Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter snows

We had out first major snow of the 2010 season yesterday. The beauty of the snow cannot be disputed, even if you have to shovel walkways and driveways. We are pleased to share some of the shots of Fancy That's showroom in Walpole. Enjoy the snow!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fancy That's Trees are up and shining

The Holiday Trees are up in the Fancy That showroom. This year, the large white tree is in the left window when you look in from Main Street. We added a touch of green this year. Next year? Maybe a touch of purple...who knows?

A new addition this year for the right window, looking from Main Street, we have a dreamy pink table-top tree. We have had this tree for many yearsbut this year, it has become a centerpiece for our decorations, taking a place of honor in the front window display!

Feel free to stop by our showroom and come on in. During the holiday season we are open by appointment or by chance.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fancy That is a Finalist for the Event Solutions Spotlight Award

We are excited and proud to announce that Fancy That has been named as a Finalist for the prestigious Event Solutions Spotlight Award in the Best Rental Company category.

You can review our entry profile on the Voting Site here. Please take some time to check out our profile, see what we have been creating and vote for us! Remember, you can only vote ONE TIME for each category.

The recipient of the Spotlight Award is selected by an industry wide voting process. The Voting Site will remain open through January 31, 2011. Recipients of the Spotlight Awards will be revealed at the Spotlight Awards Event on February 28, 2011 in Las Vegas. Your vote (and the votes of your friends) will help us be the winner in the Best Rental Company Category for 2011!

Please spread the word and vote for Fancy That
Thank you :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fancy That at the Commander's Mansion

We recently had the pleasure of working with Ashley and Howie,
who decided to serve "Elevenses" before their ceremony!
Below are just a couple of our favorite photos taken at the Commander's Mansion
by Lisa Rigby Photography. Be sure to see more gorgeous photos on LisaRigbyPhotography.com

(c) Lisa Rigby Photography

(c) Lisa Rigby Photography

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fancy That selected as a National Finalist Best Rental Company

Event Solutiuons has selected Fancy That Unique Party Rentals as a National Finalist, Best Rental Company! More information about the National Spotlight Awards coming soon!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Yes Virginia, there is an ice cream fork

We received a question: Is there such thing as an ice cream fork?

An ice cream fork is designed to make it easier to eat ice cream. Ice cream forks have the classic bowl shape of a spoon, topped with three to four tines to help consumers dig into their ice cream. The design of an ice cream fork is also known as a spork. The design of the ice cream fork has been around since at least the 1800s, with numerous patents for the design on file from around this period. While an ice cream fork was designed for eating ice cream it is very versatile.

The difference between an ice cream fork and a spork is usually one of quality and formality, given that the utensils are near-physically identical. Ice cream forks tend to be made from materials like silver, and their handles often have ornate patterns. This implies formality. The sporks tend to be more casual, and they are made from a variety of metals in addition to plastic and wood. Spork is also a term used when the utensil is functioning without eating ice cream.
It is perfectly acceptable to eat ice cream and other desserts with a spoon: the dessert spoon. However, setting out ice cream forks with an ice cream course can be fun, and will create quite a conversation around your table.

Thanks for the great question "Is there such thing as an ice cream fork?" Please feel free to send along your questions. We love sharing the finer things of life, and keeping the genteel life alive!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vote for Fancy That on the Boston A List

We are thrilled to be nominated as a competitor in the Boston A List competition. Fancy That is nominated in the Wedding Catagory under "Best Rentals." You can vote here. Your vote really does matter! Help us be The Number 1 Rental Company in Greater Boston! 50 days left. Voting ends on December 22, 2010.

Thanks for your help, and in advance, for your vote! Again, you can vote here! Thanks again!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cream Soup (or creme soup) Bowls have arrived

Sophisticated and elegant, vintage cream (or crème) soup bowls
are soon to be offered by Fancy That!

When added to a table setting of five pieces, these bowls take the table to another level of genteel splendor. The soup bowls have a delicate curve (if they were straight in their flue, then they would be bouillon bowls, but more on that in another post!) with handles on either side. And when you see the wonderful under-plate that accompanies each bowl, you know the dinner is going to be “something else” :)

What soup to serve with this type of bowl? I have provided a couple ideas below.

Corn Soup is a find from the Victorian Era. Simple to make, this soup filled the emptiness of crème soup bowls and hungry stomachs from the ploughman’s lunch to the fine Afternoon Tea. The recipe is as follows:

Gather 12 ears of the sweetest corn (try using white corn) and husk completely.
Cut the corn from the cob, put one dozen cobs to a gallon of water, which will be reduced to three quarts by the time the soup is done and boil the cobs for at least an hour.
Then add the grains (the eatable corn) and boil until the corn is soft and thoroughly done.
Remove the cobs; then pour on a pint of fresh cream from the top of raw milk (or shake the new milk to mix the cream into the milk for a smoother texture)
Add two well-beaten eggs (temper the eggs so they do not “cook” as you add them to the soup – in a small bowl, beat your eggs, add a table spoon of hot liquid from the soup into the eggs, mixing, and repeat that five or six times…..) then add the egg and soup mixture to the main caldron of the soup)
Salt and pepper to your taste; continue the boiling a while longer, and stir in, to season and thicken it a little, a tablespoonful of good butter rubbed up with two tablespoonfuls of flour.

