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Friday, July 5, 2013


North Park homeowner provides old-fashioned Craftsman bungalow tea service 

Editor’s note:  This blog article first appeared in on June, 25, 2013.  Reprinted with permission of the writer.

Tea served on antique china                Photo: Bonnie Nicholls
GUEST BLOGBy Bonnie Nicholls, didn’t feign British accents nor did we wear fascinators, but we did raise our pinkies in Downton Abbey fashion during a traditional afternoon tea hosted by the North Park Bungalow Tea Society.*

How traditional? We’re talking finger sandwiches, such as cucumber and egg salad, for the first course, scones with butter and jam for the second course, and cookies and fruit compote for the third course, accompanied by oodles of caffeinated and herbal tea.  All served in beautiful china at the lovely Craftsman home owned by proprietress Phyllis Shess.

Tea for ten bungalow style                                            Photo: Bonnie Nicholls
I joined eight other ladies who had volunteered for the South Park Old House Fair and Historic Home Tour on this delightful outing that began with us chatting in the living room while sipping a little bubbly (juice was optional for mimosas). Note to old home fanatics: Famed artist Laird Plumleigh designed the ceramic field tiles and the large landscape tile on the fireplace facing.

When we sat down to tea, Phyllis gave Maureen Ceccarelli of Studio Maureen a silver bell to ring whenever we needed service. This tickled Maureen, whose face lit up each time she rang the bell, as if she were the mistress of the house.

If you think such light, tiny fare wouldn’t fill you up, you’re wrong. Notice the three tiers for those sandwiches in the photo above. We did a fairly good job of leaving them empty, and there were two trays with three tiers each.
     The Sweets                                                        Photo: Bonnie Nicholls

Is this for ladies only? Not necessarily; I doubt Phyllis would mind if a group of men wanted to book a tea. Actually, she said gentlemen’s afternoon teas are gaining traction in the U.K. and New York (read a snarky blog in The Guardian about this new rage).

Fruit compote                 Photo: Bonnie Nicholls

I bet the laddies would still prefer their pints at some local brewhouse, but we ladies reveled in the small yet filling bites, the bottomless tea, and the endless laughter in a gorgeous Craftsman dining room. The normal cost for a champagn tea party is $45, and Phyllis can accommodate up to 12 people. You can contact her via her Facebook page.

Delicious tea sandwiches 
*By the way, I wrote this review because I thought it was cool, not because anyone paid me to do it. Just so you know.

News source: http://southparkscribe.come/2013/06/north-park-tea.html

About the Author:
Bonnie Nicholls is a freelance writer and blogger based in the historic South Park neighborhood of central San Diego.  She specializes in business success stories and web content.  You may find her on Google+ and Twitter.

Ms. Nicholls is an accomplished photographer as well as having many years experience as a writer and editor with Beach and Bay Press and the La Jolla Light, the latter, where she was employed as the newspaper’s editor.

From Pillar to Post:
For more information on the North Park Bungalow Tea Society:

Laird Plumleigh designed tiles and centerpiece on this North Park Craftsman bungalow fireplace
                                                                                                                                                    Photo: Phyllis Shess

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