. . . should not invite a bunch of people to watch them attempt the English Channel!
Here I am, a very new photographer, still getting more bad shots than good. So, what would possess me to take pictures at a tea shop, and then give my card (it may have been a mistake to get cards — too easy to hand one to someone if they express the least interest in my blog!) to a group of people and tell them they would be able to see their pictures on my blog! What was I thinking?!
Well, whatever I was thinking, it wasn’t being done very clearly. So, my apologies to all of you for some of the pictures I am about to show you. But, now that I have spoken recklessly, I feel an obligation to publish the pictures, whether good, bad or indifferent!
Three friends and I went to The Peony Tea House for lunch on Friday. We had heard great things about it, but hadn’t been there before. That’s “the scene of the crime” where I got myself into trouble by taking pictures and probably giving people slightly unrealistic expectations of the outcome they could expect. Sorry, ladies!
The old house the tea room is in is huge and beautifully maintained.
It was just dumb luck that we walked in off the street and got a table. They had several large groups booked, but just happened to have one table for four that wasn’t booked. If that isn’t proof that we were meant to eat there that day, this is — we got “rock star” parking on the street almost in front of the door!
This beautiful stained glass window was in the entry way.
This was a built-in seat in the entry way. There is such great detail in old houses.
Lots to look at.
Not all of it in focus!
The owners were friendly and very gracious about having their picture taken, even though I know they were very busy.
We had a lovely lunch. Of course, a very simple menu, but all of it top notch. Four salad selections. One friend had a pear salad that was particularly interesting, and she said delicious. But then, everything was delicious. You could select one of six croissant fillings — all made there and all very interesting combinations. The tea’s were heavenly! I guess that’s probably key to having a successful “tea” room. I am not a big fan of a chocolate/orange combination normally, but I tasted that in a tea for the first time, and it was lovely!
Each guest received their own pot of tea with a cozy over it.
When is the last time you have seen sugar cubes? It’s been a long time for me.
The room we were seated in had lots of windows so it was very light and cheerful. In the room with us was a group of about a dozen women. We noticed that, before they ate their lunch, they had a little “meeting” of apparently what must have been a craft club. They each stood up and showed a craft they had made, like a lap quilt they’d pieced or a scarf they’d knitted. I would have loved to take pictures of them and their crafts, but I had a surprise case of “shy.” Go figure.
Anyway, we were just having a lovely time — until one of us had an accident. Luckily, she’s a heavy (tea) drinker, so most of her pot of tea was gone, when she knocked it on the floor!
The pot retrieved from the floor, unbroken, thank goodness. It would have been very embarrassing for me, I mean her, if it had broken. Also, fortunate that “she” didn’t have one of the more delicate, china teapots that others had!
The lid had rolled to the next table, but luckily no one was seated there yet. I tell ya’, you can’t take the kid anywhere!
The tea I ordered, in my very sturdy pot, was just a straightforward black tea. And, it was the best I have ever had. I wonder how they do that.
And, to finish off the lunch we were served this:
The blue was shortbread, the chocolate rectangle in the paper was cheesecake and partially hidden in the back is a delicious scone, that was served with little dishes of lemon curd and clotted cream. That tiny dark spot on the spoon is just a taste of a delicious, very rich chocolate/raspberry frosting. What a nice finish. We all took some of our dessert home. They were at the ready with containers for that, so I suspect the majority of guests take home some of their dessert.
On our way out, we passed the kitchen. I didn’t go all the way in, but I’m always impressed with a kitchen that is neat enough they will leave it in view of the public.
As we were passing through we noticed a group of women with hats on. And I’m not talking ball caps!
All the hats looked like ones from the 40’s. I asked if it was a “hat” club. They said “no,” just a group of friends who decided that if they were going to a tea room, hats were in order. The hats were all part of one woman’s hat collection. A clever idea that I’m sure added to their tea room “experience!”
This is where you can tell I’m a novice photographer. I should have taken two pictures of each table. One with them all turned away from me so that I could show the hats better.
But, I’m glad I did get a pretty good one of this hat. It was particularly intriguing because of the rinestone arrow that pointed to her face.
As we were walking out the door, I told my friends I wanted a picture of the entrance, so they suggested I stand there while “they” took the picture. (Questions: How many people does it take to take a picture? Couldn’t at least one of them have been in the picture with me? Answers: One, and Yes.) I have very clever, camera-shy friends. I’m glad the “hat club” didn’t feel that way!
A memorable lunch at The Peony Tea House! We’ll be coming back, ladies. In the meantime, you might want to buy at least one plastic tea pot for the “tea pot impaired!”