Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tea? How Civilized!

Well, good day to you all! It's been a bit since I posted, so I thought I better get my bum in gear and do something! So, I was pondering what to write, when I began to reflect on my weekend, which in Canada was the long weekend (Civic Holiday) It was hot and humid, and sunny. Good Cannuck weather!!! So, we went for a drive to Kingsville which is a charming little town on the shore of Lake Erie. It's in Essex County which was the county where I was raised, and my old stomping grounds. It brings the warm cozies, and I try to visit frequently, while introducing my family to the things that I used to do, and the places I used to go. (hey, I'm Scottish and like the Irish, the Scots are a traditional kind of people. Home is always in the heart!)

So, we're driving around and we come across a little tea room that I've somehow missed on my numerous drives through Kingsville. You see, I love tea, and tea rooms, and afternoon tea makes me giddy with excitement (I also collect teapots!) My husband knows this. The going for tea thing is something I've done with my mum for years, and now that I have a ughter she comes with us. (Interestingly, all our baby/wedding showers are in 'afternoon tea' form and the men cannot wait to be let back into the house so that they can scarf down those little tea sandwiches made with colored bread!) So, I digress....hubby knows I love tea rooms, so we pull into Annabelle's and enter a bygone era!

What a beautiful place and the afternoon tea was perfect and formal and everything you would imagine afternoon tea would encompass. Although, when one reads those tea scenes in romance novels, it usually involves ladies sitting elegantly in a salon of a townhouse gossiping avidly. Well, let me tell you, it's rather novel to be sitting across from a man who is a mechanic and a little over six feet tall, hoisting a fragile red and white willow tea cup in his hand! Even stranger, watching him systematically go through the three tiered silver stand while trying to 'gentlemanly'. I didn't have the heart to tell him that this was supposed to be a light reprieve back in the day. Something to tide you over. The man was eating like he hadn't eaten in days. (his favorite sandwhich was the creamchesse with maraschino cherries)

Our conversation was pleasant and we talked about things we hadn't in a while. And there was NO writing talk, although I will confess to having some fleeting thoughts about seduction at an afternoon tea....:)

It's funny. Why do we think that only women would enjoy such an event as tea? I mean, my husband is one of those manly guys. Yet he had no qualms about sitting at a little table with fancy china and fussy little sandwiches. He also thoroughly enjoyed the scone with Devon cream and jam!

I asked him about it after, and he shrugged. "It's neat, and besides, it reminds me of your wedding shower, when I was invited in after the 'ladies' had left to sit with your family and eat the leftovers with the other men. It made me part of your family." Ahhhhh!!!! And that was quite a sight, watching these tall men balancing little plates on their laps and trying to delicately eat little sandwiches!

So, I have resolved to take my mum to Annabelle's for a little tea and gossip, and thought it would be lovely to go to an afternoon tea at RWA while we're in NY a couple of years from now! Of course, there's a midnight tea at the RT convention, a lovely 'Madhatters' event that you might want to check out!

So, tell me, have you ever been to an afternoon tea? And if so, what is your favorite part! If you would like to do a virtual tea, then visit Annabelle's and have a look at the lovely pictures. She has a cute little shop on site as well.
Also, Amanda has posted the second stop on her blog tour, just beneath this entry. For a look at her stop, just drop down below!


Genella deGrey said...

Yes, I've taken high tea many many times. I love taking tea at any time of day!

What a pretty little shop! Did you acquire a new tea pot????

I have a secret fantasy of opening a Victorian tea parlor some day . . . At least I got to do it virtually in "Remember Me." LOL


Lana said...

I was lucky enough to get to go to afternoon tea at Brown's in London on a few occasions, and I really enjoyed it. I liked the pretty man in lavender tails playing On the Street Where You Live on the piano, and the poor gentleman who was forced to fetch me an extra three rhubarb custards because they were too delicious for words!

But the best part? The reason I'm sure tea has prevailed for so long? The fact that I could come in out of the horrid rain and be warm and fed. So lovely...

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

Oh, I *love* afternoon tea!! I used to occasionally go to tea at The Plaza hotel every once it a while--always a special treat, but then The Plaza closed for a while for renovations and now it's condos instead of a hotel, so I'm not even sure if they do tea anymore.

I also remember having tea in London--maybe at Harrod's--and in Bermuda at this lovely but tiny little tea shop by the lighthouse. Hubby is always in tow--he loves tea, too (especially clotted cream).

And now we've been forced to go through the parental ordeal of having tea at American Girl Place, with the girls' dolls--they have little 'high chairs' for the dolls. It's definitely an....experience.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Oh, how fun. See, there are other tea grannies out there besides me. I love indulging in it. It seems like a whole other world when you go to one.

Kristi, you'll have to check out some in NY and we do a LIT tea at RWA when it comes to NY, that'd be fun. I'm sure some of blogger friends might be attending and that would be a most civilized way of meeting and talking about hunky men and hot historicals!

Amanda McIntyre said...

HIgh Tea. Nope I've never done a real one. I played at having them when I was little, but never attended one.

Yep, I admit it. I am a "high tea" virgin.
you will have to break me in...

It sounds lovely! What a gorgeous tea room!


VampFanGirl said...

I loved your post Charlotte! The good ones are just so good and it definitely sounds like you snagged yourself one of the those. *wink*

I've never had afternoon tea nor have I ever been a tea drinker. Afternoon tea in VFG's family just has never made an appearance. Although, my grandmother on my mother's side is a tea drinker but she doesn't make a ceremony of it.

But I do admit that the thought of participating in afternoon tea has its appeal and it's left me seriously intrigued.

;) VFG

Charlotte Featherstone said...

We will defintiely break you in Amanda and VFG!!!!

It can be a lot of fun, plus scones with clotted cream and jam are the bomb!!!

ranearia said...

I must admit I've never had afternoon tea, but it does sound like alot of fun (sadly I don't have a sweet tooth....)

Anonymous said...

Can you believe I have never had afternoon tea? Alright, maybe Lipton, lol, but not real, real afternoon tea.

There is a place in Connecticut that serves afternoon tea. My MIL went there and brought back picture. I fell in love.

BTW, I LOVED your pictures. Beautiful. I don't have anything like that by me :(