Last Friday my girlfriend and I traveled 52 miles north of where I live to the quaint Village of Holly, for their Dickens Festival. Unfortunately, the official kick-off didn't begin until 6:00 p.m. that evening with the Christmas Tree Lighting and the arrival of Santa at 7:00 p.m. [Note to self for next year! ;-)]
All was not lost, however, as there are three antique malls in the Village, and we had Afternoon Tea reservations at the Holly Hotel.
The three-story, gabled hip-roofed, red-brick, Queen Anne structure was built in 1908. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
The hotel is decorated with Christmas lights and evergreen garland in readiness for the Christmas Holidays and Dickens Festival.
We were seated in the Main Lounge, which was a first for me. I've always eaten in the Main Dining Room on previous visits. It was cozier, and I liked it. Below is the entrance to the Main Lounge with its beautiful huge, wooden, pocket doors.
Main Lounge Table for Two
~ Our Table ~
We had the three-course Queen Anne Tea, which was $18 per person, plus gratuity.
The hotel offers Twinings tea bags. My first cup was Pomegranate Delight black tea.
The first course was a mixed greens salad with shredded Sage Derby green cheese, cinnamon nuts and a delicious vinaigrette.
It was served with Cinnamon Raisin Bread and Almond Butter.
We both ordered their Roasted Rib Loin En Croute for our main entree.
It was delicious!
The third and final course was a Blueberry Scone with Chantilly Cream and Cranberry Fruit Compote [which I ate before I remembered to take a picture], and a Pumpkin Mousse Tart.
L-R: Sandy and Me
~ Hotel Lobby ~
~ Main Dining Room ~
Our friendly and cheerful waitress/server gave us a quick tour of the first floor dining areas [aside from the Main Dining Room and Main Lounge] before we ate. It was a good thing, because the Depot Room was bustling with guests attending a baby shower by the time we finished our Afternoon Tea.
In days gone by, what is presently the side entrance, was the main entrance where guests stepped into the Depot Room. It directly faces the railroad tracks of what was originally the Detroit and Milwaukee Line. Through the years it has had various owners, but is still operating today, currently owned by CSX Transportation.
The Depot Room
The last of the first floor dining areas is a simulated 1940's train dining car with original seats and luggage racks. Its small intimate atmosphere makes it one of the hotel's most requested spots to dine.
It turned out to be a wonderful day in spite of missing the Dickens Festival. Visiting Holly is like stepping back in time, and always a pleasant experience. It was the perfect way to begin the Christmas Season.