April 14, 2013

A Victorian Tea Party In A Queen Anne Mansion

I was invited to celebrate a friends birthday in Lake Geneva Wisconsin, a fabulous little tourist town located an hour west of where I live, for a Victorian Tea Party.

The tea party would be celebrated in a Queen Anne Mansion that was built in 1885 by the widow Emily Baker. This 17,000 square foot, 30 room mansion, is listed on The National Register of Historic Places, the lower floors are used for the restaurant while the hotel is located upstairs with four luxury suites available for guests.

The initials R. H. B. of Emily's late husband were lovingly placed in the threshold of the entry so she would never have to pass through the door without him. Today guests are still greeted by Mr. Baker initials as they cross the same threshold. 

Guest are encouraged but not required to select, from the many hats available, one to wear during the tea.

Remember, I worked in a public school for twenty two years, so of course, my first reaction was there was no way I was going to put on a hat that was worn by other people. After being told by a member of the staff that the hats were sprayed after each use, yeah right, my friends insisted that I select a chapeau for our tea party.

The birthday girl on the left and the hostess of this petite party on the right look stunning in their hats.

Me, on the other hand, should never wear a hat!

Guests were allowed to choose which room they wanted to have their tea in, we choose the family room.

Other rooms that were available to be seated in were, the library

the game room

or the formal living room.

Our little group in the family room.

We choose our tea by smelling the samples.

Our choices were Lady Londonderry, Peach Apricot, or Bourbon Street Vanilla Rooibos. I choose Lady Londonderry, a delicate, medium afternoon tea with a malty floral flavor with hints of strawberry and lemon. 

The tea was poured, and the savory and sweet delights were placed on our table.

Our savory portions included, cucumber, radish & cranberry cream cheese sandwich, egg salad, chicken salad, and a crusted bread that tasted like a BLT. 

There are no photos of the sweet bread, scones, or the assorted petite sweets because I was starved and once I started to eat I forgot all about taking pictures. 

A good time was had by all.  It was a fun afternoon.

Linking up with:
Sunny Simple Life


  1. Looks great Paulette, just my sort of afternoon!!

  2. My Mom was a 2nd grade teacher..I was thinking the SAME THING about the hats! too funny!
    What a beautiful time, all the silver and the yummy food and great friendship!

  3. Oh, that looks like such a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!!

  4. Paulette, what a beautiful tea party in such a beautiful place!

  5. Oh my, what a fun time. I love hats and I think I look better in them but there is really no place to wear them here.

  6. Such a lovely venue in a great town (I've been to Lake Geneva before). And, the goodies look so delicious! I agree with you about the hats. I would buy a new one before I would put on a hat worn by others- yuk!