All Things Victorian

All Things Victorian
Victoriana Lady Lisa

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Spa For The Soul...

A Tea Party Is Like A Spa For The Soul 


Luscious afternoon scones, savories & pastries at the Crystal Tea Room in the historic Stage Coach Inn

Time For Tea!
The art of taking tea in many areas is a lost art, one that I would like to bring back. I began my business catering afternoon tea parties all over PA, NY & NJ a decade ago. I was inspired as a busy mom raising my small children that all women needed a break, some gal time. It is said that "A tea party is a spa for the soul." It is so true! You come away feeling relaxed and renewed.

Once a customer walked into the establishment where I host afternoon tea events. I asked her if she would like lunch or have afternoon tea in our elegant tea room. She replied, "No not tea, we're hungry, we want food." Obviously she was not enlightened to the fine art of taking tea.

There is ample food at a tea, in bite size portions, so that you can indulge in several delicious things. My tea events consist of assorted scones, such as Orange Cranberry, Poppy Seed, Blueberry, Butterscotch Chip, organic Lavender or Pumpkin. Add Devonshire cream & jam to spread on top, or Lemon Curd if you prefer, (a tangy lemon meringue type spread which is really quite delicious.)

 Savory tea sandwiches are next, turkey & cranberries, chicken salad, tuna, salmon mousse, cream cheese & olive, or open face cucumber, just to name a few. The sweet treats range from cheesecake swirl bites, lemon bars, moist brownies, fruit tarts, peach pillows, and much more. Selections will change from time to time so one does not always eat the same thing over and over. All of this is enjoyed with an assortment of organic teas, such as Peach Coconut, Cherry Almond, Chamomile, Earl Gray, English Breakfast & many more.

An elegant tea table setting at the Crystal Tea Room in the historic The Stage Coach Inn, Drums PA
Assorted China makes the table colorful and reminds us of our ancestors pieces that we now collect.

A quaint tea room beckons one to sit and relax...on the cooler days of fall we will have both fireplaces working for a cozy warm retreat.

Don't you owe it to yourself to take the time out for yourself, with friends or family, to be indulged and pampered? Most restaurants rush you in and out, not when taking tea. The whole purpose of a tea social is to slow down and enjoy the moment. If a burger and milkshake during rush hour at the drive through is your style than perhaps this is not for you. If homemade food with fresh healthy ingredients appeals to you, in a relaxed setting than I invite you to join us for tea!

Author/historian/speaker Victoriana Lady Lisa of The Passion Projects LLC is presenting Afternoon Tea in the elegant Crystal  Tea Room. Located at the rear of the historic Stage Coach Inn, a circa 1800 stage coach stop for weary travelers, it still beckons you to come and sit for a spell.

An authentic Wells Fargo stage coach in the foyer

Weekly on Thursday & Friday Afternoon Tea will be served between 11-3 pm. Menu prices range from $9.00-$25.00. We offer a children's menu, can seat up to 100, have ample parking and are handicap accessible. Perfect for Red Hat Society events! Your hostess Victorian Lady will bring a different display each week from her antique traveling museum and upcoming book, The Fashionable Victorians.

One of the weekly antique displays, Victorian wedding artifacts.

The Crystal Tea Room entrance by ramp near the gazebo.

The historic Stage Coach Inn
668 N. Hunter Highway (Route 309 Mt. Top)
Drums, PA

Call Victoriana Lady Lisa for more information at 570-655-8392

Monday, August 15, 2011

Long Hair Victorian Style

Hair was said to be a woman's crowning glory, The Victorians certainly knew that as these photos will convey. A Victorian girl until the age of 16 wore her hair in braids, once she became a young lady at age 16 her hair went up (while her hem length went down to the ankle.)
Victorian hair was so precious that it was often saved after the loved one passed away and woven into beautiful intricate jewelry, wall hangings & sculptures such as this Victorian hair tree.

The only time a proper Victorian woman let her hair down was in the privacy of her bedroom, her husband or children were the only ones allowed to see her this way.

Evelyn Nesbit was the first model for Charles Dana's Gibson Girl drawings. She was a stunning young beauty and had the coveted luxurious hair of the Victorian era.

Charles Dana Gibson's Gibson Girl Evelyn Nesbit

Many actresses of the stage brazenly let their hair down, much to the delight of the male audience. Here is Evelyn Nesbit with her hair down.

One of the most famous long hair Victorian women were the Sutherland Sisters. Here is a photo of their incredible locks!

I have always had at least shoulder length hair, about 9 years ago I stopped cutting it and it is now past my derriere. It is perfect when I have to wrap it up like a Gibson Girl of the 1890's to do a Victorian Fashion show.

John took a picture just as I was about to pin my long hair up for a Victorian event at the Stegmaier Mansion. people ask me if it is difficult to take care of. It really isn't, I just let it air dry, I have never used a blow dryer or an iron on it, one of the reasons it is so long. Heat breaks the ends of the hair off. (I know this because I was a licensed cosmetologist before I followed my dream of Victorian re-enacting.) 

If it gets too bothersome in the heat, I just braid it to the side!

When I am in the direct sun my hair looks fiery, John shot this while I was walking through Green Wood cemetery in Brooklyn, NY this spring.

There are a few of the antique nightgown/boudoir shots in my upcoming book, The Fashionable Victorians (Schiffer Publishing), where my hair is let down full length. :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

An Antique & Vintage Sewing Program

It is always a privilege for me to present my antique traveling museum programs, especially for family events. I am often called to entertain at birthday parties for mothers & grandmothers. In this case it was for a sweet lady that turned 80 who lives in Gettysburg, PA. She and her daughters enjoyed sewing over the years. The daughter Nancy who booked the surprise for her mother asked if I had old sewing accoutrements. I did indeed! I told her that I would bring them and choose pieces of antique clothing my from collection that were lush with ornate lace and trims. Everyone in attendance loved being swept back in time. Here are the photos...

The lady of honor and Victoriana Lady Lisa dressed in a circa 1900 ensemble

The display table full of antique and a few vintage items

I began by showing the many layers of undergarments on the left then went into the dresses on the right

The full table display

The left side of the table display

The center of table display

The right side of the table display

Cotton doll and Dimity baby dresses

Detail of a beautiful Victorian beaded piece

Beaded garters and lace reticule drawstring bag

Edwardian boudoir cap, spools of thread & sock darner

Antique doll quilt with photo of the girl who made it

Antique Civil War era flip doll, vintage needle case, pin cushion and silk thread

Detail of an exquisite lace wedding veil

Detail of lace collars, sleeves, caps & vintage needles

                                                     Detail of sewing accoutrements

                                            A vintage button string & needlepoint reticule bag

                           Detail of lavishly trimmed shirtwaist circa 1905

To book this program and others see my web site for more information-