Welcome to Friendship Tea, a blog about the daily happenings in the life of Linda, a tea enthusiast, who enjoys travel and trip planning, and is passionate about family, friends, life in Kentucky, and all things TEA.
Afternoon Tea at Palm Court, The Ritz in London
(Evening Champagne Tea at 7:30 p.m.)
Afternoon Tea Menu:
Egg Mayonnaise with Cress
Chicken and Mayonnaise
Cucumber with Cream Cheese
Freshly Baked Raisin and Apple Scones
Served with Devonshire Clotted Cream and Strawberry Preserves
Assortment of Afternoon Tea Pastries and Cakes
Fruits of the Forest Compote with English Cream
Ritz Selected Teas or Ritz Blend Filter Coffee (interesting)
The Tea Selection:
Ritz Traditional English
Ceylon Orange Pekoe
Dress Code: Gentlemen are respectfully requested to wear a jacket and tie.
Jeans and training shoes are not permitted.
Thank you to Diana at Custom Blog Designs for working with me to design the new look for my Friendship Tea Blog. I am celebrating my 600th blog post with this beautiful new look.
Please bear with me during the changeover as I link posts to the new navigation bar. Tonight I started posting and linking a series of my Afternoon Tea experiences. These are my authentic tea photos and are not staged. I will add my personal afternoon tea photos a few at a time, as my time allows.
Angela at Tea With Friends posted on Monday of this week about finding this beautiful Royal Albert 100th Anniversary Series tea pot set at an amazing bargain price of less than $20. Angela's photos are fantastic and her post is a great read.
On Tuesday morning I drove to Lexington to a doctor's appointment. After the appointment I stopped by Home Goods. My heart did a little flip-flop when I spied two of these teapot, cream and sugar sets on a bottom shelf behind a bunch of glassware. I held my breath as I carefully picked up this beautiful box and looked at the price on the bottom. After having read about Angela's bargain find, of a $300 tea set for less than $20, I was a little disappointed when the price was marked $39.99. I debated a bit, but concluded it was coming home with me at that price. The beautiful tea set would be perfect on my tea table and the adorable round box is perfect place to store my Kentucky Derby hat.
It's amazing how the teapot lover's mind works when trying to justify the purchase of a new teapot!
P.S. Thanks Angela for posting the details of this beautiful teapot on Monday!
These crocus were peeking up in a flower bed in our yard when I took this photo on Sunday afternoon. The sun was brightly shining and the temperature was warm enough for 10 yr.old AJ to wear shorts and a t-shirt. This morning we have snow and ice and school has been cancelled again here in our little southern Kentucky town. It looks like our children will be attending school until mid-june! Bummer! It's time for a nice cuppa tea!
Congratulations to Marilyn at Delights of the Heart in Portland, OR the winner of my random drawing. I am excited for you, Marilyn, because there are no Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores in that part of the USA.
Note: For the readers of Friendship Tea who asked, yes, these items were in the same display at Cracker Barrel as the beautiful Tea Party shirts and the Scripture Tea.
I am giving three tea-themed items currently in a display with other tea-themed items at Cracker Barrel. This giveaway includes two cute tea towels; the blue one, on the left, is embroidered with the quote "Life is like a cup of tea... it's all in how you make it." The green towel on the right is embroidered with the quote "Tea warms the heart...and soothes the soul." Also included in this giveaway, is a small metal sign with the quote "A woman is like a tea bag... you don't know how strong she is until you put her in hot water."
In addition, I will send the winner a few samples of teas from some of my favorite tea vendors.
Make a comment on this post from now through 10:00 pm, Tuesday, February 23 and you will be entered into the drawing. The winner will be picked from a random drawing and announced here on Wednesday. Be sure to check on Wednesday to see if you are the lucky winner!
The Tea Lover's Devotional by Emilie Barnes was published in 2009 by Harvest House Publishers. I purchased my copy when it was released and have enjoyed it. I was very pleased to see this little book on the shelf of an Atlanta airport book store/news stand recently, readily available for travelers to purchase. The book includes easy-to-read devotionals, recipes, and interesting tea facts. If you enjoy Emilie Barnes tea books, or if you are looking for an uplifting book of devotions, I believe you will enjoy this precious little book.
While traveling recently, I purchased this vintage English Bone China teacup and saucer on a visit to an "antiques, collectibles and oldies" shop. This is a Mayfair made in Staffordshire England. A quick internet search turned up several patterns similar to this one, but I didn't find an exact match. I am partial to pink rose patterns on china, it was not expensive, and I have a collection of teacups and saucers, therefore, I couldn't pass it up!
Mini Teatimes, published by Harvest House Publishers, features beautiful paintings by Susan Rios and is a delightful quick read. This little book would make a nice gift for the tea lover or someone new to afternoon tea. It uplifting, inspirational, and is infused with tea quotes, reflections, and a few delicious recipes from the Inn on Summer Hill and Rose Tree Cottage in California, A Spot For Tea in Oklahoma, and Camellia Rose Tea Room in Florida.
