Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Taking Time for Tea, and for Me!

Every once and a while a busy author needs to take a little time for tea. My plate has been full while promoting my new release with my blog tour and book signings for, Colonial Courtships. I've also written a new book proposal, studying my craft, and researching. Oh, and actually writing. I try to fit that in when I can!

On Saturday, my Mom treated me and her best friend, Denise, to a tea party to celebrate both of our November birthdays (mine's coming up on Friday). We took a scenic drive to the quaint western Maine town of Limerick and arrived at The Clipper Merchant Tea House, an 1830 Gothic Victorian home on the register of national historical places. The Clipper Merchant is one of the country's top ten tea houses, and number one in New England. It's been featured in many magazines and our visit told us why. 

To my delight we were greeted with a colonial 13 star flag hanging from the front door, a tribute to this colonial era town that was founded in 1775.

As we entered, everything was "tea". The waitresses were bustling around
donned in Victorian English riding hats.


Each room has a theme, and we were seated in the "Hawthorne Room", named for 19th century author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

We began with a refreshing cup of lavendar lemonade.
And then there was tea.
We were each served our selected tea in our own personal pot.


 Of course, I couldn't resist the "Jane Austen Blend" tea. The tea was the perfect blend of black tea with oils of pomegranate and vanilla. And if you know me, I adore everything vanilla.
We ordered the "Tower of London",
three delightful tiers of petite sandwiches, fresh fruit, scones, and sweets.

 My favorite treat was a pumpkin scone with Devon cream and lemon curd.

While enjoying one another's company Mom and Denise surprised me with a few birthday gifts including an aqua colored butterfly print sweatshirt that is so pretty and warm. And a gift basket with with some nice stationery things and an adorable cat book. I gifted Denise with a copy of Colonial Courtships which she had been looking forward to reading.
Alongside some books on ettiquette displayed on the sideboard, I was pleased to discover some colonial books. I own volume one and two of Men, Women, & Manners in Colonial Times, but was delighted to find Women of Colonial and Revolutionary Times by Dolly Madison.

It was fun looking around the Clipper Merchant Tea House. And it will be even more fun returning when we can have our tea in one of the other rooms. Like the Custom House Room that had a gorgeous Victorian wedding gown on display. Or the China Room, so-named for the owner's adopted daughter, whom we met that day.

Or perhaps the Scottish Thistle Room, alternatively called the Library.
  (This room makes me think of my literary agent, Chip MacGregor
who wears a kilt to the annual ACFW conference!)

We all agreed that making this a birthday tradition would be a great idea. But why stop there? November comes but once a year. So, our next visit shall be in the spring when they are open again for the season. Although I was most pleased that my first occasion at The Clipper Merchant was on such a beautiful and brisk fall day.
But when we return there will be more exploring to do in the village. Like the lovely mansion that we visited and the Customs House antique store where I bought my mother an early Christmas gift, a painting she fell in love with. I've now learned that there is a living history museum in the area, too!

Sometimes it is hard to break away from the bustle of life and pause a little while, but this time of refreshment was long over due. I enjoyed every moment of our beautiful day. Thank you for letting me share my trip with you, that was part of the fun!

What do you like to do to get refreshed?


  1. Wow, this looks awesome!!! We should use this place for one of our online Tea Parties at CQ!!! Happy birthday, Carla!!!

  2. Happy Birthday, Carla!!! This place is amazing, so breathtaking. I agree with Carrie, an online Tea Party would be perfect there. You could use these pictures during the party, so that people can visualize where they are. Thank you for sharing your special day with us! Hugs.

  3. Have a blessed birthday, Carla, and a healthy and joy-filled day.

  4. A belated Happy Birthday, Carla!

    What a fun way to celebrate a birthday - beautiful china, delicious goodies, soothing tea, and people we love. :)


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