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      05-25-17 The Roadster Factory E-Mail Newsletter

THE COVENTRY INN.    EMAIL FROM CHARLES.    MAY 26th, 2017.

THIS WEEK:  To Keep Its License Active During the Summer Months When We Shall Essentially Be Closed This Year, The Coventry Inn Must Open at Least One Time in Every Two Weeks, and We Will Be Open This Friday, May 26th, From 3:30 to 5:30 P.M. to Serve a Traditional Afternoon Tea.  We Plan to Serve Tea on Alternate Fridays Through the Summer Until We Open Again. 

Hello Everyone...

One of the pleasant things about traveling in England is having Afternoon Tea.  This is a little meal that the English serve between lunch and a later evening meal.  In some families, the evening meal is known as “Tea.”  When traveling, one can have tea in a hotel or a tea shop or a restaurant.  The most common item served along with tea is a scone, a sort of sweet biscuit with bits of fruit inside, often currants but also cranberries, or other dried fruit.  Scones are often served with strawberry jam and Devonshire cream or “clotted cream.”  Clotted cream is not readily available here, but we have made our own creme fraiche which should work just as well.  Tea sandwiches are often served too and usually some sort of cake or sweet or fruit.  At The Coventry Inn, we will also have a few drinks to offer in place of or in addition to tea.  Gin & tonic, Pimms Cup, homemade lemonade, and coffee.  We have a special on draught beer at just $2.00 to use it up while it is still fresh.

My favourite place ever to have tea in England is The Orchard in Grantchester, up the river from Cambridge.  I first went there with Ray Thomas, my college advisor, along with a group of students he was chaperoning on a literary tour of England.  We walked along the river to Grantchester that time, but the village is also accessible by punt, the flat-bottomed boats that Cambridge students enjoy on the river.  The Orchard has been serving tea since 1897, and it has been enjoyed ever since by students, professors, tourists, and travelers.  One of the great times was just before World War I, when Rupert Brook was a student at Kings College, and he lived in the Old Vicarage in Grantchester, hanging out at The Orchard with the likes of Virginia Woolf, Maynard Keynes, Bertrand Russell, and others who later became the Bloomsbury Group.  They ran wild in Grantchester, skinny dipping, writing poetry, and other wild pursuits like drinking tea in The Orchard.  They were known as the Neopagans then.  Since my first time, I’ve walked up the river to The Orchard with a number of different friends and with my wife on our honeymoon in 1974.

You can get an idea of what The Orchard is like from its web site—just search “Orchard Grantchester.”  The tea tables are set up around the orchard with rather unusual sling-back chairs.  They don’t cut the grass or weeds, but paths are worn through them by customers.  It is a very relaxing place to be on a nice summer day—it seems like it hasn’t changed in a hundred years, and British kings enjoyed their tea there...

So, we will offer five or six different kinds of tea, in addition to coffee, lemonade, and other drinks.  Darlene will bake fresh scones with dried strawberries on Friday morning, and we will offer three kinds of tea sandwiches, cucumber and cream cheese, egg salad and cress, and cheddar cheese and chutney.  You can choose or have one of each.  For our sweet, we will have a fresh-baked carrot cake or a strawberry parfait with Graeter’s small-batch vanilla ice cream.  Next time (in two weeks), we will vary the menu to keep everyone from getting bored.

I am not expecting a huge crowd for Afternoon Tea in Indiana, but I hope we will have a few guests.  We plan to use the four tables in the bar along with the three sofas with coffee tables.  We are making a couple of dozen scones, and there will be plenty of sandwiches and desserts.  Cost is reasonable, as little as $4.95 for tea and a scone or up to $12.95 for tea, a scone, sandwiches, and cake or a parfait.  Come if you can—I think it will be fun to have an English tea.

Your friend,
Charles A. Runyan
The Coventry Inn
May 24, 2017



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