Good Morning thanks for coming to the party!Today we have a Special Treat from Author Vicki Delany!
Tea by the Sea: The Perfect Place for Afternoon Tea
By Vicki Delany
For My Reading Journeys
My Tea by the Sea mysteries from Kensington are set in the Tea by the Sea tea room on Cape Cod, owned by pastry chef Lily Roberts, adjacent to Victoria-on-Sea B&B, owed by her English grandmother Rose Campbell.
Rose began her working life as a kitchen maid and cook’s assistant at Thornecroft Castle, in Yorkshire. (Think Daisy from Downton Abbey). At Thornecroft Rose learned to appreciate a proper afternoon tea in the true Victorian tradition. That love of the ritual, and a sharp eye on tradition, Rose passed down to her granddaughter Lily. Rose’s gift to Lily for her 16th birthday was a set of Royal Doulton Winthrop china.
Lily is a trained pastry chef, who’s baked in Michelin starred restaurants in New York City and at top Manhattan bakeries. But it’s always been her dream to have her own place. And nothing would suit Lily more than a tea room.
When she finally gets her dream, it comes with a catch: she has to help the independently-minded Rose run her B&B. Rose would rather NOT have a B&B and not have strangers tromping though her house, but the only way she can afford the Victorian seaside mansion of her dreams, is by taking in paying guests. With Lily’s help.
As well as serving an arrangement of teas in proper china along with scones, delicate sandwiches, and beautiful pastries, it was important to Lily that the tea room itself be a calm, restful place
Tea by the Sea specializes in traditional afternoon tea. In keeping with the theme of the menu, the restaurant’s decorated as though it were a drawing room in a castle in Scotland or a stately country home in England. Paintings of British pastoral scenes and horses at the hunt are hung on pale peach wallpaper with clusters of pink and green flowers. The wide-planked wooden floors are polished to a high shine; the chairs upholstered in peach and sage green; the tables laid with starched and ironed white cloths and either a single rose in a crystal vase or a lush flower arrangement, depending on what’s currently available in the garden. Several small alcoves, similarly decorated, are tucked into corners, providing space for small parties or intimate gatherings. In the main room, a large antique sideboard, bought at a good price and carefully restored with a lot of elbow grease on my part and advice on Rose’s, exhibits some of the china tea sets we use. The opposite wall has a real fireplace, at this time of year filled with flowers. A small room next to the kitchen displays items for sale—teapots and matching cups and saucers; tea accessories such as infusers and strainers, timers, and tea cozies; several varieties of prettily-packaged tea’ bath salts I make myself from fragrant tea leaves; and locally made jams and preserves. The waitresses wear knee-length black dresses under starched white aprons and small white caps. As I stay strictly in the back, doing the cooking, I usually come to work in jeans and a T-shirt.
The cottage that’s now the tearoom is built of stone and wood and is about a hundred years older than the house. When turned it into my restaurant, I planted climbing vines around the base, hung a swinging sign over the door, and laid a flagstone floor in the yard, which was now dotted with tables and chairs, some of them under pink and blue umbrellas. Masses of terra-cotta pots overflowing with red and white geraniums, purple lobelia, white bacopa, and trailing sweet potato vines lined the stone half wall enclosing the patio. On the branches of an old oak in the center of the garden, I’d hung a multitude of cracked and mismatched teacups from brightly colored ribbons, which had already faded in the sun.
An Excerpt from
Tea and Treachery
by Vicki Delany
Lily knows working and living with Rose is going to be a challenge, but she loves her grandmother and she’s thrilled at moving to Cape Cod and running her own restaurant, exactly the way she wants. But murder disturbs her plans and sometimes it’s up to Lily to try to save both her grandmother and her tearoom.
Tea and Treachery, July 2020
Available on Amazon
Murder in a Teacup July 2021
And coming July 2022 Murder Spills the Tea before and keep in touch with Vicki for all the details!
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