English High Tea tops expectations,

See why this event proves that there is, indeed,
high culture in outer East Portland …

Lana Younglove the coordinator of English Tea at Leach Botanical Garden, looks on as volunteer Anita Pohlschneider prepares dessert plates.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Guests, from as far as Hillsboro, traveled to outer East Portland for a wonderfully highbrow event – the annual Summer English Tea at Leach Botanical Garden – on July 8 and 9.

“This event is one of our most-loved, traditional events,” beamed Leach Garden’s Executive Director, Karen Young. “People socialize together in the elegant, beautiful atmosphere for a real English High Tea.”

The tea is important to Friends of Leach Garden, Young added, because it is one of their top fundraisers, accounting for about 5% of their total annual revenue. “But, this event wouldn’t be possible without the help of dozens of volunteers.”

Eighty guests were accommodated at each Summer Tea seating.

Serves a three-course tea
This year’s event coordinator, Lana Younglove, agreed with Young. “Between the four teas held on two days, 30 volunteers prepare the tea and food, and serve it. And, I must also remember to mention our 18 volunteers who bake for us.”

Younglove said they were serving a three-course tea. “Our guests are served Rose Tea. Then, we start out with a scone plate – served with crystal ginger, Devonshire cream and jam.  The second course is our sandwich plate, each with four selections – Cucumber Bites, Chicken Pesto, Tropical Ham, and Boursin Au Poivre. Our guests finish the tea with a dessert plate that includes a Lemon Tartlet, Coconut Cream Cake, Mint Sandie Cookie, and Chocolate Raspberry Petit Four.”

Volunteer Fae Lowe serves scones to guests at the event.

Event sells out
To make sure each of their guests was treated to exceptionally good service, each of the four seatings was limited to eighty guests. “I’m happy to say our teas were fully sold out, with the exception of a seat or two,” Younglove told us, as she checked the reservation list.

As the guests arrived – mostly ladies who invited their best girlfriends – Young commented, “Another good thing about this event, is that it brings people to visit the garden who’ve never been here before. About a third of our guests are here for the first time – it’s great to get the word out about Leach Botanical Garden.”

Summer Tea guests Linda Duncan and Laura Sanders say they’ll return, now that they’ve discovered Leach Botanical Garden.

Visitors from afar
Two guests, Linda Duncan and Laura Sanders, were seated at an elegantly-set table in the Leach House patio area. They smiled as they took in the ambiance.

“Linda came up with the idea,” Sanders told us.

“I read about the event and decided to come,” Duncan said. “We’ve never been here before. It’s wonderful to have the camaraderie with my friend – and this setting makes it special.”

Sanders agreed, “It’s so beautiful here. I’m from Sherwood, and Linda is from Hillsboro. It was worth the trip; and we’ll be back to visit and explore the park.”

Leach Botanical Garden is at 6704 SE 122nd Avenue – a long, winding block south of SE Foster Road. They’re open 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. most days. For more information, contact Kate Sheridan at 503-823-1671 or ksheridan@leachgarden.org.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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