Muhlenberg County Public Libraries is preparing for their annual Spring Victorian Tea, an event people look forward to all year.
This year’s tea will be held May 12 at 2 p.m. at Thistle Cottage.
Ticket sales begin April 23.
The Spring Victorian Tea is held each year to give visitors a glimpse of what it would be like to attend a traditional Victorian afternoon tea. The event is held at Thistle Cottage, which was built in 1912, soon after the end of the Victorian era – a perfect setting to evoke just the right feel for the event, according to Muhlenberg County Public Libraries staff. Attendees are treated to a light meal and a variety of carefully chosen teas.
“This is an opportunity to do something a little different from most of the parties or events people normally get to attend in Muhlenberg County,” library director Janet Harris said. “We try to be as authentic as possible to a real, elegant, Victorian-era afternoon tea.”
Afternoon tea became popular in England during the reign of Queen Victoria as a way to bridge the gap between meals, and the tradition continues today. Menus typically involve small portions of both sweets and savories, including such items as miniatures cakes, sandwiches, etc.
Harris said planning the tea menu is a balancing act. Staff work hard to design a menu that includes enough familiar items to be attractive and comfortable to the less adventurous while still including things that aren’t available every day.
The menu changes slightly each year. This year’s menu is inspired by the upcoming royal wedding between Britain’s Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle.
“We want to treat our guests like royalty, too,” Harris said. “We really try to make sure everyone feels special and has a great time at all our events.”
The menu also includes a selection of hot teas sponsored by the Louisville Tea Company from Louisville, Ky.
Harris pointed out that the timing of the tea – the Saturday before Mother’s Day – makes it a perfect event for a family outing. “We have a lot of people who come every year as a family to celebrate Mother’s Day,” Harris said. “We especially see a lot of mother and daughter groups, and some sibling groups.” However, Harris said, the event is open to anyone who wants to attend.
The tea also includes a hat contest. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite fancy hats. A prize will be given away at the end of the event.
Tickets for the tea are $10 each and may be purchased at Thistle Cottage (122 South Cherry St. in Greenville). Seating is limited, so anyone interested in attending is encouraged to purchase their tickets as soon as possible.
For more information about the Spring Victorian Tea, call Muhlenberg County Public Libraries at 270-338-4760.