For those of you who don’t hang out on the Faire’s Facebook page, here is my review of the Queen’s Tea.
If you have been to visit Four Winds Canterbury Faire, and have not attended the Queen’s Tea, you are missing out. I admit that I avoided it for years because I didn’t want to have to pay the $5, and that was very stupid of me. So if you are a penny pincher like me, and have been afraid that the Queen’s Tea is not worth it, let me assure you that it is well worth the modest cost. Make your way to the palace by 4:00 p.m. if you want to take advantage of this delightful opportunity.
What can you expect from the Queen’s Tea? Well, first of all, obviously, you will be with the Queen and her court! The room is small and intimate enough that you will feel included in the Queen’s circle. You will find her to be both gracious and friendly, and as she converses with other members of her court, you will learn something about politics during the Tudor era. Here, she awaits her tea guests:
Entertainment is a big part of the tea as well. Various musicians will be present to play and/or sing for you. Possibly you will be encouraged to sing along, and I encourage you to do so with gusto, because it makes the whole experience so much more fun. Almost certainly some of the musical entertainment will be provided by the members of the royal court.
There is a men’s ensemble (or should I say a “lord’s” ensemble?), a ladies’ ensemble, and a choir consisting of the whole court.
There may also be some entertaining drama going on between members of the court. Remember, they are all playing real historical figures, and therefore they are portraying the real political tensions of the times, and you’ve got a front-row seat!
I know what you’re thinking: Why do they call it a “tea?” Is there really any tea? Yes there is. I am something of a tea fanatic, and I admit I was dubious about the “tea” part of the tea. Imagine my delight to find that they serve real tea from real tea pots in real china cups–and they keep it coming! I am not going to reveal to you how many cups I drank, but it was a lot. There is also an elegant tower of teatime goodies for everyone at your table to share–sandwiches, pastries, fruit, and cheese. If you leave hungry, it’s your own fault.
Finally, I want to encourage you to make attending the tea a big priority if you have young children who are old enough to sit still and enjoy the experience. Imagine how dazzling this experience is for a child–the king and queen with their opulent clothes and jeweled crowns, the ladies and gentlemen of the court, the music, the fancy dishes, the elegant food! This is the kind of magical experience that children will remember for the rest of their lives, and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. They will never forget that day they had tea with the Queen!