Sunday, November 29, 2009


Deep in the heart of Kitsilano in Vancouver there is a well kept secret place named "The Secret Garden Tea Company". The link will not copy and paste for some reason but if you Google the name it will come up and tell the history of this establishment. For quite some time my friend Loretta has been talking about us visiting this place where they serve a true English "High Tea". However, you have to plan well in advance as they have limited seating and fill up very quickly. A few weeks back Loretta suggested this date and booked a table. It was a good thing she had been here before because if you don't know it is there, you would have a hard time finding it. From the street it is a nondescript store front painted a dark green with a small hanging sign above the entry way. Once you enter you are shown to your table where a menu is presented with pages and pages of choices of tea you can order. None of us were terribly imaginative, some had a tea called "Queen Helen" (which the Helen in our group found to be suitably named LOL) and an English breakfast tea.

Here you can see the hanging sign outside and the rather hard to see green painted front of the tea room.

Tea is served in individual tea pots with cute tea cozies on them. The china is English Bone china and the placard indicates the times High Tea is served.

And here we are. Starting from the left side is Loretta's dear Mom Susie, next to her is Loretta, next to Loretta is an old school chum of hers named Helen, then is Leona, who is Loretta's younger sister (and one of Susie's other daughters...there are 4 in all!) and finally myself all decked out for Christmas in my Christmas tree shirt.
The high tea is served on a 3 tiered plate. On the second layer is a cranberry scone and slices of coconut banana loaf. The little dishes contain clotted cream and jam to spread on the scones and bread.
The lower layer of the plate contains various little sandwiches. Some are on bread, others are on tiny mini croissants. In the middle of this plate are egg rolled sandwiches. My favorite was the pesto chicken on the croissant, but all were delicious!
Loretta and Helen enjoying their tea.

Leona and I.

The desert section of the cake plate was at the top and was decadent. There were miniature lemon tarts that are excellent. An apple cheesecake with a dollop of whipped creme and tiny miniature gingerbread men on top as a garnish...note the one on the right is handicapped and only has one eye..Leona packed him up to take home....she thought her sons would like to see him! And finally a chocolate brownie type of square with a glob of fancy pink frosting and sitting on top of that a tiny miniature pinwheel cookie. Imagine the time it must take to make these teeny tiny garnishes for the desserts. They were all excellent and it would be hard to pick a favorite but I did really enjoy the lemon tart a lot.
Soon it was time to head home as Loretta had another event to prepare for. I went into her house for a few minutes to see my buddy Kelsie the doggie and to collect a few things I had left there and Loretta brought her new Elsie Dinsmore doll down to show me...isn't she just the most darling doll? She is made by a company called Life Of Faith and they have apparently stopped making the dolls now. Loretta has her dressed in a Daisy Kingdom dress that suits her to a T. I have a few other cute pictures but will have to post them in a week or two as they involve a Chatty doll and the lovely outfit she is wearing. The outfit which Loretta has just completed making is for a Christmas swap in one of the doll collector groups we belong too and just in case her swap partner happens to read the blog, I don't want to post any pictures that will tip her off as to what she is receiving and ruin her surprise! In the background of this picture you can see a bit of Loretta's lovely Christmas Village that she has set up on the piano top for the Christmas season. It is so pretty and she has it in a perfect spot.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lovely Blog!

This lovely lady is giving away this gorgeous teapot in a celebration of her 400th post so try and stop by if you have a minute, it is a lovely blog to visit! Her link is displayed on the picture above.

Friday, November 20, 2009


The Olympics are coming to Vancouver in 2010. I am not much or an athlete nor do I follow sports. Had I been asked if I wanted the Olympics to come to Vancouver in 2010 I would have said no and voted against it but no one asked my opinion! (Imagine that....haha) The powers that be decided to bid on the winter games and they won the bid. We, the loyal citizens will be paying for this with our tax dollars probably for the rest of our lives. There are many, many reasons why it was not a good idea (at the top of the list is the fact that most local people cannot even afford to go to the games and with cuts to education, health care, etc...should we be paying the tab on this rich man's sport?) and then add to that a world recession and... but that is all water under the bridge now. We have the bid, we have to pay for the things needed to host this world party so we might as well get into the swing of things and at least enjoy some of the stuff we can afford that have to do with the big event.
When Loretta and I went our field trip to Hycroft, we went through The Bay department store to get to the Skytrain rapid transit to come home. The Bay is the store chain that is allowed to sell official Olympic "stuff". And do they have the stuff there!! They have an entire floor of the store set up as "The Official" Olympic store and they are selling everything you can possibly think of there and probably a lot of things you never dreamed of... A few weeks back Loretta had ventured forth and picked up a really cute pair of Olympic red mittens so while we were downtown today I bought a pair also. The proceeds of these mittens is supposed to be earmarked for Canadian Athletes which are very underfunded so the thought of the money going there is appealing. I had checked our local Bay store on the weekend and the mittens were sold out but they were expecting more in mid week. Loretta has heard there is a limited supply of them so I felt the "need" to obtain a pair before they are gone! I was pleasantly surprised to see how nice they are! We saw a number of people heading for cash registers with their arms over flowing with the mittens so I guess they are a hit. At 10.00 they are probably the best Olympic buy out there.

