Friday, December 15, 2017

A Very Nice Day

One of the nicest things about the Christmas Season is getting together with family and friends.  

This afternoon a dear friend - who's like a daughter - drove over to my side of town for 1:00 p.m. lunch reservations.  Mother Nature sent another snowfall, but Ruth arrived safe and sound.  We had a nice time visiting over lunch and getting caught up on each other's family.  Our server loved her British accent [and so do I!].


She brought me a beautiful Christmas floral arrangement.


I was home just a short time, then I left for Oakland Mall's Macy's Lakeshore Grill for the annual Christmas gathering Mike Hauser coordinates for former J.L. Hudson Department Store employees, and a few who weren't employees but loved the store [which includes me].  Due to the bad weather, some who live a distance didn't attend this year so Mike will schedule another gathering later in January.

I wasn't hungry after just having a big lunch, but I ordered a bowl of Canadian Cheese Soup [which Hudson's was known for], and a popover came with it.


I shouldn't have done it, but I ended up ordering a hot fudge cream puff for dessert.  It was SO good, and I don't even want to know how many calories were in it!


I listened as they shared their Hudson's memories, and the recent ground-breaking ceremony for Detroit's new tallest skyscraper to be built on the site of the old Hudson's store.  Mike Hauser was at the ceremony, and said J.L. Hudson, Jr. [great-nephew of the store's founder] joked that he hoped somewhere in the new building would be a restaurant that would serve the store's iconic Maurice Salad.  We visited until the restaurant was ready to close at 8:00 p.m., and posed for our group picture before leaving.


Mike Hauser is on the far left.  The petite lady standing next to me [Grace] was a Hudson's personal shopper - back in the day when there was such a thing as customer service!  


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Early Christmas Presents

In just ten days the family will all be gathering at our house.  Christmas Eve is the time our family celebrates together.  

I've been blessed to attend several Christmas celebrations [most of them tea related], and I've even received some Christmas presents already!  Lori, Linda and I exchanged gifts when we were at The Whitney on Tuesday.


Inside the beautifully wrapped box above was a deep blue glass snowflake dish filled with assorted chocolate candies.


And a unique and clever "Kitchen Boa." At each end of the boa is dish towel fabric for hand drying or wiping a dish.  The fabric that goes around the neck is tea themed - an assortment of blue teapots and kettles.  I've never seen anything like it before, and absolutely love it!


Another package contained a glass three-tiered server in a lace pattern, perfect for tea parties or holding jewelry and trinkets in the boudoir!


Tucked inside the cute Mary Engelbreit container was a package of loose-leaf tea, a chocolate sucker, and two beautiful pieces of jewelry.


~ A rhinestone teapot pin ~


~ And a beautiful rhinestone necklace ~


When I got home my hubby had a 2018 Teapot Calendar laying on the table for me.  I feel spoiled and Christmas isn't even here yet!



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Snowed in with Christmas Movies

Mother Nature decided to do her own decorating for Christmas, and most of southeastern Michigan has been under a winter storm warning since 10:00 a.m. this morning.  The warning extends through midnight, and they're predicting one inch of snow to fall per hour.

This is what it looked like from the front and back of my house around 4:00 o'clock this afternoon.  The snow is beautiful if you can stay inside and look out at it - which my hubby and I are doing.  It's nerve-racking if you have to get out and drive in it.



We've been enjoying the Hallmark Christmas movies [minus all the commercials], and I told my family to watch the 1946 classic, It's a Wonderful Life, on DVD because we'll be playing a trivia game about it on Christmas Eve.


I bought my dad the Fiftieth Anniversary Scrapbook by Jimmy Hawkins [who played 4-year-old Tommy Bailey] in 1996, and when he passed I got the book back.


Of course, lots of hot tea accompanies our evening movie watching - Harney & Son Hot Cinnamon Spice for my hubby, and Celestial Seasonings decaf green Candy Cane Lane for me. 

What's your favorite Christmas movie?


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Afternoon Tea at The Whitney

My friend, Lori, and I drove to Midtown Detroit today to enjoy Afternoon Tea at the David Whitney Mansion. Linda Pudlik, our mutual friend, met us there.  The beautiful tea experience was a gift from her. 

