A Chocolate Lover’s Valentines Day Tea held at the Frederick Stegmaier Mansion


By Melanie Mizenko - [email protected]



Jadi Willison of Forty Fort shares a peek of the Victorian Valentine's Day cards with her table during the Chocolate Lover's Tea at the Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. (Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader)


Server Mary T. Lukas serves sandwiches and soup to patrons at the Stegmaier Mansion during Saturday's Chocolate Lover's Tea in Wilkes-Barre. (Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader)


Jadi Willison, left, and Heather Schlingman look at Victorian Valentine's Day cards during the Chocolate Lover's Tea at the Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. (Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader)


The Chocolate Lover's Tea at the Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. (Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader)



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    The four courses being served at “A Chocolate Lover’s Valentine Tea”:

    • First Course: Triple chocolate and cinnamon chip scones with fresh cream, butter and raspberry jam

    • Second course: BLT salad, topped with feta, crumbled egg, baby tomatoes, coco nips and chipotle ranch dressing; chocolat- dipped bacon rose

    • Third course: Broccoli and cheese quiche, coco rubbed chicken croissant, ham with mango chutney pita, cucumber with vegetarian cream cheese and tomato bisque with grilled cheese crouton

    • Fourth course: Chocolate-covered strawberry, heart-shaped cookie, white chocolate-dipped pretzels and chocolate tres leche

    WILKES-BARRE — Chocolate. Check.

    Desserts. Check.

    Laughs over tea and finger sandwiches. Check.

    Victorian etiquette. Check.

    Saturday was the first day of the two-day “A Chocolate Lover’s Valentine Tea” at the Frederick Stegmaier Mansion on South Franklin Street.

    Proprietor of the mansion Joseph Matteo said “approximately 110 to 120 guests” will come to the tea events.

    “We can hold up to 60 (for each event),” he said.

    Mary T. Lukas and other waitstaff served a four-course meal, while hostess Jennifer Ochman showed off antique Valentine’s Day cards and talked about the history of Valentine’s Day.

    “The one has a price tag, about 50 cents,” Ochman said, showing off a 3D Valentine from the 19th century. “When you think miners only made about a $1 a day, 50 cents is a lot.”

    Ochman explained that “from her research,” she found that that Valentine’s Day started in the 17th century and became more commercialized in the 19th century.

    “They started off being handmade,” Ochman explained. “Some had glitter, some had feathers.”

    In the kitchen, Kim Kolcko was supplying the dishes Lukas was serving. Kolcko explained that each of the courses had chocolate somewhere on the dish.

    In the eating areas, the most talked about dish was the second course, which was designed with a chocolate-covered bacon rose on the plate. Of course, the day was a tea event and the star of the show was a chocolate tea from The Republic of Teas.

    Jadi Willison, of Forty Fort, came “for something fun to do on a cold Saturday.”

    Her tablemate Heather Schlingman, of Hanover Township, came because she had been “curious.”

    Dressed in reds and blacks, skirts and appropriate-for-the-holiday outfits, one table of eight women were “staying festive.”

    “We’re Valentine-y,” tea guest Kim Albert, of Hanover Township, said.

    Guests said the day had exceeded expectations.

    “(Before sitting) they let you explore the mansion,” Willison said. “It’s one of the gems of Wilkes-Barre.”

    “(The food) was excellent,” Hanover Township resident Pat Wesley said. “(If your coming Sunday,) come hungry.”

    Jadi Willison of Forty Fort shares a peek of the Victorian Valentine's Day cards with her table during the Chocolate Lover's Tea at the Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. (Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader)
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_tea01.jpgJadi Willison of Forty Fort shares a peek of the Victorian Valentine's Day cards with her table during the Chocolate Lover's Tea at the Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. (Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader)
    Server Mary T. Lukas serves sandwiches and soup to patrons at the Stegmaier Mansion during Saturday's Chocolate Lover's Tea in Wilkes-Barre. (Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader)
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_tea02.jpgServer Mary T. Lukas serves sandwiches and soup to patrons at the Stegmaier Mansion during Saturday's Chocolate Lover's Tea in Wilkes-Barre. (Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader)
    Jadi Willison, left, and Heather Schlingman look at Victorian Valentine's Day cards during the Chocolate Lover's Tea at the Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. (Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader)
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_tea03.jpgJadi Willison, left, and Heather Schlingman look at Victorian Valentine's Day cards during the Chocolate Lover's Tea at the Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. (Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader)
    The Chocolate Lover's Tea at the Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. (Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader)
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_tea04.jpgThe Chocolate Lover's Tea at the Stegmaier Mansion in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. (Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader)

    By Melanie Mizenko

    [email protected]

    The four courses being served at “A Chocolate Lover’s Valentine Tea”:

    • First Course: Triple chocolate and cinnamon chip scones with fresh cream, butter and raspberry jam

    • Second course: BLT salad, topped with feta, crumbled egg, baby tomatoes, coco nips and chipotle ranch dressing; chocolat- dipped bacon rose

    • Third course: Broccoli and cheese quiche, coco rubbed chicken croissant, ham with mango chutney pita, cucumber with vegetarian cream cheese and tomato bisque with grilled cheese crouton

    • Fourth course: Chocolate-covered strawberry, heart-shaped cookie, white chocolate-dipped pretzels and chocolate tres leche

    Reach Melanie Mizenko at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TL_MMizenko

    Reach Melanie Mizenko at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TL_MMizenko

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