Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Resale and Antique Treasures from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

I'm sad this is the last post pertaining to my recent trip to Wilmington, Delaware.  I've had a lot of fun sharing all the details of the trip with you, and I hope you've enjoyed it too.

We checked out of our motel right after breakfast on Saturday, September 13th, and headed back to nearby Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania to visit some antique malls that had been recommended. We always break for places that look interesting, and one was the Encore Consignment/Resale Shop. They're open September thru June, and the 13th was their first Saturday open for the new 2014-15 season. All proceeds benefit the Chester County Hospital, and the majority of their inventory is household items.  

My hubby will soon begin renovating our living room, and part of the plans are a wall of shelves to display my blue and white china.  [I'll be blogging about the project with before and after photos.]  I probably have more than enough blue and white dishes to fill the shelves, but I noticed two pieces at Encore that I liked, and since they were both reasonably priced [$4.00 each], they came home with me.  The porcelain piece below is unmarked. 

A Johnson Brothers blue transferware plate.

From the Encore shop we drove to the Brandywine River Antiques Market. 

I collect porcelain ramekins, so the blue and white one [below] caught my eye.  It was just $13, so it came home with me too.  

It had a backstamp I didn't recognize until I returned home and read a September 14th post at Antiques and Teacups blog.  Ruth is an antique dealer, and her posts are always so informative. She stated Noritake Company began as Morimura Company in Japan in 1876. They've had several different backstamps over the years. The M backstamp [for Morimura] could be found until 1934, and after that the company began using Noritake as their backstamp.  Based on her information I now know the origin of my ramekin, and that it's at least 80 years old.

Our last stop was at Pennsbury-Chadds Ford Antique Mall.  Don't be fooled by the beautiful blue sky in the photo below.  It was actually pouring down rain!  The photo is from the mall's Facebook page.  The antique mall is large with an upper and lower level.  I didn't purchase anything, but Linda and Barb about lost their minds [and pocketbooks] at a silver booth on the lower level.

Anything made in silver Inslee Antique Dealers are likely to have it!  I've never seen so many unique, hard-to-find pieces of silver in one place... Victorian ice cream forks and sippers, mote spoons, tea strainers, and on and on.  Linda was thrilled to find a lettuce fork.

The clock was approaching the time we needed to head back to Wilmington for our Afternoon Tea at Winterthur, so we didn't have time to look at every booth in the mall, but if we ever return to the area it will be on our list of places to revisit.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Downton Abbey Tea at Winterthur

Day #5 of our trip was just as full as the previous days.  Since we were leaving for home right after Winterthur's Downton Abbey  Tea, we had to pack our suitcases and load them in the car first thing in the morning.  Below is what four ladies traveling together looks like! ;-)

It was the only day of our trip where it rained, but we managed to stop at a few antique and resale shops without getting too wet and messing up our tea-time outfits. [Tomorrow's post will be about my purchases.]

The Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea was held in Winterthur's Welcome Center building, [pictured below] which is separate from the museum.

[Internet Photo]

My 2007 London, England roommate, Mary Jane, who currently lives in Virginia, phoned before I left for Wilmington to say she and her husband would be at Winterhur on Saturday, September 13th, and they wanted to meet up with us.  There was still seating available at the 3:00 p.m. buffet tea, so they made reservations to join us.  Spending time with them was the "frosting on the cake" of the trip!

The dining room was beautifully set up for the tea.

The tea was a buffet instead of being served at tables.  Sometimes a buffet can be a disappointment with scant remains after the first ones go through the line, but definitely not at Winterthur.  The food was abundant, and replenished often - guests could even return for seconds. The price was $29.95 per person.

The servers were ready and waiting to assist guests.

Hot water urns [below] ready to provide many cups of tea.  

Tea bag selections were on the tables by Harney & Sons Fine Teas, Lipton, and the Winterthur Afternoon Tea blend by Eastern Shore Tea Company.

We each had our own individual "tea for one" teapot and teacup, and the servers refilled the teapots frequently with hot water.

The tea began with Cream of Cauliflower and Stilton Bisque that was served to us at our table.   We drank the bisque from the small glasses pictured below.

Then it was time to go through the savory buffet line.  A printed menu was at the beginning of the line, as well as food cards in front of each item.

The food was a feast for the eyes, and taste buds!

~ One of each, please! ~

Creme Fraiche Egg Salad on Poppy Seed Brioche with Sweet Pea Sprouts; Lemon Cucumber Shrimp Sandwiches with Chive Cream Cheese; Buttermilk Semolina Tea Sandwiches with Goat Cheese, Walnuts, and Roasted Pepper; Brandied Crab Salad on a Rice Cracker with Scallions and charred Corn; Smoked Gouda and Pimento Cheese Roll-ups with Arugula; Mozzarella and Heirloom Cherry Tomato skewers with Basil Balsamic; Warm mixed Mushroom and Brie Strudel with Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli; Crumbled Sausage and Roasted Vegetable Tartlettes with Fontina; and Spinach and Hazelnut Stuffed Mushrooms.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Miniature Scones and Buttermilk Raisin Miniature Scones were on the dessert table, with whipped Butter, Orange Marmalade, Lemon Curd, and English Country Cream.

