Monday, January 17, 2011

Tea Time

One last holiday activity post to wrap up, and one of my favorite special occasions of the season. My mom, my brother's fiancee Mari, and I headed downtown a few days before Christmas to the Brown Palace Hotel for afternoon tea.

The Brown Palace is definitely a Denver institution. Here are some fascinating facts found on their website.
  • On Aug. 12, 1892 the Brown Palace Hotel opened its doors in the heart of downtown Denver. The hotel has remained open and welcomed guests every minute of every day, since opening.

  • Every U.S. president has visited The Brown Palace since Teddy Roosevelt (1905), with the exception of Calvin Coolidge.

  • The Brown Palace contains 12,400 surface feet of onyx, a semiprecious variety of quartz, which was the most ever used in a single building at the time the hotel was constructed.

  • The hotel's original artesian well is located 720 feet deep beneath the lobby floor and still provides water to every faucet in the hotel.

  • Four of the hotel's suites are named for their famous residents: The Beatles Suite, Eisenhower Suite, Reagan Suite, and Teddy Roosevelt Suite.

  • Before the Beatles' visit in 1964, the hotel saw a great surge in applications for housekeepers by young girls. After the Beatles' stay, monetary offers were made for the dishes from which they ate and the sheets on which they slept.

  • In 1937, the hotel opened the Skyline Apartments which housed permanent residents in suites with kitchens on the top two floors of the hotel. The last of these residents moved out in the mid-1980s.

  • The Brown Palace Club, located on the second floor, served as campaign headquarters for Dwight D. Eisenhower prior to his election as president.

  • Two of the cast iron grillwork panels on the railing surrounding the hotel's eight-story atrium are upside down.

  • Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division tried rappelling from the balconies during a visit to the hotel during World War II.

  • Except for crackers and sandwich bread, the hotel prepares all of its own baked goods in a unique, carousel oven - catalogued at more than 50 years old. The oven is one of only three in the world known to be in existence and is still used every day.

  • President Eisenhower hit a wayward golf ball while practicing in the room and made a dent in the fireplace mantel in the Eisenhower Suite. It remains today as a souvenir.
The hotel is decorated so beautifully and ornately for the holidays each year, and was such a beautiful spot to spend the afternoon with two of my favorite ladies.

The tea service was truly luxurious. After starting off with a kir royale, we each chose our own type of tea from a very extensive menu.

The tea is served in individual silver tea pots, and drunk from beautiful china.

Despite the loveliness of the beverages, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that my very favorite part was the food. Fresh scones served with Devonshire cream and preserves, savory tea sandwiches, a decadent selection of classic and chocolate tea pastries, and a signature Brown Palace truffle. YUM!

It was so fun to see all the little girls who were dressed up in their finest for the occasion and joining their mothers or grandmothers for a special afternoon. We can't wait to bring Sadie along for what we hope to make an annual holiday tradition!

1 comment:

Gratefulmom said...

What an awesome tradition to start! I love the Brown Palace. My brother worked there years ago and use to bring me special food from there. MMMMM....