Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A NEW HOME IN THE BLOGOSPHERE


Hello dear friends of the Tea Society Blog. First off, I want to thank those who have been so kind as to leave their comments and farewells here. I also want to thank you for the infinite pots of "virtual tea" that we've shared over the years. You have been such wonderful kindred spirits and I have treasured getting to know so many of you more than you will ever know.

With all that said, this is certainly not the end! I have finally returned to introduce my new home in the Blogosphere. I have published a new art blog called Flora Symbolica. That's just a much more romantic title for The Language of Flowers. The title was inspired by a wonderful book that I recently purchased by the same name. It was written by Debra N. Mancoff and is all about the use of Flowers in Pre-Raphaelite art.

If you have an interest in Botanical art, gardening and beautiful gardens, you will no doubt find something of interest for you here. And of course, there will always be a fresh kettle on while you look over the contents. Truly, My hope is that the new blog will be a much more personal, as well as professional, journey for me. I would be delighted if my bloggy friends would join me in this adventure as I embark on life as a Botanical Illustrator.

Most Teafully,
Rebecca

Saturday, May 28, 2011

CLOSING CHAPTERS AND MOVING ON


I hope each of you have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. It's been beautiful here in Central Kentucky and promises to be hot and sunny. I must confess, though I am a child of autumn, I am thrilled to have some sunshine and warmth after such a cold and rainy spring and later winter..We're actually expecting a high of 90 on Monday. As usual, we skip spring and go straight into summer.

Life continues to evolve and offers many changes. Some are very good, I might add, and others, only time will tell. With that said, I have decided that this will be the last post for the Ladies Historical Tea Society Blog. I will leave the blog up for the duration of the summer, if nothing else, for the music that so many of you have told me that you love. For myself, I intend to spend some much needed time with my family as well as in the art studio and in my beloved garden. The latter two mentioned have been sorely neglected and I must redirect my attention, specifically, to my art and keep it focused there. I want to take this time to extend many blessings to the wonderful followers and friends that I've made through the blogosphere. I hope you have a wonderful summer and I sincerely want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your support and kindness throughout the last several years. I have made some very dear friends, and I cherish each of you more than most of you will ever know.

Most Teafully,
Rebecca

Sunday, March 27, 2011

TEA IN ENGLAND (SPRING IN HISTORIC BATH PART 1)


A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit England for 8 days. This was my first trip to the 'Sceptered Isle" and to say it was perhaps the most spectacular destination I’ve ever visited would be a vast understatement. For, as an unapologetic Anglophile, being there at least once in your lifetime is as necessary to existence as the water you drink or the air that you breathe. To take advantage of any trip there is a must, no matter how long or short the duration.

After spending a few exciting days in London, it was destination, Bath, where I was able to visit a wonderful tea room which is what this post will concentrate on. Of course, Bath is known for its Roman influence and exquisite Georgian architecture but it should also be noted that this city has many wonderful tearooms and specialty shops. It seems that I stumbled upon one at every turn. I only wish I had several more days to explore this breathtaking city and partake of each and every one. Hum…I’m thinking a tea room tour of Great Britain must be in the future works. Anyone care to join me?

The three most significant activities that were enjoyed by the privileged in Bath during the Regency era, in which it’s so well known, were dancing, gambling and tea. It is also said that if one spent any less than 6 weeks there, you would have certainly held no social significance whatsoever. To do so would have been considered bad form, indeed. After all, Bath, during Jane’s time was second only to London in prestige and fashion- ability, though that would change some years later when it would become much less chic.

Upon first arriving and embarking on the adventure of navigating the maze of one way streets in the city, our first destination was the Jane Austen Centre. The centre offers a museum of period clothing and displays which have been designed to give a glimpse into what life would have been like during the Regency era. It also houses a nice gift shop with everything Jane-related.

