Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gov. Croswell Tearoom, Adrian, MI

Yesterday, I journeyed to Adrian, MI [about 90 miles southwest of where I live] with three friends to have tea at the Governor Croswell Tearoom.  Our reservations were for 11:00 a.m.

Al and Phyllis Wilkerson [Adrian natives] also own Sweet Afton tearoom in Plymouth, MI that I've visited and blogged about on several occasions.  The Governor Croswell Tearoom has been on my list of tearooms to visit for awhile, and I'm so grateful it finally happened.

The tearoom occupies the 100 year old Hoefler Building located at 125 E. Maumee Street, [white building] which sits next to the historic Croswell Opera House, currently under renovation.

The tearoom is named in honor of the 17th Governor of Michigan, Charles Miller Croswell [1877-1881], who was a resident of Adrian.  His former home is currently the property of the local D.A.R. Chapter.  

Al, the owner, graciously offered to take our picture in front of the tearoom.

[Me, Linda, Joanie, and Judi]

Interior photos of the beautiful tearoom all decorated for Christmas. 

Once we were seated at our table, Al and Phyllis told us about the building's history.  Louis Hoefler, a successful attorney, rebuilt the 1910 building [which had previously been a saloon] for his cousin, Louise Burger, and she opened an upscale millinery shop in it.  [As a side note, Daniel Nathan was Mr. Hoefler's grandson, who wrote detective fiction under the pen name, Ellery Queen.]

Since the tearoom wasn't full when we arrived, I was able to take photos.

Phyllis aptly described Sweet Afton as cozy and homey, while Governor Croswell's is stately and elegant.

It's difficult to see in the photo, but teacups are intertwined in the garland.  The exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and oak floors are original.

The chandeliers also have a great history - they came from the Dearborn Inn, ordered by Henry Ford. 

Several years ago, Mr. Wilkerson said he purchased a baseball signed by Ty Cobb for $1,000 - a sizeable amount of money at the time. A local doctor persistently expressed interest in acquiring the baseball from Mr. Wilkerson, but he held on to it until 2010 when he purchased the Hoefler building and began transforming it into a tearoom.  He saw the beautiful chandeliers at Materials Unlimited - a high-end architectural, hardware, and home antique store in Ypsilanti, and knew they'd be beautiful in his tearoom.  Only problem, they were $40,000! He placed a call to the Dr. who was willing to pay $40,000 for the baseball, and he purchased the chandeliers.

Napkins were folded in the shape of Christmas trees at each place setting.  [After we ate our server graciously gave us a tutorial on how to fold them.]  Phyllis said we could swap our teacup from any unoccupied table if we saw one we liked better, but we all opted to keep the ones at our place setting.  We began with teapots of Wild Cherry Amaretto and Holiday Tea [both black teas], but the Holiday Tea [cinnamon and spices] was too sweet for our taste buds, so we switched to Apricot.  

Joanie and I ordered the 'Madam Croswell' [slice of Quiche Lorraine, cheese muffin, and cup of Chicken and Rice Soup] while Linda and Judy ordered the traditional Afternoon Tea.

~ My Plate ~

Linda and Judy's Afternoon Tea was brought out in courses.  The savories were on a folding server.

~ Followed by a choice of scones, and dessert last. ~

It was a wonderful tea experience, and I highly recommend the tearoom.  From Adrian, we traveled a short distance to Tecumseh, MI, tomorrow's post...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Back to School!

Last Wednesday [Nov. 23rd] I attended the first of two PowerPoint classes at the City of Warren's main library, connected to City Hall. I'm taking the class because I believe PowerPoint will enhance my presentations.

14 attendees signed up for the class, but only 6 actually showed up [Thanksgiving preparations must have kept them away].  I was at the computer lab at 9:30 a.m.  for the two hour beginner's class.  The second and final class will be tomorrow.

When class was over I looked at some local artist's paintings in the lobby.

I smiled when I saw one pertaining to tea called Bag Lady.  

On another subject... Jerry sent me a picture of him and Steve taken in New York City yesterday afternoon. While they were walking near 78th and Broadway, Jerry spotted a handcrafted oak bicycle in one of the shops.  Since his hobby is finished carpentry, he was quite impressed with bike. The owner let him take it outside for a picture.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Post Thanksgiving Happenings

On Saturday, Jerry hired our granddaughter, Brooke, to rake the fallen leaves in our back yard from two massive 38 year old Maple trees.  In the end, he and Steve [her dad] pitched in and helped her. Filled bags and barrels are pictured below waiting to be picked up by the city sometime today.  I forgot to take her picture, so this was the next best thing.

