Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Afternoon Tea at Pardee Home Museum in Oakland

Tea Time Adventures has stumbled across a Facebook group, Second Sunday Tea at Three (SST@3). We signed up immediately once we learned they planned to take tea at the Pardee Home and Museum in Oakland, because while we had been there several years ago, we hadn't gotten any pictures—and therefore no blog post! This is another volunteer led Afternoon Tea, so guests must make reservations through the Pardee Home to book a tea event  All proceeds from tea ticket sales and the gift shop benefit the nonprofit that cares for the Pardee Family Historical Home. 

Our visit begins with a greeting from one of the volunteers and once our all of our party arrived (shamefully J.K. and I were running a bit late due to reading on BART and missed our transfer stop) they led us into the lovely dining room which was set with sandwiches and savories to begin our Afternoon Tea.

The savory course was served family style so each person took one of what they liked and passed on the plate.  These delightful bites and garnishes are all made by volunteers in-house and served on beautiful plates with thoughtful attention to detail. Garnishes included edible flowers from the Pardee Garden, which were in great demand by some of the guests. (Your menu will depend on who's in the kitchen and what is seasonal.)

7 savory delights from traditional to the unexpected
Our tea cups were kept topped off by volunteer waitresses who buzzed to and from the kitchen (since the kitchen is used to serve afternoon tea, it is the only part of the house not shown during the tour). After a lot of conversation, tea and sandwiches, we were served the scone course which included local jam and yummy curd  on the side. Our group spent a lot of time admiring the decor in the Pardee dining room where we took tea as well.

There were plenty of conversation starters hanging around...
Dessert was the last course (as if we could eat more...good thing we had to walk around during the tour) and featured more good cooking by the volunteers.

There was definitely a dessert flavor for every sweet tooth.

After our group was full and content we met in the front hall with a smaller party who were only participating in the tour. There are lots of photos, so we'll let them speak for themselves. If you're curious you can ask for more details in the comments or simply take the Pardee Home tour yourself!

A room with a view

The dining room with the original Pardee home cutlery and dishes.

Close up of painting-see the deer?

Thanks to the ladies of SST@3 for organizing this event. Tea Time is happy to have made it back and checked this Afternoon Tea Adventure off our list! If you're interested in learning more about the Pardee home, taking Afternoon Tea or Volunteering, reach out and contact them! They love to entertain.

P. S.
We made it home on BART just fine. No side trips since we were vigilant after the mishap on the way to the event... and on the way home, J.K. stopped at Ben & Jerry's for her birthday dish of Chocolate Therapy. Well, it was almost time for dinner, but J.K.'s motto is "Life is uncertain—eat dessert first."
Angela says, "Sometimes ice cream is dinner." Not sure if that's a motto or just a fact.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Harris-Lass Museum-Afternoon Tea for Charity

Tea Time Adventures brings you a summer charity event! The Harris-Lass Museum in Santa Clara hosts this fundraiser annually so this year we got tickets (courtesy of the Let's Go to Afternoon Tea Meetup group) and took Caltrain down to the South Bay for another tea adventure. Here is a little history about the house (from their website):

"The Harris-Lass House Museum is located at 1889 Market Street in Santa Clara, California.  It is the last farm site in the city of Santa Clara and is named for the two families who owned and lived on the property for 125 years.  The museum consists of the house, a classic California barn, summer kitchen, tank house and landscaped gardens."

We arrived early on this warm June day, so after we checked in and found our assigned tables (grabbing seats in the shade!) there was plenty of time for picture taking. We perused the raffle goodies. Most popular was the chair planter of purple petunias, but there was a wide variety of baskets and goodies available to win. You also got the chance to win a raffle just by attending when you entered your ticket stub for a door prize. A third chance at winning a drawing was to purchase something from the Harris-Lass gift shop which is housed in the Tank House (it has a windmill on top, easy to spot).

Plenty of door prizes.
Put your ticket in a basket for a chance to win!

Typewriter planter, Whaaat!

There is sure to be something to strike your fancy at the Harris-Lass gift shop. Including photos of the past residents and information about their lives.

The grounds are small, but lively flowers and an arched trellis show this could be a lovely setting for a wedding or garden party. The house was not open for tours since it was the preparation and staging area for the fashion show. We were reminded to save our tickets and return at a later date to see the insides of the house itself.

The catered afternoon tea included sandwiches, a mini scone with jam, lemon curd and (melted) cream, hot tea (we requested ice to make into iced tea—it was a warm day, even in the shade) along with dessert (lemon bars and brownies). 

J.K. made a party favor for the Meetup guests, Tea Marshmallows!!

Just as dessert began, so did the entertainment provided by Portraits of the Past. This group donned vintage clothing and enacted short vingnettes from the history of San Jose and the Bay Area. All the actors and actresses had a lot of fun and after the show they walked among the audience to let us see their costumes up close and personal. If you're interested in having them perform at your event, see their information below! The Harris-Lass tea is another fundraising tea event that happens yearly. Tickets to this afternoon tea sell out quickly, but don't despair. If you'd like to find out more about this historical home, you can visit year round!