The gift shop at Camellia Rose in Plant City, FL was well-stocked with a variety of merchandise. I really like the way they have their tins of loose leaf tea displayed in the cabinet behind a glass door with the names of each held in a silver mini teapot placecard holder. On the nearby three-tier table, there are samples of each tea in small glass-covered dishes. Just lift the lid, examine the tea and sniff to make your choice.
I purchased a 4 oz. tine of Sandy's Creme Brulee' Decaf for GJ who drank two pots during afternoon tea. I double bagged it in ziploc bags to place it in my luggage for the flight home. It smells so yummy!
I have several blog posts about teacup and saucer planters. And, I am amazed the subject is one of the top searches that lands readers on my blog. This Valentine's themed planter at Cracker Barrel is on sale. I have previously posted teacup and saucer planters from Michael's and WalMart.
Hmmm.... should I stop back by Cracker Barrel and purchase this one?
My family thouroughly enjoyed our visit to Camellia Rose Tea Room and Gift Shop in Plant City, FL. I loved the way the owner, Ellen, furnished the tea room with antiques, silver, vintage hats and photos of past Strawberry Festival royalty. Ellen's personality and southern hospitality shines throughout the tea room and gift shop.
A special thank you to Laura, our server, above with AJ. And, thank you to Marilyn, the manager, who returned all my calls and made our reservations. It was so nice to be greeted by her, using our first names, when we stepped in the door of the shop.
We enjoyed a most pleasant afternoon tea at Camellia Rose Tea Room in Plant City, Florida last Saturday. And, I had the pleasure of meeting co-owner Ellen Garrett (top photo). She and I are members of an online tea chat group.
Camellia Rose is an English-style Tea Room with a Southern Flair, combining a fantastic loose leaf tea selection, with delicious food and gracious Southern Hospitality!
We ordered the Lorena's Afternoon Tea. The first course was a cup of homemade soup. GJ and I ordered the potato soup and AJ ordered the minestrone. (He reminded me later I forgot to take a photo of his soup). The three tier server arrived next. Freshly baked Strawberry White Chocolate Scones were on the bottom tier, served with southern style Devon cream. The middle tier held an assortment of sandwiches including a heart-shaped cucumber cream cheese open-faced sandwich, a ham and pineapple sandwich on swirled rye bread, a dainty Gruyere cheese and strawberry phyllo tart, and their signature curry chicken salad tea sandwich on white bread with the edges encrusted with finely chopped pecans. The top tier held a delicious swan-shaped cream puff, a delightful heart-shaped chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate cookie crumb crust, and a delicate trifle in a mini tea cup.
We ordered bottomless pots of tea. AJ and I had Queen's English Tea, while the amazing aroma of GJ's Sandy's French Creme Brulee tempted us to try a few sips of his tea as well.
Plant City is located between Tampa and Orlando just off I-4, and is the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World. Camellia Rose Tea Room & Gift Shop is located in the downtown Historic District, among several antique shops. Convenient free public parking is available in the area.
Just in case you are wondering about AJ's ROTC hat in the top photo, we all had hats selected by Ellen in our seats awaiting our arrival.
Camellia Rose has a lovely, well-stocked gift shop including a wide variety of teas available.
And, there was a special guest speaker at tea, a horticulturist who specializes in growing and selling Camellia's. GJ thoroughly enjoyed the presentation. He and AJ purchased one to take to our Kentucly Snowbird friends, Marie and George in nearby Lakeland, FL, were we spent the night.
We have stayed at the Gaylord Palms on three different trips to Orlando/Kissimmee. This time we had a balcony on the Atrium with a fabulous view.
We visited the alligators in "Gator Springs." Double click to see them sunning on the rock in the water behind AJ in the second photo.
At Sunset Sam's seafood restaurant (on the boat) AJ was transformed into a pirate via facepainting and received balloon characters made by the man on stilts.
AJ found lots of free space in the Atrium to practice his newfound skills after Jedi Training at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and free time to play games in the arcade where he became top scorer on the sword game. Perhaps all that Jedi training helped...
We also enjoyed delicious meals in the other resaurants at the hotel, and I did a little shopping in the shops while the guys were busy with other activities.
"Friendship Tea Recipe" ~~ 1/2 cup instant tea, 1 cup sweetened lemonade mix, 1 cup Tang, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in a an airtight container. To serve, put 2 to 3 tsp. mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup of boiling water. Adjust amount of mix to taste. Enjoy!
A Cup of Tea
When the world is all at odds And the mind is all at sea Then cease the useless tedium And brew a cup of tea. There is magic in its' fragrance, There is solace in its' taste; And then laden moments vanish Somehow into space. And the world becomes a lovely thing! There's beauty as you'll see; All because you briefly stopped To brew a cup of tea. ~ Source unknown