Today found me leaving home at 8:00 a.m. EST to travel to the Morris Arboretum of the University of PA with a group organized by The Rosemary House and Sweet Remembrance (Mechanicsburg, Pa). The arboretum features a wide variety of gardens including rose gardens, a rock wall garden, Japanese gardens, herb gardens, a sculpture garden all within an hour of center Philadelphia.
We enjoyed a guided tour of many of the gardens lead by volunteers who have dedicated many hours to the upkeep and public enjoyment of the grounds. After which we enjoyed a delicious box lunch prepared by Nancy Reppert of Sweet Remembrances. As always the box lunch provided was an abundance of flavorful food, pleasingly presented, and appropriate for the most discriminating palate.
Our next top was at the Shofuso Japanese House and nationally-ranked garden in Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park. The Japanese house reflects the history of Japanese culture in Philadelphia, from the 1876 Centennial Exposition to the installation of its contemporary paintings in 2007.
In addition to visiting the house and gardens we had the honor of observing the Japanese Tea Ceremony as taught by the Urasenke School. Drew Hanson, a Urasenke School licensed tea ceremony instructor, demonstrated the ceremonial preparation of Matcha for our tasting.
The day's finale was the enjoyment of a Scottish soup, salad, and quiche tea at the Simpson House Tea Room, Chester Springs, PA. Unfortunately, Jenny, their resident ghost did not honor us with an appearance. The Simpson House Tea Room has two resident ghosts, Jenny - a possible injury from an early 1900 train wreck and her cat, who seems to be very happy residing in a Tea Room.
Much to my surprise I discovered the owner of the Simpson House Tea Room is a fellow STI Tea Certification Program graduate who will also be traveling to Vegas next week to attend World Tea Expo.
As the tea world goes round, I look forward to sharing a cuppa with you. (These days I am making my cuppa a Oriental Beauty Oolong.)
The Tea And Hat Lady