Friday, June 29, 2012

A Pre-London Tea Party

Before we headed off to London, I had a  pre-London tea party at my house in February for  two girlfriends who went on the trip with me.   As you can see from the snow on the ground, teapots that never went dry kept us warm and cozy as we planned our upcoming trip!

I used my Hohenberg Bavaria dishes in the Daffodil pattern for my tablescape - not knowing that when we arrived in London the daffodils would be in bloom!

The menu was Wild Rice Bisque topped with a Puff Pastry teapot;  Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Scones; Shepherd's Pie; and Ginger Trifle for dessert.   Our teas throughout the afternoon were:  Earl Grey Black Tea, Keyoto Rose Green Tea, and Silver Needles White Tea.   We toasted to a safe, fun, and educational trip with a  non-alcoholic sparkling white grape beverage. 

L-R:  Phyllis [me], Sandy [seated] and Lori

 Blooming daffodils, on the lawn of Kensington Palace, greeted us a couple of weeks later!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

2007 Tea in London Tour

2007 was a big year in my tea journey.  Tea Lover Denise, author of Uniquely Tea blog, organized a London Tea Tour March 3-10.  From the moment I heard about it, I knew I wanted to go.   It was the trip of a lifetime! 

I can't possibly post all the photos taken on the trip, but I've selected some to share.   Pour yourself a cup of tea, and take an armchair trip to London with me.

Two girlfriends and I boarded a plane at Detroit Metro Airport bound for Atlanta, where we met up with the rest of our group, which totaled 11.  Four members of the group have tea blogs:  Denise L. [coordinator of the trip] writes Uniquely Tea, Linda J. writes Friendship Tea, Stephanie W. writes Steph's Cup of Tea, and Nancy R. writes Rosemary's Sampler. [I wasn't blogging yet.]

Mary Jane,  owner the former Amherst Rose Tea Room in Massillon, Ohio [which I will be blogging about at some point] was my roommate.

Phyllis [me] and Mary Jane

Gate T1 was our boarding gate at Atlanta International Airport - very appropriate for our group of tea travelers!  We departed at 7:25 Saturday night, March 3rd.

 We arrived at Garwick Airport at 8:30 Sunday morning.

We stayed at The Grange White Hall Hotel in Bloomsbury, London.

This was our room, #303, with a wall mounted tea caddy unit!  Wouldn't it be nice if U.S. hotels provided them too?

After checking into our hotel, we went on a  sightseeing tour and had  Afternoon Tea at the Tea Palace in Notting Hill [now located in Covent Garden].  I brought home a tin of their "Wild Berries" black tea, and it was so good!  As you can see, the tea tour was definitely not a time to be on a diet!

Monday was a full day.  We toured Kensington Palace, had a private Tea Tour at the Victoria and Albert Museum, enjoyed Afternoon Tea at the Lanesborough Hotel and shopped at Harrods.

L-R: Denise our Tour Coordinator and Sarah our Tour Guide

After touring Kensington Palace, we had lunch at the Orangery Tea Room.

Interior of the Orangery

Private tea tour  at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Afternoon Tea at the Lanesborough Hotel

Shopping at Harrods

Interior of Harrods 

Tea and delicious Macarons at Laduree's inside of Harrods.

Ready to leave our hotel on Tuesday morning for an all-day Tea Master's class at The Chesterfield Hotel, taught by  Jane Pettigrew and Tim Clifton.  Jane is a renown tea authority and author.   Tim is a highly-trained tea taster and was Chairman of one of London's leading tea brokers.

Following the Tea Master's class we had Afternoon Tea in the Conservatory.

Wednesday was a Southwark Tea  Walk [400 years of tea history];  Bramah Tea and Coffee Museum; National Portrait Gallery and Tea at the Ritz Hotel.

Kim, our walking tour guide.

Tea Warehouse

Having tea inside the Bramah Museum

Group on London Bridge

Tea at the Ritz

One doesn't normally pose for a photo in the ladies' powder room [right photo above], except at the beautiful one at the Ritz!

Thursday we went to Runnymede, the Magna Carta Tea Room, Windsor & Windsor Castle, and had dinner at a Pub - The Lass O'Richmond Hill.

Magna Carta Tea Room

Windsor Castle

Having tea [and Sticky Toffee Pudding] at the Crooked House.

Our last dinner of the tour was at a Pub.   I ordered Fish & Chips and Mushy Peas - and so did Stephanie.  [We shared photos and this is one of her photos.] 

Friday was our free day and theatre night.
Taking the tube to Sherlock Holmes Museum.  What an experience!!

The London Eye

Westminster Abbey

Our last activity was seeing Mary Poppins at the Theatre.

As the saying goes,  "All good things must come to an end,"  so we made our journey to Gatwick airport on Saturday morning for our flight back to Atlanta. 

What fun it's been reliving this trip with you.   I hope you enjoyed it!