A Royal Tea Experience
Photo by Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock-CP
“Jennifer, it’s Claude. Any chance you’re free to come out to the winery next Friday? We have some special visitors coming.”
LPT: If you ever get a call from Norm’s team, suggesting it’s a good idea to show up on a certain day and time, I suggest you do so.
This Canada Day weekend, I was invited by Norman Hardie to set up a tea stand for what would be one of the most memorable days of my life. Together with a handful of some of the best artisanal food producers around, we waited for their arrival as the sun broke through the clouds.
The advance team had prepared cheat sheets do’s and don’ts for us (make direct eye contact at all times, handshakes are rare – but if they happen – are to be brief and gentle, etc) and I really hoped I remembered it all in the moment, should they stop by my table.
Their Royal Highnesses, Prince Charles and Camilla were in Prince Edward County for the day, touring the Wellington Market – and then stopping in for a winery tour at Norm’s.
They approached with big smiles, and both reached out to shake my hand. Prince Charles was very interested to hear about our ethically sourced teas, blended with local ingredients. On this day, I had steeped some of our Prince Edward Lavender tea, sweetened with local honey for the occasion.
He was intrigued by the different ingredients blended together, (I’ll hazard a guess that he is a tea purist at home) and wanted to know specifically where the green tea and the lavender was sourced from. (Japan and Prince Edward County, respectively) At the end of our conversation, he asked that he be allowed to take some home. What an incredible honour.
Hello! Canada magazine was there to catch this incredible moment in my life – a day that this Tea Sommelier will remember forever.