18840 Lorain Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44126
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William and Kate’s Royal Wedding

April 29 was all about the wedding — Prince William and Kate Middleton’s, that is.

Gloria Kemer - Take Time for TeaFor Gloria Kemer, owner of the Emerald Necklace Inn Bed & Breakfast and Tea Room in Fairview Park, who hosted a royal wedding reception in the couple’s honor, it was also about romance, couples and, of course, tea.

“This is the wedding reception of the year in the Cleveland area,” Kemer said. About 100 women and girls, decked out in full wedding garb and hats of all sizes, shapes and colors, turned out for the reception at the West Side Irish American Club in Olmsted Township.

At Kemer’s request, many of the women brought stand-alone photos of their own wedding, which were displayed at the front of the room.

Betty Lou MacDonald, whose first wedding took place on April 28, 1962, not only brought her photograph, but also dug her wedding dress out of the attic and brought it along for display. She treated her mother and former maid of honor to the tea.

Kemer said she was thrilled with the number of wedding photos that were brought in.

“This whole thing is about women and weddings. People all over feel the same about weddings,” she said, talking about the excitement and romance that surround any wedding.

The photographs and dress were just some of the many details Kemer worked out in order to make the day a special one for her guests.

From the “Sapphire Blue Cocktails,” in honor of Kate’s sapphire ring, to the specially blended tea, everything had to be perfect.

The ladies were treated to a leisurely, five-course tea, consisting of special tea and scones, Windsor Strawberry Salad, Middleton Mango Shrimp Cocktail and Kate’s Cucumber and Chive Bites, Coronation Chicken Tea Sandwiches, Buckingham Beef Skewers and dessert, catered by the Emerald Necklace Inn, P T O’Malley’s and What’s For Dessert?

Kemer worked for months to create just the right blend of tea, testing it in her tea room until she had one she considered suitable — a blend of Earl Gray and Lavender, Earl Gray being British and Lavender being the symbol of devotion.

Equal consideration was put into the cake.

Cake designer Eric Lenhoff, of What’s For Dessert?, said that he had heard Kate would have 17 different types of flowers on her cake, that there would be no pillars, and that her focus was on mood and romance. He designed his cake accordingly, using royal icing, fondant and four different types of flowers to represent the four corners of Britain — the Irish shamrock, the Welsh daffodil, the Scottish thistle and the English rose.

Lenhoff, who as the former pastry chef at the Omni Hotel, Cleveland, made desserts for kings and presidents, said that he was thrilled to be involved with the reception.

“I am excited. It is an honor, even if it is not for them,” he said.

Entertainment, provided by “Forming Best Impressions” — the trio of Diane Camera, Laural Ramella and Michelle Cox — featured Cox as the Queen herself, passing out advice on how to be the perfect wife.

Camera entertained the crowd between courses with funny and entertaining tidbits about the royal couple and other famous romances.

As part of her 1863 Inn Project to help finance the renovation of the inn, Kemer’s goal is to host three large-scale teas each year.

“What more reason to have a tea than the wedding of the year?” she asked. “It seemed so natural.”

The “Will and Kate’s Royal Tea Blend” introduced at the reception will be available for sale at the Emerald Necklace Inn, 18840 Lorain Road, and online at emeraldteastore.com.

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