Thursday, October 23, 2014

Victorian Tea at Schuster Mansion




If you truly want to feel elegant, a Victorian High Tea is a great way to do it.  We have a historic home in Milwaukee that is now a bed & breakfast, called the Schuster Mansion.  They also open the home for afternoon guests to relax with tea and a meal comprised of sandwiches, sweets, and homemade jam.  You can dress up for the occasion if you like, but it isn't necessary.

My friend Sue and I  came to the beautiful redstone home and were greeted by the gentleman of the house, Rick, who took our jackets and led us to the tea cup shelves where we could choose a cup for the tea.  There were plenty to choose from in both porcelain and bone china.  Lovely!  The tables were set with lace and china.  Rick went straight to work making a variety of teas which were on a sideboard where we could help ourselves, while the hostess, Laura explained a little about the mansion, teas in general, and the Victorian era.  It was so interesting!
Sue on the steps of the mansion

Many tea cups in floral designs

Rick preparing tea

Laura giving us a lesson
When it was time to eat, we were not disappointed!  There were cucumber sandwiches on buttered white bread, meaty croissants, pumpkin breads, pecan tarts, chocolate desserts, and much more.  The menu changes with the season and each month there's a different theme.  All of the food is made outside the mansion and delivered.  Laura used to do the cooking, but because they aren't a restaurant, they are no longer allowed to do it themselves.  She did make some lovely cream and jam though.
More than enough and elegantly presented
After we finished the tea, we had a tour of the lower floor of the mansion, which has been lovingly restored by Laura and Rick.  It's certainly a lot of work maintaining an older home with period decorations, so they have had their work cut out for them.  It was quite impressive with stained glass, chandeliers, hand sewn curtains to fit the oddly shaped windows, and beautiful wood throughout.  The kitchen ceiling was painted tin.  There's a gift shop with lots of interesting finds.  Just a lovely space for a great afternoon.  I have heard it's even better in December for the holidays.  I can hardly wait to go back to see it!
kitchen ceiling

The small gift shop

The owners in front of the beautiful fireplace

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