Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Amherst Rose: Afternoon Tea with Jane Pettigrew - Day One

The first day of our weekend of tea featured a five course afternoon tea followed by a discussion of the social history of tea.


The Amherst Rose is a charming home that hosts private tea parties and scheduled tea events. We were fortunate to be able to attend a weekend of afternoon tea at The Amherst Rose with British Tea Specialist, Jane Pettigrew.

When arriving at The Amherst Rose you immediately see the beautiful gardens surrounding the brightly painted property. You enter through the front door into a delightful tea shop selling various tea accoutrements. Upon our arrival, Mary Jane, owner of The Amherst Rose and host of our tea weekend, greeted us personally and made us feel very welcome.

When we entered the tea room itself there was one long central table surrounded by smaller tables. Resting at each place setting, was a small canvas with a picture of a tea cup personalized with each guest's name. A gift bag was placed on each chair containing lovely tea accessories.

We were seated at the long central table and were immediately served a homemade vanilla cream and rosewater sparkling soda. We enjoyed chatting with fellow guests who had traveled from Canada, Michigan, Pittsburgh and various other locations for the tea event.

We were served a five course tea, of which we enjoyed every last course. Some of our favorites included the pork tenderloin sandwich, Kensington Palace scones and garden medley quiche.

Our Five Course Tea Menu:

Vanilla Cream and Rosewater Sparkling Soda
French Vanilla Cupcake with Rosewater Frosting

Three Cheese Soup
Kensington Palace Scones
Lemon Curd and Double Devonshire Cream
Strawberry Rose Preserves

Tarragon Chicken Salad on Croissants
Cucumber and Dilled Cream Cheese Rounds
Garden Medley Quiche
Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Savory Sauce

Double Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
Turkish Delight
Petite Creme Brulee
Rose and Pistachio Gelato
After finishing our five courses, our tea host, Mary Jane, introduced the guest of honor, Jane Pettigrew. Jane then began her discussion of A Social History of Tea. Jane's presentation was very lovely and informative. We enjoyed learning how tea was introduced in Britain and America, and how it became, and continues to be, a part of both countries' culture.  Some of our favorite tidbits we learned included the origin of the word tip (to insure promptness), and "noonshine" which was one of the original names for lunch.
After the presentation, Jane Pettigrew was available to autograph her books, which were happily sold in The Amherst Rose's gift shop.