This past Sunday, the boy and I spent a sunny, relaxing afternoon drinking tea on the grounds of Eldon House in London, Ontario. Nestled under the shade of a magnolia tree, we were treated to the sounds of a ballgame floating over the river, a game played in the oldest continually operating baseball grounds in the world. It was the perfect summer afternoon.
Having lived in London for quite a few years now, I don’t know why it has taken me this long to experience the tea program offered by Eldon House. I’m glad I didn’t wait much longer to rectify this mistake or I would have had to wait another year. Afternoon Tea is only offered from the end of June to the end of August, with a handful of special tea events sprinkled throughout the year.After choosing our spot, a little table set for two, we were attended by a staff member dressed in a service uniform. She explained our tea choices; I opted for the Boston tea and the boy ordered the Eldon House blend. She soon returned with a tray filled with warm scones, jam, butter, whipped cream, fruit, and warm tea pots. We filled our charmingly mismatched cups with the deep amber liquid and left a trail of crumbs for the ants. The tables around us were soon occupied by visitors of all ages, laughing and drinking the genial beverage.
It was worth every penny to learn that the original estate, built in 1834, stretched to the Thames River and covered 11 acres which included a golf course and pool. The house and most of the contents are original and were donated to the city by the great-grandchildren of John Harris, for whom the nearby park is named. The museum is an exciting and rather rare glimpse into the lives of London’s most prosperous residents. I urge you to check out the contents of the curio cabinet in the smoking nook!
With only three weeks left until the Eldon House Tea Program is over for the season, I highly recommend a visit…and don’t forget to make a reservation! You can find all the information you’ll need right here.