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!