Friday, March 12, 2010

Mad Hatter Scottish Tea Film and the Foodie

The Mad Hatter Is Scottish?! Who knew?

Well, the folks who posted a review of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland included a tidbit for foodies

“With Johnny Depp’s character taking a Scottish twist on the Mad Hatter take note of a book on the market called Celtic Teas with Friends written by Elizabeth Knight which offers a departure from the Classic English Tea Party. "

There’s still time to get a signed copy as a gift for yourself or a friend, by St. Patrick’s Day, if you contact me this weekend.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Acts of Love, Acts of Tea

Alexander McCall Smith,, author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels, is one of my favorite authors. His character, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only female private detective, loves bush tea, not to be confused with Camellia sinensis. Her philosophy about the power of tea, Rooibos or otherwise, will be very familiar to tea lovers:

"The world, Mma Ramotswe believed, was composed of big things and small things. The big things were written large, and one could not but be aware of them -- wars, oppression, the familiar theft by the rich and the strong of those simple things that the poor needed, those scraps which would make their life more bearable; this happened, and could make even the reading of a newspaper an exercise in sorrow. There were all those unkindnesses, palpable, daily, so easily avoidable; but one could not think just of those, thought Mma Ramotswe, or one would spend one’s time in tears -- and the unkindnesses would continue. So the small things came into their own: small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one's own life better: acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter. Clever people might laugh at such simplicity, but, she asked herself, what was their own solution?" From "The Good Husband of Zebra Drive"

If you'd like to read the rest of my Sept. newsletter, pls. visit

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What they're saying about Celtic Teas With Friends

What They're Saying:

Jenny Wells
Tea Party Girl
Teaching You the Beautiful and Simple Afternoon Tea

“…A 10 – Charms with beauty, information, and warmth.” — A.W.


“ … Celtic Teas With Friends is written in a style that keeps you NOT wanting to put it down! Hugh Harrison's illustrations throughout the book are delightful and such a visual pleasure. The recipes for each month's theme have already produced a grocery shopping list in my home tonight and my head is dancing with new tea party ideas from her pages.” — M.E.

“It is a gorgeous book, I love the colors, the artistry, the inner cover collage, and of course the content. There is so much valuable information in Elizabeth's book, that it will take a while to digest it all. For now, I'm content with picking it up, reading another chapter, and gleaning new ideas.” — N. R.

“The inside is filled with "where do I start first" goodies, including a foreword by Norwood, bless 'im. The first tea party Elizabeth writes about is one that I have used to celebrate my own birthday, which is on the day she mentions. The book is one anyone will use often, with recipes from Nancy Reppert and Bruce Richardson, among others. . . I can recommend this book to one and all.” — E. H.

“… such an attractive and intelligent book.”
— M.C.

“The new Celtic book is lovely – illustrations well done and enhance the text- anyone interested in Celts – tea - or entertaining will surely buy the book once they see it and hold it- the size is perfect, too . . . you have found a niche and worked so hard to fill it, ‘tis grand!” — L.G.

“It was a real joy reading on our long trip back home. So many neat and informative things, with menu ideas and recipes and music.” — C.

“I am really enjoying Elizabeth Knight's new book, "Celtic Teas with Friends"!! I like everything about it -- from the way the cover art and dust cover match (I've always liked that in books!), to the pretty endpapers with their illustrations of clover, thistle, a kitty, a crow (made me think of Holly!) and daffodils; to the intriguing monthly tea party ideas with lots of history and recipes, to . . . well, I just like all KINDS of stuff about this book! I'm charmed by it, and plan to order a couple of autographed copies to send to tea friends. Thank you, Elizabeth, for creating such a wonderful new creation — I hope that you have more interesting, tea-themed new books bubbling up (I always think of creativity as something that bubbles) to publish in the future!” — C.W.

“The book is absolutely lovely, and so educational. It must have been a real labor of love. Just fascinating!” — D. LeC.

Just a quick note to let you know that your books arrived in Alberta, Canada promptly and in great shape. On a quick perusal, I see that they are exactly what I had expected, but also much, much more. The wealth of information is amazing. I am very excited to make good use of them. Please keep up the research; I look forward to more great tea books from you.
— S. H.

We are enjoying every page and suggestion. It is a wonderful tea book but then we have learned to expect only the best from you.
— A.L.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Peninsual Hotel Mother-Daughter Tea

Mother-Daughter Tea Featuring Elizabeth Knight
Fives is hosting a special Mother-Daughter Afternoon Tea, hosted by Tea Master Elizabeth Knight. Ms Knight will educate guests about the art of "Taking Tea", with topics including English tea time traditions, etiquette and history. Afternoon tea includes warm scones and a selection of finger sandwiches, breads and tea cakes presented on a silver three-tier server, with a choice of Peninsula Signature Tea or Harney & Sons Tea.

Please click here for more details .

