Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Snowed in with Christmas Movies

Mother Nature decided to do her own decorating for Christmas, and most of southeastern Michigan has been under a winter storm warning since 10:00 a.m. this morning.  The warning extends through midnight, and they're predicting one inch of snow to fall per hour.

This is what it looked like from the front and back of my house around 4:00 o'clock this afternoon.  The snow is beautiful if you can stay inside and look out at it - which my hubby and I are doing.  It's nerve-racking if you have to get out and drive in it.

We've been enjoying the Hallmark Christmas movies [minus all the commercials], and I told my family to watch the 1946 classic, It's a Wonderful Life, on DVD because we'll be playing a trivia game about it on Christmas Eve.

I bought my dad the Fiftieth Anniversary Scrapbook by Jimmy Hawkins [who played 4-year-old Tommy Bailey] in 1996, and when he passed I got the book as a keepsake.

Do you have a favorite Christmas movie?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Afternoon Tea at The Whitney

My friend, Lori, and I drove to Midtown Detroit today to enjoy Afternoon Tea at the David Whitney Mansion. Linda Pudlik, our mutual friend, met us there.  The beautiful tea experience was a gift from her. 

The Whitney, located at 4421 Woodward Avenue, was bedecked in Christmas splendor.  It is the only upscale establishment in downtown Detroit with an Afternoon Tea program. The tea was served in Mrs. Whitney's sitting room on the second floor of the mansion.  All the tables were filled.

[Lori, Linda and Me]

Shawn, the restaurant's Tea Director, did a tea presentation at the beginning of our tea.  The teas served at the restaurant are blended locally by Mary Jones of Intu Tea.  My choice was 'Gentle Earl Grey'.  As the name suggests the bergamot was very mild.

The tea began with two freshly baked scones by the Whitney's chef - raspberry and blueberry, served with Chantilly Cream and Orange Marmalade.

The second course was Tomato Basil Bisque, served with a mixed greens salad dressed with the house Honey Lemonade Vinaigrette.  

The bottom row of the three-tiered server contained the savories:  Salmon on Pumpernickel, Cucumber on White,  Chicken Salad roll-up on Spinach Tortillas, and a Deviled Egg garnished with Caviar.

Desserts were a Pumpkin Cheesecake Bar, a Bavarian Cream filled Tart with Fresh Berries and drizzled with White Chocolate, and a Truffle.

Thank you, Shawn, for keeping our teacups continuously filled, bringing the courses to our table at just the right time, and for even being our photographer!  

Thank you, Linda, for gifting us with this wonderful Christmas tea experience!

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Postal Surprise

Most all bloggers agree - the best part of blogging are the friends we make!  I'll soon be starting my 7th year of blogging, and I've been blessed to meet some 'tea and blog friends'  in person, and others through correspondence.

Last Friday a package arrived from Texas, and I couldn't wait to share its contents with you.

~ Linen Christmas tea towels ~

A Polish pottery miniature teapot ornament.  It inspired me to put up a Christmas tree this week decorated with all my tea-themed ornaments.  When it's done I'll post a picture.

~ Mints for my purse. ~

A package of Apricot Mango black tea.  The wonderful aroma of this tea permeated the entire postal box.

And it tastes yummy too!

Thanks for your friendship across the miles, Frieda, and the nice surprise!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Pine Lake Country Club Christmas Tea

Yesterday I attended the 3rd Annual Holiday Splendor Tea to benefit the Governor Warner Mansion, held at Pine Lake Country Club.

We had our first light dusting of snow yesterday morning, but thankfully it didn't last long since I had to drive 25 miles to West Bloomfield, MI.  The tea began at 11:00 a.m.

The country club is always decorated so beautifully for Christmas.

When I was taking pictures, one of the staffers asked if I'd like to have my picture taken in front of the beautifully decorated Christmas tree.  I was so bummed because I bought a gold fascinator to wear with my outfit, but left it laying on the bed at home.  When I realized I forgot it, there wasn't time to go back without being late for the tea.

The decorated alcove below made the perfect backdrop for pictures before the tea began.

Jennifer [R] is a member of Pine Hills Country Club, and sponsors the fundraiser.  Linda [L] is on the planning committee for the event.  They were both dressed so festive.

Barb Gulley [center] owns Barb's Tea Service.  She's a tea and etiquette specialist who conducts tea tastings and seminars, [you may have heard her at Meadow Brook, the Townsend Hotel or one of the local libraries], and she is the author of Michigan Tea Rooms.  She also writes a tea blog, Barb's Tea Shop.

The food at Pine Lake is excellent, and after more than a week of my cabbage soup diet, it was truly savored!  'Starters' were mini-cinnamon rolls and slices of assorted tea breads.

Their Butternut Squash Bisque is absolutely divine.

The tea was "Christmas Sparrow" blended locally by Mary Jones, specifically for this event.

Our main entree was Asiago Chicken with vegetables.

Dessert was a decadent Chocolate covered Devil's Food cake ball with a crunchy Peanut Butter bottom.  

When the tea ended, we traveled a short distance to the Village Club [a private women's club where Linda is a member] in Bloomfield Hills, MI for their Holiday Tea that started at 3:00 p.m.   Two elegant teas in one day.  It doesn't get any better than that!  

As the Christmas song goes, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Christmas Present to Me from Me!

While recently reading Lady Carnarvon's blog [which is always a great read], I decided to buy her latest book, At Home at Highclere - Entertaining at the Real Downton Abbey.   It arrived in yesterday's mail.  I can hardly wait until I have time to sit down with it over a cup of tea!

~ Front Cover ~

~ Back Cover ~
 Lady Fiona, the 8th Countess of Carnarvon leaning on the balcony railing.

~ Table of Contents ~
As you can see there's a chapter on Afternoon Tea.

~ Gorgeous Color Photos ~
The Drawing Room where many scenes of Downton Abbey were filmed.

~ The Dining Room ~

The 283-page book is filled with history and lots of great recipes, in addition to the beautiful color photographs.  

~ Lady Carnarvon ~

~ Photo taken on May 5, 2015 during my visit to Highclere Castle ~

The book is available at Amazon.