Thursday, June 15, 2017

Beatrix Potter Tea at Kellogg Manor House

On Tuesday [6/13] I took two girlfriends, Lori and Linda, to tea at W.K. Kellogg Manor House in Hickory Corners, MI [located between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, MI on the western side of the state].  127 miles one way is a bit farther than we normally travel for tea, but it was SO worth it, and as the saying goes, "Have tea will travel!" ;-)  We chatted all the way there and back, so travel time flew by.

This past February when I attended a tea hosted by the Northville Historical Society, I sat across from a lovely couple named, Mike and Sue, who traveled from the Kalamazoo area. Sue told me about The Tale of Beatrix Potter Tea at Kellogg Manor and I made a mental note to check into it, and then a couple of weeks later a blog follower named, Susan, [an entirely different lady from the one I met at Northville] e-mailed to tell me about the same Beatrix Potter tea.  I concluded it was meant to be, and promptly went online and made reservations. Thanks, ladies!

This was the second tea I've attended at Kellogg Manor.  Back in April 2002 [amazing how quickly 15 years pass!] when my parents were living near Kalamazoo, I drove over to take my mother to Afternoon Tea there.  That was before my blogging days, but I did blog about the tea in February 2013 [with pre-digital photos].  Since I shared some of the history of Kellogg Manor in that post, you can read it here, and I won't repeat.   My mom was 81 at the time, and we spent a lovely afternoon together at Kellogg Manor.  She has since passed away.

We had beautiful traveling weather this past Tuesday, and arrived shortly before 2:00 p.m. A guided tour of the house preceding the tea at 3:00 p.m. is included in the price [which is now $36 per person and a real bargain].  I didn't remember taking the house tour with my mom, but my blog post stated we did.  I have no photos of it.

The W.K. Kellogg Manor House is pictured below.  Mr. Kellogg called it Eagle Heights since it was built on the highest point of land overlooking Gull Lake.  The architecture is Tudor Revival.

We waited in the entry for the 2:00 o'clock house tour to begin, and took some pictures.  The tea was my birthday gift to Linda and Lori.  Aren't they pretty "birthday girls"?

[Linda, Me, and Lori]

Below is Sue, the lovely lady I met at the Northville Tea, and who first told me about the Beatrix Potter Tea.  I always say, "You meet the nicest people over tea!"

Below is Brynda Filkins who portrayed Beatrix Potter at the program that followed the tea.

I'm going to reverse the order of happenings on my blog and share the tea first.  Tomorrow's post will be about the tour, so ya'll come back! 

The tea was held in the living room, and I believe 11 tables were set up.

~ Beatrix Potter props ~

This was the tablescape at our table.  Our favors were a package of Shasta Daisy seeds, a card of Beatrix Potter characters, and three coloring pages of Beatrix Potter's drawings all tied together.

~ Menu ~

~ First course freshly baked Scones with fresh Berries and Cream ~

Here's to Beatrix Potter and good friends!

Second course was roasted Chicken Wraps with fresh garden Vegetable Slaw [Peter Rabbit and his friends would have whole-heartedly approved of the menu! ;-)]  It was delicious!

~ Beet Soup with Lemon and Thyme ~ 

Dessert was Chocolate Mint Dirt Pudding with a Chocolate dipped Strawberry resembling a carrot in a garden patch.  So cute!

[Sue and Me]

After our tasty, creative and visually appealing meal, it was time for Brynda Filkins to share the life of Beatrix Potter.  Brynda has a B.A. in Education, and a Master of Library Science degree. She was an excellent presenter.  She not only knew Beatrix Potter's life very well, but she presented it in such an expressive and engaging way.  She began by using an authentic British accent just as Beatrix would have had.  Her presentation was divided into three parts: First, Beatrix's childhood years...  [Notice how she changed her appearance a bit with each phase of life.]

Her mid-life and productive years...

And her later years in England's Lake District as Mrs. William Heelis and her involvement with Herdwick Sheep.

At the end of her presentation she gave away a Beatrix Potter children's book to a lady with the birth date closest to Beatrix's - July 28th.  Beatrix was born in 1866 and died in 1943.

She also had some candies to give to the two cute and well behaved little girls who were in attendance.

It was a fabulous program and a wonderful afternoon [the tea and program was from 3:00-5:00 p.m.].  Thank you to everyone involved who made all of it possible!

In 2001 my hubby and I went on a Globus tour of England, Wales and Scotland.  One of our stops was Grasmere in the Lake District, Cumbria, England.  We were only 11 miles away from Sawrey where Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm House is located, but it was not included in the tour - something I've always lamented. Grasmere is where Dove Cottage is located, the home of poet William Wordsworth, so the tour planners must have felt that was more worthy of seeing than Hill Top Farm House. Can you imagine?! One of the shops in Grasmere did give a nod to Beatrix Potter though, and I bought some of her things to bring back to my oldest grandson and granddaughter [the only grandchildren I had at that time].  

My friend, Linda, did a Beatrix Potter tea in 2010, and I blogged about it here.  I followed-up that post with Beatrix Potter's life in pictures, which you can view here.

Since those posts were written I've acquired a few Beatrix Potter figurines, a teapot and some books.  Do you collect Beatrix Potter memorabilia?

On April 3rd of this year, Cristy Bennett did a lovely Beatrix Potter Easter Parade Tea in East Lansing.  If you'd like to see pictures from that tea they can be seen by clicking here.

Isn't it amazing that 74 years after Beatrix Potter's death she's just as popular [or probably even more popular] than when she was alive.  She truly was a talented and fascinating woman.


  1. What a lovely place. It looks like a good time was had by all. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I love this post! You ladies always find the best teas! Beautiful pictures of the three of you!

  3. What a wonderful blog about a wonderful afternoon! It was a pleasure to meet you, Phyllis; I do hope you will stop by Hill Top Farm the next time you are in England. Your collection of figurines and tea sets is lovely.

  4. Oh, I'm so glad you got to go! When I read about the tea in the Beatrix Potter's Society newsletter "Pottering About", I was trying to think of someone in Michigan I could tell about it. I'm in Texas, so there was no way I could go! At least I could read about it if you went. Anyway, it looks like it was a lot of fun. I'm planning a Beatrix Potter tea for my "Tea Ladies" next Easter, so it's always good to get ideas from others. By the way, the newsletter is free and tells about BP events in both the U.K. and the U.S. Can't wait to see more tomorrow.

  5. Oh, what fun! I do love Peter Rabbit and his friends. I'm glad you three were able to go be part of this lovely occasion.

  6. Dear Phyllis: I was so excited to see this because Brynda was my next door neighbor years back in Colorado Springs, Colorado and is a very sweet lady. Her husband David recently told me through Face Book that she was doing Beatrix Potter presentations and I am thrilled to see she was at this tea!

  7. This sounds like an amazing tea! I especially like it when presenters put a lot of thought and care into their presentations. Must have been fun to enjoy this one and a fabulous tea as well!


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