I don't quite remember when I fell in love with tea but I do remember the most special moments of me drinking tea. I was eighteen years old and I went to live with my biological mother for four months. I had just met her months earlier and it was awkward for both of us. She and her ex-husband lived a very quiet life in Boulder, Colorado. He was a professor at one of the universities and she was a housewife. After years of drug addiction and being in and out of jail, she deserved the break. I was homeless so she and her husband agreed to let me come live with them. Each evening my mother and I would find a spot in the living room with a cup of tea and a book.

Now, years later, I'm a self proclaimed tea expert. I start each day with a wonderful English Breakfast tea to get me going. As the day progresses, who knows what wonderful tea I will crown queen. But for sure, I have at least three cups of tea a day. And yes, when I can, I have tea everyday at about 3:00 P. M. I love to invite my friends over for tea and cupcakes and so far everyone thinks it’s a delightful experience. I am always in search of the best blend of tea. Yes, I’m a tea snob, I prefer loose tea but I do like some bags also. I have learned not to judge a book by it’s cover. Some bags can be quite nice. And yes again, any Diva knows, what you drink your tea out of is very important.

Tea for me is a way of life. It's wellness for the mind body and spirit. Here, I will explore every expect of tea possible, with a high concentration on wellness. I will review the best teas, the best places to have tea, the best ways to brew tea, the best tea accessories, what tea goes best with what foods, and the list goes on and on. I plan to share my passion for tea with you. And I've been told, nothing I do is ever boring so be prepared to go on this tea journey with me.

RLT Collection Tea Ball Frosted Clear Beads!

Mint Medley by The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

About This Tea:

Until recently I had never drank Peppermint Tea made with loose leaves. And Honestly, I will probably never go back. The freshness of loose Peppermint Tea cannot be denied. When I open the can of Mint Medley, From The Persimmon Tree Tea Company, I feel as if I stepped into a garden of peppermint leaves. It is a perfect blend of organic peppermint and spearmint leaves grown in the US.

Mint Medley has become a favorite and I find myself reaching for this tea tin almost everyday. It is great for on-going nausea. The health benefits and endless. It relieves muscle aches, headaches, migraines, stress. And now that it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and I have a mean cough, I'm sure it will help to relieve some of this congestion in my chest. Mint Medley has been in my tea cup more than any tea as of late. It has really helped with my winter cough, congestion related to this bout of pneumonia. You can read my full review on The Persimmon Tree Tea Company Mint Teas.

RLT Collection AIDS Awareness Tea Ball!

Welcome to my world of books! As an pre-teen books changed my world. I fell in love with the writers of the Harlem Renaissance period and the more I read the more I wanted to read. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It spoke to my own degradation and gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

I love to read! Inside a book I escape into someone else's life. There is something wonderful about turning to the next page of a wonderful story. Something intoxicating about the smell of the book and the story it brings to life. Reading brings me joy, and these days with my health in the balance, I find solace in my books.

I spent hours in my bedroom sequestered with the door closed reading the classics from the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes, Larsen, Hurston, Wright and Baldwin. Books became my escape and my salvation. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

Reading is the one thing that the pain of my life could never take away from me. It was the thing that helped to make it better. And even today, living with AIDS, books continue to be the safest place for me. It’s the one thing that belongs to me that AIDS cannot take away from me.The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS.

The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS. I have read hundreds of books from many different genres and I will pick the best of my reads over the years. I warn you, it will not be exclusively white or black, male or female, fiction or non fiction, it will be all of them.

I’m so excited and I’m grateful to everyone who wants to be a part of this venture. We already have 110 Book Club Members. You can email me @ RLTReads@raelewisthornton.com. The Twitter hashtag is #RLTReads. We can make this book club as wonderful as we want to make it. Who says that Oprah has to have the only ownership to a wonderful book club?

