On Jan. 3, fans of Downton Abbey begin the (sad) final journey of the PBS Masterpiece series.
We can think of no better way to gab with your pals about the wildly popular show — and break up the bleak days of winter — than over a tea experience worthy of a queen.
Carson won’t be serving (and definitely not Mosley), however the folks at the White Linen Tea House (6610 Shawnee Road, Wheatfield), the Asa Ransom House (10529 Main St., Clarence) and The Prince of Wales Hotel (6 Picton St., Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada) can provide just as lovely an experience.
At the White Linen Tea House, afternoon tea service is served on Monday, then Thursday through Sunday. Enjoy choice of tea, along with a fresh garden salad followed by a tiered rack with fresh fruit, scones with Devonshire cream, desserts and tea sandwiches. Cost is $32.95 per person plus tax and gratuity. A gluten-free option is available. A child’s mini tea is $15.95. Lunch and Sunday brunch also are available.
Served in a frilly dining room with darling floral china, the Asa Ransom House afternoon tea requires a reservation. Served Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1-4 p.m., cost is $18.95 per person (plus tax and gratuity) and includes a choice of tea (iced tea, coffee or hot chocolate), finger sandwiches, fruit scones with jam and Devonshire cream, plus cakes and pastries. For $25.95 get an additional flute of Kir Royal (champagne with Chambord) or regular Chateau Frank Champagne. Fabulous hats encouraged, but not required.
For an extra swanky affair, The Prince of Wales Hotel offers afternoon tea for $34 per person (a bargain in American dollars). Finger sandwiches, pastries and scones are all part of the experience in sophisticated Victorian Drawing Room Tea Room. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. (seating no later than 4 p.m.). The Prince of Wales promises "Our Victorian Tea Room and English delicacies are fit to be enjoyed by guests who appreciate regal treatment with an imaginative twist." Reservations can be made online.
Unfortunately the only thing missing from these teas will be the witty repartee of the Violet Crowley, the Dowager Countess and the magnificent Highclere Castle.