People Who Can Barely Swim . . .


. . . 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!

100_4065e11   The old house the tea room is in is huge and beautifully maintained.

100_4062e1  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!

 100_4045e1  This beautiful stained glass window was in the entry way.


 100_4063e1  This was a built-in seat in the entry way.  There is such great detail in old houses.

100_4046e1  Lots to look at.


 100_4055e1  Not all of it in focus!

100_4056e11  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! 

100_4058e4  Each guest received their own pot of tea with a cozy over it. 

100_4052e1  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! 

100_4049e1   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!

100_4050e1  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:

100_4051e2   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.

100_4054e2  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.

100_4057e1  As we were passing through we noticed a group of women with hats on.  And I’m not talking ball caps!

100_4059e1  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!”

100_4058e2  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.

100_4058e3  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!”

16 Responses to People Who Can Barely Swim . . .

  1. C. Beth says:

    I want to go! 🙂 Next time my mom is in town or we’re visiting her, I want to take her and Chickie out for “high tea.” The hats are a GREAT idea!

  2. Pam says:

    Looks like a wonderful lunch!!!

  3. Sandra says:

    Beth — As soon as I saw how great this was, I started trying to think who will be coming to town! My friend Lee, from Dallas, is the first one I’ve thought of.

    So, Lee, if you’re reading this, next time you’re in town — A TEA PARTY AT THE TEA ROOM!! Bring a hat!

  4. Sandra says:

    Pam — It really was. And it was only $12, which I thought was really reasonable for something so special.

  5. cathy says:

    Great pics and post! We used to have a tea house here. It was so much fun. I went several times – once with my mom, sister and niece. They had one room full of hats, jewelry, dress-up clothes, shoes…reminds me of your “hat ladies”. We decided to get all dressed up – of course, we didn’t have a camera, so I left and went to a drug store and bought a disposable one and we had the owners take pics of us. We cherish those – we had a ball and all got so tickled.

    My mom had so much fun that for her 75th birthday, we did a surprise “tea” for her at my sister’s house — we dressed everyone up – my sister had gone to thrift stores and bought gloves, hats, etc. We made scones, clotted cream, etc. etc. Beth was almost ready to deliver Chickie, so she missed it! It was one of the “funnest” (is that a word?) b-day parties I’ve ever been to. I love to create memories! I’m looking forward to Beth taking me to “high tea!” – Cathy

  6. Sandra says:

    Cathy — Your mom’s birthday party sound like so much fun! I love the idea of “dress up” from the thrift store.

    I have an idea. Why don’t you and Beth come to visit me, and I’ll take both of you to “high tea” at The Peony Tea House! I’ll even come up with the hats! 🙂

  7. Cathy says:

    If we ever go that direction, I’ll grab Beth and we’ll do it!
    As it is, our 3 kids live all over the country and my parents and Sam’s mom in NM, so at this point, all our travels are to see family – not complaining, we love seeing them all, but it would be nice to take a trip somewhere new!

    I think the only time I’ve been to Indiana was on our honeymoon – in ’72.

    Do I remember right — does part of Indiana not go the daylight savings route? If so, do you – where you live? We don’t here. Don’t know why I thought of that!…wandering mind…

  8. C. Beth says:

    I’m there…as soon as someone provides me with a Star Trek teleporting machine!

  9. Schafner says:

    Ha! I love how you told the story of that ever-so-careless person who knocked over the tea pot. I’ve actually become quite famous in my family for my lack of motor skills. Yay for the two of us!

    As for your “amateur” photography skills, I disagree! I particularly like the ambience you create in the first picture with the car shade on the edge. Makes me feel like I’m there!

  10. Sandra says:

    Schafner — Do you know what the difference is between a pessimist and an optimist? A pessimist says, “Pathetic. She didn’t even crop out the dashboard and visor!” An optimist says, “. . . like the ambience . . . with the car shade on the edge. Makes me feel like I’m there!” I much prefer optimists! Thank you.

    Re. our lack of motor skills. I’m sure there’s a support group for us somewhere. We may have to start looking! 🙂

  11. Tab Calhoun says:

    Looks like a super fun place to meet friends.

    p.s. Never apologize for your artwork, cooking, or appearance.

  12. Tab Calhoun says:

    p.p.s. I’m impressed you have cards for your blog!! Great job.

  13. Chourou says:

    Hi Sandy,your postings with lots of photos are always fun!
    Even if you thought the shot you took not very good at first sight, it would be not always true to others. So, blogging with them,you might as well enjoy it to share with us followers. I am looking forward to the next coming up !

  14. Sandra says:

    Tab — I tried to walk the fine line between apologizing for my photos and just giving the reader low enough expectations that they wouldn’t be disappointed! 🙂

    I’m loving having the cards and am amazed, now that I have them, how often the occasion arises to give one to someone!

    Chourou — I do enjoy posting pictures, but when I see the excellent photos on other blogs, it makes me very humble about my pictures. Thank you for sharing my enjoyment of them!

  15. Hilary says:

    What a fun series of photos to depict your day. I love the hat ladies.. such a cute idea. Thanks for taking us along for tea. 🙂

  16. Sandra says:

    Hilary — I wish you had REALLY come along — maybe YOU would have had your picture taken with me! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: