TEA

Mother’s Day in Great Britain

It’s a tea party! It’s in March this year!

In 2024, Great Britain celebrates Mother’s Day on Sunday, March 10, 2024. We all know mothers should be celebrated all the time. Let us start this March.

Treat your favourite Mum to a lovely tea party. Hats are encouraged, but not required.

Use the button below to make your reservation today! (Note: Reservations close on March 4th)

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

Cheshire Cake– Not Always Wanting Sweet

Quintessentially British, cheese wheel wedding/celebration cakes–usually with white roses involved– are the only cakes we make here at the White Rose Manor and only by special request (I am a baker, but not a talented piping decorator, so I do not claim it). Most often, we serve as the Bed & Breakfast lodging for guests or families and their small events up for up to 20 attendees. If you desire a small event like an intimate wedding, bridal shower, memorial service, etc., the White Rose Manor may be just right for you. If you need a cheese wheel cake, we can do that, too. Come to Lincolnton. You will love it!

Pictured here is one of our Cheshire Cakes. Produced here on a larger scale for approximately 120 people, this cheese wheel cake was featured at our 2023 Christmas High Tea as the table centerpiece and then portioned as gifts to our guests. While we can create several styles of scalable cheese wheel cakes for weddings, charcuteries, etc., many cheeses work well for this lovely, edible addition to your table.

Fun fact: “Cheshire is one of Britain’s oldest and finest cheeses.”

White Rose Manor is something special, just like you.

ENTERTAINING: Christmas High Tea

ENTERTAINING: Christmas High Tea

The holidays are a highlight of the year. Spending time with loved ones—both family and friends—is the epitome of mine. Christmas High Tea is a favourite where we don our holiday attire and gather to enjoy the wonder and beauty of the Christmas season. This year, though smaller, was no exception.

I suspect it is all about the food, especially the lamb, our children enjoy when they return home for this annual tradition; we have five children. For me, it is the togetherness/silliness that ensues that I love most. Each child and significant other arrive as their schedules permit. We dance and sing spending the few leading days before the event polishing silver, making all the dishes, and finalizing the décor. Tea day arrives and is abuzz with laying the trays, cutting the greenery, and retiring to our rooms to dress for the evening event which begins promptly at five o’clock. Then, guests begin arriving and have the chance to enjoy a social hour before tea is served at 6:30.

During the social hour, guests circulate amongst each other and I watch with wonder and pride as our grown children interact with poise and grace. Everyone is engaged. New friends meet the children for the first time and get seated at one of their tables. It is important to my husband John and me that each child have their own lives and circle of friends but get the opportunity to meet ours and host a table at Christmastime.

This year, our high tea was a more intimate group. It was a sign of the times. Though the group was smaller, the quantity of food did not waiver! The menu included many favourites and a few new additions—for instance, I like to create a new trifle flavour each year. As the attendees make their way to the tea buffet, they see the various Christmas decorations. The traditional tree is complete with childhood, handmade ornaments, plus many passed down through the years; it holds a commanding position in the Great Room where tea tables of four or six seats are draped and set. The dining room holds the buffet and has a 6-foot tree adorned with demitasse teacups, a dainty reminder of an era passed. This year, a teddy bear tree was added in honour of my mother Lady Anne. It glows with multi-coloured lights in the sitting room corner. Mother always preferred the coloured lights compared to my white ones.

This year is different. Quiet. It is just as special—in its own way.

John and I wish all of you the absolute best of the season and a very bright future. Treasure what you have. Share the love.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

RECIPE: Holiday Magic Ice Cream

RECIPE: Holiday Magic Ice Cream

Oh-la-la!
My, oh my!
Santa Claus got
Holiday chai . . .
ICE CREAM!

Jump to Recipe icon   Have you ever had ice cream made from tea? Done well, it is something very, very special.

Over the holidays, I got creative with some of our loose leaf teas. The Pearamel Delight tea that we featured in November made a nice palate-cleansing token to share between meal courses; however, our Holiday Magic chai was a show-stopper as an ice cream!

How to Order Holiday Magic chai – WhiteRoseManor.com

Our annual High Tea featured a tasting of this rich, creamy, churned ice cream to see how it would be received. It was an overwhelming success! Special thanks to our new friend, Desma Hart, for loaning me an ice cream maker for the “test kitchen”. I assure you, we will be returning the ice cream maker with a quart of freshly-churned Holiday Magic.

