Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tearoom Visits and Teatime Memories

Anyone who knows me knows travel, trip planning and afternoon tea are passions for me. When we take family vacations or business trips, I am the tour planner in the family. We like to have afternoon tea in different locations. I research tearooms on the internet and in tea publications and plan as many afternoon teas as possible during travels. I have been visiting tearooms since 1993. I collect souvenir menus, business cards and other mementos from those visits and take lots of photos of the food, decor and more. The thought was, I would have ideas of what to do when I got ready to open my own tearoom. Life's circumstances and the care for 4 elderly ladies in my family changed my tearoom plans. I also realized, here in Ky, a tearoom is a restaurant and requires 24/7. Besides, as much as I enjoy planning, making and serving afternoon tea, I enjoy going to tea better.
In 2000, Joette, a PA friend, suggested I journal my afternoon tea adventures and sent me a cute Susan Branch notebook to write down the basic who, when, where and how information. The notebook worked for that but I continued to collect photos, menus and mementos in a box and a file. I looked for tea journals online and found several, but none worked well for me. Another friend, Mary, suggested I start putting my "stuff" in a 3 ring binder. That works well for my needs. I supplement with a purse-sized notebook to take with me on tearoom visits to jot down notes. When I have time, I write up a summary of the tea, put it in a plastic page cover in a 3 ring binder along with menus, photos, etc.
Tea in seven countries and 16 states and too many tearooms (including 3 trips to England) to count later, I have four three ring binders, several small notebooks, several photo albums and a box of teatime memories. It may not be the most technical or organized way to keep my tea treasures, but they sure do bring me a lot of pleasure when I look through them!
OK, computer gurus, I hear your groans. One of these days I hope to make time to scan the "pre-digital camera days" photos and bring my teatime memories into the 21st century. But, right now I am too busy planning my next tearoom visit! Details coming soon to this blog!


Bonita said...

Oh how I would love to look through your tea notebooks! What a grand idea! I can't wait until some computer guru, a title for which I don't qualify, helps you get them on computer so we can see all the good times. Hurry!

Kathy at Shocking Pink Thread said...

cOh my! What a blessed woman you are to have visited so many tea rooms in so many places! It is something I can only aspire to! Thank you for sharing! ~Kathy

ellen b. said...

Oh you are a traveler after my own heart! People call me the "Scout". How fun that you have these notebooks. I need to go back to the Uk now that I'm a blogger!! :0)

Grace Yaskovic said...

tea notebooks what a grand idea!

Miss Sandy said...

You should write a book of your tea time adventures, I am sure there are some wonderful stories tuck away in your memory file!

Lisa said...

That's a great idea. And fun to look back through later.

La Tea Dah said...

I love your idea for recording all your tearoom visits. Three-ring binders work so nicely because you can put all sorts of things in them. I'm not as organized as you are, but you inspire me. I love your idea! Do you make 'teacup rings' from each cup of tea and stamp it on watercolor paper? They would be a nice addition to your records.

Thanks for sharing!

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