Tea Anyone?

Feb. 23rd 2013


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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Shine the Spotlight on Historic Homes – Update Added to end!

Sep. 27th 2012

Virginia Executive Mansion
Richmond, Virginia

Governor and First Lady McDonnell Shine the Spotlight on Historic Homes around the Commonwealth of Virginia

Below is the information shared on the Virginia Executive Mansion Facebook Page


RICHMOND – Governor McDonnell has signed a proclamation, recognizing 2013 as the Year of the Virginia Historic Home. The announcement was made today by the Mansion Director, Sarah Scarbrough at the Preservation Virginia annual conference in Leesburg, Virginia.

2013 marks the bicentennial of the Executive Mansion. As they commemorate this historic milestone, the Governor and First Lady will also recognize the importance of the many historic homes around Virginia. Virginia has more than 100 historic homes, most of which are open to the public as museums and historic sites. These homes offer a wealth of cultural, historical, and architectural information and promote an understanding of, as well as an interest in the story of Virginia.The Secretary of Natural Resources, the Department of Historic Resources, and the Virginia Association of Museums have joined together with the Governor and First Lady to make this effort possible. The initiative will include the launching of a Virginia historic homes tourism website, which will be live on October 4 and a new historic homes edition of the Time Travelers program for Virginians. By highlighting the educational value of these homes and promoting tourism to the sites, the Governor and First Lady intend to ensure their vitality and enhance their value as Virginia cultural assets.More information on the Year of the Virginia Historic Home will be posted on the Executive Mansion’s website on October 4th.
Yesterday, Brett sent an email to the Maureen McDonnell, First Lady of Virginia, about this program. Mrs. McDonnell has spent a lot of time focusing on tourism in Virginia. Brett was seeking information on how to get involved with the program. Today we received an reply from her! She has put us in touch with the programs director!
How wonderful that this program is happening the year we open our historic plantation! Being the birthplace of James Madison, Father of the Constitution, wouldn’t it be something if we are profiled on his birthday, March 16th? That is the date we are also hoping to open our doors too! I couldn’t have dreamed of a better thing to happen!
We got word today from the Virginia Executive Mansion….
We are going to be included!
More details to come!
Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 43 Comments »