If you have never made homemade ice cream, I believe everyone should do it at least once. That said, I have a simple recipe that you can use to make your own churned ice cream, whether you choose to incorporate our tea or use your own (FYI, Matcha makes a great ice cream, too!). This recipe is for a churned ice cream, so be prepared to “kick the can” of ice and salt for an hour or so, or use an ice cream maker.

UTENSILS RECOMMENDED:
Stove and potholders
Ice cream maker (or small coffee can with lid that fits into a larger coffee can with lid)
One-quart plastic or glass container with lid
Measuring spoons
Measuring cups (2 cups works well)
Stovetop Bain-Marie or double boiler
Tea sieve/strainer
Egg separator (unless you can do it by hand)
Whisk for egg yolks
Wooden spoon for constantly stirring during cooking time
Metal spoon for verifying cooking consistency

Holiday Magic Ice Cream Recipe

Yield: Approximately 1 Qt.
Category: Dairy, Sweet, Dessert, Gluten-free
Difficulty: Moderate to easy
Time to Make: 2 days (includes steeping)
24 hours steeping, 20 minutes cooking, 4 hours cooling, 30 minutes churning, 8 hours hardening

INGREDIENTS:
2 C. Cream, heavy whipping
1 C. Milk, whole
3/4 C. Sugar, granulated – divided (1/4 cup, 1/2 cup)
6 Tbs. White Rose Manor Holiday Magic loose leaf tea (BUY)
1/2 tsp. Salt, table
6 ea. Egg, yolks only (room temperature, if possible)

Day 1:
Step 1 – Steeping the Base Cream
Steep the tea in a one-quart container with tight lid by mixing heavy whipping cream and loose tea. Seal container with lid, then stir/shake well. This will become your base cream.

Step 2 – Monitoring Time
Place base cream in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, stirring/shaking two times per day.

Day 2 or 3:
Depending on how long you steep the tea, this day is when you cook the cream.

Step 3 – Preparing the Bain-Marie
Using a stove top Bain-Marie (double boiler), add water to the base of the Bain-Marie (water ‘bath’) until just below the top part when inserted. Do not immerse upper part into the water.

Step 4 – Egg/Sugar Mixture
In two small bowls, separate egg yolks from whites. Refrigerate egg whites for other uses. To the yolks, stir in 1/4 cup of the sugar reserving the remaining 1/2 cup for cooking with the Base Cream.

Step 5 – Cooking the Base Cream
Strain cream through a tea sieve (fine metal mesh) into the upper part of the Bain-Marie. Add the one cup of whole milk, part of the sugar (1/2 cup), and salt. Stir well.

Time-saver Tip
Wash and rinse the one-quart container and lid to reuse to store the finished ice cream.

Step 6 – Cooking the Base Cream or “Custard”
Much of this process is really like making a custard.
With the Bain-Marie assembled and base cream in the upper portion, begin heating the water bath to a boil, constantly stirring the base cream with a wooden spoon. To keep from scorching, gently stir all portions of where the cream touches the pan. When sugar is dissolved, reduce heat to simmer.

When the base cream begins to produce steam on the top, it is ready increase the temperature and add the egg yolks (without cooking them). To avoid cooking the eggs, bring them up to the base cream temperature by gradually adding the heated base cream to the yolks, a spoonful at a time. Adding slowly, constantly stir to blend well and thoroughly warm. The gradual addition of the heated cream will slowly make the egg yolks as warm as the cream so they can be added to the Bain-Marie without cooking the eggs. Using egg yolks that are room temperature hastens the tempering process.

When the egg mixture is warm. Slowly stir the egg mixture into the remaining base cream (in Bain-Marie) and continue to cook to 165 degrees F (for safe egg consumption) and thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. When you can draw your finger through the mixture on the metal spoon and it leaves a trough/gap, the mixture is ready for Step 7.

Step 7 – Finalizing the “Custard”
Strain the cooked mixture into the one-quart container and refrigerate for four hours or more.

Step 8 – Churning the “Custard”
Using your best method to churn the custard into ice cream, the ice cream will be soft-serve ready once churning is complete. Freeze for two hours or more for a harder ice cream.

Serving Suggestions:

This flavour stands alone, but we also found it is a great complement to apple and crapple pies. My husband is ready to put it in his coffee. I will let you know how that is. Making a new batch now, so we have some more. 😊 Enjoy!