The Whitney, located at 4421 Woodward Avenue, was bedecked in Christmas splendor.  It is the only upscale establishment in downtown Detroit with an Afternoon Tea program. The tea was served in Mrs. Whitney's sitting room on the second floor of the mansion.  All the tables were filled.




[Lori, Linda and Me]


Shawn, the restaurant's Tea Director, did a tea presentation at the beginning of our tea.  The teas served at the restaurant are blended locally by Mary Jones of Intu Tea.  My choice was 'Gentle Earl Grey'.  As the name suggests the bergamot was very mild.





The tea began with two freshly baked scones by the Whitney's chef - raspberry and blueberry, served with Chantilly Cream and Orange Marmalade.


The second course was Tomato Basil Bisque, served with a mixed greens salad dressed with the house Honey Lemonade Vinaigrette.  


The bottom row of the three-tiered server contained the savories:  Salmon on Pumpernickel, Cucumber on White,  Chicken Salad roll-up on Spinach Tortillas, and a Deviled Egg garnished with Caviar.



Desserts were a Pumpkin Cheesecake Bar, a Bavarian Cream filled Tart with Fresh Berries and drizzled with White Chocolate, and a Truffle.


Thank you, Shawn, for keeping our teacups continuously filled, bringing the courses to our table at just the right time, and for even being our photographer!  



Thank you, Linda, for gifting us with this wonderful Christmas tea experience!


Monday, December 11, 2017

A Postal Surprise

Most all bloggers agree - the best part of blogging are the friends we make!  I'll soon be starting my 7th year of blogging, and I've been blessed to meet some 'tea and blog friends'  in person, and others through correspondence.

Last Friday a package arrived from Texas, and I couldn't wait to share its contents with you.

~ Linen Christmas tea towels ~


A Polish pottery miniature teapot ornament.  It inspired me to put up a Christmas tree this week decorated with all my tea-themed ornaments.  When it's done I'll post a picture.


~ Mints for my purse. ~


A package of Apricot Mango black tea.  The wonderful aroma of this tea permeated the entire postal box.


And it tastes yummy too!


Thanks for your friendship across the miles, Frieda, and the nice surprise!


Friday, December 8, 2017

Pine Lake Country Club Christmas Tea

Yesterday I attended the 3rd Annual Holiday Splendor Tea to benefit the Governor Warner Mansion, held at Pine Lake Country Club.

We had our first light dusting of snow yesterday morning, but thankfully it didn't last long since I had to drive 25 miles to West Bloomfield, MI.  The tea began at 11:00 a.m.




The country club is always decorated so beautifully for Christmas.



When I was taking pictures, one of the staffers asked if I'd like to have my picture taken in front of the beautifully decorated Christmas tree.  I was so bummed because I bought a gold fascinator to wear with my outfit, but left it laying on the bed at home.  When I realized I forgot it, there wasn't time to go back without being late for the tea.




The decorated alcove below made the perfect backdrop for pictures before the tea began.


Jennifer [R] is a member of Pine Hills Country Club, and sponsors the fundraiser.  Linda [L] is on the planning committee for the event.  They were both dressed so festive.


Barb Gulley [center] owns Barb's Tea Service.  She's a tea and etiquette specialist who conducts tea tastings and seminars, [you may have heard her at Meadow Brook, the Townsend Hotel or one of the local libraries], and she is the author of Michigan Tea Rooms.  She also writes a tea blog, Barb's Tea Shop.



The food at Pine Lake is excellent, and after more than a week of my cabbage soup diet, it was truly savored!  'Starters' were mini-cinnamon rolls and slices of assorted tea breads.


Their Butternut Squash Bisque is absolutely divine.


The tea was "Christmas Sparrow" blended locally by Mary Jones, specifically for this event.


Our main entree was Asiago Chicken with vegetables.


Dessert was a decadent Chocolate covered Devil's Food cake ball with a crunchy Peanut Butter bottom.  


When the tea ended, we traveled a short distance to the Village Club [a private women's club where Linda is a member] in Bloomfield Hills, MI for their Holiday Tea that started at 3:00 p.m.   Two elegant teas in one day.  It doesn't get any better than that!  

As the Christmas song goes, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"