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!
 

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