Tea Anyone?

23/02/13 5:32 PM


Today, I had the chance to go back to Bacon’s Castle in Smithfield, Virginia to attend a wonderful Afternoon Tea with the Regency Society of Virginia. The Regency Society of Virginia is an organization for those who are fascinated by the British Regency and the corresponding American periods. They are a family-friendly, volunteer-run group whose goal is to continually grow in our knowledge of the years 1790-1820. Whether you are a Janeite, an English Country or Regency dancer, a re-enactor, a costume historian or lover of period dramas, The Regency Society of Virginia is a great place to be!



I received an invitation from my good friend and fellow blogger Dianna. Dianna has been with us almost from the beginning and has followed and supported us through this journey. She invited me early on to come to Smithfield, just about 45 minutes from our current home is Chesapeake to see her beloved Bacon’s Castle. This 1665 home located just outside of Smithfield is the only brick Jacobean home left in America. You can read more about his beautiful home by going to our “Year of the Virginia Historical Homes” Categories and finding it there.


We started our event with a wonderful history lesson in tea. Did you know that Afternoon Tea Events we have today is largely based on the Victorian Era? The Afternoon Tea came about after the time of dinner was expended to a later time. Most households would have a breakfast and then dinner. When dinner stated getting later and later, the ladies found that they would need something more than tea to get them to dinner. So Afternoon Teas were born.

In the early days of America, tea was a valuable import. It was so valuable that it would be locked up and the mistress of the house would be the only one holding the key! I guess that shows how serious the Colonist were when the threw the tea in to the Boston Harbor!


We dined on a wonderful plate of bits that were both beautiful and delicious. For our first course we were treated to two small tea sandwiches of egg salad and cucumber tea sandwiches, a bowl of asparagus soup (served cold), a small salad, lavender scones with strawberry preserves and fruit.

Cucumber Tea Sandwich

Cucumber Tea Sandwich

Egg Salad Tea Sandwich

Egg Salad Tea Sandwich

Lavender Scone

Lavender Scone


After this plentiful plate, we were served our second course of sweet delights! Sweet muffins of apple and lemon poppy seed, vanilla shortbread and a coconut meringue cookie. With smartly dressed Society Ladies as our tea companions, there was a good time had by all!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

Apple Muffin

Apple Muffin

Coconut Meringue

Coconut Meringue




After our Tea, we enjoyed a tour of this historic home. As my tour companion, Dianna gave us a deeper understanding our this home. Her family once owned it! Her mother was born and raised here! How lucky to have such history in ones family.


If you would like to see this beautiful home, it will reopen for the Spring and Summer Season in March. Please visit their website at



If you would like too learn more about the Regency Society or would like to have these wonderful ladies and gentlemen help you make your next tea or picnic event something really special, please visit their Facebook Fan Page at



Get your Regency Dress Ready! Belle Grove Plantation will be hosting a Tea or Picnic Event soon!

To see more pictures of Belle Grove

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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Darnell History, Food and Recipes, Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 48 Comments »

48 Comments on “Tea Anyone?”

  1. Afternoon tea envy … 😉

  2. Don’t worry! We will be open soon and will have our own tea you can come enjoy!

  3. John Says:

    Looking delicious indeed. 🙂

  4. Thank you! It was!

  5. Dianna Says:

    Wow! You were quick to get this posted! It was such a nice gathering, even though the weather outside was a bit gloomy. Thanks for the blog mention. I urge your readers to visit Bacon’s Castle if at all possible. It’s a very special place.

  6. Thank you again Dianna for the chance to go back and see it again! I have a wonderful time!

  7. terry1954 Says:

    the tea party looks very elegant and yet relaxing. I went ahead and toured some of the photos of the home. It is beautiful. Thanks for sharing

  8. Thank you! It was wonderful! The house is something really special!

  9. What a delightful time! Having high (or low) tea is such fun. This was a wonderful entry. I enjoyed it very much.

  10. Thank you so much! I love having any tea!!

  11. […] I’ve never seen a woman work so hard to get something so marvelous off the ground. You do inspire Michelle: Belle Grove Plantation and Bed and Breakfast […]

  12. Thank you so much for sharing our blog and for your wonderful words!

  13. moontoefairy Says:

    Nice article!

  14. Thank you so much!

  15. What a lovely experience. I hope one day to get to Virginia,and perhaps even Belle Grove and experience your special tea ceremony

  16. Thank you so much! We do hope you will be able to visit us some day!

  17. Amy Says:

    What a delightful and enjoyable event. Tea, pastries, and china are so beautifully presented.

  18. Thank you! We can’t wait to have our own soon!

  19. adinparadise Says:

    Those dainty little morsels look so delicious. 🙂

  20. You know what?? They really were!! 😉

  21. Thanks for sharing this. It looks wonderful. All of it. Now that is one place I have not been, so I have to put it high on my list the next time I’m in Virginia. What a lovely afternoon!

  22. Thank you! Yes, I would say it would be worth the time to go! You do the same!

  23. vanbraman Says:

    Now I need to go brew a cup of tea after working in the yard :-).

  24. I drink a pot of tea every morning at work… soon I will have to do it at Belle Grove 😉

  25. I’ve just nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award! http://bonnevivantelife.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

  26. Thank you so much! We really appreciate it!

  27. What a wonderful historic house and such a treat to enjoy it with that lovely tea! Great info and photos!

  28. Thank you! It was great to visit the house again and to make new friends!

  29. I can’t believe I haven’t visited this place yet! Sounds and looks wonderful.

  30. Thank you! You know we aren’t open yet. We should be open around May 1st. You are welcome to come see us then!!

  31. Beth Ann Says:

    Lovely!! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  32. You are so welcome! We hope to see more of you!

  33. You know I would love anything called Bacon’s Castle 🙂

  34. Ha! I thought of you during the day too!!

  35. […] Tea Anyone?. […]

  36. Thank you for sharing our blog with your readers! We really appreciate it!

  37. chr1 Says:

    I can’t believe you dined with those Royalists!

    Just kidding. Keep rolling toward that opening. I don’t say this often, but your determination and work on your dream is inspiring.

  38. Thank you so much! Haha! It was nice to be with them!

  39. […] Michelle Darnell met me at the Castle. She and her husband will be opening a Bed and Breakfast this spring at historic Belle Grove Plantation near Fredericksburg, Virginia. Michelle, seated beside me in this photo, has a passion for Belle Grove, similar to the one I have for the Castle. To read Michelle’s post about the Bacon’s Castle Tea, click here. […]

  40. Thank you so much for sharing us with your readers! We really appreciate it!

  41. augusta Says:

    Lavender scone! I love the smell of our lavender essential oil, but had never heard of eating lavender.

  42. They were so good! And it didn’t taste like a flower!

  43. What fun!

  44. Yes, thank you, it was great fun!

  45. Everything looks delicious! So much fun too 🙂

  46. Thank you! It really was a great time!

  47. What lovely tea dishes and tea. There is just something about afternoon tea. Love the exterior of the house.

  48. They really were! We can’t wait to have our own teas soon! Bacon’s Castle is just breath taking!