Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tea at the Museum

"Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things." ~ Chaim Potok

Westchester Township History Museum

Chesterton, IN

A spring rain had put a sparkle on the landscape as I drove through hill, dale and forest to the south shore of Lake Michigan. My destination was the Brown Mansion, home to the Westchester Township History Museum in Chesterton, IN. I had happily accepted an invitation to partake in an afternoon tea. I joined three friends at the Curator's Table.

A small nosegay of creamy white daisies tied with pink ribbons was nestled on each napkin.

The blue and white spode tea cups and plates were lovely against the pale pink damask cloths.

The first steaming pot to arrive at our table contained a rich Japanese Sencha green tea blended with natural cherry and rose flowers called Japanese Green Cherry Rose. How could I refuse and soon the deep flavors and fragrance of this tea filled my cup. It was delicious.

This pretty blue teapot held Darjeeling--considered to be the champagne of teas.

One friend was eager to relax with a serving of the aromatic Darjeeling.

There was a third tea offered. I overhead ladies at another table extolling the virtues of a citrusy hibiscus tea.

All three teas were from Molly Bea's in Chesterton. I've walked out of Molly Bea's laden with teas, herbs, spices, nuts, grains and the best dark chocolate covered almonds around.

Before the steaming cups of tea had a chance to cool, a pretty platter arrived at our table. My photo, alas, does not do justice to how delicious those sandwiches looked. But, the proof is in the eating. Let me assure you, they were quite tasty! I believe my favorite was the cranberry chicken salad on oatmeal bread. Hmm, well, maybe it was the cucumber, chive and cream cheese on white wheat. Then I tasted the banana bread with honey butter. I just can't decide.

If you think it was hard to choose a favorite sandwich, let me direct you to the sweet plate.

I'm not even going to try and name a favorite of these lovely little desserts personally prepared by Tonya of Tonya's Patisserie. The tart was smooth lemony deliciousness nestled in a flaky shell and topped with a perfectly executed meringue. I shall dream of the almond raspberry petit fours. One of my favorite pastries is an Austrian Sacher Torte so, when I saw a small violet-topped version nestled on the plate, I knew it was the perfect ending for a perfect tea in a perfect setting on a perfect day.


I was the winner of one of the pretty little vases that Shady Lawn Florist made for the tea tables.

In case you find yourself enjoying a day at the dunes, stop by Chesterton. This small town packs a lot of interest--and deliciousness.


  1. It looks like such a lovely time!

  2. I love going for tea! ('Cause that usually means sweets too!) And I love your blog; I'm so glad you came by my blog. We share so many things in common: our love of tea and goodies, plants, even your favorite sandwich is MY favorite sandwich.

    Now -- In order for you to indulge in the sweeties that my daughter and I indulged in this weekend, you'd have to visit Julian's Bakery and Pattissier in Chester Nova Scotia Canada. But seeing as we have so much in common, you're welcome to stay at my house .... and we'll go there together to eat.

    Ahh, another kindred spirit!!

  3. PS -- Where did you find bottled dried lemongrass? I have to sell one of my kids when I want to buy it here.

  4. Hi Fancy: It was wonderful and I wish you could have been with me!

  5. What a grand day for tea. Everything looks wonderful and tasty and such great photos. Thank you for inviting us along.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this...the photos are wonderful. :)

    Doesn't that make you feel so special...going to a place that's so pretty and getting spoiled?

    I love it!

  7. Wonderful to read this and see your excellent photos. Sounds like a great time and I loved seeing the teapots and hearing all about it.

    Speaking of the dunes, as a kid going to them was the beginning of many bad sunburns, from which my skin now suffers! What we didn't know back then.

  8. Doesn't tea bring out the girl in all of us! I love going to a tea, and having time with other women.
    Your pictures and sentiments about this fun time make me feel like I am almost there! And at the Curator's table no less!
    I just love the teapot that holds the rich Japanese Sencha green tea. What a beautiful color and design.

    You must have felt so special and feminine!
    What an exceptional post and pictures.

  9. How very civilized :-). I love those blue teapots and the photos that captured them to share with us today. It is a great post. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  10. How funny, I went to a tea house on Sunday,and just did a post on it too. Our was so fun! Looks like you had a great time as well.

  11. I went to tea yesterday and believe me, your food looks far superior! Beautiful photos!

  12. Oh what a fabulous day you must have had... Just being at the museum is a treat in itself.. BUT--to have all of that delcious tea and treats is fabulous.... YUM--I'd love that chicken salad on the cranberry bread... BUT--that banana bread with honey butter has to be yummy also... Thanks for sharing... You have made me hungry!!!!

