The best part about a mystery is UNRAVELING that mystery! That is what our adventurous travelers discover on board our popular Mystery Tours. The destinations are a secret until the moment you pull up to them! Can you figure it out ahead of time? Curious about Mystery Tours? Read on for details from one of our first Mystery Tours from Spring of 2012 and then join us for the fun on our next one!
We got an early start to our day as we headed to beautiful Brookfield, Connecticut. On the way to the first stop Diane kept everyone guessing as she dropped some hints about the first destination. On board the bus she served some delicious homemade tea scones she had prepared the night before as a hint about our first stop.
Nestled in the woods amongst the soaring face of a granite rock quarry we discovered our first stop, the Simpson and Vale Tea Company. Purveyors of fine teas and coffees since 1929, they opened the doors of their shop & tea room to our group. We were treated to samples of their tea, as well as a tour of their blending room where we learned secrets from tea making masters of how they blend different tea leaves to create new flavors. Before departing, everyone was treated to a lovely gift bag including assorted tea samples, jelly and a tea to go travel lid.
Then, we traveled Connecticuts back roads to nearby Bethlehem, where we enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch surrounded by beautiful carousel horses at the Painted Pony Restaurant.
Just down the street from the Painted Pony is one of Connecticuts historic landmark homes, the Bellamy-Ferriday House. While on a tour of the beautiful home and gardens, we learned of the propertys history and of its very different, but extraordinary previous owners, including a Reverend and an actress.
The outdoor spaces feature a formal parterre garden, a wide variety of fragrant trees, shrubs and perennials, sweeping lawns and evergreens, as well as beautiful rose & lilac collections.
Our knowledgeable docent led us on a fascinating tour of this historic property.
The final stop of the day brought us to the headquarters of the renowned mail order source for American gardeners for plants, shrubs and bulbs, White Flower Farm. Their Litchfield, Connecticut base is the test garden for a staggering array of plants. We were treated to a guided tour of the grounds where we learned many helpful gardening tips and tricks. We were also introduced to numerous stunning plants currently being tested and sold by this family owned business. After our tour, we all enjoyed browsing for plants to liven up our gardens at home. Funtastic Getaways got everyone started with a $10 gift card for each guest! We need to send a big thank you to our driver for carefully helping us all load our new treasures underneath the bus!
After many successful (and fun!) Mystery Tours, we know you all like a little adventure. You can be sure we will have many more Mysteries in the future; we hope to see you on the next one!
Dianes Lemon-Cranberry Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
Finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and adjust oven rack to lower-middle position
In a medium bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender, blend the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in cranberries and a heaping teaspoon of lemon zest.
In a small bowl whisk sour cream and egg until smooth
Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into the flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and pat into an 8 inch circle about ¾ inch thick. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles. Place on a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15-17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on wire rack and serve!