What a joy to worship in church yesterday with with my granddaughter, Brianna.  She left right afterwards to go back to Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN, where she's a Junior. She got her hair trimmed while she was home for Thanksgiving, and the photo below was taken afterwards.  I know I'm prejudiced, but isn't she beautiful?

After church yesterday I went to Shore Pointe Assisted Living where I presented my monthly program during a simple tea party.  This month's theme was November Blessings.

We talked about the word 'blessing' being both a noun and a verb.   We can [and should] all be a blessing to others by showing love and kindness everyday.

President Obama was a blessing to 'Tot' by granting the turkey a pardon from ending up on his family's dinner table at the White House this year!  ;-)

I discovered some Michigan trivia in my program research - By the 1880's football had become the national Thanksgiving sport with college games predominating.  In 1934, however, the Detroit Lions established the tradition of professional football games on Thanksgiving Day when they played the Chicago Bears.  Unfortunately they lost 19-16. The good news is they won this year's Thanksgiving Day game against the Minnesota Vikings 16-13 [not implying I watched the game!].  

And you know that Green Bean Casserole that we all love to eat on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day... it was created in 1955 by Campbell Soup Company home economist, Dorcas Reilly.  The things you learn when you're giving a Thanksgiving presentation!

The activities director at the assisted living facility called this morning to get a December date and theme. We decided on December 18th with Christmas Around the World.

This morning I was up at 4:00 a.m. to take my guys [hubby, Jerry, and son, Steve] to the airport for their departure to Israel.  They won't actually leave for Israel until Wednesday morning.  They flew to New York City this morning where they'll be joined by other team members going on the trip. Safe travels, guys!  I'll be watching lots of Hallmark Christmas movies and the Crown on Netflix while you're away.

On this "Cyber Monday"  I ordered a 4-cup Brown Betty teapot, accompanying trivet, and Union Jack cozy from British Food Supplies, and the book, "My Mother Loved Tea" from Bigelow Tea.   I'm doing my part to keep the economy moving!  ;-)

You may remember me blogging about my friend, Denise LeCroy, in previous posts.  She coordinated the fabulous London Tea Tour that I went on in 2007, and I met up with her again in England in May 2016 when my daughter and I visited.  Below is Denise and me at Byfleet Manor where we had Afternoon Tea together.

On Nov. 12th, Denise's 34 year-old daughter, Meg, was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital [in Alaska where she lives], with a bacterial heart infection. On Nov. 21 she was airlifted to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington where she could receive more advanced care. She has remained in ICU, but Denise's last Facebook post [yesterday] was cautiously optimistic.  Will you please remember Meg in your prayers by asking The Great Physician to touch her physically, to give guidance to the doctors and nurses caring for her, and strength and comfort to Denise and her family. One of our greatest blessings this Thanksgiving Season is prayer, and knowing that God hears and answers our prayers according to His will. Thank you and God Bless!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Shopping at Tea Haus and Thanksgiving Day

When we finished our Afternoon Tea at Tea Haus last Tuesday, we browsed their tea shop. I've been wanting a cast iron Japanese tetsubin teapot for a long time, and Tea Haus had them on sale, so I finally bought one.

It's a 40 oz. teapot with an enamel lining and removable stainless steel infusing basket. It has bold black waterbead styling - a Japanese aesthetic that symbolizes strength and beauty. It didn't come with a cast iron circular trivet, but I ordered on online from Art of Tea when I got home.

Linda purchased four or five teas from their large selection of loose-leaf teas.

From there we drove a short distance to a wonderful antique store called The Treasure Mart - three floors of jam-packed antique treasures.  I saw lots of things, but didn't make any purchases.  Linda found several treasures to bring home including two Shelley teacups.  

On Thanksgiving Day we made our way at noon to our son Steve's house where most of the family was assembling for dinner at 1:00 p.m.

Their house was decorated inside and out for Thanksgiving.

There were 13 of us for dinner.  Jeremy and family came later in the afternoon after a family gathering with Samantha's side of the family.

