Brantford’s Bell Homestead sold out of both seatings of its Eliza’s Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea event held on Sunday, May 14, 2023.
Families attended the historic site for an elegant afternoon that was filled with an assortment of tea sandwiches, scones, desserts, mimosa cocktails, tea and coffee.
This is the Bell Homestead’s second year running the afternoon tea. Prior to the pandemic, the national historic site would host an annual buffet style brunch but with more demand for afternoon tea experiences, the organization opted for the change.
“We used to do Mother’s Day brunch, and in April we would have a Victorian afternoon tea and then we’d do Mother’s Day brunch in May,” said Brian Wood, Curator of the Bell Homestead. “COVID-19 in 2020 eliminated all of that for us, so when we were given the green light to go ahead for our 2022 events, given that we hadn’t done it now in two years, we thought ‘well, let’s do a tea for Mother’s Day,’ and it’s proven fantastic. People love the afternoon tea concept for Mother’s Day, and it’s something that our volunteers love to be a part of.”
Sunday’s menu was homemade in the homestead’s cafe and attendees got to enjoy a variety of sandwiches like egg salad, cucumber and cream cheese, roast beef, salmon and more. Dessert followed with fresh scones, brownies, hello dollies, scottish shortbread and lemon cupcakes. For children who weren’t interested in hot tea, there was also iced tea being served.
After enjoying their snacks and tea, attendees got to partake in a tour of the Bell Homestead with a special emphasis on afternoon tea and Eliza Bell, Alexander’s mother and inspiration.
“The 4H club has been working with us now for at least five years, if not longer,” said Wood. “Typically what they do is learn how to do tours in the homestead so that they’re here doing the tours for our events, but they’ve also got other projects. They’ve actually written a children’s book about our stuffed platypus. They’re so dedicated, they just love the interaction with people and I know they’re over there now, just waiting for the first round of people to finish up tea and go over there for this special tour.”