This past Saturday, I was treated to afternoon tea at the gorgeous Ballantyne Hotel, right outside Charlotte NC. In honor of the new Downton Abbey movie, the Ballantyne hosted a special Downton Abbey themed afternoon tea.
Of course I needed in on this. Tea AND Downton!? You can't beat that!
When the show first started, I was immediately hooked. I've always loved history; the fashion, the food, the way it was cooked, the recipes and the presentation. The culture, the etiquette.
Normally I'm the one hosting afternoon tea and this was such a lovely change of pace to be on the receiving end and enjoying the time to sit, to savor the food and tea.
Of course I started off by sketching with pen and ink to commemorate the moment and to take a moment to be fully present.
The tea hosts were wearing the most adorable little frilly white aprons, reflecting the style of the maids of Downton Abbey. Even the tea matched the theme as it's the brand of the royal family - Rare Tea Company of London. I chose a tea with hints of vanilla and it was scrumptious!
The hors d'oeuvres of savories and sweets were just as visually delicious as they were tasty in my mouth. Each one was lovingly, artistically assembled all while pairing flavors to make petite edible masterpieces. One of the sweets was a chocolate teacup filled with what I think was chocolate moose and garnished with edible gold flakes. Each one was magnificently decadent and sent my taste buds into a heavenly state.
Of course I adored the teacups which feature a fitting design of magnolia blossoms - quintessentially Southern!
You guys, the staff here is amazing! They're so friendly, so welcoming, full of smiles and laughs. It's like they've known you forever.
It was such a much needed relaxing, luxurious afternoon and I can't wait to come back whether it be to sketch in the gardens or for another lovely afternoon tea!
They are always having wonderful themed afternoon teas so if you live in the area, check out their schedule to see what's coming up next!