Edsel Ford was the only child of automobile magnate and industrialist, Henry Ford. Edsel married Eleanor Clay in 1916. Construction of their home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan began in 1926, and they moved in Christmas 1929.
I have toured the mansion several times through the years, but never tire of seeing it. Yesterday, I returned with a girlfriend for a Christmas Tea and Tour. The mansion was elegantly decorated for Christmas in the same style that Eleanor would have done it when she was alive.
Main entrance to the mansion. It is called the Gate Lodge and its architecture is compatible to the main house. It contains three apartments that were used for staff and their families.
We drove through the arch to the Activities/Welcome Center which houses the Cotswold Cafe, gift shoppe, and gallery rooms. It's a relatively new addition to the property opening in 1990.
Once inside, there are portraits of Edsel and Eleanor Ford on each side of the doors.
Edsel Ford 1893-1943
Eleanor Ford 1896-1976
The tour was scheduled for 3:00 p.m. A shuttle transported us from the Activities Center to the main house. Edsel and Eleanor traveled to England to see various styles of residential architecture before beginning construction on their home. The area of the Cotswolds in County Gloucestershire appealed to them the most. The mansion looks very much like a small village of Cotswold cottages built closely together. Below is the front entrance. The English ivy that covers the walls is dormant during the winter months.
Built on 87 acres, the 30,000 square foot house has sixty rooms, nine fireplaces, with three stories and a basement. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and opened to the public in 1978. The tour showcases 20 rooms. No photography is allowed inside.
Following the tour of the mansion, the shuttle took us to Josephine's playhouse. Josephine was Edsel and Eleanor's only daughter and on her 7th birthday her grandmother [Clara Ford] had the 500 square foot house built for her. It consists of a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and a pine-paneled sitting room with fireplace.
After seeing the playhouse, we returned to the Cotswold Cafe in the Activity Center for Afternoon Tea. Our table was ready and waiting for us.
I selected Jasmine Green Tea
We began with Blueberry Scones
Our savories were brought out individually: Cucumber Sandwich; Wild Mushroom Tartlet; Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad Bites; Asparagus and Red Pepper Canape; and Shrimp Crostini.
Before dessert we were served Champagne with a red raspberry.
Desserts were a Lemon Custard Tart with Blueberries; Peppermint White Chocolate Mousse Tart; and Chocolate Brownies. As with the savories, each dessert was brought out individually - a serving style I had never seen before.
[L-R] Lori and me
It was a sell-out event, and the cafe was filled.
One last picture in front of the Christmas Tree in the Activity Center.
The end of a lovely afternoon!
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Today I am linking to Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday