Friends, if you have not enjoyed tea at the Dallas Arboretum, you have missed out on a real treat! Several themed teas are offered throughout the year, such as a Holiday tea, spring tea, harvest tea, and garden tea.
I recently attended the spring tea. The $49 or $59 (the latter of which includes a flute of bubbly) charge covers admission to the Arboretum, parking and the three course tea. It was like having two treats in one. First we toured the gardens, which were ablaze with tulips of all colors and sizes. They were beautiful to see.
Second, we made our way to the DeGolyer home for the tea. We had the most wonderful table in the room, which was in an alcove with French doors that leading out to a patio bordered by azaleas. Darrel, our tea sommelier (yes, I did make that up; or I thought I made it up until I did an Internet search and found there is such a thing…who knew!?!), opened them later and let in a wonderful breeze of spring air.
The three course tea consisted of 3 teas, a soup, savories, and sweets. The first course was ginger carrot consomme served in a demitasse cup. It was accompanied by a cheese cracker with a hint of heat. The tea served with it was peach cinnamon hibiscus.
Next we enjoyed a strawberry champagne tea (though Darrel said their was no champagne in it) with a variety of sandwiches…all of which were delicious! Herbed cream cheese on cinnamon raisin bread, egg salad and curry, cucumber, turkey with Brie spread (which had a delightful taste of orange as well), and a scoop of chicken salad in a small phyllo cup.
At this point, you think you can not eat another bite. Darrel kept refilling our cups. But, here comes the third and final course which was sweets. The tiered server was filled with chocolate truffles, small cookies, pecan clusters, chocolate covered strawberries, lemon curd tarts, mini coconut cream pies, and cranberry scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream. This course was served with Earl gray tea.
The china was a navy and dark silver banded pattern by Noritake. I believe it was the Crestwood Cobalt Platinum pattern. The table was preset with raw sugar cubes, a large pot of honey, and, of course, fresh flowers in a vase. For the Earl gray tea, milk or cream was offered.
Every morsel was eaten and enjoyed. After a few hours in the wind and sun, and a filling tea, you will want to find the nearest park bench on which to take a nap.
I encourage you to indulge in this Dallas tradition. It is a nice way to spend a day with your friends.