Monday, July 31, 2017

Queen Bee Tea at the Taylor Conservatory

On July 11th, I posted an invitation to the Queen Bee tea, hosted by the Taylor [MI] Conservatory, and it was held yesterday. This was the third Conservatory tea to attend. It was held in an open pavilion this year [instead of a banquet hall], and Mother Nature cooperated by providing a beautiful sunny day with an occasional  breeze, and temperatures in the high 80's.  This was my first time to visit the Conservatory, but it won't be my last now that I know where it's located.

~ The Pavilion ~

~ The tablescapes were lovely.  ~

Everyone received a beaded bee stick pin as a favor.  So cute!

~ Centerpieces ~

~ Food prep tent right next to the pavilion. ~

 Bee Skep [beekeepers no longer use them to house hives, but they make cute decorations]. 

I walked around to take pictures of attendees who wore bee hats or dressed in yellow and black.  If there would have been a prize for the most creative hat, I think it would have gone to the lady below.  She said she did a computer search for "bee hive party hat" and it turned up the source for her adorable yellow bee skep surrounded by flowers and bees.

The staff and committee members were dressed in black and yellow.  Below is Louise Doute, Volunteer Coordinator for the Conservatory.

~ Joanie [left] with a friend. ~

~ Jennifer [left] and Cheryl [right] ~

My brain's creative juices clearly weren't flowing because I wore a navy blue and white outfit instead of yellow and black, when I had the perfect outfit in my closet that would have been in keeping with the theme of the tea. Fortunately, many other ladies missed their opportunity too and wore outfits of other colors.

What I should have worn! 

Linda with her granddaughters Juliana and Jamison, and Jamison's friend, Emma [right].

I think it was a sell-out event because there was even a table of ladies just outside the pavilion under a white tent. I took a cross-section photo to show how many ladies attended. We ladies love our tea time, don't we!

Caterer, Vicky O'Neil [Victoria's Tea Salon Catering] prepared the delicious food for the event.

Sandwiches [from 12:00 o'clock position] Roast Beef w/Horseradish Sauce on Light Rye; Carrot Raisin on Italian flower shaped rounds; Cucumber with Dilly Cream Cheese on Wheat; and Chicken Salad with Apples on Cinnamon Raisin [center].

There was Lady Grey Black Tea and Honella Honeybush Herbal Tea to accompany our meal.

~ Blueberry Scones with mock Devonshire Cream and Lemon Curd. ~

Desserts were Raspberry Squares with Walnut Streusel, French Chocolate Pecan Truffles, and Honey Bee cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting.  Are you hungry yet?  ;-)

After our delicious meal it was time for the program, "Coexisting in a World of Honeybees" by beekeeper Bill Bray, and two other ladies who are also beekeepers, and they were fittingly dressed in bee costumes.

The program was fun and very informative.  Did you know 1/3 of the foods we eat are pollinated by bees?  They are extremely important to our health and lifestyle.  I was lucky enough to win some honey at the event.

Of course some real bees had to be present at the event.

Thanks for a wonderful tea, Taylor Conservatory!  I look forward to next year's, because they keep getting better and better!  That's me peeking through the Queen Bee's head below.

Laura Lee, who was one of the servers at the tea, handed me a gift bag to take home.  Inside were six British-themed tea towels.  Thank you so much, Laura!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Tonia's Victorian Tearoom

Today I met my dear friend, Lori, at Tonia's Victorian Tearoom in Rochester, MI.   A new owner acquired it in January of this year, and this was the first chance I've had to go there under new ownership.

The exterior looks pretty much the same, but the sign is new.

Since this was the first tearoom I visited after I became 'smitten with tea' in 1998, it is special.

Tonia has spruced up the interior from when Loretta owned it.

Our reservations were for noon.  When we arrived no one else was there, but by the time we left several had come.  The table below was perfect for us since Lori's favorite color is lavender.

The waitress took our tea order first.  I ordered Acai Pomegranate Blueberry Green Tea, and it was very good.  We each ordered our own tea which was $3.50 per pot.

Is there anything better than tea with a good friend?

I ordered Loretta's Chicken Pot Pie with Tarragon Cream Sauce, and it came with a Victorian Rose Side Salad with Pecans, Mandarin Oranges, Cranberries, and Raspberry Dressing.  It was very good.  The menu hasn't changed too much from when Loretta was the owner.

After we ate and had a nice long visit, I did a little shopping in the quaint downtown area. The temperature [high 70's] was perfect for going in and out of shops.  I didn't go home empty handed. I found two tops that were both half off, which means I now have to find something to go with them, but I'm up for the challenge.  

I'm going to a tea on Sunday, and had already purchased my navy blue and white hat, but I found some navy blue and white shoes to go with it, so I'm all set.  I'll definitely blog about the tea at the Taylor Conservatory next week.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hudson's Historic Windows to the Past

Late yesterday afternoon I drove over to Dearborn, MI to attend the exhibit featuring J.L. Hudson's department store window displays.  As with any event pertaining to Hudson's, it was packed out, and the director of the Padzieski Art Gallery said it was one of its most popular events to date.

I left home early because I didn't know what kind of traffic or road construction I'd encounter, but traffic was uneventful and I arrived at Ford Community and Performing Arts Center almost an hour early.  The program didn't begin until 6:00 p.m.

Hudson's foremost historian, Mike Hauser [pictured below], was there early too so we got to chat a bit before the crowd arrived.  A lot of the photos, and all of the display memorabilia on the tables are from his personal collection.

~ Items from Hudson's restaurants. ~

Mike has a large collection of Hudson's restaurant menus and other things pertaining to its eateries and food service.

Photos of window displays were all categorized by years.

A 1920's store window featuring the stove below caught my eye.

 1930's store window featuring ladies' hats. 
[To enlarge click on the photo.]

~ 1930's Women's Fashions ~

~ Hudson's celebrated their 55th Anniversary in 1946 ~

~ 1940's Bridal Window Display  ~

~ 1941 Women's Fashions ~

Of all the photos this one attracted my attention the most because it was of one of the 13th floor dining rooms.

One of the speakers was Paul Balog [pictured below].  He began as one of Hudson's window dressers in 1957. He said Hudson's had 52 display windows with 20 of them being large windows. They were changed weekly and some daily.  No expense was spared in creating a beautiful window display.  If they wanted a display with a car, they'd remove the glass to insert the car, and put the glass back in.

Mike Hauser followed Mr. Balog on the program.  Mike, a former Hudson employee, said his interest in the iconic store began in 1956, and continues to this day.  He's a walking encyclopedia about Hudson's [and other department stores] and very interesting to listen to. His collection of Hudson's memorabilia is incredible and always expanding.  

I took a few  photos of people who came to the program, but it isn't inclusive.  The photo below wasn't originally set up for attendees.  They're sitting and standing in an 'overflow' area.

The best person [from my perspective] who came to the program was Amy [pictured below with me].  She follows my blog and sat next to me during the program.  It's always fun to meet blog followers in person, and I'm so glad she made her presence known to me.

It was a wonderful evening, and I got to meet two new contacts for my Hudson's book, so the project continues. For local readers who might be interested, the window display photos will remain available for viewing at the Padzieski Art Gallery located in the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center until August 4th.