Hello everyone! First I want to thank Sandi of Rose Chintz Cottage for featuring my Christmas Brunch in this week's No Place Like Home party! Thanks so much Sandi :)
Now let's travel to Oatlands Plantation outside of Leesburg, Virginia! The tea meet up group I joined held their December tea at Oatlands, well, actually in the Carriage House on the grounds.
As we entered we were greeted with a display of nutcrackers (since that was the theme of the tea).
We enjoyed tea to live music provided by Windward Passage, a guitar and flute duo.
Tea was held in two rooms, I was seated in the one with the pretty tree below.
Only one tea was served, but it was a delicious blend of black tea with calendula, a type of marigold.
Out came the three tiered tray, piled with:
(1) four types of sandwiches: (starting from the left ) carrot and apricot cream cheese on raisin bread, ham salad, cucumber and cream cheese, and pimento cheese
(2) scone with real clotted cream and homemade raspberry preserves,
(3) and, for dessert, raspberry shortbread bars and lemon squares and, not pictured, a gingerbread cookie.
After tea, we walked up to the plantation house. Construction began on Oatlands in 1805. At first the house was in the Federal style (rectangular, brick, balanced), but, by the time the house was done, Greek Revival was all the rage, so the beautiful portico and two additions were added to make the house more grand.
The outside was decorated with beautiful natural decorations.
I was very sad to learn I couldn't take pictures inside, but I did find the video below which provides a quick tour of the house at Christmas time (the video is from a previous year so the decorations aren't what I saw, but this year's decorations were just as pretty). This at least gives you the chance to experience the tour too! It even mentions the Christmas teas. The house was filled with beautiful natural decorations, including a tree filled with gold spray painted hydrangeas.
After the house tour we walked down to the terraced gardens. This past weekend was unseasonably warm here...it was actually around 70 degrees, so it was a lovely day to wander outside.
(I loved the little Christmas touches, like these ornaments in the trees)
The little building in the hedges below is the "Teahouse."
It would be wonderful to sit here and have tea,
while gazing out over the pretty garden.
On our way back to the Carriage House and our cars, we passed a greenhouse, and even found some Christmas touches here.
One last view before I say goodnight.