And lastly the desserts... Chocolate dipped Strawberries; du Pont Chocolate Mousse Tartlettes; Cinnamon Shortbread Cookies; Berry Mousse Sugared Pastry Horn; Chocolate Dipped Macaroons, and other pastries that weren't listed on the menu.  Are you hungry yet? ;-)

[Linda , Barb and Me]

What a fabulous afternoon with wonderful friends having fellowship over tea, and great food! The dining room supervisor told us as we were leaving that the teas have been so successful [the dining room was filled to capacity], that they've decided to keep them going even after the Downton Abbey Costume Exhibit ends.

[Lori and Me]

Farewell Winterthur... until the next time!

*  *  *

Today I'm joining Antiques and Teacups for Tuesday Cuppa Tea
Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Reflection...

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him."
Psalm 127:3 [New Living Translation]

It was good spending today with our youngest son [Jeremy] and his family.   Jeremy and his daughter, Isabella, share the same birthday, September 29th, but we celebrated a day early. Happy Birthday Jeremy and Isabella!  You truly are gifts from God.

Isabella and her brother, Landon [below].  She's holding a child's china teapot [that has two small teacups and saucers] that belonged to my mother.  It'll be perfect for tea parties with her two American Girl dolls, Julie and Isabelle.

May God bless your week!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Afternoon Tea at Hotel du Pont

Two friends suggested we put Hotel du Pont's Afternoon Tea on our trip itinerary, and we're so glad we took their suggestion.  [Thanks Nancy and Mary Jane!]  Hotel teas are in a league of their own - elegant and high style. 

Hotel du Pont was built in 1913 as a prestigious, world-class hotel. It has retained its beauty and charm for 101 years. 

We arrived at the valet entrance a few minutes before 3:00 o'clock with great anticipation.

Exterior window promoting the hotel's Afternoon Tea service.  Notice the lady's hat at the right?

Beautiful hotel lobby.

The luxurious Green Room is the hotel's dining room, and where Afternoon Tea is served. In 1955 Prince Rainier III of Monaco dined here with Grace Kelly.

A lady we met on our trip said we reminded her of the Golden Girls - not quite the style we were trying to emulate, and I didn't ask which Golden Girl I might be! ;-)

[L-R:  Me, Barb, Lori, and Linda]

We were seated at a corner table by windows.

 The Afternoon Tea menu [which we got to keep]. 

I selected Red Fruit black tea.  A delicious mixture of delicate black tea and robust flavors derived from whole cherries, cranberries and red raspberries.

Below is our server, Mr. Lang. 

~ Savories ~
Top tier:  Shrimp Salad on toasted Wheat round with Bibb Lettuce and Tomato.  Middle tier: Truffled Egg Salad with Endive on Toasted Wheat triangles; and  Raspberry Devonshire Cream on toasted Rye squares, garnished with Greens and Blackberry.  Bottom tier:  Sliced Radishes with creamy Horseradish on top of sliced Cucumbers on toasted White rectangle; and Marinated Chicken and Pecan Salad with Bibb Lettuce on toasted White rectangle.

~ Scones and Desserts ~

Classic Cream Currant Scone and Treacle Scone with Jam and Cream.

Desserts:  Chocolate Truffle Gateau Slice; Blueberry Almond Financier; Petite Pecan Diamond; Raspberry Almond Frangipane Tart; Fruit Mousse Chocolate Cup; and Chocolate Dipped Macaroon.   Everything tasted as good as it looks.

~ Barb ~

~ Lori ~

~ Linda ~

~ Me ~

As we were finishing up our Afternoon Tea, the staff was setting the dining room tables for dinner. Their china is beautiful.

From the dining room we went to the hotel gift shop.  In the hall was a display window advertising the Downton Abbey Costume Exhibit.

I purchased a book about Hotel du Pont, and a tin of their Centennial Tea, blended by Ronnefeldt, in Germany.  It's a black tea with Babaco fruit flavor, Pineapple, Papaya, Rose Petals, Sunflower Petals, and Cornflowers.  The pineapple symbolizes Hotel du Pont's commitment for hospitality for 100 years.

The photo on the tea canister is of the Ladies' Hat Shop that was once located in the hotel.

One of the valets took a picture of Lori and me just before we left.

The next and final post of our fabulous trip will be day #5 - A Downton Abbey Buffet Tea at Winterthur.