The tour at the centre was very informative. It was filled with information about the Austen family especially in reference to the time they spent there. It is often said that Jane grew weary of Bath, but the guide at the centre seemed to feel that she did in fact have a fondness for the city, at least at certain times in her life. Of course, Jane devotees will be quick to point out that Bath was the setting of two of Austen’s beloved novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, the former being my favorite of the two.

Now, for the tea experience: I had researched the Tea Room at the centre a bit before my trip so had great expectations. For instance, it is housed in a Georgian townhouse on historic Gay Street and adorned with d├ęcor faithful to the era. This certainly makes for perfect ambiance. But of more importance, this particular tea room, known as The Regency Tea Room, has been granted the Tea Guild’s esteemed “Award of excellence” and “Tea rooms with distinction” award. One sip of the perfectly brewed selections offered here and it’s easy to see why. I opted to sample two blends from their offering of 15. My first was the Jane Austen Blend; a mixture of delectable China black teas, in keeping with what was more easily available during the Regency period. The second was Russian Caravan. The latter is a blend of China blacks with a smokier flavor- Very satisfying. Of course, I came away with loose leaf bags of both, along with a charming silver tea strainer. As for tea fare, I chose “Tea with Mr. Darcy.” I ask you, how could one resist ordering that when there is a charming portrait of Colin Firth, in the role that made him famous, holding a position of honor just above the mantle? And what exactly was included with this “Tea”? It consisted of a two tiered offering of cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches, fresh baked scones (one plain, one with currants) with Dorset clotted cream, strawberry jam, lemon curd, apple tartlets, delectable meringue shells with fruity filling, and cream stuffed buttery cookies-topped with a drizzle of chocolate.

And what did all this result in? Well, an afternoon of absolute bliss, of course!

Now, make sure to check back soon for “Part 2” of Bath to see the rest of what this exquisite English city is known for.














Monday, February 28, 2011

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO...


Congratulations to a Tea Society favorite, Colin Firth, on his Oscar win for best actor in The King's Speech. This wonderful film also captured the grand prize for best film, best director, and best original screenplay. Well deserved, indeed.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

THE KING'S SPEECH




This Sunday I finally had the opportunity to see The King’s Speech. First of all I absolutely adore Colin Firth in nearly every film he graces but this particular movie left me speechless, pardon the pun. Firth’s amazing portrayal of King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth and husband of the Queen Mother, is simply mesmerizing. His Golden Globe win is certainly well deserved. I truly hope that Firth takes home the Oscar for Best Actor this year. To say he is well deserving of such accolades would be a vast understatement.

From the opening scene where the terrified Prince Albert, Duke of York, is standing before a crowd at the closing of the Empire Exhibition in 1925, Colin Firth casts his spell and the movie audience instantly feels sympathy for this courageous stammering man who would soon be King. From that moment on, you know that you are about to form an intimate relationship with this character.

Geoffrey Rush portrays Lionel Logue, “Bertie’s” (the family nickname for Albert) Australian speech coach. He delivers an amazing performance and never disappoints with his ability to make you truly believe that he is in fact the person he portrays. Interestingly, I read that some of the most memorable lines in the movie were actually taken from Lionel Logue’s personal notes on the methods he used in his therapy sessions. These notes were discovered 9 weeks before filming began. Therefore, to maintain accuracy, the script was reworked to reflect what was in the notes.

Oh, and I mustn’t fail to mention the spectacular hats in this film. Helena Bonham Carter certainly wears them well. And yes, there are a few Tea scenes to enjoy, along with some featuring those adorable Corgi’s.

I must say that this film is about much more than a “Royal” over-coming a speech disability, it is about believing in yourself and the ability to rise above pre-conceived low expectations to achieve greatness. It is about trusting and discovering the importance of having at least one person in your life that helps you discover the true power of greatness within you. I think the King was indeed fortunate that he had two such people in his life, his devoted wife, Elizabeth, and his unconventional friend and therapist, Lionel.