I'm always fascinated by businesses that incorporate tea into their sales promotions. On February 26th I missed the opportunity of having Afternoon Tea at the upscale furniture showroom of Scott Shuptrine in Royal Oak, MI where Charles, 9th Earl of Spencer, was the special guest. [I'm still kicking myself!]
I read about the event a month after it had passed, in the Metro Detroit Examiner - an online publication, where friend, Barb Gulley, is the Tea Editor. You can read her article and view her photos of the special event here. An ad was also placed in Detroit's Hour Magazine.
Althorp Estate [pictured above] was built in 1688, but Spencer family members have lived on the property since 1508, making it home to 19 generations, spanning over 500 years. [Althorp is in Northamptonshire, England, 75 miles northwest of London.]
Charles, 9th Earl of Spencer, and brother of the late Princess Diana, was at Scott Shuptrine to promote the Althorp Living History Furniture Collection. He became the owner of Althorp in 1992, and launched a massive program of restoration and repair in 2009. In connection with the restoration project, Lord Spencer partnered with Theodore Alexander to reproduce Althrop furnishings, with the proceeds from sales going to the preservation of the estate.
I may have missed Afternoon Tea at Scott Shuptrine, but I stopped by the store recently to see the Althorp Living History Furniture Collection. A sales representative gave me permission to take photos to share on my blog, and provided me with a store catalog to read the history of the collection.
Below is the Althorp crest that was affixed to the inside of the drawer in the desk pictured above.
The furniture and accessories are beautiful. You know my eyes immediately spotted the tea caddy sitting on the coffee table [chest on the right]. There are four tea caddies in the Althorp collection.
Close-up of the "Caddy of Distinction." The original is a George III, circa 1790.
~ Spencer Crest on Lid ~
~ The price tag ~
My friend, Barb, bought the tea caddy the day she was at Scott Shuptrine for Afternoon Tea, and Lord Spencer autographed it for her, plus she had the honor of interviewing him.
As for me, I probably missed my one and only chance of seeing Lord Spencer in person, but life will have to go on! ;-) Kudos to Scott Shuptrine for hosting an Afternoon Tea to launch the Althorp furniture line. The exquisite furnishings and Afternoon Tea were a perfect pairing.