Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Lavender Tea with Clarice

In the early days of blogging I found Storybook Woods, a blog written and illustrated by Clarice. I was drawn to it, as it is unique, creative, and interesting. Clarice has a knack for taking little bits of everyday life and presenting them with freshness and new eyes. Occasionally Clarice would post a comment on Gracious Hospitality, and I would post a comment on Storybook Woods. Simply put, we became blogging friends, as that's what happens in the blogging world. Once Clarice posted of her thrift shops finds, including a beautiful, old-fashioned pillowslip that had been embroidered but not completed. To make a long story short, I offered to complete it for her and even to stop by and pick it up when I passed through her town on an upcoming trip. Arrangements were made and Clarice invited me to stay for tea. So, late one recent afternoon, my friend Bonnie and I dropped by Storybook Woods for tea.
Shrouded by trees with a narrow driveway, Clarice's home is set on a hillside and every bit of it is as charming and chic as her blog! Forget the stresses of the day! Visiting Storybook Woods is like stepping back in time to gracious and quiet days. Her home is 100 years old and is quaint, elegant, and shabby chic all put together in one adorable package! Each room has been decorated with Clarice's special touch --- and represents authenticity and graciousness. There was so much to see, I simply could not take it all in! A beautiful arrangement of hand-painted plates are arched over the kitchen doorway. An old chandelier graces the library ceiling and can be seen clearly from the outside entrance. Lamps with bits of lace and silk flowers are set on tables and chairs are scattered with hand-made pillows or draped in shawls. Bits and pieces of Clarice's artistic talents are everywhere, an expression of who she is. Cheerful, warm, and welcoming --- Clarice is not only a talented decorator and artistic soul, but she is a fantastic cook as well!
The tea theme was "Lavender Tea" and it was a pure delight! Daughter Aubern'e shared her beautiful King's Teapot for containing and pouring the rosemary-lavender tea. Dessert plates were set on pretty hankies and an eclectic mix of silverware graced creamy fabric napkins. Centered on the table were Clarice's very special (and secret recipe) espresso hazelnut cookies. They were delicious! In little ramekins at each place setting contained 'to die for' Lavender Chocolate Mousse. It was creamy, rich, and had just the right amount of lavender to take it over the edge! Little square lavender scones were tender and the perfect blend of savory and sweet. They'd been made with 50% whole wheat pastry flour which added just the right amount of nuttiness! Milk and sugar were provided for the tea. And rich butter pats with Clarice's homemade lavender honey was available to enrich the already delicious scones. Everything was so delicious and good! Clarice told me she is thinking of writing a cookbook. I hope she gets it done soon!


  1. Your description of your tea....sounds as lovely as the time itself....what a great time...and WONDERFUL pictures.

  2. You described everything so beautifully, I felt like I came along with you for the tea. The embroidered lady pouring out flowers is one of the prettiest pieces I've ever seen.

  3. Anonymous6:24 PM

    Thank you for sharing all about your Lavender Tea with Clarice and her girls...It sounds so delightful! I have been visiting Clarice's blog for a little over a year now and it was really neat to hear your perspective of her life in Clarice's home.
    And your photos are quite beautiful too! Thanks so much for sharing.
    Your blog is so lovely!!

  4. Anonymous6:53 PM

    It sounds like a perfect afternoon was had by all....Clarice must be the Queen of Tea Parties! Sounds lovely!

  5. Lucky, Lucky YOU! (blessed)
    I would just love to go to Storybook Woods for tea one day.


  6. How fun to read about your tea time together. I have heard of it, but must not have been reading your blog then.


Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am always happy to hear from blog readers. Your words encourage and inspire me. I am glad you stopped by to share conversation, recipes, ideas, and thoughts on creating a welcoming home.