Several weeks ago, my husband brought home an invitation. It was addressed to him, plus guest. I hope he didn't think too long about his choice of guest, because I really wanted to attend the event. Afternoon tea at the Lieutenant Governor's residence seemed special to me.
This roaring fire was the first sight I saw as I walked up the few stairs to the entrance hallway. Crackling wood threw off welcome heat. Tim and I arrived separately, so I toasted my front and then my back while I waited.
I brought my camera and asked beforehand if photos were permitted.
The tea was held in the ballroom, large and airy, with a gorgeous view over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. Tall windows topped with stained glass representations of native plants lined two sides of the room.
Crystal wall sconces glitter between each set of windows.
Stairs ran up each side of the room to a balcony level. In the rectangular painted panels of darker aqua, the images in the circles are the Pacific Dogwood, our provincial flower.
I think there must have been a party earlier in the week. With balloons. They looked a little incongruous up there on the ceiling for this event. Here they are reflected in the tall (very tall) mirrors behind the stage.
After a short ceremony to recognize a generous donor to our local Veteran's Care Home, tea was served. Lovely china cups decorated with the provincial coat of arms (also seen in the first photo on the outside of the house) were carefully stacked, ready for tea or coffee. Savory and sweet pastries were delicious accompaniments.
Someone else came to tea, but she seemed to prefer vegetables over pastries.
The gardens at Government House are open to the public and I've written a few posts about them, here, and here.
As I left, Her Honour's car was parked in the porte-cochère, and I heard someone talking about luggage, so I`m assuming she was off on a trip after the event.
I'm glad I was chosen as the guest for this event. It was inspiring. The person being honoured at this tea was Rudi Hoenson who, as a young man, was imprisoned in the Far East, first in the infamous Changi prison, then taken to Japan. He was just one mile away from the Nagasaki atomic bomb explosion and suffered from radiation sickness. He immigrated to Canada from The Netherlands in 1956. His story is remarkable. The link on his name will take you to a short write up.