English High Teas have proven to be a perfect fit for the house where Andrew Ellicott taught Meriwether Lewis navigational skills in 1803, prior to the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
“The house and its courtyard make such a beautiful and historic setting for teas,” said Donna Lussier, owner of La Petite Patisserie and hostess for the teas. “We are very pleased to be in partnership with the Historic Preservation Trust to expand what we started in May. Our first tea at the Preservation Trust on May 10 was popular with those who attended, and we have been asked when we would have another.”
Themed teas scheduled through the end of 2014 are:
September 20 – Afternoon Tea at the Trust
October 19 – Breast Cancer Awareness Tea
November 15 – Downton Abbey Tea
December 13 – Tea with Santa (children’s tea)
December 14 – Holiday High Tea (adult tea)
Lussier said to check petitedessert.com for information about tea times, seatings, pricing and reservations.
Depending on weather, Lussier said the teas can be held in the courtyard adjoining the historic house or in the house itself or a combination of both spaces. “It is nice to have flexibility of indoor and/or outdoor settings,” she added.
Teas, believed to have been started by English Duchess of Bedford Anna Maria Stanhope (1783-1857) as a social gathering for her friends, date back to the 1800s. Typical tea fare includes finger-sized sandwiches, scones and a selection of cakes – all are served on tiered cake stands. “A variety of teas make the occasion relaxing and enjoyable. A great way to spend an afternoon with friends,” Lussier said.
The headquarters for the Historic Preservation Trust at 123 North Prince Street in downtown Lancaster was built in 1787 by Gottlieb Sehner. It became the working office and residence of famed surveyor Andrew Ellicott from 1801 to 1813. President Thomas Jefferson, in1803, instructed U. S. Army Captain Meriwether Lewis to go to Lancaster in the spring to meet Ellicott who was then serving as the Secretary of the Land Office of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Here for a month, Lewis learned how to use the compass, sextant and chronometer – all important tools for the pending expedition west. The Lewis & Clark Expedition began in 1803 and ended in 1806 – opening up unexplored land west of the Mississippi River.
About the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County
Founded in 1966 to “stem the rapid destruction of historic properties in Lancaster County,” the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County’s mission is to encourage and facilitate historic preservation countywide. The trust has been directly involved in preserving important Lancaster County landmarks and has provided advice, assistance and guidance in the protection of others. The trust is a member-supported, 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the historic Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House (1787) at 123 North Prince Street in downtown Lancaster. Visit www.hptrust.org for additional information.