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“Afternoon tea needn’t stand on ceremony. Anything that becomes more important than sweet fellowship, whether lace or linen or the china itself, is a pretense. How much more we enjoy life when the pretenses are discarded!”

Paul F. Kortepeter, Tea with Victoria Rose

Nothing says patio like a sunny summer day, and when that patio is also a Tea Room – boom! I’m there! What a perfect way to celebrate my wonderful Mom and her long-time friend (who has also been a friend to me)! Both celebrated birthdays last week!

We arrived early and the patio was empty, which allowed us to settle in to the serene haven at The O’Connor House. Patio tables with cheery red umbrellas surrounded a stony courtyard with tea cups and tea pots nestled among the stones. The side wall of the stone “cottage” had a hand-painted mural, and tucked amongst the trees, tea cups and saucers hung on pastel ribbons. Larger trees were decorated with garden art. There was whimsy everywhere.

Our servers, wearing brightly coloured fascinators, were exceptionally sweet, encouraging us to take our time and enjoy one another’s company after such a long absence.

The menu included soup or quiche of the day and a lovely assortment of delicious salads and sandwiches (and desserts). We never got to desserts and elected to save scones with cream for another time. Mom had the homemade mushroom quiche with a fresh salad dressed with homemade honey mustard dressing. Her friend had a large curry chicken salad. I had an Elizabethan sandwich (cucumber, old cheddar cheese and sweet onion) with a fresh salad dressed with a creamy raspberry dressing. The bread was thickly sliced but so light, and the cheese was thickly sliced too. Super yummy!

We were offered hot water for our tea several times, and encouraged to stay longer and visit. So we did!

We never ordered dessert because we were just too full. But we decided to meet again soon and go straight for the scones! I’m so happy I was able to visit and celebrate this wonderful lady. My Mom is an amazing mother, wife, grandmother and friend, and I love her SO much!

A daughter is a mother’s gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters’ role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships.

Victoria Secunda, Author

Happy Monday!