Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Breakfast for a Victorian lady!

 I found this set at Savers here in Providence.

This is going to be my breakfast server for the now on.

 It makes a nice Sunday breakfast special and classy.
 Having tea was such a delight in this lovely tea cup.
 Mmm, my favorite Buttermilk pancakes!
 Just one fried egg over easy!

It is an Austrian Empire China, Karlsbad. 

Nicely displaying a delicate rose pattern.

 Sunday morning breakfast in my tea corner, how charming!

Valentine's Day Tea!

Welcome my dear tea loving friends. 
Come right in and sit a spell.

The water is hot in the pot and all is ready.
We sat in the "Front Parlor" and waited for the rest of the guest to arrive.
We nibbled on fruit and crackers while enjoying some introductory tea.

Then, when all were are here, we entered the "Tea Room" for a fine tea and delights.
Oh, the joy of good food , friend and conversation. We ate and read love letters to each other.
"The Love letters made the treats sweeter."

After tea we moved to a small "Sitting Room" where we tried on hats from my hat collection and posed for the camera. These folks are the not-so-shy ones.

At the end of it all and time for sweet partings, I could tell my guest were content and wanting a return visit soon.

Re_Post "Young Peolpe's Spring Tea."

                       You are invited to "A Young People's Spring Tea"
Saturday, March 25th, 2012
At Lady Estelle's Tea Corner
210 Ledge Street, Providence, RI 02904
When all the guest arrive and after picture taking, we entered the tea area to enjoy the treats.
The beautiful young people sat and eat while showing their learned tea etiquette and played tea BINGO.
 The young ladies had the pleasure of trying on hats from Lady Estelle's Hat Collection. What a sight.

It was a memorable afternoon spent with young time travelers. By the way, the only young gentleman that attend is only pretending to enjoy tobaco from his handmade corn pipe. It was made of paper. Please do not be alarmed. I am not promoting smoking for youth. He is a history reenactor.
All of the young people that attended this tea are our youth docents at Heathside House.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Re-post....Press Release for the Tea at Hearthside House 2011

Friends of Hearthside, Inc.


For Immediate Release:                                Contact:  Kathy Hartley 401-334-2209     
April 3, 2011                                                                                       


Afternoon Tea and Toppers on Derby Day at Historic Hearthside
Saturday, May 7th

Lincoln ---To kick off its 10th Anniversary celebration, the Friends of Hearthside is sponsoring “An Afternoon Tea and Toppers” at Great Road’s historic Hearthside House on Saturday, May 7th, from 2:00-4:00, the same day as the world-famous Kentucky Derby.

While the history of tea goes back hundreds of years, the Afternoon Tea is best known as a fashionable social event that was popular during the late 19th century when upper-class and society women would change into elaborate outfits of long gowns, spectacular hats and gloved hands for their afternoon pause of tea and conversation.  The elegance carried through to the settings of fine china tea cups, artful creations of miniature tea sandwiches, scones, and delightful desserts.  Hearthside offers an elegant and historic setting, creating a leisurely and nostalgic afternoon to enjoy Afternoon Tea with close friends or family. And it’s educational as well.
"Because our Tea falls on Derby Day,” states Kathy Hartley, President of the Friends of Hearthside,” it offers us the perfect opportunity to look at the fashion statements made by the ladies who attended the Derby, in particular the hats.”  The first Kentucky Derby was held in 1875 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky and is the country’s oldest consecutively held Thoroughbred race and the most prestigious horse race in the world.   However, the fashions have created nearly as much interest as the racing event itself.  Hats have played an important role in the history of horse racing for centuries.  Honoring a tradition that dates back centuries to the world-famous English horse race, the Royal Ascot, women who attend the races take the opportunity to show off stylish and extravagant hats as a statement of grace and wealth.  For a well-to-do late 19th and early 20th century woman, a day at Churchill Downs, especially on Derby Day, was an opportunity to be seen in the latest of fashions.  Today, patrons of the Kentucky Derby, which takes place on the first Saturday of May each year, put their fanciest hats on parade as the world watches. The Derby offers women a place to continue the old traditions, as evidenced by the trend of bigger, more spectacular hats that has continued to develop over the years, during a time when society has loosened up on formalities of dress code.

