I've not yet had the pleasure of traveling to the Southwest, so I especially enjoyed learning about this week's featured state, New Mexico, and the rich influence of Hispanics and Native Americans. Come along with me, will you?
• La Fonda on the Plaza, which sits on the site of Santa Fe's first inn, established in 1607, is considered "the oldest hotel corner in America." This screen grab is from their website. (Click here to see it larger and to learn more about the fascinating history of La Fonda). The photo isn't identified, but those are definitely cups and saucers the women are holding. And if you scroll down, you'll see an image of a waitress at La Fonda delivering tea sometime between 1935 and 1940 (I found the ID on another website), so I feel fairly safe in surmising that tea has been served there over the years, although I've yet to read of "afternoon tea" or tearooms, per se. The La Fonda website reveals that "During Prohibition, when 'teas' were popular pretenses for stronger beverages, the bohemian crowd in the capital city imbibed freely. La Fonda was a favorite gathering spot for these writers and artists whose outings included generous servings of gossip. Among the literati was visiting author Willa Cather who stayed at La Fonda while writing her famed novel 'Death Comes for the Archbishop' (1927)." La Fonda has a wonderful history book available for viewing right on its website, and you can access it here in case you are planning a trip out west!
• The most famous tearoom I'd never heard of? That could well be the tearoom in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, run by Edith Warner, who is the subject of a book I've just learned I must read, "The House at Otowi Bridge: The Story of Edith Warner and Los Alamos" by Peggy Pond Church. Apparently Edith, who was from Philadelphia, befriended both the Pueblos and the scientists working on the Manhattan Project, which makes me think this would have been THE tearoom in which I would most like to have eavesdropped! The modern-day ruins of her tearoom are shown here in a photo from 2009. Wow. Just wow.