Tea in the Garden

Published 3:24 pm Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Recently I had the pleasure of taking afternoon tea with a few of my girlfriends at Rosewood Virginia.

A lovely historic property in Lunenburg County that dates back to 1790. They have two tea rooms each having its own identity through its décor. One decked out in gold and Formal English style and the other English Garden.

We had the pleasure of being seated in what I have affectionately dubbed the “English Garden” room. Surrounded by the beautiful colors one would find in a cottage garden along with simple nods to nature scattered about, the atmosphere was simply delightful.

As we enjoyed our first pot of fresh brewed Carpe diem tea, I could not help but admire how wonderfully the three coordinated table dressings in a floral (April Cornell style) blended perfectly with the décor and did not clash or take away from the beautiful china we were being served on.

The delightful experience had me thinking deeper about the activity of taking tea and its ability to take one’s mind to a less stressful, relaxed place … like the Garden.

During the 18th century English Tea Gardens became popular. They were quiet places out of doors designed especially for the practice of enjoying afternoon tea. Nature was very popular in the Victorian era and bringing the indoor tea parlor outside (sometimes quite literally) to the garden was a favorite way of enjoying nature. It also allowed for the ladies of the manor to show off their flower collections and it provided a place where it was acceptable for men and women to meet freely.

The sounds of the song birds singing and the colorful beauty and sweet scent of the flowers filling the air would certainly be enough on their own for one to enjoy the garden and all its splendor. Add to that some fine friends, good food and drink, now you have a special affair. Yes indeed, I think there may be a tea garden installation happening in my future.

As a nature lover and garden enthusiast I cannot imagine a more splendid place to enjoy tea than the garden. Of course unless it’s foul weather outside and that’s when I must proclaim the brilliance of an indoor garden tea room, like the one at Rosewood Virginia.

The proprietors of Rosewood, Paul and Kathy have also opened The London Shoemaker and a casual café on the property. Their delicious food and drink can be eaten in or taken out. They have taken special care to source what they can find of quality food and drink supplies for their business locally in Virginia. Stop by and say hello when you have the opportunity.

Dawn Conrad can be reached at conrad.gardenmuse@gmail.com or fb.me/conrad.gardenmuse.