettysburg. We found our way to the tea room through a beautiful custom framing shop. We were greeted by the owner, Tracy (a member of our club), with a warm and happy smile. It was hard to seat yourself because there were so many beautiful and unique things to see I especially loved the painted walls and lovely sayings that went with the beautiful flowers. The artist is Paulette Brabender who is also responsible for the hand-painted water glasses and hand-painted napkins.

This was our first tea with all five committee members present. Everyone looked so nice and ready for Spring.

As we were seated we were offered Peach Iced Tea, and our hot tea choices were White Tea or Black Currant. As a special treat, we were served by Mr. Pittypat (Rodney), who was dressed in period clothing and wore white gloves. He was warm and friendly as he served Blueberry Lemon Scones with Strawberry Jam, Lemon Curd and Clotted Cream. Our next course was Shrimp Corn Bisque with a spicy kick that the ladies at my table enjoyed.

Next came a pretty Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Pecans and a Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing. Cucumber Sandwiches, Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches and Crab Stuffed Mushrooms were served with the desserts of Lemon Bars, Gooey Butter Cake (my favorite) and a rich Chocolate Frosted Brownie.

Brandi (also one of our members) came out of the kitchen to meet and talk with us. She shared a little bit of information that the sugar on top of the scones was raw sugar. Tracy told us that the name of Aunt Pittypat's came from Gone with the Wind. Tracy and her husband Rodney moved here from Texas about three years ago because of the rich history of the Civil War. They opened a framing shop, and then moved to this location almost one year ago. Tracy said there was a kitchen in the back of the shop and she wondered what to do with it. Thus Aunt Pittypat's was born. Tracy and Rodney are working on having a Bed & Breakfast upstairs which they hope to be completed later this year. (Editor's Note: The B&B is now open.)

I enjoyed Aunt Pittypat's Tea Room, but mostly I enjoy the company of women that have a love of tea and meeting new people. The Royal-tea Club is a gift for all of us. Thank you to everyone that contributed to making this happen.

A Review of Heart's Desire Tea Room - April 16, 2005

by Sharon Walter

Off to Hearts Desire Tea Room in Littlestown, Pennsylvania the Royal-tea Club traveled April 16, 2005, to enjoy an afternoon of fellowship and culinary delights. Place settings and tea cups of purple glass topped the lace tablecloths. Centerpieces of fresh red carnations greeted us at this lovely Victorian tea room. Vanilla Cinnamon, Apricot Peach, Hawaiian Colada and Almond teas were served as we were entertained with tea history and facts by tea room owner Jennifer Skelton. Did you know that Queen Elizabeth the First would pile her biscuits with one inch thick lemon curd and cream for that little bit of something she would need in the afternoon, because dinner was not served until 9:00 PM? Our white chocolate apricot scones were served with plenty of lemon curd and whipped cream. Fruit cups were served next with deliciously sweet cantaloupe, strawberries, and grapes. My favorite of this tea was the soup course, cream of tomato with basil and four cheese tortellini topped with shredded parmesan cheese. The tea sandwiches included smoked turkey dressed with cranberry horseradish relish on buttermilk bread, and Hawaiian ham salad with macadamia nuts on potato bread. Lastly, a cherry grenadine baked apple with or without ice cream or a slice of chocolate truffle torte were our dessert choices. A relaxing and enjoyable time was had by all, although the length of serving time between courses caused several of our members to need to leave before the completion of our tea.

 

A Review of The Victorian Parlor - March 26, 2005

by Pat Easter

The Royal Tea Club met for the first time at The Victorian Tea Parlor in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania. All the ladies gathered and most of us put hats on and, if I do say so myself, I think we looked very nice. We started with sipping Strawberry Tea served by Paula's husband. Our first course was a refreshing fruit cup with coconut. Then we had a delicious salad with Three Cheese Ranch dressing followed by the warm chocolate chocolate chip scones, cranberry scones, blueberry-coconut muffins and brownies.
The sandwiches were chicken salad wraps and ham and cheese crescents. Then, to our surprise, a large bowl of chicken corn soup arrived and it was piping hot and good. The grand finale was a delicious pineapple cake with coconut cream sauce on the top. All I can say was it was the best Tea that I have ever been too. I rated that a Big Ten. Thanks, Sharon, for a wonderful first Royal-Tea.