Savory and sweet dishes, festive flute music and Christmas décor filled the Meadow Brook Hall Christopher Wren Dining Room as people gathered for the 10th annual Holiday Tea Dec. 11. The tea was held as two sold-out events, with the second event being held Dec. 18.
“We’ve been hosting the Holiday Tea for years, now it almost runs itself,” said Madelyn Rzadkowolski, programs coordinator of the Hall. “People start reserving in the spring to get in for tea. We host two teas each Christmas and it’s a wonderful community event.”
According to Shannon O’Berski, marketing and communications manager of the Hall, 94 tickets were sold this year for the two events, which consist of a tour and dining room tea service. She said the events sell out every year.
The teas channel those hosted in the 1920s by Matilda Wilson, former owner of the Hall, both in the same dining hall as well as the garden, according to Rzadkowolski.
Live holiday music was performed by four flutists from Troy High School and Athens High School.
“Our flute teacher does this every year with her top students,” Troy High School senior EunJoo Scherlinck said. “This is my second year performing here. It’s a lot of fun seeing the Hall and getting to perform here.”
In addition to a variety of teas, food was also provided. The dishes which change each year and were inspired by items from the Hall’s archives of Wilson’s teas, according to executive chef, Patrick Gazzarato, who plans the entire menu.
This year’s inspirations included gorgonzola-rosemary drop biscuits with fire roasted tomato butter and a walnut-bourbon square with raspberry sauce, among eight other savory and sweet items.
Rochester resident, Cindy Newhouser, attended the tea with her mother and others in celebration of a birthday.
“We’ve been to the Holiday Walk before and we go to high tea but this is our first time at the Meadow Brook Holiday Tea,” Newhouser said. “It’s just lovely and beautiful here.”