Eldon House putting together tea boxes for Mother’s Day

Exterior of Eldon House in London, Ontario. CREDIT: ELDON HOUSE
The Mother’s Day tea boxes contain several tea sandwiches, pastries, scones, fresh fruit, along with a serving of Eldon House’s signature tea blend.

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and Eldon House is continuing its tradition of putting something special together for the day.

Eldon House, which is the oldest remaining residence in London at just under 189 years old and acts as a museum, started putting together afternoon teas for Mother’s Day specifically in 2010, but the tradition itself has been going on for much longer. Brenna Ardiel, the program coordinator for Eldon House, explained that the historic site started hosting afternoon teas in 1960.

“It started off with actually just a small teapot on a table being set at the front door with some china tea cups and guests could just help themselves to tea and it’s just grown since then,” she explained. “We added a Christmas tea in December, a Father’s Day tea for June, and our Mother’s Day tea. That one little teapot in 1960 became something much more as a staple and annual part of our program.”

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The tea boxes are catered by local bakeries, farmer’s markets, and tea shops. The boxes this year contain tea sandwiches, pastries, scones, cheesecake, and fresh fruit. There is also a single serve package of Eldon House’s tea blend, put together by TeaHaus.

“[The tea boxes] are $35, that price includes the catering fees, staffing for both the caterers and the staff here on site, and if you want to purchase a tea steeper, it’s another $3.”

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mother’s Day tea was hosted at Eldon House, rather than a box that can be taken home. But, due to the safety concerns and lockdown protocol, the way the event was put together needed to change.

“I converted the afternoon tea into a tea box, so we were able to do what many restaurants were doing and guests were able to safely come and pick up their tea contactless,” Ardiel explained. “Essentially, people would pop open their trunks, our staff in proper PPE would drop the boxes in their cars, and then they could drop these off with loved ones safely.”

Ardiel added that they found the response to the tea boxes was even better than the physical event, as May weather can fluctuate rapidly, forcing some events to be held inside rather than in the garden as is tradition. Orders for the boxes tend to sit around 60, which is the exact amount that could be physically at the event.

“So for the past two years we have also converted our Christmas tea and our Father’s Day tea, along with the Mother's Day into tea box forms. And they all range between 30 registrants to 60 on average.”

Eldon House will be open on Mother’s Day from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., with the last entry to the museum at 4:45 p.m. Registration for the Mother’s Day boxes can be found at eldonhouse.ca/product/mothers-day-tea-box-3 and closes on May 9 at 12 p.m. For more information, contact Brenna Ardiel at bardiel@nulleldonhouse.ca.