Sunday, September 20, 2015

Join us for an Eleanor Roosevelt Afternoon Tea at the Townsend Hotel September 26!!

Eleanor Roosevelt Tea as mentioned in OC 115

"A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water". ER

This Saturday, September 26th, join us at the Townsend Hotel, together with the Baldwin Library, as we present an "Eleanor Roosevelt Afternoon Tea".   The program will include a presentation from Barb's Tea Service on the life and times of this fascinating first lady and a full afternoon tea menu from the Townsend.

Outside the Hyde Park home of Eleanor and FDR
Inspired by the release of Ken Burns' documentary, "The Roosevelts:  An Intimate History", which aired on PBS in 2014 and a recent trip to Hyde Park, New York, home of  Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt and the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, BTS is excited to share stories of Eleanor and the Roosevelt family.

Eleanor at age 4, shy and timid
Rachel and I both have undergraduate degrees in Political Science - and Rachel also has a B.A. in History - so, aside from our great interest in  tea, politics and history are certainly our passion. In our research, we found so much to admire in Eleanor Roosevelt, but also a few things that really surprised us.  Early on, she didn't support the Women's Suffrage movement, and yet went on to become a leader in the League of Women Voters.

We also found it a bit shocking that Eleanor agreed, while living in the White House,  to carry a gun with her when she wanted to go out for tea with her friends.

The Chintz Room at Hyde Park
The Chintz room at Hyde Park was the bedroom FDR and Eleanor shared when they first moved to Hyde Park. It later became a guestroom and housed such famous guests at the Queen.

Afternoon tea menu and Harney tea from the Townsend
History and politics pair well with an amazing afternoon tea menu from the Townsend served with bottomless pots of Harney teas.

We hope to see you on Saturday. The event begins at noon. For more information, see the Townsend Afternoon Tea page.  Also read more about the event in the OC 115 article, Eleanor Roosevelt Themed Tea Party, published last week.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Queen Elizabeth becomes longest reigning monarch in England: We celebrated with a visit to her home and a cup of tea!

Buckingham Palace selfie. This is the home of QE II, now longest reining monarch of England

Today marks the day Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch, surpassing the record of her great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria.  Of course, the Gulleys were at Queen Elizabeth's home, Buckingham Palace last week to pay our regards a few days early.

Hampton Court, home of Tudors, Stuarts, William & Mary,and a few Georges - none who ruled as long as QE II

A little over a week ago, we left Detroit for a week across the pond for adventures in an Anglophile's Disneyland. We visited two palaces (aforesaid Buckingham and Hampton Court), Highclere Castle (of Downton Abbey fame), several museums and two more tea rooms to check off my wishlist: Claridge's and The Wolseley.  Of course, the trip was heightened by the news of the upcoming record- breaking event for the Queen.

Although Queen Elizabeth was not in residence while we were at the palace, we did get to tour the staterooms of Buckingham and experience the grandeur and opulence like any other special guest.

Exploring Royal Teatime in Buckingham Palace reaps great rewards

We also spent a good deal of our time in the Buckingham Palace gift store.  My favorite spot was the tea accessories area where I picked up a royal teapot Christmas tree ornament and a tin of Buckingham Palace tea.

Commemorative mug with Hampton Court and Buckingham Palace teas

Even better, Rachel purchased a commemorative mug which notes inside the rim, "H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, our longest reigning  monarch" and lists all other kings and queens of England on the front.

Cheers to this record day. Gulleys were there to celebrate a week early!

In celebration of the big event, I think we will combine our bounty tonight by brewing a pot of Buckingham Palace tea and serving it in the mug along with a fine English bone china tea cup.