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Make Your Resevations for a Traditional Royal Tea

Everybody must get sconed.

Simply Gourmet is taking afternoon tea to a whole new level.

In March, the Sarasota-based catering firm will feature a traditional Royal English tea service on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, March 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, and 28 at 2 p.m., at the Powel Crosley Estate, 8374 N. Tamiami Trail.

Tea will be served in the exclusive upstairs living area of the mansion overlooking the bay. Tickets are $32. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Crosley Foundation. Call 941-225-9122 to make your reservations.

What is a royal English tea service?

“Every year, the Royal Family hosts an afternoon tea for about 8,000 guests at Buckingham Palace,” said Chef Larry Barrett, president of Simply Gourmet Caterers, explaining that the tradition began in 1860 with Queen Victoria. “It’s a grand and colorful affair. Men wear suits or military uniforms, and women wear dresses with hats and gloves. The 500-foot buffet table is set with a feast and there’s tea, of course.”

Barrett said that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, circulate among the guests.

“The Crosley Estate offers the perfect ambiance for our recreation of this royal event,” he added.

Chef Barrett is known for combining fine cuisine and wines with historical events. Most notable are his signature reproductions of White House state dinners, served during the Kennedy and Reagan eras.

“I see it as a type of culinary theater,” he said.

What can guests expect at the Crosley Estate afternoon teas?

“Our menu features savory and sweet specialties,” Barrett said.

Expect such delicacies as Cassis Marinated Strawberry Parfait, Vanilla Cream Fruit Tartlets, Currant Scones/Devonshire Cream, Double Chocolate Triangles, Turkey/Sundried Tomato Pinwheels, Royal Tea Sandwich Medley.

“And don’t forget the tea,” Barrett laughs. “Guests will savor properly brewed cups of flavorful English tea.”

For more information and reservations for the afternoon teas at the Powel Crosley Estate, call 941-225-9122.

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