Friday, January 11, 2013

Tea Downton Abbey Style

I know you'll allow me to interrupt my tea accoutrement series to share a special tea I attended today.  My girlfriend and I had reservations for the 10:30 a.m. seating at Sweet Shalom Tea Room in Sylvania, Ohio [near Toledo], where the theme is what everyone is talking about these days - Downton Abbey!  It was  a near sell-out event. The tea room will be featuring this theme on Fridays and Sundays throughout the month of January, at two seatings - 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Our table was right next to the fireplace, where the mantel was decorated in beautiful winter white and sparkling silver.  

Individual tablescapes were similarly done. 

A name card indicated where each guest was to sit.

Edwardian gown on display.

The servers were dressed in aprons [made specifically for this theme] under the direction of  a historic costume designer.

Our first pot of tea [which we got to choose] was a medium bodied black tea by Harney & Sons, called RMS Titanic [blended to represent the type of tea served on the Titanic 100 years ago].   The full bodied teas of Keemun, Assam, and Ceylon are lightened by Formosa Oolong.  

The tea was accompanied by Kensington Palace Scones.  I have this recipe and make it frequently, but mine never come out this light and flaky.  They were absolutely delicious! 

And, of course, Lemon Curd and Double Cream made them even better!

Next came Mulligatawny Soup

Then the tiered serving tray of savories and desserts.

Cucumber Tea Sandwich
Egg Salad Tea Sandwich
Beef and Yorkshire Pudding [Yummy!]
Stilton Cheese on Oat Cakes

We switched tea for the dessert course and got Black Current.

Fortnum and Mason Shortbread
Apple Charlotte

And...Sticky Toffee Pudding with Whipped Cream

Sara Valasquez, one of the owners, did a brief presentation about Downton Abbey.

Almost every attendee had watched the series on TV or DVD's, and when asked who the favorite characters were the united responses were, Lady Mary and the Dowager Countess of Grantham [Violet AKA Maggie Smith].  Matthew didn't trail too far behind.

Sara told us Downton Abbey is the most popular series in PBS history.

Out of 89 themes Sweet Shalom has done since they opened, this is the first time they've  featured a TV program.

The following write-up is posted on Sweet Shalom's website:  "Downton Abbey, a stunning and colorful drama set around the aristocratic Crawley family, and the staff which serves them. Set between 1912 and 1920, Downton Abbey chronicles the conflict of class, gender, and politics, and serves it up with an exciting dollop of sizzle and scandal. We are celebrating season three to be aired on PBS in January. Join us for a tea of which Countess Violet would approve."

What a fun surprise to see my sweet tea friend, Teresa, at Sweet Shalom!  She looked stunning in her Edwardian Tea Gown.

Sandy [left] and Me

Thanks, Sweet Shalom, for providing such a delightful tea!  

Afterwards we went shopping at Maumee Antique Mall.   I only made one purchase - a display dome for hubby's pocket watch for next New Year's Eve tablescape.  [I'm planning ahead!  ;-)]


  1. I'm so envious that you were able to attend this tea. I wished there was one around here but so far no one has suggested it. But there's aways a chance.
    Sweet Shalom looked beautiful.

  2. What a lovely tea party! Everything looks just perfect. How fortunate you are to be able to attend. Thank you for the informative write-up. You look beautiful!

  3. Wishing I could attend this lovely tea! Your post, photos, and description is the next best thing!

  4. Now this is a tea I would love. Sweet Shalom does such a beautiful job with each and every tea they do. Thanks for sharing all the photos and descriptions.

  5. This was really well done! So glad you were able to go!

  6. How beautiful! I feel like I'm the only person on the sidelines, having not caught the Downton Abbey bug. I'd like to begin but I'd be way behind since I've never seen it. :-(

  7. I am so happy you and Sandy were able to enjoy this special tea at Sweet Shalom! Thanks for sharing.

  8. What fun! Love that beautiful mantel, and all the decor, costumes, all looks wonderful. So glad you could enjoy this experience.

  9. What a wonderful themed tea! I would love to be able to go to things like that.

  10. Dear Phyllis,
    What a lucky girl!!! Wouldn't I love to attend at Downton Abbey tea?! I love the server's aprons.
    Happy for you!
    Ruthie from:

  11. What fun...and such beautiful foods! Wish I could have been with you!

  12. How wonderful for you to be able to attend this tea! Everything looks so beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  13. OK, I guess I truly am the last tea lover on the planet who has not seen "Downton Abbey," a great source of frustration to my girlfriends. Wonder how long it would take me to catch up with the DVD's? This sure looks like a fun tea. It's fun to see you and Sandy (waving at Sandy!), and your friend Teresa's gown is absolutely stunning!


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