SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

May 28, 2010

Stop for a spot of tea during Marblehead's arts festival

By Larry Claflin Jr.
Staff Writer

A stroll around Marblehead's historic district to take in the art, entertainment workshops and competitions that make up the town's Festival of Arts is broken up nicely with a short respite.

One place to stop is a new tearoom in the wine cellar of the King Hooper Mansion, where antique, wooden tables and chairs will be set for tea.

An eclectic mix of ceramic tea sets will grace the tables along with fresh flowers, according to Lynne Devoe, a festival vice president.

The room has dark paneling and an exposed, brick fireplace original to the 1727 mansion. The property's lush gardens, just below the tearoom and through a doorway, will be open to visitors.

"The tearoom will be a cool, quiet place to catch your breath and refresh yourself," said Devoe, who will lend items from her abundant tea set collection, which she's added to for almost 45 years.

Opened at last year's festival, the tearoom will offer lemonade, iced tea, water and pastries at minimal prices. And, due to feedback from Canadian and British visitors in 2009, hot tea will be available, too, according to Lynne Devoe, a festival vice president.

"It's a place to sit and rest, and there's a lovely garden off the wine-cellar area," Devoe said of the room. "It's set away a bit so you're in a little secluded area. ... It's refreshing.

The event is being co-hosted with Marblehead Arts Association, based in the mansion. Artwork from a local nonprofit will hang on the walls.

If tea's not your thing, there are plenty of other events going on during Marblehead Festival of Arts: concerts and a film festival at Crocker Park, art exhibits and an artisan's marketplace at Abbot Hall, a sand-sculpture competition and a kite festival at Devereux Beach, a model boat-building workshop at Redd's Pond, and a street festival on Washington Street.

IF YOU GO

What: Marblehead Festival of Arts

Where: Various locations around Marblehead

When: July 1-5

Cost: Free

More information: www.marbleheadfestival.org