Saturday, March 29, 2014

Derby Tea–Boone Tavern Hotel

The Traveling Tea Ladies returned from our trip to Danville, KY and we met at 1:30 in the Skylight Room of the hotel for our special Derby (inspired) Tea.


We started with a taste of Spoonbread served in a little spoon on a bed of greens.  I really like this dish and look forward to making some at home, with the recipe provided by the hotel.


Next, we were served a bowl of Kentucky Burgoo, a tasty mix of pork, beef and chicken, with lots of veggies.  Yummy! 


Our tiered tea tray consisted of Mini Hot Browns, Tea Biscuits with Country Ham, Apricot Jam and Arugula, a fancy Deviled Egg and Liz’s Spicy Pimento Cheese Sandwich.  The edible flowers were a pretty touch.

IMG_0897Next there were two kinds of delicious scones – Cranberry Orange and Plain – served with real Devonshire Cream and Blackberry Jam.

IMG_0906The scones were followed by a great selection of sweets including Chocolate Bourbon Tartlets, Mini Race Day Bites, Mini Cupcakes with Mint Julep Icing, and White Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Raspberries. 


I’ve tasted chocolate covered strawberries before, but not chocolate covered raspberries – they were luscious. 


A separate plate held pretty Horseshoe Sugar Cookies (held by our hostess Linda, at Friendship Tea blog.


What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with old and new tea friends. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day 2 with The Traveling Tea Friends

Had an early start on my first full day in Kentucky and was in the dining room enjoying my poached eggs, toast and fruit before 7:30.  There was even time for relaxing in the Tea Parlor with a nice cuppa and my Kindle Fire.


We were off to our tea tasting and shopping trip in Danville, KY around 10.  Bruce Richardson greeted us at his new store, Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.

Elmwood Inn Tea Shop

He gave a very interesting presentation on tea history, cultivation, travels, etc.  His many gorgeous photos of people and places of the tea industry lined the walls of the shop.  His assistant, Lois, brewed several teas for us to try, including a rare Forest White Hawaiian Tea.  My favorite was their signature blend, Mayor’s Cup, which is blended from hand picked single-estate Darjeeling, Assam and Ceylon black teas.


My purchases included a tin of Mayor’s Cup, an issue of Tea Magazine and an autographed copy of A Social History of Tea.  It took great restraint to limit myself to these three items.  There were stump teapots in many beautiful colors, lots of great books and magazines, many blends of teas that I wish I could taste and so much more.


Mr. Richardson kindly posed for this photo with me, answered several questions and talked a little about his trip to Quebec City and the Charleston Tea Plantation.


Later in the day, after our Derby Tea at the hotel, we shopped at The Log House Craft Gallery and the Kentucky Artisan Center.  The photos below are from the latter. 




There certainly were some unusual teapots that I’d like to add to my collection and wouldn’t those metal and pottery fish be perfect for a lake house?  ☺  I did purchase the book Bluegrass Winners (shown in the photo with the red pottery).  There is a lot of information and photos of “Horse Farms Of The Bluegrass”, with each farm providing a menu from one of the parties held at their farm.

One of the highlights of my trip to Berea was the special “Derby” afternoon tea at 1:30 in one of the meeting rooms of the hotel.  It deserves a separate post to best describe all the wonderful Kentucky dishes that were incorporated into the menu.  Linda from Friendship Tea did an outstanding job working with the hotel staff to plan this lovely tea event for us. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Berea, KY with the Traveling Tea Friends

Just returned from a trip to Berea, KY to meet with a wonderful group of ladies (fellow tea enthusiasts).  Angela (Tea With Friends blog) and I drove there from the Atlanta area, arriving late afternoon at the historic Boone Tavern Hotel.


We were met by our hostess Linda (Friendship Tea blog) in our special tea parlor on the second floor.  Most of our group dined at the hotel that evening.  The award winning dining room uses locally grown ingredients, some that are from the Berea College Farm.  I’d been looking forward to trying the spoonbread and it was a delicious start to my meal.


The hotel uses a hundred year old recipe and this dish is brought to the table piping hot in the baking pan, and dished out by the spoonful.  It’s enjoyed with a pat of butter melting over the top.  It is hard to decline a second helping of this yummy but filling dish, but I’m glad my appetite was intact for PORK CHOPS THE TRICKY WAY - Boneless Pork Loin Chops with a Unique Breading of Tomato and Parmesan served with Cheese Grits, Braised Greens, and Grain Mustard Cream.  The Mayor’s Cup black tea (hand blended by Bruce Richardson, Elmwood Inn Fine Teas) was also very good. 


After some more visiting in the tea parlor, it was time to retire to my lovely king room.  There were period furnishings and d├ęcor, but also the modern comforts of flat screen TV, Keurig coffee machine and Wi-fi. 


I’ll continue later with day two of our trip, which includes a trip to Danville, KY for a tea tasting with Bruce Richardson at his Elmwood Inn Tea Shop and shopping at some Berea shops and the Kentucky Artisan Center.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick’s Day


May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and the road downhill all the way to your door." - Irish Blessing

Friday, March 14, 2014

Benefits of Green Tea

My early experience with tea drinking (while growing up in a coffee drinking household) was limited to Red Rose or Tetley tea bags.  Years later I discovered the pleasures of loose tea and the many varieties that are available.

I’m now a fan of Pu-erh, Assam, Keemun and other black teas, as well as some oolong, white and green teas.  Lately I’ve been watching my weight and trying to stay fit, so this video has really encouraged me to start drinking more green tea.

How about you – what type of tea do you drink most often?

green tea cup


Friday, March 7, 2014

Be More Tea

Be More Tea – Good advice from Lipton Tea and the Muppets.  ☺

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ripened Pu-erh Brick Tea

Just finished drinking a pot of Fengqing Zhuan Cha Ripened Pu-erh brick tea from Teavivre.

IMG_0846This is a really good Pu-erh with a very dark liquor and a smooth taste.  I’m really starting to like these teas and may consider investing in a brick one of these days. 

This video shows how to properly break the Pu-erh brick or cake to obtain a piece for brewing.


You can find a great selection of Pu-erh tea on the Teavivre website.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Morning Cuppa Tea Poem


For a morning cuppa that’s strong,

I turn to sweet, fragrant Oolong.

      As for luncheons I’m more often feeling,

  Inclined toward a little Darjeeling.

But for afternoon tea when I tarry,

I relish Green Sencha with cherry.

~ Laura Childs

Laura Childs is one of my favorite cozy writers and I’ve read all of the books in her Tea Shop Mystery series up to “Sweet Tea Revenge”.  I’m looking forward to reading “Steeped in Evil” which is her latest in this series (Book 15).

Steeped in Evil



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