This Month We are Reading In My Fathers House by E Lynn Harris

Read along and join our discussion July 19th at 7 pm CST

For more Tea with Rae "Vlogs" Click here to visit her youtube channel

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tea With Rae: High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel

Last Friday I had High Tea with my friend Lesa. I was so elated that she wanted to treat me to one of my favorite pleasures! And a pleasure it was! OMG! The Peninsula is a fabulous hotel with one of the best tea's I have experienced by far. There's so much to say; my mind is racing faster than I can type. First of all, the ambiance in this five-star hotel is heavenly. And having tea during the holiday season was extra. The 18 ft Christmas tree and the window decorations were simply fabulous! To top things off there was a string duo of cello and violin serenading us.

The service was absolutely wonderful! There is not one bad thing I can say about any of them. The manager was floating around the Tea Room. Our sever was incredibly nice and made sure our every need was met. Even the busboys made sure that our water glasses were always full and dirty plates didn't linger on our table. The service was on point! They took care of our every need, and at the same time they were smooth and unobtrusive. Lesa and I enjoyed each other's company for so long that by the time we left they were setting up for the evening Chocolate Bar they have each night in the same room.

They start you with a menu. I couldn't believe my eyes, there were well over twenty teas to choose from. I wanted to try every one of them, but instead I had a premium tea exclusive to the Peninsula, "Celebration." It was a black tea with citrus notes and Lesa had a ginger blend. We were both happy with our selections. 

They serve you your tea on some of the finest china in the world. I was in Diva heaven! The Wedgwood patten was simply beautiful. I was so impressed that I have looked at Wedgwood's website every day since tea last Friday. I've put it at the top of my wish list. But the tea pot I want cost $885 and the tea cup is $160. *sigh* Something to hope for, huh? Back to tea. Eric our server brought each of us our own pot of tea and our own set of fancy delights.

They give a great assortment of fancies that are balanced, from sweet to savory. There were sandwiches such as smoked salmon, asparagus roulade, sweets such as peppermint chocolate tart, Earl Grey meringue, and my favorite were the maple glazed scones. To accompany our fancies they served  butter, raspberry jam and the best lemon curd I have ever had. It doesn't seem like a lot of food on the stand, but once you have tasted everything, you are good and full.

The Peninsula has afternoon tea every day from 2:30-4:30, but Lesa and I lucked out. On select Friday's though out the year, they have an informal fashion show. There were two models, one from Judith Ripka and one from Luca Luca, modeling wonderful clothes and handing out a goodie bag from the shops. Judith Ripka gave a gift certificate for $500 and Luca Luca $200. And OMG! We were all given Essie nail lacquer from Judith Ripka with diamond dusk in it. I will let you know what I think on next week's beauty blog.

All and all, I had a great time! Lesa and I bonded over premium tea and wonderful fancies in a fabulous atmosphere! Without a doubt it is definitely a treat. High Tea makes for a great afternoon to bond with your girlfriends and treat your mother. But honestly anyone can enjoy afternoon tea at the Peninsula. Women were there with their young daughters and companies were there with employees. I even saw a couple or two having cozy afternoon tea. So don't cheat yourself out of the finer things in life. You only live once!

Raffle Prize: I am happy to announce that the Peninsula Hotel is offering a wonderful raffle prize; one of my readers will be able to have tea with me! To enter this Peninsula Raffle you must do the following things: 
1. become a fan of the Peninsula Hotel Facebook page; 
2. become a fan of my Facebook page; 
3. follow the Peninsula on Twitter;  
4. follow me on Twitter
5. make a comment on this Blog post; and
6. you also have to email me at Rae@raelewisthornton.com and briefly explain why you would like to have an afternoon of tea with me. If you don't have Facebook or Twitter pages you do not have to create one. You should do what you have but the comment on the post and email is a must! Good Luck!
Deadline to enter the raffle is Friday, January 7, 2011 due to the holiday season. I will announce the winner on January 8, 2011.

Sorry, none of my personal friends can either the raffle. This is an opportunity to allow someone who has been inspired by my life a chance to meet me. You and I, on the other hand, can have tea any time we want!

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