The featured presentation at the Hearthside Tea will be “Hats Through the Ages” being given by Hearthside volunteer Estelle T. Barada, also known as Lady Estelle, The Victorian Lady. 

Lady Estelle will discuss how women’s hats have changed drastically throughout history.  She will exhibit some of her private collection of hats spanning fashions from early 19th century up to the 1950’s.  “Hats were worn for style and elegance, warmth, and modesty,” notes Lady Estelle.
“We invite our guests to be inspired by Derby Day and use this opportunity to wear their favorite hats and have fun with it, although wearing headgear is not mandatory to attend the Tea.”

Prizes will be given for the “Most Historic Looking,” “Most Likely to be Seen at the Derby” and “Most Unusual” hats. 

Guests will feel like they have stepped back in time as they enter through the doors of this 200-year old mansion to be greeted by the butler and escorted to their tables by the volunteers dressed in their Victorian finery.   In addition to enjoying the rituals of a traditional Tea, guests will be treated to a variety of gourmet tea sandwiches, scones, chocolate dipped fruits, and sumptuous sweets, the hat presentation, as well as a tour of this unique historic house.  Festivities also include raffle baskets, a door prize and a keepsake gift.   And to conclude the day, shopping will be available at the ">Hearthside Gift Shop, just in time for Mother’s Day.

The Tea is an ideal event to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend with mom or grandma, or to get together and enjoy a relaxing, memorable afternoon with friends.  Seating is limited so early reservations are recommended.  No tickets will be sold at the door.

Often times referred to as “the house that love built”, this Lincoln landmark was built with lottery winnings in 1810 by Stephen Hopkins Smith with the hope of winning the heart of his lady love.   Many, however, may not know that at the turn of the century Hearthside was also home to the first mayor of Pawtucket, Frederick C. Sayles. 

On the farm adjacent to Hearthside, he raised race horses, including several prize winners.  His horses broke speed records and were considered to be among the finest collection of great brood mares ever under one owner in his time.  Gathering at Hearthside for Derby Day is a testament to the Sayles’ history at the house and to his great love of horses.

The Hearthside Afternoon Tea was the first event held to welcome the public into Hearthside in 2001 when the volunteer organization Friends of Hearthside was founded. The Friends is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and interpret the historic Town-owned mansion, and all proceeds from the event benefit the continued restoration of this 200-year old house.  Tickets, which are $20 per person, must be purchased in advance by calling 726-0597.

Hearthside is located at 677 Great Road on Rt. 123 at the intersection of Breakneck Hill Road and Great Road in Lincoln.  For more information, visit or call 726-0597.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

An evening of Tea and Elegance.

You are cordially invited to an evening of tea and elegance. 
 Next Wednesday, June 26th,2013, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the historic John Nicholas Brown House

 [357 Benefit Street, Providence]
 The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society is hosting a fundraiser to pay for the restoration of Sissieretta Jones' authentic silk performance gown from the 1890's.  From Providence's East Side, Sissieretta was the nation's first internationally renowned African American opera singer and entertainer. 
 Her prolific talents took her around the world, performing for numerous European state officials and four United States presidents.  

Tea with Sissieretta is an opportunity to teach our young ladies the elegance of etiquette.  Admission for adults is $25, which will go directly towards funding the restoration of Sissieretta's silk performance gown.  Those who wish to contribute more to this important cause may do so with a $50 Angel Donation. 
 Children between the ages 6-13 may come free of charge!  There will be music, delectable tea and pastries as well as fabulous prize giveaways.

A Tea Party is only as elegant as the Hostess.  Meet Lady Estelle T. Barada

 She is a warm and genuine woman who exudes grace and charm:

"I am what you might call a Modern Day Victorian. I enjoy the art of taking tea, having Victorian tea parties and teaching young girls tea etiquette. I love all things Victorian and have created a tea salon in my home.. I am a living history reenactor. I have a passion for history and the way people lived long ago. I am doing much research on the positive roles that African Americans played in history and how they have impacted current times. 
Join Me For A Spot of Tea!" 

