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Who Started the Tradition of Afternoon Tea

Sometimes all it takes is one contrarian action to change the course of the world. Such was the case with Anna Maria Stanhope, better known as the Duchess of Bedford and one of Queen Victoria’s Ladies-In-Waiting. Anna Maria is recognized in history for starting the delightful tradition of taking “afternoon tea” with all its accompaniments.

Back in the 17th century, dinner (the main meal of the day) was served between 11 am and 12 noon. It was a rich, heavy, alcoholic meal that could last up to 4 hours. During the 18th century, dinner was served gradually at a later and later time. In the early to mid 1800′s, the Industrial Revolution with its long working hours, pushed the dinner hour back to a very late time. Dinner was usually served between 7 to 9 p.m. and sometimes as late as 10 p.m. To fill the midday gap, an extra meal called luncheon was created. This new meal, however, was very light, and the long afternoon with no food or drink left people very hungry as they waited for their late dinner.

One afternoon, in 1840, the Duchess of Bedford experienced a sinking feeling in the middle of the afternoon so she asked her maid to bring her tea, bread and butter, cakes and biscuits with jam. This was considered a very strange request at the time so it was done in secret for fear of ridicule. The Duchess felt so revived after drinking tea and having an afternoon snack that she bucked tradition and bravely started inviting her friends to join her for afternoon tea. Her friends enjoyed this new “snack time” and the Duchess started making it into a social event. Her idea was a hit. Soon high society and the growing middle classes started imitating royalty and holding their own afternoon teas, or “Little Teas” as they were called (because of the small amount of food served).

Today, afternoon tea is not only a tradition, but is making a comeback in popularity. The Old Mill holds daily afternoon teas and special evening “Twilight Tea” events.



Resources for New Meeting Planners

 

Are you a new meeting planner? Has someone handed you a project that you  need help on?

Welcome to the world of Hospitality. This is a Great business with Great  people and Great mentors.

Industry memberships provide a solid base of general information while building your network and promoting a learning environment.  Memberships from organizations such as: MPI, CSAE, PCMA, CAEM, CansPep, etc are geared towards your specific type of industry whether your a trade show manager, corporate event manager, association planner or 3rd party  meeting planner. These organizations are also very cross-sectional, as you can use the  lessons learned in one membership and apply it to another project.

Remember that the venue(s) you are looking at can also provide you with  enormous help on producing an event. The sales and catering teams plus operations staff members provide their expertise every day and are able to  act as consultants on what may work and what may not.

Our profession has many suppliers, from many industries, that can also provide you with invaluable information on how to plan that next meeting, whether it be a Board Meeting for 10, a Sales Meeting for 100 or a Cocktail Reception for 1000.

Ask the questions, you will be surprised at how many answers you will get!

 



Planning Your Wedding, Simple or Complex?


Planning your wedding can be very simple or very complex. Many things need to be decided from the number of guests to invite to the location, food service, entertainment, invitations, decor, photographer & flowers.

As soon as you have a sense of your guest list this will help dictate what size room is required.  It’s always a good idea when possible to view the room while it’s set up for a wedding reception or similar event.  Then you can see how the room “flows” with a particular set up to determine the best location for your head table, dance floor, table set up etc.

Once you have selected your reception facility there are many questions to ask, however your facility probably has their own FAQ (frequently asked questions). Everything from what items do you need to rent or what do they provide, i.e. tables, chairs, chair covers, linens, special glass ware or plates, when can you set up the room, do they allow next day access for retrieving personal items? on and on…

Entertainment is a big decision! Do you have a live band or a D.J.? Should a jazz trio play during guest arrival? of course depending on your reception facility this may dictate what you can have. Is there a stage, how big is the area? Does the facility have a sound system? Is there a dance floor?

Do you have a buffet or a sit down service? If you choose a buffet option, it’s always a good idea to see where the buffet line can be placed in your room. Will the wait staff be able to serve from behind the buffet table? If your buffet is for 50 people or 250 people of course the set up structure of the buffet line will be very different.

Often one of the last things but not of least importance is the restrooms, changing, coat check, parking and security.  Where is the location of the restrooms to the reception hall? Do they provide bridal change rooms? Does the facility offer coat check services? Does the facility offer valet parking or self-parking? Is the parking lot patrolled? Does the reception hall have its own security staff?

Its a very exciting time for you and your family and with so many decisions to make from the all-important selection of your bridal gown and your bridal party, to the ultimate wedding ceremony and honeymoon. A wedding planner will help you make the planning of your wedding venue as simple as saying “I do”. However grand or intimate you want your wedding day to be an Old Mill Wedding planner can create a package to fit every bridal budget.

Achieve the idyllic day of your dreams with a romantic wedding at the Old Mill Toronto and enjoy a lifetime of memories.

