Thursday, April 30, 2015

The White House Visitor Center and Teaism

I contacted my senator's office months before our trip about touring the White House, but our request was denied due to the vast number of requests from other tourists in Washington D.C. the same time as us.  Between the Cherry Blossom Festival and spring break from school, D.C. was bustling with people.

The next best thing was visiting the White House Visitor Center at 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue, in Baldrige Hall.

An excellent short film about the White House was shown with commentary by recent residents [the Clintons through the Obamas], as well as numerous interesting White House displays.  Below is a large mural of the White House inside the Visitor Center.

There was also a nice gift shop.  I saw so many books I liked, but books are heavy and not good purchases when flying, so I settled on a packet of twelve postcards with interior and exterior views of the White House, and a Cherry Blossom fan.  I'll be doing a fan presentation [along with parasols, hankies, and gloves] on April 26th, so the fan will be a nice visual.

The fan is made of paper and bamboo.

Then we were off to get something to eat at Teaism, the Penn Quarter location at 400 8th and D Streets.  It was a bit of a hike from the Visitor Center, but with all the Afternoon Teas we'd been enjoying we needed the exercise.  There are two other Teaism locations in Washington, D.C., and one in Alexandria, VA.

They serve Afternoon Tea daily between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m., but we opted to order from their menu. It was quite busy, which is always a good sign.

I ordered chicken curry with brown rice, and a skewer of eggplant, onion, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.  My friend, Linda, raved about their lentil soup, so I ordered a bowl too.  I choose Keemun tea to go with my meal. 

Dessert was a carrot cake scone.   Everything was very good, and it was fun to include an Asian style tea along with the traditional British teas.

When we finished eating we walked next door to their store which sells loose leaf tea and tea equipage.

They store their tea in colorful washi paper covered Japanese tea boxes.

My purchase was a blue and white porcelain Gaiwan.

End of 4th day in Washington D.C.  Only one day left - tomorrow's post.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Gettysburg and a Downton Tea at Sweet Remembrances

After leaving Frederick, Maryland, Mary Jane drove on to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. There was a lot of activity for a Thursday, and we learned they were celebrating the 150th Anniversary of General Robert E. Lee's surrender in the Civil War.

We parked the car and visited an old church [Christ Lutheran Church founded in 1835] that doubled as a Civil War hospital.  We browsed in a couple of shops, and I purchased a necklace with a teapot charm.

We only had time to see a few historic sites in Gettysburg.  Aren't the two statues below lifelike? 

We left Gettysburg and traveled to Mechanicsburg, PA where we had 6:00 p.m. reservations for a sell-out Downton Abbey tea at Sweet Remembrances tea room.  

~ Our table ~

~ Fresh Flowers ~

Angelica is the proprietor's niece, and was one of the servers.  Since it was evening I drank herbals throughout the tea.

We were served effervescent strawberry shrub when we first arrived, and it was delicious.

~ Pear and Walnut Salad with Parmesan Balsamic Dressing ~

Savories: [beginning at 12:00 o'clock position] Lemon Herbed Egg Salad with Asparagus; Savory Olive Cheese Triangles on Whole Wheat Bread; Cucumber Sandwich; Poppyseed Apple Chicken Salad in Pastry Boats; Ham and Cheese Muffins; Carrot Sandwich Rounds on Whole Wheat.

Traditional English Cream Scone; Orange Glazed Poppyseed Tea Bread;  Mascarpone filled Strawberry; and Kiwi and Orange Slices.

~ Lavender Butter Cookie; Lemon Coconut Cake; and Sticky Toffee Pudding ~

Following the tea, Janet Young [pictured below] presented a program, 'Entertaining the Downton Abbey Way.'   

It was great seeing Nancy Reppert [the owner] again.   Kudos on a great tea! 

Mary Jane drove us back to our hotel in Washington, D.C.  By the end of the day she had driven over 350 miles.  Thanks, Mary Jane!  You're the BEST!  

End of day #3 of Washington, D.C. trip.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Three States and Two Tea Rooms in One Day!

My dear friend, Mary Jane, who lives in Virginia, picked us up at our hotel on Thursday morning, April 9th, to take us on an exciting day trip that included 11:30 a.m. reservations at Serenity Tea Room in Frederick, Maryland.

Before we got to Serenity Tea Room, however, Mary Jane stopped at a cute antique shop in Lucketts, Virginia called On a Whim.  

Mary Jane's favorite color is pink, so it's easy to see why she likes this shop.

The mannequin below greeted us at the entrance of the shop which sells cottage, shabby chic, traditional and eclectic items.

~ Loved this cute apron! ~

I saw lots of cute things, but didn't make any purchases.  Then we were off for Frederick, Maryland.

Linda and Sandy put coins in the parking meter in front of Serenity Tea Room in the photo below.

~ Interior of the tea room. ~

~ Blanch Henry, the lovely owner ~

~ Pouring our tea.  I had Darjeeling ~

~ We all ordered the Traditional Afternoon Tea ~

[L-R: Linda, Sandy, Me and Mary Jane]

~ Scrumptious food!  ~

 Blueberry Scones and Banana Tea Bread with Homemade Curd, Jam, and Clotted Cream.

~ Dessert Tier ~

~ Sandwiches/Savories ~

~ Loose leaf tea for sale in the gift shop ~

After a fabulous Afternoon Tea we walked across the street to The Emporium Antique Mall.

[Internet Photo]

This time I didn't leave empty handed.  I purchased a porcelain tea trivet, and two red transferware demitasse cups.  Since we were flying back home I couldn't make any large purchases.

When we left the antique mall we headed for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - tomorrow's post.