TEA TIME: Relaxing With A British Tradition

The Superbowl is the main attraction for many this Sunday. But, fans of a popular T.V. drama are getting ready for a big show of their own. Season three of Downton Abbey is underway on PBS.

The show about life on the other side of the pond has become popular in the United States as fans get a taste of all things British. One place in Iowa will celebrate it this month.

Inside a country home, down a gravel road near New Virginia, you’ll hear lots of laughter and get a little taste of England. Spenser Hardin says, “We’ve actually had a lot of people from England come to our tea room and say, you’ve got it spot on.”

Spenser and her Mom Donna Hardin run Miss Spenser’s Special-Teas. The mother and daughter opened the tea room about seven years ago in their home. Spenser says, “It was pretty much started because my mom and I wanted to go to England.”

The ladies haven’t made it there yet. But, they say they experience a bit of British culture every time they have tea. Miss Hardin says, “We specialize in serving tea the British way. And, so we like to say it’s the most British experience you can get on this side of the pond.”

Later this month, they’ll celebrate life on the other side of the pond with a special tea dedicated to Downton Abbey. The popular PBS show depicts what life is like for the upper and lower classes on an English estate during the early part of the twentieth century.

And the Hardins say they hope the popularity of the show helps more people enjoy the benefits of tea time. Donna Hardin says, “It’s just something I’ve always loved because people are just so busy. It allows you a chance to just calm down for at least two hours.”

On a recent visit, Beverly Kilman said, “I’ve been here more than 30 times.” She goes on to say, “I was hooked from the very first time.”

Sandi Moran says,”I like tea because it’s a little time to rest and enjoy with friends.”

The ladies say they also enjoy the food. Tea treats include a tray of savory sandwiches and sweet desserts. But the ladies say the best part is the two hours of laughing and lingering the old fashioned British way, right in the middle of Iowa.

The Downton Abbey Life of a Parlor Maid tea is Sunday, February 17th at 1 p.m. It costs $28 a person, and you do need reservations. Click here from more information.

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