 



The Importance of a Girlfriend Getaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s truly a gift to have wonderful friends and it’s important to take the time to nurture your relationships and enjoy each others company away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life!

There are many experiences that you can choose from when searching for a perfect Girlfriend Getaway, but first you should ask yourselves what type of an adventure are you looking for:

Relaxing by a pool
Spa going
Wine-tasting
Shopping
Outdoor Adventure and exploring
Yoga Retreats
Cocktail Celebrations

There are endless choices for that long awaited getaway with your girlfriends. So grab the girls and pick a date! Friends are nurturing and feed our soul, leaving us energized and inspired to take on the world.

Did you know that July 30 is International Friendship Day, a time to recognize your friends and their contribution to your life. Friends come in many different shapes, sizes and guises: school friends, work colleagues, siblings, partners, parents, pets and neighbours. Pull out all the stops and let your friends know they are truly appreciated on International Friendship Day!

The Old Mill Toronto celebrates friendship with The Girls Great Escape.  This unique weekend exposes you and your girlfriends to unique workshops, wonderful food, wine tastings, Luxury room accommodations and spa services. Every Escape is different from the next and many of the girls come back to try out new experiences.

If a getaway is not in the cards for you at this time, why not spend time with the girls at home. Catch up over some take out, enjoy the beverage of choice and watch a good friendship movie like; Fried Green Tomatoes, First Wives Club, An officer and a Gentleman and of course Beaches with Bette Midler…make sure to have a kleenex on hand though when she sings Wind Beneath My Wings!

The best of friends can change a frown into a smile when you feel down. The best of friends will understand your little trials and lend a hand.  The best of friends will always share your secret dreams because they care.  The best of friends are worth more then gold, they give all the love a heart can hold.



Jazz in The City

 

Live Jazz in Toronto has changed immensely in recent years. The abundance of high level talent has grown, providing awesome quality, diversity and exciting creativity.

In a city rich in jazz – where the best of the best from all over the world are showcased during the annual Toronto Jazz Festival, a musical extravaganza that resonates from outdoor stages, concert halls, and more than 40 jazz clubs and lounges for ten glorious summer days; where later in July, the Beaches International Jazz Festival powers up its annual salute to jazz in all its variations on the streets and outdoor stages throughout the city’s east end; the proud home to JAZZ.FM91, one of North America’s only 24-hour all-jazz radio stations, which provides unceasing support for emerging and established artists on air, in festivals, and in live jazz club performance; and some of the most hallowed concert halls and theatres in the world – The Home Smith Bar at The Old Mill takes pride in the prominent place it has consistently occupied for the past several years as a year ‘round participant in Toronto’s vibrant jazz community.

The jazziest weekends always begin at The Home Smith Bar (often long before the week actually ends) where the best performers on the Toronto jazz club scene entertain in the up-close-and-personal warmth of one of the city’s best-loved jazz lounges. From January through December, you’re invited to enjoy a continuous line-up of the leading singers and instrumentalists performing for your jazz-loving pleasure in formats ranging from solo presentations to duos, trios, and quartets…and often, gathering together around the baby grand piano to celebrate that music with a Jazz Party.

It’s guaranteed to get things off to a swinging start!



Where Did Thanksgiving come from?

 

 

 

For some of us Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to celebrate a long weekend, usually eating delicious food consisting of Turkey, with family & Friends.  But let’s explore the real meaning behind Thanksgiving.

Let’s take a trip back to 1621 Plymouth Massachusetts. After the harvest crops were gathered Govenor William Bradford announced a meeting on the hill for all pilgrims to listen to the pastor render Thanksgiving to God for all “his blessings” and to give thanks to Squanto and the Native Americans for teaching them how to do things and live life in different ways.

You might think that after 1621 the Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving every year and that it just became a national holiday. Well, that’s not the way  it happened. It wasn’t until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving an annual National Holiday.

Canadian Thanksgiving is more closely connected to the traditions of Europe than of the United States.  The very first celebration in Canada was in 1578 when Martin Frobisher an explorer from England arrived in Newfoundland. He wanted to give thanks for his safe arrival to the New World, peace and good harvest. That means the 1st Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth Massachusetts.

For a few hundred years, thanksgiving was celebrated in either late October or early November but it was declared a National Holiday in 1879, originally on November 6th, but after the World Wars it was moved to the second Monday in October because it kept conflicting with Remembrance day.

Another reason for Canadian Thanksgiving arriving earlier than its American counterpart is that Canada is geographically further north than the United States, causing the Canadian harvest season to arrive earlier than the American harvest season. And since Thanksgiving for Canadians is more about giving thanks for the harvest season than the arrival of pilgrims, it makes sense to celebrate the holiday in October. Other than the date there is not much difference in our celebrations, we both celebrate Thanksgiving with parades, family gatherings, pumpkin pie and a whole lot of turkey.

What will you be doing to celebrate Thanksgiving this year?