Afternoon Ritual

Fun and romance in Miami

Fun and romance in Miami

Recently, my True Love and I escaped on a week-long and desperately-needed vacation to beautiful Miami, Florida. Imagining Miami conjures up many things, namely the turquoise ocean, the deep influence of Central/South American, Cuban, and Caribbean cultures, old money, new glam, lush tropical vegetation, and waterfront skyscrapers  gleaming in the sun. But if you are like me who often grows weary of this modern life, I have just the place for you. John (my husband and aforementioned T.L.) and I discovered a magical place years ago when we first came to Miami, and we have been enchanted ever since.The Biltmore Hotel

The Biltmore Hotel

The Biltmore Hotel

As you make your way through the lush, sleepy Coral Gables neighborhood, imagine huge banyan trees arching over the roads and dripping with vines. Whatever you are expecting as you turn the corner and first glimpse the magnificent Biltmore Hotel, you will not be expecting this. Built in 1926, the Biltmore Hotel is a portal to a golden age long vanished. Over the years, the hotel has hosted socialites, presidents, foreign dignitaries, stars of the silver screen, and many more who’ve admired its Tuscan- and Moroccan-inspired architecture. The lobby is so lovely and vast that it evokes the hushed reverence of a cathedral, even amid the soft trills of the resident finches. This lobby is also the site of yet another delight—afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea at the Biltmore

Afternoon tea at the Biltmore

Another Age

Now, if you hang around me for any length of time, you will soon come to see I am an old soul who is deeply in love with the past. In fact, I’m 97% sure I was born in the wrong time and place. My heartbeat quickens for the 1910s-1940s, especially the 1920s. I can’t explain it—it just is.

Fun in the 1920s!

A little bit of the 1920s in modern-day Frisco

And as a raging Anglophile, I adore all things English—their culture, society, architecture, history, fascination with Princess Diana, cool and cloudy weather, and most belovedly, Dame Agatha Christie and her murder mysteries. As you can imagine, the well-loved ritual of English afternoon tea is the height of refinement and glee for me.

Afternoon Tea

During our stay at the Biltmore, we cherished our afternoon tea as a harp strummed nearby. Our treat was glorious, relaxing, and intimate—a wonderful respite from everyday life to enjoy time with each other. We loved it so much that we have now instituted tea time in our house! It is something we look forward to and hurry home for. On weekend afternoons, we gather our rarely used tea cups and dishes from our wedding china and set about our ritual. I love my Earl Grey and John loves Gunpowder green tea, and until recently, we had cobbled together store-bought scones and other treats to enjoy with our steaming cups. Last night, I actually made homemade scones!! I was thrilled at how well they turned out until I took them out of the oven and immediately dropped almost all of them on the floor. $#@*&!

Cream scones and strawberries--delightful!

Cream scones and strawberries–delightful!

Oh well, my floor was mostly clean, and the scones and fresh strawberries were out of this world. Then we popped in Downtown Abbey, settled in to our evening, and away we slipped into another era. Happiness!

May you find your special rituals that bring joy to your day. XO, Brooke

Afternoon tea at home

Afternoon tea at home

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