TEA: Tea Bars

TEA: Tea Bars

More and more people are hearing the term “Tea Bar” these days . . . quite frequently, really. Tea is becoming as hot as coffee was before it became ever-popular staple enjoyed now. While tea is often on the menu at coffee shops, a new type of establishment is emerging that makes tea the focus. Tea bars have started appearing in urban areas, and their popularity is causing a growth of shops that are dedicated to tea service. There are tea fusions, tea cocktails, hot tea, cold tea– whatever you can imagine, it is being explored. A tea bar is where we began custom tea blending.

What is a tea bar? Imagine if you will, the Baskin Robbins® of tea selections with even more than 31 flavours–canister after canister of ingredients lining shelves and counter tops. Many exceptional, and unbelievable, ingredients (not just tea leaves) are available to mix and match as we blend the perfect tea for the perfect occasion. Experimenting is half of the fun!

We started experimenting almost five years ago. At the White Rose Manor, we have a built a relationship with a tea-aficionado in California through our daughter’s relationship with him. One of our daughters lived there and thought we should have custom blends here at the Manor. She was so right! Now we get to share them with you!

Admittedly, some of the blends do not happen as imagined; some are better. Then again, while some flavours are not my favourites, I have found others to enjoy them– like our loose, black tea, A Black-Tie Affair with licorice root which we released three years ago at a New Year’s Eve celebration. Where else is better to experience “a black-tie affair”?

To date, we have thirteen custom teas here at the Manor, plus a Wonderland Collection of six tea packets designed with Sir John Tenniel’s illustrations from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Listed below, we have started featuring a different one for each month of the year. “A Black-Tie Affair” and our Manor House Chai are not shown, and we have approximately 10-12 under development.

BUY TEAS HERE

  • January – “Fig”ment of your Imagination
  • February – Queen of Hearts
  • March – Maple Leaf Rag
  • April – Lavender Grey Dilly Dilly
  • May – My Fair Lady Anne
  • June – Serenity
  • July – A Golden Afternoon (part of our Wonderland collection)
  • August – Peach Blossom Special with/without Lavender
  • September – Pomberry Tea
  • October – “Just in Time for Tea” (part of our Wonderland collection)
  • November – Pearamel Delight*
  • December – Holiday Magic

We have blended some custom teas for others, like Crafted Southern Speakeasy in Lincolnton, NC. Their tea is named Southern Peach tea; in addition to serving in hot/cold, they have crafted signature cocktails using the tea as a base. We would love to work with you to create custom blend for you to enjoy and share. Call us at 704.735.6161 or email reservations@whiterosemanor.com to discuss what you might like. Discover what a fantastic, personal tea has to offer. Casual, everyday tea that is not your everyday experience.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

*Pearamel Delight is available in November only. Holiday Magic, our Christmas blend will debut on Thanksgiving. All of our teas are available in bulk which is less expensive per ounce than the Sampler packages. Please contact us for pricing and orders (BUY TEAS HERE).

TEA: Caffeine, or No

TEA: Caffeine, or No

Did you know that teas have different caffeine levels, including none? I was speaking with a young woman last week. She did not realize that tea plants can have less caffeine during stages of early development. The white teas are harvested from early growth–the first leaves produced– and have a short harvest time because of the maturing that continues if the leaves are left on the tea tree or bush. The limited yield of an early harvest is why white teas have a tendency to be quite a bit more expensive. Green tea has more caffeine than white tea, followed by black tea. Reds and herbals are decaffeinated, if not blended with things that contain caffeine.

Camellia sinensis is a species of evergreen shrub or small tree whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea (Source: Wikipedia). It naturally contains caffeine. Dry, black tea has more caffeine by weight than coffee, but when prepared in a cup, a brewed black tea contains significantly less caffeine than a cup of coffee of the same size.

I have not tried to decaffeinate tea, so I take the label at face value, but should you need to remove some of the caffeine from your favourite teas, here is a link that shares more information. https://www.wikihow.com/Decaffeinate-Tea

We have launched our Pearamel Delight black tea blend for the fall season*. It contains black tea leaves. This tea blend is caffeinated. We also have white and green caffeinated teas. Our reds and herbals are decaffeinated. The attached photo (Source: Republic of Tea) can serve as your reference for caffeine levels, comparing coffee as well.

Enjoy a cuppa!

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

*Pearamel Delight is available in November only. Holiday Magic, our Christmas blend will debut on Thanksgiving. All of our teas are available in bulk which is less expensive per ounce than the Sampler packages. Please contact us for pricing and orders (tea@whiterosemanor.com).

