Saturday, May 19, 2018

Of Afternoon Tea & Cathedral Tours

I've been very lucky lately with my local community being very active with some really fun and interesting meets. This last one was for an afternoon tea and tour for one of the most beautiful gothic revival cathedrals in the states, the tea was held up in one of the towers with a lovely view facing the gardens! I think the combination of who everything was such a lovely experience even though the weather has not really been on our side recently with the rain.

As it turns out, I've passed the cathedral several times while visiting a friend who lives in the area, the bus stop I would use is actually right down the street from it and yet I would barely see it as my view was always obscured by the trees around the grounds. It was amazing when I was finally able to see it, it's honestly a beautiful building and quite large to the point I'm surprised it could be hidden. The architecture of the building is neo~gothic with it's vaulted ceilings, pointed arches, and the way the building has certain parts that look like fortification; it resembles a medieval castle for sure.

There were so many beautiful details within that it was hard to appreciate all of it, it was as though I didn't know where to focus my eyes. And not only was the things within the building fascinating to behold but so was the history laced within with those who have stood in these halls before or were laid to rest here. Martin Luther King jr. gave one of his last sermons here and walked these very halls preaching about equality, Woodrow Wilson is buried here as well after passing from a stroke. There are also statues of Presidents Washington and Lincoln at the side entrances of the church, under stained glass that is made to look like fire.

The rose stained glass windows in particular were striking to take in, our docent was sure to remind us at different parts of the tour to look back at them to see how the colors changed throughout the tour. It wasn't such a huge difference but it was just enough to notice and enjoy the changes in colors. 

After all of that we were taken back through the cathedral to a hidden and small elevator, clearly meant for moving things, to take us up to one of the towers for afternoon tea. It actually took a bit of time to get to the top and we tried to get an elevator selfie while we waited (my arms are just too short). But once there we were whisked away to a little room with cute little tables set with our tea service. The sandwiches were actually more like little bites of art with how they were done and the only thing that looked like a tea sandwich was the egg salad sandwich, they were all quite pretty. They also had Devonshire cream for our scones!

When we nearly finished with our tea setting we did explore the corner of the tower that was ours, taking a few pictures of course, and discovered the Bishop's garden down below. The grounds are carefully manicured and maintained by a guild that has been doing so for 100 years, working closely with the cathedral's horticultural staff to tend to the landscape and preserve it's look. Before leaving, despite the rainy weather, I went frolicking through it to at least see what it was like and discovered all sorts of nooks and crannies.

The host of the meet encouraged everyone to do themed coordinates and everyone showed up with some variation of stained glass or things with gothic architecture within the print, I quickly knew I wanted to break out this baby. I thought the feathers and pearly gates would be a nice touch and added a sort of pink dotted tulle drape to the look to bring a splash of color as both my blouse and vest were white. Ever since acquiring this skirt I've wanted to make a cute vest to pair, it took me a bit of time to cut it all out and finally put it together but this put my butt into gear. I really did enjoy putting it together and would love to make a few more to throw in with the rest of my wardrobe.

I truly enjoyed going out for this meet, experimenting with a few colors I don't often wear, and taking tea up in a tower with friends. If another meet like this were to come along I would gladly jump in and I can't wait for the next meet. Cheers! XOXO

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