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.