Emma’s Tea Room
If you are an early riser and like to see the sun come up, you won’t be the first one awake in Ivy.
That’s likely to be Emma Mae Lipton, the proprietress of the Tea Room.
It’s not because tea takes long to brew, but the muffins she makes to go along with it do. Everyone who ever tasted them agrees they’re worth the time they take.
Emma Mae would be up before dawn, selecting the freshest ingredients for the day’s baking while firing up the stove to just the right temperature. She was particularly proud of her new Sunshine Range with its extra-large oven, selected from the Sears catalog.
Nowadays, getting a new stove isn’t the Big Deal it was then. Emma’s range even made that week’s issue of The Ivy Vine, the local newspaper – picture and all.
You’ll notice a blue banner flying from the peak of the Tea Room. That meant the flavor of the day was blueberry; red’s for raspberry.
The building that houses the Tea Room isn’t very large. Because there was limited seating inside, Emma would serve outdoors when the weather was nice.
It was quite an elaborate setting. The hand-made, cut-work tablecloths, doilies and chair skirts all matched and she used her “Sunday best” china. It was as beautifully set a table as you’d find in a fancy restaurant.
Emma’s five-year-old niece, Sara, loved to help make things “just so.” She was extra-careful with the fragile cups and saucers because she knew how much they meant to her aunt.
As a reward for her able assistance, Sara was allowed to have private teas for her dolls and stuffed animals. She fashioned a table from some old books; a faded napkin became the tablecloth; a pitcher, cup and saucer out of retirement served her diminutive guests. It was such a charming scene that some of Emma’s customers – she called them her “guests” – timed their tea-taking to watch Sara’s Tea For Three party.
As a counterpoint to the little girl, there’s the all-grown-up and always-fashionably-attired Mary Hemmings who stopped by Emma’s Tea Room just about every afternoon around three.
Weather permitting, she preferred to have her tea outdoors so she could enjoy the well-kept garden and chat with people passing.
Mary had an eye for style. Even as a child she was particular about her outfits. She was designing and sewing her own by the time she was ten. Now grown up and graduated from a big city school of fashion design, she returned to Ivy intent on someday opening her own dress shop.
Never at a loss for suitors, Mary was every eligible Ivy bachelor’s “cup of tea” – if you’ll pardon the pun.
4-pc Set Includes:
Emma’s Tea Room 05030, Tea Party 05031, Tea For Three 05032, and Miss Mary Hemmings 05033.