Life + Style + Travel

IMPRESSIONISM AND TEA

IMPRESSIONISM AND TEA

Port of Le Havre Port of Le Havre, Claude Monet, French, 1840 – 1926

Billy and I recently visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see the “Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting” exhibit. The exhibit follows Paul Durand-Ruel’s career as he championed artists such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, Manet, and Pissarro. Durand-Ruel was an art dealer that turned impressionism from a pejorative term into an internationally sought after style. I was beyond impressed by the amount of paintings in the collection. It really is quite extraordinary to be able to see so many of these paintings, especially the ones that belong in the same series, in one place. Go see it if you have the chance!

The Large Bathers The Large Bathers, Paul Cézanne, French, 1839 – 1906
Both this painting and the Monet above are part of the museum’s permanent collection. No photography in the exhibit.

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After the museum, we had afternoon tea at the Mary Cassatt Tea Room, which was fitting because Mary Cassatt was an American impressionist. There’s something about afternoon tea that makes you feel fancy even after walking sweating around the city in the hot and humid weather.

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We selected 2 of the 16 teas on the menu:

  • Rittenhouse Blend: Ceylon bergamot, rose petals, cardamom and borage. This tea was light, but the rose was extremely fragrant which I liked. A weak rose flavor sometimes taste like soap to me.
  • Dutchess’ First Love: Creamy Earl Grey blended with rooibos that magically creates a note reminiscent of caramel. This tea was surprisingly sweet and paired well with the desserts.

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We decided to do the Signature Afternoon Tea. The menu changes by season. Our savories included:

  • Miniature, Canapés and Tea Sandwiches
    • Crab Salad, Cucumber, Lemon
    • Avocado, Prosciutto, Onion Jam, Pumpernickel
    • Chicken Salad, Grape, White Bread
    • Smoked Salmon, English Pea, Fine Herb Butter, Multigrain Bread
    • Egg Salad, Chive, White Bread
    • Asparagus, Tomato Jam, Rye
  • Assorted Scones with Jam, Devonshire Cream, Lemon Curd

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The dessert consisted of:

  • Dark Chocolate Mousse Tartlet
  • Pavlova
  • Vanilla Cheesecake
  • Milk Chocolate Mousse
  • Profitérole
  • Cannelé de Bordeaux
  • Assorted Mignardises (macarons, chocolate, tea cookies)

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We told them that we got married recently and they brought us this adorable mint chocolate cake!

Philadelphia Museum of Art > 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130 / Hours: Monday–Closed; Tuesday–Sunday: 10 am–5 pm; Wednesday and Friday evenings: Open until 8:45 pm

Mary Cassatt Tea Room > The Rittenhouse Hotel > 210 W Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA 19103 / Afternoon Tea Hours: 2pm-5pm daily / Signature Afternoon Tea (includes champagne): $49/person.



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