Life/Style: Tracy Turco’s Terrific Tiki Tea Party

If anybody knows how to throw the perfect themed tea party, it’s Tracy Turco.

Sweet Spot. Photo: d. king

Originally from Miami, the multi-faceted entrepreneur now splits her time between living in New York City and Palm Springs.  Fairly new to Palm Springs, Tracy Turco (nee Stern) is quickly becoming the toast of the town.  And for good reason.  She’s like a modern day Renaissance woman.  In fact she’s been called that before in writing in reference to her extremely diverse taste in fashion and décor. Let’s just say it’s never boring.  And I’m happy to call her my friend.

Tracy wears her own design. My dress by Trina Turk.
Husband Jerry looks on as Tracy cuts into her exquisite birthday cake from Over the Rainbow desserts. It was Over the Top good. Photo: d. king
The sweet life. Tracy made some of these herself. All amazingly good. Photo: d. king

On Sunday I had the pleasure of celebrating her birthday alongside her husband Jerry, their friends and a few neighbors in their fabulous Tiki inspired home in the Little Tuscany neighborhood of Palm Springs.  The dress code was colorful to blend in with the  surroundings, including a canary yellow T-bird convertible classic parked outside the entrance.  Or shall we call it a TEA bird?

Tracy really has a natural flair for throwing it all together in a seemingly effortless looking fashion.  She’s a gracious host and we all enjoyed the best sweet little treats ever while sipping on champagne, wine and of course, tea.  Mind you, not just every day tea.  Especially mixed by Tracy herself, very elegant, unusual and delicious. They are blended with an artist’s palette. In fact, Tracy’s premier tea collection Salon Tea, once earned her a spot in Oprah’s Favorite Things.  Always full of surprises, I just learned that she previously owned a Salon Tea on South Granville Street in Vancouver.

Iced Tea and Tea Party book by Tracy Turco. Photo: d. king

Tea is only a part of what Tracy is passionate about. She’s an artist, art collector, animal advocate, author, designer, hotelier.  I hope I didn’t leave anything out. Oh yes, one more thing…she has a good heart by offering a philanthropic donation to the public art fund  from anyone staying at her new Art Hotel.  A tiki hotel is next.  She is both a savvy business woman and a nice overall person in general.

For those who are inclined to do so themselves, Tracy has written two incredible DIY books: Tea Party and Tea For You.  Link below.

Tiki House. Photo: Tammy Preast
A few guests perfectly blending in with the surroundings. Photo: d. king
Outside the house with Michael and Tammy.

Website:

https://www.tracystern.com/

Book:

https://www.amazon.com/Tea-Party-Occasion-Fabulous-Gatherings/dp/0307346439

Drink Tea.  Enjoy Life.  Celebrate Often.

Good Advice!

 

 

Feel-good Friday: High Tea Time

Afternoon Tea

is high on my list of feel-good things to do in the Fall.  There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be diminished by a nice cup of Tea.

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High Tea is what happens between breakfast and lunch where you catch up with a good friend over a piping hot pot of earl grey and fancy little finger sandwiches, petite scones and petit fours.  I love the variety.  Yesterday I caught up with my friend Marion at Secret Garden Tea Company in Kerrisdale.  It was lovely and delicious.

october & november high tea menu

Your table awaits

From the gleaming china and linen napkins, to the charming tea cozy that nestles your selection of specially blended Secret Garden Tea, our High Tea experience is designed to delight. So settle in. Select your tea and savour your three tier tray of beautifully hand-crafted Signature Miniatures, including sweets, sandwiches, scones, jam and, of course, Devonshire Cream.

High Tea Menu is regularly updated with seasonal delicacies.

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I also left with a bag of chocolate cranberry shortbread cookies – the best!

Let’s do it again soon

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Afternoon Delight: High on Tea

High TEA,

as opposed to having an ordinary cup of tea and a biscuit, is a welcome time-out to a dreary afternoon. Complete with finger sandwiches, scones and sweets, let’s just say it’s a bit more indulgent.

I’ve always taken advantage of any good recommended ‘high-tea’ in any city I’ve been to that happens to have one.  Some of my past favorites have been at the Empress hotel in Victoria, B.C., Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aries, Claridge’s in London and the Ritz-Carlton in Montreal.

In Vancouver we have the Secret Garden Tea Company. I like that it’s a family run business with a story. Owned and run by Sisters-in-law Kathy and Erin Wyder, who were inspired by their two remarkable grandmothers (Gammy Bentall + Nan McBeath). I recently ordered several dozen sandwiches for a gathering that did not disappoint.  But I think the best thing is to actually go there in person to take in the ambiance.

A brief history – the British tradition began in mid 1700’s as an afternoon meal usually served between 3 and 4 o’clock. Initially, it was a meal for the working man, taken standing up or sitting on tall stools, thus the term ‘high’. Tea. Me; I’ll take mine sitting down.

From the website:

In a world of franchising and fleeting trends, the values at the core of The Secret Garden Tea Company are timeless: Stay small. Be good at what you do. If it sounds like The Secret Garden is a bit of a throwback to simpler times, it is.

Maybe that’s why, since it’s inception in 1995, people come from miles around to the cozy little teahouse. Certainly for the delicious food and soothing tea, but also for the good feeling they take home with them. A feeling that comes from relaxing instead of rushing, and from reflecting on all the sweet little good things of life. Like family. Like friends.

And a lovely cup of tea.

Kathy and Erin Wyder.

The Secret Garden Tea Company

Location: Kerrisdale Village

2138 West 40th Ave.
Vancouver BC
V6M 1W5

(604) 261-3070