What a glorious day to go to tea at a beautiful mansion. The Israeli Tea at the Strathmore Mansion was a special as the beautiful Spring Afternoon.
If you get there early, you can browse the Artwork in the Mansion. Right now there is an exhibit of If the Show Fits ranging from shoes with faces and bodies to a giant wreath of shoes. Included in the art show are also designer shoes. The exhibit is on display until May 31st In the Invitational Gallery you can see The Flood REdux: 5000 Years Later, artworks which tell “the story of water,-lifeblood of the planet” also on display until May 31st.
The artwork may be a little off-beat, but for the rest of the afternoon you are treated to a bit of Downton Abbey. Sweet ladies seat you in the recital room. Your table is set with a pot of tea in beautiful china teapots under fancy tea cozies. The charming waitresses bring you a plate of small sandwiches, scones, falafel, and a small potato pancake. The two latter mentioned are as a reminder that this is an Israeli Tea.
You then sit back and listen to the music of the Friedman-Wyson Duo with Noreen Friedman on the flute and Bob Wysong on the guitar. The music today includes Israeli songs like “Jerusalem of Gold” and “Bashana Haba’ah,”and Klezmer tunes including a couple of lullabies.
As you sip just “one more cup of tea” there is that nice waitress again with desserts – an apple tart, baklava, and a chocolate dipped macaroon. Of course, the musicians agree to play just a few more songs, and they play music from West Side Story. Finally, we are all treated with a chocolate truffle from The Perfect Truffle in Frederick.
Friedman and Wysong have played together since 2008 here at the Mansion. They often play at the International Teas. These two especially look for music inspired by folk traditions. They chose the music today because it has Israeli and Jewish flavors. Some of the songs were Israeli and Eastern European and some where Sephardic (Middle Eastern and the Mediterranean) melodies. West Side Story was chosen to acknowledge to ethnic roots of Bernstein and Sondheim. The duo is very melodic, and the music is in mesh to the theme of the day. Music does not have to grand to be beautiful. The same is true for food. Sometimes just tea, finger sandwiches and petit desserts are better than a lavish meal.
You can finish off the afternoon by checking out the artwork you missed earlier or browse the very interesting store for a unique gift or souvenir.
Definitely check the Strathmore Mansion Schedule for their afternoon teas. (The next International Tea with tickets still available is June 2nd.) You will find the afternoon to be as enchanting as high tea at Downton Abbey.
Running Time: Approximately 70 minutes.
Israeli Tea was presented on April 28, 2015, at the Mansion at Strathmore – 10701 Rockville Pike, in North Bethesda, MD.
For future events at The Music Center at Strathmore, check their calendar of events.