~ Special Guests: Speaker of the House Gordon D. Fox, Honorary Chair & First Lady Stephanie Chafee, Honorary Chair ~  

Sissieretta's dress is an irreplaceable piece of Rhode Island Black History and it is in great need of repair.  If we are to revitalize her legacy, we must work together to preserve this artifact.  We would be delighted to have you attend!   

RSVP by calling (401) 421-0606 or via email:

The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society
123 North Main Street
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 421-0606

Monday, February 16, 2015

My favorite Victorian Gown

Honorable Mention:

Costume Contest USA Entry 29.) Dress: Historic Hearthside House Hostess Gown Victorian Costume Contest

Victorian Dress Costume ContestComment by JUDGE Lisa Schnapp: 8/15/2010

"Lovely, glowing creation blended of soft, feminine hues. A stunning gown that embodies Victorian style femininity..."
 I entered this gown in the "Worlds Most Beautiful Gown Contest"!
I am pleased to say that it received a "Honorable Mention. "

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Victorian Tea Lady of Providence

The Victorian Tea Lady of Providence

I, had established a  Victorian Tea society in 2001 to bring together Ladies and Gentlemen who share a love for the Victorian Era and to make new friends. We were a society of women and men dedicated to the enjoyment of tea and friendship. We lunch, laugh and learn while relaxing with other tea lovers. Based in the New England area, located in Rhode Island.

In our small groups, we each take turns being the host or hostess of the month. The tea party host or hostess may choose to serve a luncheon with a formal, informal, or even a witty theme. He or she may even plan an outing to visit a tea house, museum, etc. There is a $10 monthly fee, which is given to the host or hostess for that month to help defray the costs. That way we don't have to charge an annual membership fee.

How it all started!
It was in 2001 that I, Lady Estelle started the chapter of Lady Estelle's Victorian Tea Society. I was always looking for new and fun things to do. While browsing the internet I came upon "The Red Hat Society" where women gather for fun. 
This seemed like, what I was looking for.

At 52, I decides life was too short to worry about getting older, so I got the biggest red hat and joined the chapter to have some fun. The Red Hat signified my freedom to be myself.

An idea was born . . . a challenge! Why just be apart of just a woman's society? Why not start her own society of women and men to have fun? I was always interested in the Victorian/Edwardian Era, loved having tea parties and entertaining.

So, I started calling my friends that I thought would like to form a Victorian Tea Society. Without any problem I soon had 4 ladies, including her youngest daughter and son interested in the idea. The arrangements were made to meet at Baxter's on December 22nd, wearing their favorite hats and Sunday best attire.  The Hats was their statement of Freedom to have Fun.

At the first gathering the table was beautifully arranged with tablecloths, lace napkins, napkin holders, flowers, candles, china, silver, and pretty place cards indicating our place at the table. the menu included sandwiches, strawberry shortcake, scones, clotted cream and jams, and best of all, the tea was served. They gave themselves the royal treatment.
The Victorian Tea Society was officially launched, as we raised our cups and toasted, "Lady Estelle's Victorian Tea Society was on the go!

So look out Providence, here we come wearing our Hats with Pride and Style!

The Victorian Tea Society is no longer running .
I am still considered the Victorian Tea Lady of Providence. You can always come for tea at the Tea Corner and enjoy making friends the old fashion way.

My Little Tea Corner.

My little Tea Corner is in the heart of Providence. It is a lovely little corner in my home  With it's Victorian charm you can relax and enjoy a true step back in time.

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My Victorian Hostess Gown

Honorable Mention:

Costume Contest USA Entry 29.) Dress: Historic Hearthside House Hostess Gown Victorian Costume Contest

Victorian Dress Costume ContestComment by JUDGE Lisa Schnapp: 8/15/2010

"Lovely, glowing creation blended of soft, feminine hues. A stunning gown that embodies Victorian style femininity..."