Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December Tea Corner!







Snowy mountains
Icy cold
December white
And frosty winds

Quiet sky
And clear
No birds
No fluttering wings

Blurry mist
Merry Christmas
Warm abode
And bright lights

Crackling fire
Tea and
Conversations and
Welcome memories

 Historical recipe corner - December

As the English established colonies in the New World during the 17th century, settlers took the pie recipe with them. Since the 19th century it has become a favorite dessert in the US during holidays such as Thanksgiving.
The original recipe includes equal quantities of egg, apple and dry sherry. I used a modified recipe to ensure the right taste and cooking time.

Marlborough pie


For the pastry:
• 180g strong bread flour
• 1 tbsp granulated sugar
• ½ tsp table salt
• 125g chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
• 3 tbsp ice cold water

For the filling:
• 1½ bramley cooking apples (peeled and grated)
• 3 tbsp lemon juice
• 3 tbsp dry sherry
• 30g salted butter
• 140g granulated sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 240ml single cream
• ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
• ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
• ¼ tsp table salt


Put the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Work the butter cubes into the flour with fingers until the mixture looks crumbly. Add water to make dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll into a ball and cover in cling film. Refrigerate for 30 mins.
Pie filling: Place the grated apple in a bowl and stir in lemon juice and sherry. Melt the butter in a pan and add apple mixture and sugar. Allow the liquid to boil. Reduce heat and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated. Cool for 10 mins.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a 9 inch pie tin with baking parchment. Roll the dough into a 10 inch circle, 1/8 inch thick. Place in the pie tin and fold excess onto edge of tin to make a crust. Prick the dough and blind bake for 10 mins. Remove weights and parchment and bake for another 5 mins.
Reduce oven temperature to 180°C. Whisk together the eggs, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, and add apple mixture. Pour the filling into the pastry. Bake for 35 mins until the custard is set but not too brown.

Verdict: The spices really complement the creamy filling.
Difficulty: 5/10
Time: 1 hour 40 mins
Recipe courtesy of KCRW Good Food
This article was first published in the October 2015 issue of BBC History Magazine

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Victorian Tea Lady of Providence,

                               Lady Estelle

I, had established a  Victorian Tea society in 2001 to bring together Ladies and Gentlemen who share a love for the Victorian Era and to make new friends. We were a society of women and men dedicated to the enjoyment of tea and friendship. We lunch, laugh and learn while relaxing with other tea lovers. Based in the New England area, located in Rhode Island.

In our small groups, we each take turns being the host or hostess of the month. The tea party host or hostess may choose to serve a luncheon with a formal, informal, or even a witty theme. He or she may even plan an outing to visit a tea house, museum, etc. There is a $10 monthly fee, which is given to the host or hostess for that month to help defray the costs. That way we don't have to charge an annual membership fee.

How it all started!
It was in 2001 that I, Lady Estelle started the chapter of Lady Estelle's Victorian Tea Society. I was always looking for new and fun things to do. While browsing the internet I came upon "The Red Hat Society" where women gather for fun. 
This seemed like, what I was looking for.

At 52, I decides life was too short to worry about getting older, so I got the biggest red hat and joined the chapter to have some fun. The Red Hat signified my freedom to be myself.

An idea was born . . . a challenge! Why just be apart of just a woman's society? Why not start her own society of women and men to have fun? I was always interested in the Victorian/Edwardian Era, loved having tea parties and entertaining.

So, I started calling my friends that I thought would like to form a Victorian Tea Society. Without any problem I soon had 4 ladies, including her youngest daughter and son interested in the idea. The arrangements were made to meet at Baxter's on December 22nd, wearing their favorite hats and Sunday best attire.  The Hats was their statement of Freedom to have Fun.

At the first gathering the table was beautifully arranged with tablecloths, lace napkins, napkin holders, flowers, candles, china, silver, and pretty place cards indicating our place at the table. the menu included sandwiches, strawberry shortcake, scones, clotted cream and jams, and best of all, the tea was served. They gave themselves the royal treatment.
The Victorian Tea Society was officially launched, as we raised our cups and toasted, "Lady Estelle's Victorian Tea Society was on the go!

So look out Providence, here we come wearing our Hats with Pride and Style!

The Victorian Tea Society is no longer running .
I am still considered the Victorian Tea Lady of Providence. You can always come for tea at the Tea Corner and enjoy making friends the old fashion way.

My Little Tea Corner.

My little Tea Corner is in the heart of Providence. It is a lovely little corner in my home  With it's Victorian charm you can relax and enjoy a true step back in time.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Historical recipe corner November

  Tiger nut balls

Here, we take a step back in time and recreate some historical recipes for you to try at home

As your average ancient Egyptian seems to have had a very sweet tooth and often added dates and honey to desserts, I like to think that this is a sweet that would have been made thousands of years ago.
This recipe is very straightforward, requires no cooking and is a lot fun to make (ideal for younger members of the household who might want to help).


