Tea Time at The Rabbit Room, Annual Mad Hatter Tea Party Mania

16 Feb
James DeMarco striking a pose in his handmade hat.

James DeMarco striking a pose in his handmade hat.

Tamara Stopinksi knows how to throw a tea party! This past Sunday, I entered The Lower Mill in Honeoye Falls, with a feeling of wonder, after following a queen bedecked in black and red with very high silver heels, from the parking area.  Inside, costumes ranged from ridiculous to traditional brunch attire.  The bartender’s ears were ten inches long, the hostess wore a mustache and lime green pants while others were dressed as specific characters from Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis C. Carroll. Alison DeMarco was stunning as the Snow Princess, reigning over a court of Mad Hatters.

Brunch at The Rabbit Room surpassed my many Sunday excursions into breakfast at lunch time.  This annual event infused the cold February morning with zaniness and flavor.  My weakness for French Toast didn’t stand a chance with the Wonderland French Toast! Made with chocolate chip bread and donned in maple syrup, the toast had a slight chipotle kick that balanced perfectly with the accompanying strawberries and pineapple.  A spicy bloody Mary complimented the meal while The Ghost Peppers played nearby, in full costume.

Loose-leaf teas were sipped from fine china tea cups before visiting the upstairs.  At this point, I felt a bit like Alice, with few assumptions, and no idea what I might encounter next.

Artisans had arranged their creations in a crescent shape around the outer walls of the gallery.  Featured artists included Amy Brand, Pam Nakoski of Vintage Soul, Amy Borelli and Janet Zorhorsky. Tamara, the owner of Talulah’s Fancy and Friends, was cheerfully moving about her shop and the gallery as she helped guests and greeted friends.  This Sunday was the 4th Annual Mad Hatter Tea Party and marked the anniversary of her store opening.  The first party was documented beautifully in the Autumn 2012 issue of the national magazine, “Where Women Create” with photographs of Nancy Wiley’s Wonderland inspired creations and the acclaimed doll artist’s

Little Red Riding Hood. By The Brothers Grimm, Illustrated by Nancy Wiley

Little Red Riding Hood. By The Brothers Grimm, Illustrated by Nancy Wiley

interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood.  Mrs. Stopinski looks forward to the appearance of Ms. Wiley’s Cinderella next year at the 5th Annual Tea Party.

Amy Brand’s felt creations, Sweet Pea Felts, continue to steal many hearts! Her interpretations of animals melt away winter blues and conjure images of bliss and wonder.  Her scenes seem to capture moments in the lives of her characters, be it a chipmunk with his acorn or a fox busy painting at his easel.  Cards, characters and 2 dimensional pieces offer a variety of options for her fans, new and old.  Like Ms. Wiley, Amy Brand’s passion for her craft and creations nearly guarantees we will see more from her.

As The Mill Art Center and Gallery and the inhabitants of The Lower Mill attract artists and patrons alike, events like the annual Mad Hatter Tea Party will amaze and inspire.  Many thanks to Talulah’s Fancy for providing a fun, festive family friendly activity during this cold and gray time of year in upstate New York!

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One Response to “Tea Time at The Rabbit Room, Annual Mad Hatter Tea Party Mania”

  1. Justin Keller February 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    A splendid time indeed.

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