Friday, March 31, 2023

Meadow Brook Downton Abbey, Tea, Talk and Tour

Yesterday The Whitney paid the way for two servers [who work Mansion teas on weekends] and myself to attend Meadow Brook's Downton Abbey Tea, Talk and Tour.  Mother Nature intervened on our behalf, because the tea had originally sold out when The Whitney asked me to make reservations.  An ice storm cancelled the original February date, and when they rescheduled for yesterday, some who had previous reservations couldn't make the new date, so they used their waiting list to fill the tea.  Lucky us!

Yesterday was a beautiful, clear, warm spring day [unlike today that is rainy and gloomy].

The tea was held in the beautiful Christopher Wren dining room.

The tea food was delicious.  The courses were plated rather than presented on tiered servers.  Savories were:  Quiche Florentine which was a crustless quiche with mashed potatoes on top reminscent of Shepherd's pie;  Smoked Salmon & Boursin Roulade on Sourdough Crostini [not visible in photo below]; Dried Fruit & Herb Chicken Salad in Demi Brioche Boule; Cheddar Biscuit with Roasted Garlic Whipped Butter, and Honey Ham on Pretzel Roll with Coarse Dijon & Gruyere.

~ Kristin ~

Desserts were:  Chocolate Dipped Strawberry; Petite Apple Cinnamon Muffin; Mini Scone with Lemon Curd; Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce and adorable Chocolate Mousse Cup.  The Cheesecake was handsdown the favorite at our table.

Tea was the biggest disappointment.  They offered three herbals:  Apricot Rooibos, Mint Melange, and Chamomile Citrus.  The only Camellia Sinensis tea was Earl Gray and the consensus at our table was awful.  Little to no taste of Bergamot which is the distinguishing characteristic of Earl Grey tea and it was SO strong.  The British say they like their tea strong enough to 'trot a mouse across' but this tea was so strong an entire army of mice could have trotted across!

Barb Gulley did a program near the end of the tea.  She talked about the overlap of Downton Abbey and the Gilded Age, highlighting Alva Vanderbilt and the Newport, Rhode Island 'cottages', particularly Marble House.   

At the conclusion of her talk, a member of Meadow Brook staff, dressed in a servant's uniform, gave the comparisons between Downton Abbey servants and those at Meadow Brook.  Then we were divided into groups to tour the mansion.  The docents were dressed in servant's uniforms as well.

Before exiting the dining room, Steve, Kristin and I posed for a picture in front of Matilda Dodge Wilson's huge portrait.

I've toured the mansion several times, but always see or learn something new each time.

Before leaving we paused for one more photo to share back at The Whitney.  

Special thanks to the Whitney owners and General Manager for making this day possible for us.


  1. I enjoyed this so much and hope you share in our group. We enjoyed The Gilded Age and look forward to more hopefully coming by Fellows. How wonderful that you were able to attend this!

  2. What a wonderful experience! Too bad the tea was subpar.

  3. What a fun opportunity to enjoy someone else's lovely tea and also see what others do. The room was certainly wonderful. So glad you could enjoy!

  4. Your fascinator (the headpiece) is just beautiful and set off by your belt so nicely! You look lovely- I just had to tell you 🙂!
    Looks like you had a gracious and delightful day, even if the tea was a disappointment. You've inspired me to go make a cuppa myself🫖. Judy

  5. Love the fascinator.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

  6. I'm glad you three were able to attend this, but how sad that the tea itself wasn’t up to par. Everything else sounds nice, though, and I'm sure the tour was enjoyable.


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