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Virginia Tea Rooms

When I first met Constance Lue, the Tea Lady of Virginia and I told her about my vision for Tea Time In Virginia - she told me that one of the finest places for a truly authentic, elegant tea was Taste in Williamsburg.

I don't know if it was the good company, the graciousness of the co-owner Diana Dean and her mother Lillian Croft (Diana's sister and co-owner Cherri Fiorenza was not there that day), the beautiful surroundings, the aroma of fresh baked scones and cakes…but afternoon tea at Taste was absolutely perfect...the table setting, the presentation, the quality of the food and tea... everything...just perfect - something to be enjoyed and experienced again and again.

Taste, Tea Salon & Gifts is located at 1915 Pocahontas Trail in the Village Shops at Kingsmill. You walk into a gift shop, filled with an excellent selection of fine teas, china, candles, books, CD's, and gifts for babies, children and the tea minded people in your life. You enter the "tearoom" through a wrought iron archway. Each table has linen clothes set with lovely and varied patterned plates and silverware with centerpieces of fresh-cut flowers. We chose the Royal Tea that included pear sparkler, freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and homemade lemon curd, a delightful and unusual variety of tea sandwiches and savories and assorted, fresh baked sweets with a choice of tea.

Williamsburg is a great destination. Taste gives you one more reason to visit. For more information and reservations for tea call Diana, Cherri or Lillian at: 757-221-9550.

A recipe from Taste that appears in a delightful cookbook, Celebrate Virginia! By Rowena J. Fullinwider, James A. Crutchfield and Winette Sparkman Jeffery.

Honey Madeleines

  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooked to lukewarm
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup finely ground blanched almonds, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Butter 2 madeleine molds. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in the flour and almonds alternately in 2 or 3 additions. Stir the butter and honey together in a small bowl. Fold the mixture gently into the egg whites until incorporated. Spoon into the molds, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and invert onto a rack to cool completely.

Makes about 40 madeleines.

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