• 200g fresh dates (I used dried, which worked really well)
• 1 tsp cold water
• 10–15 walnut halves
• ¼ tsp of cinnamon
• small jar of runny honey
• 75g ground almonds


Chop the dates finely (use seedless, or make sure to remove the stones first) and put them into a bowl. Add the water and stir. Then mix in the chopped walnuts and the cinnamon.
Shape the mixture into small balls with your hands. Dip the balls in honey (I warmed it first so the honey coating wouldn’t be quite so thick) then roll the balls in the ground almonds.
Chill them in the fridge for half an hour before serving.

BBC history Magazine team verdict:
“Like historic energy balls.”
“I think Tiger nut balls roar with flavour.”
“They’re as indulgent as a chocolate truffle!”

Difficulty: 1/10
Time: 45 mins
Recipe courtesy of Cook it!
This article was first published in the January 2015 issue of BBC History Magazine.

Monday, October 26, 2015

October tea corner


Of course one can not mention the words "afternoon tea" without immediately associating it with merry England. 

For it was there that, over two hundred years ago, a  Dutchman brought with him from the Orient a peculiar little leaf which, with a little hot water and sugar, made a delicious drink.
At first lordly Englishmen would have none of him--but he didn't care.
 He exhibited the powers of the little leaves, made his tea, and drank it with evident relish.
Others were curious; they, too, drank, and once they started it was difficult to do without it.

Someone spread the rumor that this new drink from China contained drugs and stimulants--and no sooner was this rumor spread than everyone began drinking it! 

Even the ladies and gentlemen of better society finally condescended to taste "the stuff"--and lo! before they realized it, it had been unconsciously adopted as their very own beverage!
Through two generations the idea of the afternoon tea has been perfected, until to-day we have cozy, delightful, ceremonious five-o'clock teas that are the pride of the English and the joy of everyone who follows the custom.

And so we find the afternoon tea enjoying a vogue of unrivaled popularity here in America.
When a debutante daughter is to be introduced to society, the mother plans an elaborate afternoon tea (and they can certainly be elaborate!) 
 When guests from out-of-town are visiting, the hostess can think of nothing more appropriate than a chummy tea to introduce them to her friends. 
So charming a way of entertaining is the afternoon tea that it has usurped the evening reception almost entirely, except when the occasion requires special formality.

So, I encourage you to plan an October Afternoon tea with friends, to celebrate the harvest season.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Refreshing Month of September.

The Tea Party
I had a little tea party
This afternoon at three.
'Twas very small-
Three guest in all-
Just I, myself and me.
Myself ate all the sandwiches,
While I drank up the tea;
'Twas also I who ate the pie
And passed the cake to me.
~Jessica Nelson North

Penuche Walnut Fudge

 3 cups brown sugar, packed
 1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp. salt
 2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. Bourbon vanilla**
 1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
 1.) In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, salt and cream. Stir until dissolved.
 Cook until temperature reaches 235 degrees on a candy thermometer, or soft ball stage.
 2.) Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Cool to 110 degrees, or lukewarm. Add the vanilla and beat vigorously by hand until mixture loses its shine.
 3.) Quickly stir in the nuts and spread into a greased 9″ x 12″ pan. Chill before cutting into small squares. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed airtight container with wax paper between layers.
 Keeps for one week.

 ** Bourbon vanilla is a richer tasting vanilla extract. You can find it online at King Arthur Flour.com.

 Serving Suggestion:
 For a pretty treat, cut the fudge slab with a very small cookie or candy cutter like the butterfly used in the picture above.
Enjoy and have fun making these September tea treats

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August Tea News

Tea Time In August..

Some people would say it is too hot to enjoy an afternoon tea in the summer time.
I say " Nonsense!
It is the perfect time to enjoy your tea in the garden, amongst the flowers or under that shady weeping willow tree.
Put on your lightest summer sun dress and straw hat and "Invite a friend for afternoon tea".

Summer Tea Sandwiches Recipe

These dainty finger sandwiches are perfect for casual picnics or luncheons.
Tarragon-seasoned chicken complements cucumber and cantaloupe slices. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen


  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 24 slices soft multigrain bread, crusts removed
  • 1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 medium cantaloupe, cut into 12 thin slices

Nutritional Facts

2 sandwich halves equals 212 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 24 mg cholesterol, 450 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 13 g protein.


