Simply Gourmet is taking afternoon tea to a whole new level. In February/March the Sarasota-based catering company will feature a traditional Royal English Tea Service from 2 – 4pm on select Tuesday/Wednesday afternoons ~ February 6th and 7th, 13th and 14th,27th and 28th and March 13th and 14th and 20th and 21st at the Powel Crosley Estate, One Seagate Drive, 8374 N. Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota. Tea will be served in the exclusive upstairs living area of the mansion overlooking the bay. Tickets are $35. The afternoon includes an array of sweet and savory offerings and unlimited tea served in an eclectic collection of old-fashioned tea sets. Guests are welcome to enjoy the view or stroll around the grounds. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Crosley Foundation. To reserve, call 941-225-9122.
What is a Royal English tea service?
“Every year, the Royal Family hosts an afternoon tea for about 8,000 guests at Buckingham Palace,” says Chef Larry Barrett, president of Simply Gourmet Caterers, explaining that the tradition began in 1860 with Queen Victoria. “It’s a grand and colorful affair. Men wear suits or military uniforms, and women wear dresses with hats and gloves. The 500-foot buffet table is set with a feast and there’s tea, of course.” Barrett says that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, circulate among the guests. “The Crosley Estate offers the perfect ambiance for our recreation of this royal event,” says Barrett.
Chef Barrett is known for combining fine cuisine and wines with historical events. Most notable are his signature reproductions of White House state dinners, which feature authentic reproductions of meals served during the Kennedy and Reagan eras. “I see it as a type of culinary theater,” he says.
The Royal Tea is the perfect setting for friends, family and groups. “We have a variety of people join us for these special afternoons,” says Barrett. “From large group reservations, to a few friends getting together, to mothers and daughters beginning new traditions, our guests love the whole experience – the tea, cuisine and the perfect setting! Our menu features savory and sweet specialties,” says Barrett. Guests can expect such delicacies as Cassis Marinated Strawberry Parfait, Coconut Macaroon Stack, Miniature Glazed White Chocolate Mousse Fruit Tartlet, Currant Scones with Devonshire Cream, Intense Chocolate Brownie Triangles, Turkey Sundried Tomato Pinwheels, Royal Tea Sandwich Medley. “And don’t forget the tea,” Barrett laughs. “Guests will savor properly brewed cups of flavorful English tea.”
For more information and reservations for the afternoon teas at the Powel Crosley Estate, call 941-225-9122.