Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tea Lust

Anyone who has been to Paris knows that standing in line is just part of being there.  But for me, standing in line for food is not the torture one might think!  In fact, I realized that I like a bit of a line when having to decide what to order (and how to say it in French!).  One day, Mr. V and I stood in line at the Pierre Hermé on Rue Bonaparte, waiting to buy some of his divine pastries and some gifts to bring home.  This tea was one treat that we brought back for ourselves!  It is one of Monsieur Hermé's signature teas and he calls it Jardin de Pierre (Pierre's Garden).  It is a black tea infused with the essences of citrus, jasmine, rose and violet!  We first drank it as an iced tea for our first anniversary tea.  It is deliciously surreal to drink (or eat) something tasting of the scentflavors of flowers (Yes, I know that scentflavor is not actually a word, but just eat or drink something like this and you will understand!).  But as I warned one of my friends later, do not add too much sugar or it is like drinking a liquid gardenia!  However, the small notes of citrus in the tea do go nicely with a very thin slice of lemon or lime.

On that rainy afternoon of our first anniversary, this was the menu of our tea:

tea sandwiches on thin slices of baguette-
cucumber with dill butter
egg salad with dill and mustard
smoked salmon with wasabi mayonnaise
proscuitto with cream cheese

mixed fresh fruit served in margarita glasses

homemade mini strawberry tarts

iced Jardin de Pierre tea with sugar and slices of lemon and lime

the final bottle of Dolce Stilnovo Rosso 2005 saved from our wedding

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Last Queen of France Lives On...

Thank you to Lauren of Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century
for the use of the image.

One of my favorite books last year was "The Scented Palace" by Elisabeth de Feydeau about the history of Marie Antoinette's perfumer, Jean-Louis Fargeon.  He created a special perfume for her based on tuberose, which became one of her favorite scents.  I was also very interested to learn that a French perfumery called Le Labo had also created a scent based on tuberose specifically for Kirsten Dunst when she portrayed Marie Antoinette.  Click here for a beautifully written review of Tubereuse 40 from the Scented Salamander and here to explore the other scents created by Le Labo.

And in another portrayal of the famous queen a bit closer to home, I have created a collage, called "In the Dessert Garden (Thirty-Ninth in an Imaginary Series from The Untold Secrets of Marie Antoinette)."  It will be published in April in a special edition inspired by Marie Antoinette.  I have just discovered that you can order advance copies (postage paid) by clicking here.  The special pre-order offer expires on February 25, 2009.  Stampington describes the publication this way:  
"Marie Antoinette is a historical icon whose decadent and beautiful way of life has inspired generations of artists.  The dresses...the crowns...the cakes...and more...are all what cause us to marvel at how one woman could lead the charge to live in the moment and with great attention to detail.  Driven by their fascination with Marie Antoinette, both through historical accounts and glamorized Hollywood perceptions two different artistic cohorts embarked on extraordinary collaborative book projects that were recently submitted to Stampington & Company.  Too large of a collaborative effort for just one article and far too beautiful to keep to ourselves, these stunning projects will be highlighted in a brand new special publication, entitled Marie."

I am grateful that my collage was accepted into this project and I will post pictures of the collage when it is published in April!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tea and Sweets

Happiest of Evenings to you,
Please notice I have added a list of my favorite sites for exquisite desserts and decadent teas!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Good Evening, dear friends,
Just one of many reasons that we should chuck it all in and just move to Paris!  As is traditional during the celebration of Epiphany, most patisseries make their version of the Galette de Rois.  Of course, Pierre Hermé is one of the most innovative creators of delectable desserts and his galettes are no exception.  His offerings include not only the traditional one with almond paste, but also two with his fetish flavors:  Satine (passionfruit) and Ispahan (rose, raspberry and litchi), which is pictured above.  For more information on these delicious wonders and all the rest of the wonderful things he makes, please look at his website here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Next . . .

Happiest of full moon nights to you!
Next on the tour of the Tearoom, the antechamber. . .
Please have a seat.
(Can you smell the hot chocolate waiting for you in the samovar within?)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New item for The Gossamer Tearoom

Good Evening!  There is a new item for the Tearoom tonight, one of two new cards I have made for my Etsy site.  This one is called "Macaron Card".  Please visit the Etsy site ( for more information.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Under the light of the silvery moon...

On this second day of 2009, I have added a very important widget.  I love the full moon, moonlight and most things bearing images of the moon.  The widget shows which phase the moon is currently in!  I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful for the planning of your moonbathing soirees!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Beginning...

Happiest of New Years Nights to you,

As promised, I will be your guide to the Tearoom.

It begins with a door...

Happiest of New Years to you and welcome to the Gossamer Tearoom!  On this cold and bright New Years Day, please begin your journey with me. 

There is a salon in my imagination where you are always just in time for high tea, all your favorite books are there for your enjoyment, beautiful and eclectic music plays in the background (everything from 18th Century pieces tinkled out on the harpsichord to music, dark and brooding, as if Heathcliffe has returned as a trip-hop star.)  Sometimes, black and white shorts will flicker before your eyes as the raspberry/rose pastry cream from your religieuse sticks to the end of your nose in a pink dot!  On cold days, the fire crackles in the large fireplace and on warm days, the French windows will be open to the moor.

Please join me here often...