Date: Saturday, May 10, 2008
Seatings: 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Price: $50 per guest
Reservations: (212) 903 3873 or

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

Mother's Day Buffet Brunch
Treat Mom to a special meal at the popular Mother's Day Buffet Brunch in Fives, offering a variety of culinary delights and live piano music. Featuring a delicious selection of appetizers, carved meats, baked goods, sushi, main courses and desserts, the buffet brunch makes a great outing for everyone!

Please click here for more details.

Date: Sunday, May 11, 2008
Seatings: 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm
Price: $125 per guest (including Champagne)
$85 per guest from 13 to 20 years of age
$45 per child under 12 years of age
Reservations: (212) 903 3918 or email

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. The Peninsula Hotels

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Monday, April 28, 2008

The art of tea at Suzette's Creperie


Author Elizabeth Knight sets a perfect table for tea.

The art of tea at Suzette's Creperie

Elizabeth Macik/ staff reporter 04/22/08 09:54 AM

Elizabeth Knight has mastered the art of the tea party. After years of studying, hosting, writing about and drinking tea, Knight will visit Suzette’s Creperie, 211 West Front St., Wheaton on Sunday, May 4 to impart her hospitality wisdom while sharing her new book, “Celtic Teas with Friends.”

“I am excited to share how special Celtic hospitality is, as early as 300 B.C. there were laws established to offer hospitality to travelers. It was a sacred duty. We are all here to make the world a little warmer for each other,” Knight said.

And Suzette’s is thrilled to have her.

“We have hosted events like this before and we tend to look for opportunities to feature tea service and invite people to an event that is exciting for tea enthusiasts, “ said Christine Kenny-Sheputis, private party and catering manager and day manager.

Diners can expect a meal with samplings of recipes from the book, and a chance to ask the author questions. Knight will discuss tips on creating the perfect tea setting, including appropriate music selection, and ways of injecting fun into a tea event with favors or activities. She will also be available to sign books.

“The proprietor, Donna Hesik, is very tuned into events and celebrations and is always looking for something interesting to do. This is also an alternative Mother’s Day experience,” Kenny-Sheputis said.

Something for everyone
“Tea is both a drink and a meal. It is a ritual and sacrament. It is part of a whole ritual to realign you with nature and connect with people you are sharing with. I don’t know of any other drink that is all those things,” Knight said.

Reservations are filling up fast for this event. Afternoon tea is $35 per person plus tax and gratuity and High Tea is $50 per person plus tax and gratuity. There will be two seatings from 2 to 4 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday May 4. Afternoon tea is a light fancy snack, and high tea is more of a meal.

“I think it always enhances the event when ladies come in hats and gloves, it makes it more fun and festive. Hats will be really fun to enhance the experience.” Kenny-Sheputis said.

For reservations, call 630-462-0898 or vist Suzette’s Creperie is located at 211 West Front St. in Wheaton. For more information on Elizabeth Knight, visit

By Elizabeth Macik staff reporter

Monday, March 31, 2008

Sweet Sakura Tea

A friend in Tokyo sent me a surprise care package today in thanks for taping the Academy Awards for her. Among other things it included two kinds of Sweet Sakura Tea. One is a green tea, looks/tastes like Sencha, with “Cherry Blossom Essence and Leaves,” the other is actual cherry blossoms which tasted a bit “pickled.”

She told me that there are over 400 types of cherry trees and that the Japanese avidly follow the “cherry blossom front” on TV from subtropical Okinawa to Hokkaido which has weather similar to New England. Because it is Japan’s national flower, cherry blossom viewing parties have been held in public and private gardens for centuries. People often arrive early in the morning to spread a cloth to reserve their picnic space with the prettiest view.



Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Pursuit of Happiness

One of the pleasures of working for oneself is the commute is short. My office is a few steps from my bedroom and I tend to turn the computer on while I’m boiling water in the kitchen for tea. That’s very convenient, but it’s way too tempting to check emails before the work day officially begins. Sometimes, if there’s a message from a colleague in another time zone, that needs to be addressed, I might sit down to problem solve in my pajamas and still be wearing them when it’s time to break for lunch. I refuse to eat lunch underdressed, unless I’ve got the flu, so I pull on a shirt and jeans appropriate sartorial splendor for a tuna melt.

Yesterday was a bad day, however. Problems with the printer in Hong Kong, so I didn’t get dressed until it was time to head off to a Meet-up with other people who worked for themselves. The only person I knew was the woman who designed my book and is my web master. But over a glass of wine, everyone 'fessed up to jammin’ the phone line in their jammies. Several of the others were writers, but there was also a kitchen and bath designer, a photographer, a textile designer/face painter and financial industry expert. It was such a pleasure to talk to men and women who understood the struggle between working alone and balancing life and work. As I walked home, in the soft evening rain, there was just enough light to see the pale lavender blossoms on a bush nodding in the breeze. This morning the ornamental pear tree in front of the dry cleaner’s has budded out. Spring is here. As Apollinaire said, “Now and then it’s good to pause in the pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” And get out of your pajamas.