This afternoon Julie and I went to the St. John’s Tea. It was their 10th year, but only the third year we’ve been attending.
This little town does three seatings for tea, with only 30 minutes between them. In between they wash all the dishes and reset the tables.
The theme today was a Celtic Fling and we were greeted by a bagpiper at the door to the facility.
I love going and they do a beautiful job of making everything lovely. Everyone helping was dressed in appropriate costumes. After being for three years I’m starting to recognize some of the regular helpers, which is nice.
As is so often the case with teas, they’re a bit stingy with the food, using salad plates instead of regular plates and all the portions are very small.
They do it as a buffet, which is not my favorite way to have tea. Today we were the last group to go through the line and the clotted cream was gone. I asked for more and the lady looked a bit annoyed and brought out just a little dollop – about enough for three people, instead of the dozen or so that were left to be served. If you’re going to serve buffet, you should be prepared that people are going to take more than the little bit you might dish out on your own.
Also today, the trifle was just a watery mess in the bottom of the bowl. I love the way trifle looks on the table, but it’s only pretty for the first three or four people. After that it’s pretty nasty looking. That was certainly the case today.
Today they served haggis, which I did try. I am NOT an adventurous eater, so that’s pretty amazing for me. If you don’t know what haggis is, it’s basically “parts” of the animals with spices tossed in. It wasn’t bad at all, but not being a big meat eater to begin with, it didn’t thrill me. I also tried mincemeat pie, which had the same effect for me.
But, as usual, I loved the cucumber sandwiches, the lemon tarts, scones and all the other little traditional tea goodies.
They had live music today, which was a nice touch. Music is always a bit distracting for me but they were very good. We were seated right next to them so it was a little overwhelming at times, but they were excellent.
We were seating with four other ladies, one of whom is from Hutchinson. They have quite the system for seating people. You can tell they’ve worked it all out over the previous years.
I always enjoy this afternoon. Today we were able to get into the first seating and I think I like this best. We’ve been to each of them now. Julie and I have gone together every year.
After tea, we went to the library where they always have an exhibit of some sort. Last year it was teapots. This year it was hats and also favors from all the previous years. I am completely in love with the one from 2001, which is the year before I started going, unfortunately. It’s a hand crocheted teacup and saucer. I’m on the hunt for a pattern. I need a Christmas tree with these decorating it. I NEED it.