Aren't these cute chair covers?  They were at a table set for two.

After dinner there was football on TV, watching old reel-to-reel 8 mm films from when Lori and Steve were babies and toddlers [but the photo below is actually of Jerry when he was a baby], and home videos from Christmas of 1989 when Steve and Sharon got engaged, and Brandon and Tiffany were young].  What fun! After Jeremy and family arrived we played a few rounds of Catch Phrase, had dessert, and watched more football.

[Tiffany, Brianna, and Brooke]

[Lori, Brandon and girlfriend, Vanessa]

We came home around 8:30 p.m.  It was a wonderful day with family.  The only one missing was granddaughter, Marissa, who was home sick with the flu.

We were back home in time to watch the new PBS premier of Anne of Green Gables series.  It's a new adaptation of L.M. Montgomery's book published in 1908, and starred Martin Sheen as Matthew Cuthbert and Ella Ballentine as Anne Shirley.  She reminded us so much of our granddaughter Isabella, that I went online and ordered the DVD.

Now to prepare for my presentation on Sunday...

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Praise God from whom all Blessings flow,
Praise Him all Creatures here below,
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

~ Composed by, Anglican Bishop Thomas Ken in 1709 ~

Thankful people are happy people.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tea Haus, Ann Arbor, MI

Yesterday my girlfriend and I had 12:00 p.m. reservations at the Tea Haus in Ann Arbor, MI. Linda had been there before, but it was my first time even though it's been open since 2010.  

Tea Haus is actually two shops combined - on one side is the tearoom/cafe and the other side is a tea shop where over 101 loose-leaf teas are sold, as well as a wide variety of tea equipage.  The teas are all sourced from Germany because that country is known to have the strictest quality control in the world to guard against pesticides and heavy metals.  [That was new information to me.]

The decor is trendy because it's located in a culturally diverse university city. The three light fixtures at the front of the tearoom are about the only 'frills' you'll find, making it very comfortable for male clientele, and those who don't want to be locked into the Victorian/Edwardian time period.

We ordered the traditional Afternoon Tea for $28 per person.  Below was my place setting.

Tea servings are unlimited.  We asked what was their most popular tea, and were told it was Earl Grey, so that's what we started with.  A binder with detailed descriptions of all the teas they offer is on each table.

The bergamot in the Earl Grey was a bit strong for our taste, so we switched to a Hazelnut Oolong, called Bossa Nova.  It was very good.

Our Afternoon Tea began with a cup of Fennel Leek Soup with Anise, Caraway, and Fennel Herbal Tea as the base.

Then a three-tiered server was brought to our table.   Everything is made fresh on site except the bread. 

~ Linda ordered vegetarian, and I had traditional selections.   ~

My savories were [from 12:00 o'clock position]: Cucumber and Cream Cheese on thin White Bread; Brie and Fig Butter on a Baguette; Herb Butter and Salami on toasted bread round; and Chicken Salad on Wheat round.   To accompany our savories we asked them to surprise us and pick a tea for us.  They brought us Vietnam Yen Bai - a robust unflavored black tea.

A fourth tea - Hung Cha Java - accompanied our scones, which were Lemon Ginger and a plain scone. 

While we enjoyed our scones and tea, the owner, Lisa McDonald, stopped at our table to chat. She told us she developed her love for tea while living in Germany, and took tea sommelier training at a university. When  she returned to the United States she opened Tea Haus.  At the beginning of 2017 she'll be opening a second shop [right around the corner from Tea Haus] which will be called "Eat More Tea," and as the name implies, it will feature foods made with tea.

[Lisa, Me, and Linda]

We had our fifth and last tea to go with our desserts - Autumn Spice - a flavored black tea. By now we were so full we only ate the Raspberry and Pumpkin Macaron, and had the rest boxed to go. The macarons were yummy.

Lisa offers several tastings/pairings: tea and chocolate, tea and cheese, tea and food pairings [six mini food courses], tea and cocktails, and a general tea tasting.  Linda is going to coordinate a group of 20 to attend a tasting this spring and I will advertise it on my blog, so stay tuned.  

Afternoon Tea at Tea Haus was a delightful experience and I highly recommend it for residents in southeastern Michigan.  It's located at 204 N. 4th Avenue.  After our tea we went over to the tea shop for purchases which I'll write about soon.