Saturday, January 2, 2016

One for the Book(s) - BTS year in review

Our visit to Highclere in Jan/Feb issue of Tea Time
Our new book is out and available for purchase!

 *Feeling Thankful* This has been a record year of events for Barb's Tea Service as well as a banner time for being published. We also traveled to New York, England and Ohio to visit, among other amazing venues, the St. Regis Hotel, Highclere Castle and, on everyone's must-see list, the childhood home of President Taft.

First DA tea of 2015 at White Lake Library with librarian Denise Harris-Fiems
We kicked off the year at the White Lake Township Public Library for our first Downton Abbey-inspired tea of 2015. Despite the very chilly evening temps, the event room was filled and librarian Denise Harris-Fiems served up tea that warmed our hearts as well as our fingers and toes.

Downton Abbey-inspired afternoon tea at Baldwin Library

The first full weekend in February, we presented a Downton Abbey-inspired afternoon tea at the Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham to a "sold out" crowd, attendance maxed out to the number of seats available. Rachel-Rose served Republic of Tea herbals and black tea blends to a crowd of over 60. We were also featured in the next edition of the Birmingham Eccentric along with librarian Kathryn Bergeron. 

Downton Abbey-inspired afternoon tea covered in Birmingham Eccentric

Valentine's Day Tea Etiquette corporate event at the Townsend Hotel
Valentine's Day we presented a tea etiquette program for a private corporate event at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. Our favorite luxury tea room, the tea lobby was set to perfection and ready for us once again. The guests were a fantastic group and we were honored to share the holiday with them. Back home, we had some additional treats waiting from us from the "home team".

Something sweet waiting for us from the "home team".
In February, we took a trip down below at Meadow Brook Hall to see how the "other half" lived in the early 1900's as part of the historic home's program, "A Servant's Life". It's an interesting tour of the staff's quarters and a peak into their daily routines. As potential employees, we were tested on how to set a proper place setting. (Not as easy at one might think!)

Meadow Brook's "A Servant's Life" was very informative
 In April we were back presenting at the Townsend, but this time for an elegant Downton Abbey-inspired tea. The tea lobby was set in the fashion of the Crawley dining room and many of the guests complimented the setting by donning period dress.

Downton Abbey elegant tea at the Townsend

Mid-April we headed north to Light of Day in Traverse City and took in a class given by the tea farm's owner, Angela Macke. We brought back some matcha for our next tea event.
Light of Day class presented by owner Angela Macke
That tea event was for the "What's Cooking" series held at the West Bloomfield Library. I was invited by Loretta Harris, my good friend of many years (going as far back as junior high -you creative types can do the math) and a member of one of the library's event committees. It was a Tea 101, covering tea history and etiquette, as well as a tea tasting of four different types of tea. Over 70 guests attended and it was a wonderful evening with old and new friends.
Tea History  Etiquette at WB Library with longtime amigo, Loretta H.
Rachel starts the steeping for the tea tasting at the West Bloomfield Library
In May, we continued our annual Mother's Day tradition of the family gathering at Goldfish Tea in Royal Oak. We were sad to find out just this week, that this  lovely tea venue will be closing its doors permanently the end of January. (But folks in the Detroit area, take advantage of some great sales going on now). After eight years in business, it had a tremendous run and will be greatly missed.

Mother's Day tea at Goldfish a yearly tradition with the family
 End of July/beginning of August, we were on the road and spent four days in New York. This mini-vacation included a stay at the Waldorf-Astoria,  afternoon tea at the St. Regis Hotel and  a trip to Hyde Park to see not only the Roosevelt home and library, but a tour of the Vanderbilt mansion. The latter was the "frugal" sibling - obviously!
Afternoon tea at the St. Regis Hotel
A toast at our hotel, the  Waldorf Astoria

Entrance to the "conservative" Vanderbilt estate
The Roosevelt Home at Hyde Park

In September, we journeyed across the pond for a week in England. Highlights (although, they were all highlights!) were afternoon tea at Claridge's and The Wolseley, Highclere Castle/Bampton Village, and Buckingham Palace.

Afternoon tea at Claridge's
Tea time at Highclere Castle

More tea at The Wolseley

Buckingham Palace

The Friday after our trip to England, I presented a Tea History and Etiquette program at the Clarkston Independence Township Public Library. The librarians turned their event space into a lovely tea room and provided deliciously brewed tea and homemade scones.

Tea presentation at the Clarkston Independence Library. Attendees were a delight.

The end of September, we presented an Eleanor Roosevelt tea at an event co-sponsored by the Townsend Hotel and the Baldwin Library. What a delightful group of guests! One simply can't go wrong with Townsend tea fare served up with a bit of inspirational history.

Eleanor Roosevelt Tea at The Townsend Hotel
October saw us on the road once again - this time a weekend trip in our car to Cincinnati. We combined business with pleasure, meeting up with extended family and partaking in some historical sites, including the aforementioned Taft museum. We also made a stop at Essencha, a charming, tranquil tea house that provided a bit of needed rejuvenation for the car ride back home.

Rejuvenating at Essencha tea house in Cincinnati

Taft museum - who knew it was only a day trip away?

Mid October, we served up tea and an etiquette program for a local charity, hosted in a beautiful home in Bloomfield Hills. Lovely ladies and a special cause - providing college scholarships for young women.

We wrapped our tea event season as a participant of "Michigan Tea Week". We were thrilled to be partnered with Socra Tea, an absolutely awesome tea room in the heart of Detroit's cultural center. We presented "What is Tea" and Socra Tea's co-owner, Meg Provenzino, served up several amazingly delicious teas for guests to sample.

Getting ready for the event at Socra Tea

The end of the year, we were delighted to see our article on Highclere Castle and interview with Lady Carnarvon published in Tea Time Magazine's Jan/Feb issue. In December, we also completed our book, "Michigan Tea Rooms". (For those interested in purchasing a copy of the latter, check the link to Amazon or send us an email for a personalized copy!)

What a year it has been and we are grateful to all those who supported and teamed up with us this year. We have met so many wonderful people and can't think of a a better community than those who come together over a cup of tea!

The new year is already off to a bang with  almost as many events in the first quarter as we had in all of 2015. Check our website's upcoming events and news page at and come join us! We'd love to see you.

Happy New Year to all our Tea Friends! 


Abigail Cohen said...

Happy New Year! You have made a great tea memories. Wish you more amazingly delicious teas this year 2016!

James Porter said...

A great blog to read this new year. Congrats and Good luck with your books.

Shiya Priya said...

Nice Website...
Hey JOIN now and Increase Facebook Likes your profile and websites.
Increase Facebook Likes and check your website worth worth my websites
FB Likes and check your website worth Website Value Calculator
Hot Wallpapers seo tools website
its may be very beneficial for you also really