Welcome to Linda's Friendship Tea

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Blog Break

Time for a Blog Break

I appreciate the blog reader friends who visit here.
I regret that I am receiving far too many spam comments
therefore, I'm taking a break.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas in August Memories

The editor of Kentucky Living Magazine called me in June 2013 upon the suggestion of
Bruce Richardson of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.  The magazine wanted to run an article
in November 2013 about a Kentucky family who celebrates yearly with
a Christmas afternoon tea.  Fast forward a couple of months -- the very talented
photographer, Tim Webb,called and wanted to come on a weekday morning
in August with the magazine's artistic director.
 The kids were just starting the school year and the husband was at work, so what was I to do?  I called my friends Mary, Lynn, Patty and Alice and my daughter, Melissa,
who drove 2 hours from N. KY for the photo shoot.
The real trick was decorating for Christmas in August while hosting a Japanese exchange
student and continuing normal family life.
First, I promised Glenn I would decorate only one room in the house,
the tea room, and that we would leave up those decorations through Christmas.
He dug the decorations out of storage in the basement
and the decorating began. Fortunately, Hobby Lobby had begun to set out
Christmas decorations, but there were no peppermint candy canes anyplace. 
We not only had to decorate, but we also had to plan a menu and serve a full afternoon tea.
Thank goodness for friends!
Everyone made food items and contributed to the successful event.
Above: Mary and Lynn
Below: Patty

 That's me, above, holding the book a Christmas Cup of Tea,
my gift for each of them, and the very hot pot of tea.
Alice is below
 Melissa, Mary and me.
I am not a food stylist, and there were a few little mistakes I see
as I look back at the photos.  We were trying to dress for Christmas while
wearing sandals in the hot August humid temperatures.
What fun memories!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Christmas Tree at the Inn at Biltmore

 Decorating the Christmas tree in the lobby of the Inn on the Biltmore Estate
was on the list of daily activities for Friday after Thanksgiving at 9:00 am.
The live tree was brought in and set-up during the night or in the wee hours of Friday.
The "naked" tree was there when we went down to the dining room for a bountiful buffet breakfast.
 A group of ladies began the decorating process at 9:00 as scheduled.
We watched the process off and on throughout the day before and
after our 1:15 pm afternoon tea.  By the way, tea is being served in
the dining room downstairs to accommodate more guests than the previous
location of the library on the lobby level.
The ladies completed decorating after 3:00 p.m.
I didn't count, but there were six to eight ladies at one time.
I talked to a couple of them and asked what they normally do at the Inn.
I learned they are the team who put together all the decorations
for weddings, conferences, holidays and special events indoors and outdoors
for the Inn and the Hotel.
As you can imagine, the large variety of toys under the tree received
a lot of attention from the children coming in and out of the lobby
with their parents and grandparents.
An added bonus for those parents and grandparents is
toys under the tree all have price tags and are for sale.
We departed on Saturday, and missed the annual gingerbread "house"
which was scheduled to be set-up on Monday.
In years past, we've seen different structures including replicas
of the Inn, but I was told this year it is a beautiful replica of the Biltmore Cottage.

We loved our family visit and three-night stay at the
Biltmore Estate, including visits to the spa,
 but the family missed my homecooked
Thanksgiving turkey meal with all the traditional southern sides.
I guess it's good to know they appreciate me for something. :-)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Afternoon Tea at the Inn on the Biltmore Estate

Friday after Thanksgiving was a leisure day for the family
with afternoon tea scheduled at 1:15 p.m. at the Inn on the Bilktmore Estate.
Glenn and Kaitlyn enjoyed the traditional afternoon tea.
See menu above.

 Austin and I enjoyed the gluten free version of the
traditional afternoon tea. 

This was the third time during 2019 we had afternoon tea
at the Biltmore Estate. 
Visiting Biltmore and participating in the activities is a family favorite.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition at the Biltmore Estate

Thanksgiving Day at the Inn on the Biltmore Estate
began with a delicious breakfast buffet.
Then on to the Downton Abbey Exhibit in the Amherst at Deerpark.
The photos are only a few of the exhibits.

After we completed this part of the exhibition, and visited the gift shop,
we boarded another tram to visit the Downton Abbey Clothing Exhibit 
in The Biltmore Legacy at Antler Hill Village.
Again, these are only a few of the many clothing items displayed 
from the TV show and the movie. 

If you are a Downton Abbey fan, 
I highly recommend a visit to this fabulous exhibition.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Family Thanksgiving Travels

Kaitlyn, Austin, Glenn and I arrived at the Biltmore Estate on 
Wednesday afternoon to begin our three-night Thanksgiving weekend visit. 
After checking in at the Inn on the Biltmore Estate, we began with
a shuttle ride to the house where we had a delicious dinner 
at the Stable Restaurant and shopping before participating in 
the Christmas Candlelight Tour. 
This is the most festive time of the year with every room decorated 
for Christmas, and live choral or instrumental musical entertainment.
It is also the busiest time to visit and a little difficult to get just the right photos.

The Christmas trees were decorated with different themes. 
The one below is one of my favorites in red, white and blue. 

We have toured the house several times over the years during the Christmas season,
and I always anticipate seeing and smelling the gingerbread replica of the house.
The aroma greets the visitors while walking toward the kitchen in the basement where it is displayed. 

The Christmas tree in the servant's dining room was small
and was decorated with handmade ornaments. 

This concluded our Wednesday. 
The next post will highlight our Thanksgiving Day adventures.