Monday, July 10, 2017

Afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

One hundred thirty years ago today, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island first opened its doors to guests, so I thought today would be a good time to tell you about my recent trip there for afternoon tea. I think it's true what they say about how if you have only a short time in a place, you'll actually accomplish more sightseeing, because Alex and I were there for just one day, yet I took more than 700 photos. And I am still humming the theme song from Somewhere in Time, the 1980 movie with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve that was filmed there!

Most of the photos I took were in the tea garden, but today I thought I'd focus on teatime.

We arrived by ferry that morning, having taken the advice of my Michigan friend Phyllis and booked a trip on Shepler's Ferry. On the way over, we had driven over the Mackinac Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges in the world (nearly five miles!), so it was fun to sail under it on our way to the island.

As we approached, many of us on the ferry were busy snapping photos of the Grand Hotel, which I learned was built in just 93 days. Can you imagine? Alex noted that today, you couldn't get the permit to build it in 93 days!

The harbor view was quite lovely.

And I was pleased to see one of the shops on Main Street featured Somewhere in Time memorabilia.

After wandering around the tourist areas for a bit and checking out one of the local museums, we headed up to the Grand Hotel. We'd eaten a good breakfast at our hotel in St. Ignace, but since afternoon tea wasn't until 3:30, we were feeling a little hungry and decided to try Sadie's Ice Cream Parlor. I'm not just a huge ice cream lover, but I must say I devoured every bite of my Bananas Foster ice cream, and I enjoyed checking out the cute decor at the shop as well as the beautiful gardens surrounding it.

We also toured the tea garden prior to teatime, and I'll show you more of those photos later in the week, but this is one of the areas I found at the foot of the stairs. I was quite smitten with their peonies and artwork!

Before going to tea, we had to check out the hotel for a bit.

And I loved this lady outside Carleton's Tea Store. 

Soon, Alex and I were seated in the Grand Hotel parlor, where they were setting up for afternoon tea.

I don't usually find a harpist at afternoon tea, so that was a nice touch!

The service was excellent, and soon we were enjoying our hot tea in the hotel's signature teacups and saucers.

Now you would think I would have made a point of writing down which tea sandwiches I had, but alas, I did not! Turkey, cucumber, salmon, roast beef, and ... one more that I can't recall, but I enjoyed them all.

The sweets (including a soft scone, a truffle, some tarts, a chocolate-dipped strawberry) were elegantly presented as well.

And by the time I got to the strawberry mousse for dessert, I was stuffed and couldn't eat more than a bite or two.

Alex and I greatly enjoyed our afternoon tea experience at the Grand Hotel, and I can certainly see why it's a hit with so many people. Coming later this week: Why I fell in love with their tea garden!


  1. Great pictures Angela! Lovely tearoom and gardens. Some day I will get there, on my list, along with the Biltmore. Thank you for my visit through your eyes.

  2. That looks like a lovely experience, from start to finish.

  3. Really enjoyed reading about your experience, and especially enjoyed the lovely photos!

  4. This is definitely a bucket list trip for me. Thank you for sharing your visit.

  5. This is definitely a bucket list trip for me. Thank you for sharing your visit.

  6. I so want to go too! Looks fabulous!

  7. Great photos. Thanks for sharing your day

  8. What a lovely trip and tea with a harpist is the best! Beautiful photos, can't wait to see more!

  9. This one is on my bucket list for sure. How wonderful you were able to make it happen. Everything looks wonderful. I love, love the art in the tea garden with the peonies. And their signature cups are quite beautiful. The food looks totally delicious!

  10. The Grand is absolutely grand! Glad you and Alex enjoyed your Afternoon Tea experience there.

  11. So wonderful that you got to visit the island and the Grand! A very special place to be! If you traveled through the U P I hoped you enjoyed that too!

  12. Your photos are lovely and you are looking great too. I would enjoy visiting there and taking tea at the Grand Hotel.

  13. Wow! I have seen that movie and it left an impression on me, so fitting that this romantic setting would serve afternoon tea. I would never have connected the two without your help, thanks Angela!

  14. So glad you got to experience Afternoon Tea at the Grand Hotel! What a fabulous adventure and memorable day!


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