This is a coffee shop located within the Olympic Store in The Bay. Can you tell Coca Cola must be one of the official sponsors?? And speaking of sponsors, when I paid for the mittens, I was told either cash or Visa. Out of curiosity, I queried the clerk..."What about my Bay card..." He said "No, we cannot take the Bay credit card, gift cards, or anything except Visa and cash. The Visa company paid big bucks to have the sponsorship of the Olympics and so The Bay card can't be used"....I found it interesting and for those who also think it is interesting...The Bay card...the official card of the Bay department store is a Mastercard. I wonder if this policy is only at the "official" store downtown or if it applies to all the Bay stores...the reason I am wondering is because in June, I bought a pile of Olympic clothing at another location to give to relatives elsewhere and I used my Bay Mastercard to pay for it!! Interesting little tidbits that make you go UMMM......

In the background to the left is official Hudson's Bay blankets which as far as I know can only be purchased from The Bay (formerly the Hudson's Bay) department store. And on the right is a part of a wall full of Olympic collector pins. We couldn't find prices on the pins so have no idea what they are selling for. There is certainly something for everyone in the pin department...tons of different ones to chose from.

Another thing we like to do at Christmas is visit the Christmas department in the downtown Bay store. It was a little disappointing this year, the displays not as plentiful or nice as last year. Maybe because of the Olympics or perhaps just a cost cutting thing in a recession time. I am not sure which but I was hoping for something as pretty as last year....

This sleigh full of snowmen and Godiva Chocolates was really cute!

There was a display wayyyy up high above the cash desk of Christmas Villages. I could see one I have never seen before with all these different people, horse and buggy etc circling the house and going round and round so I went looking to see what it is and discovered it is called "City Sidewalks". It was one of the nicer village pieces I have seen. It was priced at 129.99. didn't come home with us but it was lovely to look at!

These cute carolers were on display in the Christmas department. There were a few versions, and all were cute. I so wish my house were bigger when Christmas time rolls much cute stuff and so little space to put it!!

Nutcrackers must be popular this year as this guy was available for purchase. My oldest son was crazy about nutcrackers growing up. I am glad this size wasn't readily available then or he would have found a way to buy it and whatever would I do with it the rest of the year???

These very attractive candles in a number of shapes and sizes are really pretty and elegant...another item I wish I had more room for....they are quite similar to a set of dishes they carried last year. I bought two of the large mugs from the dish set last year and my husband and son love them for their hot chocolate.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Today Loretta and I ventured out in a cold and blustery Vancouver day to attend Christmas at Hycroft. This is my second trip to Hycroft. Each year the University Women's Club Vancouver has this marvelous fund raising event and invites everyone to attend and view their beautifully decorated Edwardian mansion in the very affluent area of Shaughnessy in Vancouver. You can shop for specialty Christmas gifts as they have many artisans there selling their craft work. The website telling the history of the magnificent piece of property is here and well worth the read:
If you click on each picture it should display large so you can see all the lovely decorations in the photos. We had a lovely day and I hope you enjoy the photos!

The link for the Christmas event is here:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


November 16 marked a half a century since Papa was born. Being Papa, he did not want any fanfare, parties or anything to mark the occasion. He is not big on Birthdays, holidays or other occasions. He didn't even want to go out for dinner so the night before, (which technically is his birthday as he was born on the other side of the international dateline), I invited the kids to come for cake. He didn't know I was doing this and he took it rather well and opened his presents and sat with the kids to blow out the special candle and then retreated back downstairs to finish watching his football game on TV. I couldn't find a cake geared specifically for a 50 year old or even an adult birthday so I settled on the tropical one as Papa was born in the is a cupcake cake...I had never bought one is interesting how they made it.