December 21st marked the winter solstice, and I welcomed it with a happy heart. "A forest greets a snowy evening. Year after year, the holly king passes the torch as it was intended," Tori Amos signs in Winter's Carol on Midwinter Graces, a sonic love letter to the season. The summer queen surrenders, as fate and the stars has written she must, but will make her return.
Cold, snowy days await, begging you to stay indoors, linger over a pot of tea or cup of cocoa, make a pot of soup, put on your flannel pajamas and your comfiest socks, read, watch a film, play a board game, go back to bed, dream. Snow play awaits: sled down a hill, make a snow angel or a snowman, or just marvel at the beauty of it all. The heat of summer demands the body rest and soul slow down, as does the brisk cold of winter. Keith Donohue, in his poetic Angels of Destruction (a great winter read), talked about the "endless nirvana of doing nothing at all" that summer offers. The same can be said of winter days and nights. For this, I celebrate.
I gave a proper welcome to winter at New York City's Alice's Tea Cup. Whimsical costumes for the youngest of tea drinkers to get in touch with her inner princess or fairy.
A miniature version of their Alice in Wonderland set for playful tea times at home. A potential guest list: any mix of children, adults, teddy bears and dolls.
For the adult party: a pot of herbal chai (roobis, or red, tea with cinnamon, ginger and anise), with soy milk, $6.
Half a soup and half a salad is $13. Warm pear and belgian endive salad, with watercress, caramelized onions, and port vinaigrette, hold the stilton cheese.
I was told there's always one vegan soup of the day. Today's: carrot, served with a roll with basil.
Blackberry Cabernet sorbet, $6, to end the enchanting meal. No vegan scones or cookies were available that day - they were sold out.
Flashback to the winter solstice tea party at Alice's Tea cup last year, and my Valentine's party there.