  1. Combine the tarragon, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; rub over chicken. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  2. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 170°. Cool to room temperature; thinly slice.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, onion, dill, lemon juice and remaining salt; spread over 12 bread slices. Top with cucumber, chicken, cantaloupe and remaining bread. Cut sandwiches in half diagonally. Serve immediately. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Summer Tea Sandwiches in Light & Tasty June/July 2005, p7

I do hope that you ladies, that are enjoying summer weather, are keeping cool and protecting yourself from the heat of the season.
Lady Estelle Tea Corner

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July News Letter-Charming Tea Rooms To Visit.

Charming Little Tea Rooms
At the turn-of-the-century, beginning with the popularity of the automobile, roadside charming little tea rooms popped up around the countryside serving tea and snacks to those that drove by. These tea rooms remain popular today.
Many creative people have turned their homes and cottages into very cozy Tea Rooms to entertain and comfort the weary traveler.
I have found some lovely places that you might like to visit in your travels. Enjoy!


 Abigail’s Victorian Tea Room- 
  is a beautiful three story Victorian Manor House built in 1883 and on the Berks County Historic Register.    


 Menu. Lady Tiffany's Soup du jour, Salad of the Day, Assorted Tea Sandwiches, Fresh Baked Scone of the Day.

Toms River's No.1 Bed & Breakfast and Victorian Tea Room 

 The Luxury of Today, the Coziness of Yesterday

The Victorian Tea Room is located in Falcon Rest's Visitor Center, next to the Victorian Gift Shop. Delightful outing for two or more; 

 Afternoon tea can and does include everything I love:
Food, especially baked goods; the comfort of sipping tea; relaxation; nurturing friendships; beautiful setting (flowers, pretty plates, etc); and the feeling of being pampered.

"Victoria Tea Party Recipes" 

4 0z cream cheese softened
1/2 cup celery finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts diced and toasted
To toast walnuts, spread them on a baking stone and bake 5 to 10 minutes @373, till lightly brown
*In small bowl, beat cream cheese til smooth,
Mix in celery and walnuts.
Spread on bread

8 oz cream cheese softened
1/2 envelope (2 teaspoon.) dry Italian salad dressing mix
2 tablespoon Mayonnaise
30  slicers of party size  rye bread
fresh dill sprigs
*In a bowl, combine cream cheese, Italian mix and mayo. Allow to stand 30 minutes
Spread on rye bread
Top with cucumber slices and sprigs of dill
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve,


Friday, June 5, 2015

Tea Is A Treasure!

 In my little Tea Corner, I try to make it as comfortable as possible.
 It is my own little world.
I can get away from the hustle and bustle from the street below.
 Even though I live in an apartment, I want it to have a feel of a home.


I can close my eyes and sip my favorite cup of tea and feel I am in a small cottage in the countryside.
Enjoying my tea time, has become my daily routine. 
It heals the mind and soul. I can't imagine how I could live without this treasure. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

June News Letter-June is National Iced Tea Month

                                    June is National Iced Tea Month
        Now this sweet ginger peach would be a perfect blend for a tall glass of Ice tea.

June is my favorite month. Not just because it is my birthday month, but because it was always the first day of summer vacation, when I was a young girl.
It was time to enjoy not getting up so early, public pools were open, wearing shorts and all the out door activity.
I love to swim and go to the beach or parks.
I did not mine the heat, I loved it.
 I always returned to school in September a bit wiser and a tad older. 

As I got older, I enjoyed having Summer Tea Parties in the Park.

               Let's celebrate with Ice Tea this month.                                  HAPPY JUNE!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Serving tea at Hearthside House

It was my pleasure to prepare and serve the tea at the historic Hearthside House yesterday. 

It was a lovely Downton Abbey Tea theme. The tables were elegantly set for an Afternoon Tea.

If you would like to see more of this delightful event, please go to A Modern Day Victorian Lady page.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Celebrate Spring!

In preparing for my celebration of Spring, I wanted to add a little of the out doors inside, until I can get out in the garden. While searching for Spring decor, I found these two little fellows at a thrift Shop. They begged to come home with me. I could not resist.
 They have adjusted well to the decor of the Parlor. Sitting comfortably under some plants they looks so real.
They are no bother, no fuss nor do I have to feed them. They give that sign that Spring is truly here.
We will have to celebrate the first couple of days inside, because we, here in New England are still having snow. Our mid afternoon days are warm with the sun shining though the windows.

But, by late afternoon and our nights are very chilly.

 The Tea Corner is ready for a Spring Tea Party which is in the planning for this month.
 There are so many ideas for a celebration at this time of year.

I am sure you have some Spring celebrations in progress. I would love to get a sneak preview.
                              I am happy that Spring is finally here!

It's Tea Time!


at   Lady Estelle's

September Tea Travel

   I am happy to say my tea time travels are on it's way. I have decided to visit as many tea shops and salons as I can. Will be looking...