    We're enjoying the beach. Wish you were here.

  13. What a fun time!! Perfect for a beautiful spring weekend!

    What part of Virginia are you from? My parents were both from there - my Mom grew up in a tiny town called Warsaw (near Tappahannock) and my Dad was from Richmond.

    I have relatives in Mechanicsville, Midlothian and Virginia Beach!

  14. You must go! It was very fun. I went with my husband and youngest daughter. My husband is such a good sport, and he really enjoyed himself too. Remember my girly bedroom, he is so use to it :)

  15. Shut up! We vacation at my Aunt and Uncle's Lake House at Smith Mountain Lake almost every year! I forgot to mention that in my last comment!

    So beautiful there!

  16. What a delightful tea -- thank you for sharing!!!! It looked like a fun affair . . .

    And yes, my ears were burning!!!!

    I love the little tarts with the meringue (hmmm -- perhaps next time!)

    And the teas sounded delicious -- I do like Darjeeling and yes, it is the champagne of teas!

    Thanks for sharing!

  17. Oh my goodness, how I would have loved to have shared tea and those sandwiches and pastries with you! Thank you for your very special comments to me today on my blog -- they were very comforting and meant so much to me. I am blessed to "know" you!

  18. What a beautiful way to enjoy the day. The little sandwiches and petite fours, look awesome.
    Congrats on the vase of beautiful flowers too.
    Thanks for taking us along on your day.

  19. I ♥ the blue teapots and teacups. I am big believer that tea tastes better in pretty cups and saucers. I know its so shallow. Great photos too!

  20. Bonnie,

    Thank you for the kind words. Good luck with the dish. Please do not let the eggs scramble, it will ruin your sauce.

    It is funny that you have a dalmation, mine...Marvin...passed away on 1-16-10. He was 15 years old. So now Audi is the boy of the house. Good luck with yours they sure are wonderful dogs.


  21. Let me start by saying that this is going to be a long comment as I have so much to say:). First, I am so glad that you left a comment on my blog so that I could discover yours! This is amazing!!! I am a tea drinker (not the tea bag type but the brew the tea leaves type of girl:) so I really enjoyed this post. The teahouse is beautiful-thank you for sharing. What is truly amazing is your writing-my gosh I was hanging on your every word! Your prose is just gorgeous. I noticed that your blog name is 'From a Writer's Kitchen'. Do you have anything published? Wow-I really like your blog and I look forward to visiting again:).



  22. Bonnie,

    My best to Argos. I hope he feels much better.

    My best also to little Jillian.


  23. Good morning dear, fellow TEA LOVER! Oh, what a delight to find a new friend come by and post a comment! Thank you so much for stopping by and truly, it is always so kind to leave a message. I love TEA! I am a doodler, (not really an artist)and I have a character that I draw that just loves tea!!!! Please come and visit me anytime, and IF I am ever in your vicinity in IN., I need to visit this tea house of which you speak. Lovely images of glorious tea pots and food. Every night, my husband and I drink our tea; my favorite is PG Tips from England...."bloody good!"

    Have a splendid day! Anita

  24. OH, I just thrilled you would join my Bathroom Snapping Party! The instructions for the image linky is pretty easy and once you copy and paste your post title in, Mr. Linky gives you info on how to continue! If you can't figure it out. Let me know and just post you picture and I'll come and get it for you!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;0

  25. What a joyous time you must of had...mouth watering just two look at. Trish

  26. Sounds like fun. AND looks yummy too.
    The flowers are vewry pretty.
    Thanks for coming by-hope to see you again.


  27. Sounds like an absolutely lovely time. The flowers were so pretty!

  28. What a lovely tea and congratulations on winning the bouquet. The sweets look delicious!

  29. What a lovely tea you got to attend, Bonnie & in such a lovely setting, too! It is just beautiful they way they set it up. I love the blue tea cups & the assortment of nibbles looks luscious!

    I hope you had a nice Mothers Day. I ♥ that post about your niece, Lily...those blue eyes melt my heart.♥

  30. This is my first visit to your blog...I noticed your Jan Karon comment on Podso's blog so I came right over! I've got all her books too, and have read them more than once...most of them..and am eagerly awaiting the next one!

    About this post: LOVE those beautiful teacups and saucers! And I wish I could see more of what the tea server is wearing...couldn't help noticing all those pretty tucks and lace in her blouse in the teapot photo!

    I'll be back to see your Mitford post...can't wait! So glad I discovered you.


I always enjoy hearing from you, my blogging friends.