TEA: Lincolnton’s Annual Apple Festival

TEA: Lincolnton’s Annual Apple Festival

The British are not the only ones who covet their teas. If one has even a smidgen of a another heritage in his blood, he is apt to cling tightly to the origin, even if it is only for bragging rights. Time and again, we hear that American people are a “melting pot”. Well, if that is true, I am happy to melt into a chair and enjoy a hot cup of tea (and I am half British, so I can claim that).

At the White Rose Manor Bed & Breakfast, we have our own custom tea blends comprised of loose leaf teas from around the world. My oldest daughter introduced me to, and enticed me to have, custom blends for the Manor. We have been hooked ever since and continue to have more blended to enjoy and share. The Lincolnton Apple Festival is a great place to get a taste– at Crafted!

UPDATED DEC 2020: BUY ONLINE — We have begun selling the White Rose Manor teas at a local storefront in Lincolnton, Crafted Mercantile– a part of Crafted Southern Speakeasy. Since the Manor is loosely dated (some furniture is not quite that old, some is older) in the 1920’s, it seems fitting to have our teas represented in the same “era”, if you will– a general store or mercantile setting. Crafted is a great fit for us!

Fast forwarding from the 20’s, today is a blur with preparations for Lincolnton’s annual Apple Festival which moved from September to October as of last year. It takes place on the streets of Lincolnton this Saturday, October 19th. The calendar change perfectly fits with the cooler temperatures, fall colours, and larger apple selection. Here at the Manor, we have our own apple-orange tea–served hot or cold–to share at the festival this year. Imagine all things apple on display and to eat with a cup of “Just in Time for Tea” in your hand. Hmm, reminds me that we need to think about a hot tea booth on the Square during the holidays much like the Glühwein taverns in the German Christmas markets; we have our own Christmas blend, too. I think I could mull the “Just in Time . . .

Ha! See how easily the mind can wander?  Back to the point of this post, the White Rose Manor teas will be represented at the Apple Festival through Crafted at a booth outside the store located on E Main to the right of the Cultural Center. Please stop for a visit and peruse the different flavours; you may get a taste of “Just in Time for Tea”, while supplies last, prepared as a tasting just for this occasion. Depending on the outside temperatures, the fine folks at Crafted may serve it warm or cold. These fine, loos leaf teas are sold as Tea for 2 Sampler Packets that resemble seed packets, as well as being available as pre-ordered bulk (1/4 lb, 1/2 lb, 1 lb), so please ask about ordering your favourite flavours. You can call /text 704.562.0220 or email tea@whiterosemanor.com your order. Be sure to include your name, phone number and email address so we can invoice you. We are happy to ship your new selections to you, or you can come for a visit and claim your package here at the Manor.

While I will be entertaining away from the festival this weekend, the spirit of the day will be in my thoughts. IF you have not had the opportunity to share a cup of tea with me at the White Rose Manor B&B, please give me a call some time at 704.735.6161. We can schedule a date to meet, visit, and have a cup of tea.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

So, I own a B&B . . .

So, I own a B&B . . .

. . . and there are so many questions people ask about B&B Life. Here is my chance to share. Where to start? That is a good question. I will start with the back of Grandmother’s cookbook. Without further ado, indulge in your best British accent and read on.

Era Gone By

I am one of the lucky ones. At least, I think I am. I have my mother’s cookbook, and in that cookbook is a section that might have been what my grandmother wrote in the back of her cookbook–all the hints and recipes gathered through years of experience, IF, she thought to capture it in writing.

Here are things I hope to share with you in some sort of organized fashion. To help me gather my thoughts and to give you quick access to things that may interest you, I will do my best to put a HEADING at the beginning of each blog post, so you can quickly find them.

I will crosspost the link to our B&B page on Facebook (http://facebook.com/WhiteRoseManor). I do hope you enjoy perusing this page and find some tidbit of usable content. Also, I hope you will share it with others! Feel free to share your own tips/tricks and comments with me. I love hearing new things.

2023 Updated

  • TIPS &TRICKS – helpful hints (like Hints from Heloise of which you probably have never heard)
  • STORYBOOK – anecdotes about our visitors (the names will be changed for privacy protection)
  • RECIPIES – we have quite a following for our recipes. They are free and downloadable
  • TEA – we have our own custom-blend, loose teas
  • SUNDRIES – until I determine other categories, I will toss some things in this bin

Graciously,

Alice