Holiday Afternoon Tea at the Bee and Thistle Inn Through Jan. 5th

Elizabeth Georgian
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Treat your loved ones or take time for yourself this holiday season by making reservations for a really special, festive event at the Bee and Thistle Inn in Old Lyme—their annual Holiday Afternoon Tea. The quaint Bee and Thistle Inn is quintessential coastal Connecticut in its interior decor and is a recommended place to visit year-round. But during the short winter days, the Bee and Thistle Inn gets extra dolled up with holiday spirit, making it a memorable place to spend time with loved ones. This special tea is served from November 29th through January 5th.

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I was fortunate enough to indulge in their Holiday Afternoon Tea on a weekday and scored a festively decorated table in a prime location next to the crackling fireplace. Before even deciding on a cup of tea, I let my eyes wander around the cozy front room of the Bee and Thistle Inn, which had been decorated with Christmas trees, twinkling lights, stockings hung by the fireplace with care, wreaths, and ample greenery; it was a Christmas lover's dream come true. Once I finally focused in on the menu, I selected a black tea from their selection of Harney & Sons teas, which to my delight, was replenished as often as needed. If you opt for the "royal tea" for an extra five dollars, you'll also get a glass of bubbly.

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While sipping on my hot tea—which came with a rock candy sugar stirrer—I had visions of sugarplums dance in my head. Those visions were brought to life when my three-tiered tower of treats arrived. The bottommost plate had four delicious dainty sandwiches: goat cheese and watercress, egg salad, chicken salad, and cucumber mint. The cucumber mint was especially refreshing and goat cheese with watercress will always be one of my personal favorites. At this point, happy I had skipped lunch, I moved onto the topmost plate, which unusual for an afternoon tea, had the scone with jam and cream as well as very delicious Russian tea cakes and cinnamony palmiers.

Slowing down now, I willed my stomach to fit in a bit more as that cheeky middle tier remained. Reserving the best for last, the middle tier held truffles, macaroons, and lemon meringue tarts, and the plate itself was decorated with delicate rose petals. I certainly appreciate that the staff at the Bee and Thistle Inn don't rush diners while they're enjoying their three tiers, allowing you to linger over the treats (and digest a bit) while catching up with loved ones; the Holiday Afternoon Tea at the Bee and Thistle Inn is certainly best enjoyed at a leisurely pace.

Held on Thursdays through Saturdays at 12 to 2:30 p.m. from November 29, 2018 through January 5, 2019, the Bee and Thistle Inn hosts a special Holiday Afternoon Tea; book soon to avoid disappointment. Seatings are offered in both the front room and the Chestnut Grill. To indulge further, consider staying at the Bee and Thistle Inn for a night, dine at the fabulous Chestnut Grill, and visit the Florence Griswold Museum next door for a perfect getaway this holiday season

Find out more on the Bee and Thistle Inn website: http://beeandthistleinn.com/afternoontea/