Hillwood Tea

each day is a gift but some days shine a bit brighter than others…

Mr Magpie and I had just such a sunny and special day recently as we headed into Washington, DC to see a much anticipated exhibit

at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens which was the grand residence of Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress of the Postum Cereal Company and one of the richest women in America…

she was a passionate collector…

who began collecting French decorative arts in 1919…

living in Russia in the 1930’s with her third husband, Ambassador Joseph E. Davies, exposed her to many Russian imperial art pieces…

she led quite a colorful life with a keen eye for beauty and detail…

it didn’t take long for her to realize that she wanted her home to become a museum…

including the thoughtfully executed outside garden rooms on the 25 acre property…

the array of china was dazzling but we especially enjoyed this cabinet in the pantry that housed tea sets that Mrs Post used for tea parties with her grandchildren…

the docent explained that she did not want to use 18th century porcelain or other fine china pieces…

Mr M arranged for us to have tea in the cafe on the grounds and we appreciated the light fare as we were eager to see Isabelle de Borchgrave’s exhibit in the nearby Adirondack building…

this homage to Empress Josephine completely done in paper is what greeted as we entered…the exquisite details stopped us in our tracks and the eye candy had just begun…

I also have to share the icing on the cake of our lovely day which was bumping into a sweet friend

neither of us were in our regular stomping ground and to have picked the same exact day when Hillwood is only open on select Sundays was just SO special and delightful…

I have a separate Prêt-à-Papier post planned for later in the week with more to show and share for you paper lovers…

I have kept you long enough today “where fabulous lives” to quote Hillwood…

won’t you join Kimmie and the other tea on Tuesday participants here

 “When I began {collecting] I did it for the joy of it, and it was only as the collection grew and such interest was evidenced by others, that I came to the realization that the collection should belong to the country.”  ~Marjorie Merriweather Post

26 responses to “Hillwood Tea

  1. Love it………. and I love that you took your new parasol!!! hee hee! I think I may have a collection or two that should be shared with the country!!! hahaha


  2. Thanks Patty for putting these photos on your blog. I have always
    longed to go to Hillwood but with the way things are here at home I
    can’t ever get away. Looking forward to your other photos with anticipation, funny my dentist was just there and was telling me all about the tea sets, etc.
    Gail Wynn


  3. what a most wonderful field trip, Patty! I love to visit the manses of days gone by and dream about how lives were lived! Your pictures are exquisite and Mr. M certainly hit the nail on the head with that scrumptious tea fare.

    I look forward to seeing your post on the Pret – a – Papier ~ it looks fabulous and intriguing!


  4. looks live a lovely place to visit 🙂 in Santiago, Casa Cousiño is a similar kind of museum (it was the home of the Cousiño family, one of the most important/wealthiest families back in the XIX century).


  5. The mansion is gorgeous with all that furniture and fru-frus, but it just reenforces why I fell in love with Frank Lloyd Wright and his simple, nature inspired architecture and furniture.

    However, I look forward to the Pret-a-Papier post. I checked out a book at the library awhile back (2010) and did a book review on it. The dresses, shoes, etc, all made of paper and many life size, were fantastic. It got me curious, so I went back and found the book: Paper Illusions: the art of Isabelle de Borchgrave, written by Barbara and Rene Stoeltie (Abrams, 2008) . Can you believe it? I was thrilled that you will be showing some of the art that may have been included in this book that you actually got the chance to see up close and personal. How AWESOME.

    In case you are interested, here a direct link to the post: http://alteredbooklover.blogspot.com/2010/06/paper-illusions.html


  6. wow what an amazing place! I would love to see that paper exhibit – I’m glad you have more to share in a future post!!!

    love the heart shaped hole in the clouds too 🙂


  7. Loved this post with all the gorgeous photos!


  8. EVerything is absolutely beautiful!


  9. Back again with another comment I forgot in the first one. I can’t possibly believe how long your hair is. Mine is about 1 inch in back and 3 inches over the bangs. I’m not big on lots of hair, since I don’t even own a brush or comb. I bet that would be the death of you (well, at least your long, lovely hair).


  10. Your photos are GORGEOUS and it was indeed the icing on the cake to run into you there. Looking forward to seeing your dress photos. Isn’t it wonderful that they allowed photos?


  11. Oooooh-my jaw dropped with each photo revealed to me-what a truly magnificent museum and show!!! And that fabulous plate of deliciousness you had has my mouth watering to boot! I absolutely love going thru mansions like this-the oplulence is astounding! So, I have to ask, the special friend you met-does the name start with a “T”? I really think I need to tell my friend about this and see if she wants to take a trip to see this-her son is attending college at AU and my friend grew up around the area. That would be SO cool!


  12. What a beautiful place!! I noticed you with your parasol in the second photo. You have very long locks!! 🙂


  13. What a very beautiful tour, you took me on, dear Patty.
    That museum, filled with the “life” of Mrs. Post is a place I could use hours to investigate, to see all the beauty that woman have collected.
    And the pret a papier show I know will be stunning !
    I will be back to admire those amazing creations.
    Hugs and love,Dorthe


  14. Must have been a wonderful day, beautiful!


  15. such a beautiful post… loved every lush and gorgeous photo of it… thanks for sharing it… happy Tea day…xx


  16. Dear Patty, thank you for sharing all these wonderful photos.
    xox Anja


  17. The spectacle of it all!
    I love the sheer decadant nature of it all.
    Patty, thank you for sharing this post, you have given me a taste of something that I would otherwise never had the opportunity to view – thank ou!
    As for the tea, oh my goodness. Isn’t it so lovely that every now and then to indulge in something away from the everyday norm.
    Beautiful photography.


  18. Beautiful to see all the grandeur of that home, but then I screeched to an incredulous halt when I saw the paper dress!! Oh my…how gorgeous is THAT!!


  19. Carmen Dyson

    Beautiful pictures. Almost like being there. You tea looked wonderful. I took house guest there over Christmas. Always wonderful. Thanks.


  20. whata fantastic day patty, its a magical place 🙂


  21. Absolutely stunning, Patty. I can’t imagine how it must have been there “in person.” I would adore seeing those dresses there, perhaps more than any other museum I’ve ever seen! Oh, I’d just like to stand in one of the rooms! Beautiful post!


  22. inanoctopusgarden

    Beautiful spot – I actually was there a few years back and just loved the whole place. Her collecting and my collecting are worlds apart but oh we can dream! I am very interested and excited about the paper exhibit and may cheat and google it to find out more !! You find the most wonderful things!


  23. Just stunning photos Patty! Love the narration and all the interesting links. Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait for the next post!!


  24. Pingback: The Exquisite Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave | Magpie's Nest ~*~ Patty Szymkowicz

  25. Thanks for the virtual tour. My kind of museum and tea experience!


  26. A truly beautiful place to visit your photos are wonderful the table is wonderful with all the flowers holing it up and again those stunning paper creations WOW thanks for sharing more of your fun day out ;0)


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts here...it means a lot to me and I appreciate your visit very much oxo

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