Or for a modern twist on Crème Soup, try this Crème Artichoke Soup from Elise and “Simply Recipes” and the New York Times, which can be found here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pink Chargers have arrived at Fancy That

Pink chargers have arrived! Fancy That unique party rentals is now offering pink chargers! How cool is that? :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hallowed Herb Tea House in Quincy re-opens for tea and scones

We are happy to share some very good news! Hallowed Herb Tea House in Quincy MA is having a re-opening starting Thursday November 4, 2010.

Some of you may know there was a little hiatus, but starting November 4, 2010, The Hallowed Herb Tea House will be open from 1PM – 5 PM on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays serving tea (the beverage) and scones. Reservations are not required. You can call the Hallowed Herb Tea House for more information at 617-479-2759.

And if you are wondering if the scones are yummy, know one thing: Here at A Cup Of Glee, it is all about GOOD TASTE! Yes, the scones are yummy indeed! Some of the flavours offered by Hallowed Herb Tea House are:

Cherry Almond
Chocolate Cranberry Walnut
Traditional Currant
Blueberry Coconut
Double Chocolate
Chip Maple Pecan
Brandy Infused Golden Raisin
Ginger Chocolate

Not doing anything on Saturday November 6th? Stop by Hallowed Herb Tea House at 25 High School Avenue in Quincy MA and enjoy a cup of tea and a scone!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No furbelows?

Serving a dinner party in courses again? What a wonderful idea. However, you do not want to advertise it as “frills and furbelows” since the latter, furbelows, may carry a less than appealing meaning.

Recently I saw an invitation that included the line: no furbelows.

Oh my!

As per the OED (Oxford English Dictionary): "A piece of stuff pleated and puckered on a gown or petticoat; a flounce..." Through use, it became a contemptuous term for unnecessary ornamentation, stuff and fluff.

If you advertised your formal dinner with “no furbelows” you would be in err since your formal dinner in itself, would be full of fluff and stuff: escort cards, menus, fine china, more forks than spoons (we’ll discuss this in another post in the future!), centerpieces, and on and on.

If you wanted to have a nice dinner party with no furbelows, you can abstain from the name cards. Instead, use a piece of ribbon with the guest’s name written in gold ink and tie it to the napkin. Place the napkin on the plate and there you have it! Your first exercise in no furbelows.

No need to abstain from multiple courses! After all, a multiple course dinner party is making a comeback to such a degree that caterers are bringing plating for only three courses knowing they can wash the dishes in between courses.

Try to think outside the box and to the wind, cast the idea of “no furbelows.” Add the frills and furbelows, and enjoy!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Visit to Fancy That's Showroom

From time to time we love to open our doors and show off our Showroom. Consider this your invite to our "open house" and "walk through" the Showroom through the pictures below. Our storerooms that house the fine china and vintage glass are off this room to the right. Our "work room" is in the back where the rental orders are cleaned, sanitized and packed for delivery.

Enjoy the "open house" below!

We call this piece "Jessica" after the designer, Jessica McClintock.

We have tables mocked up to show how the china fits nicely on a 48 inch round. The seating is so you feel comfortable while discussing and planning your elegant event.

This is the beginning our of Shoppe which we will formally "open" in the Spring of 2011. Watch here for more info as we get closer to our Shoppe Opening with a Tea Tasting Open House!

In the Fireplace Room, you can pull up a chair, browse through one of the many Tea Books we have lying around, and enjoy the afternoon. You are welcome by appointment or by chance!

Thanks for stopping by Fancy That's Showroom!
See you again soon!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Before there was porcelain...

We’ve come a long way from the loaf of bread to the fine china.

Not long ago, porcelain was very expensive and only the richest of the rich were using the fragile items from which to eat. At dinner time, at almost every European castle throughout the Middle Ages, trenchers were used instead of plates.

Trenchers were a vital feature in medieval feasts. They were made from stale loaves of bread, cut out so as to hold soup, meat, stew. After the meal, the loaves were either eaten, flung to the dogs, or handed to the poor. Later, trenchers evolved into a small plate of metal of wood.

Colonists of the USA had an individual salt dish or a squat sale cellar near the trencher. These salt cellars came to be known as trencher salts.

The porcelains from China arrived in Europe as the trade with Asia opened up around 1500. It still took another two centuries until hard porcelain was actually made in Europe. That happened around early 1700. It then took another two centuries to make the use of porcelain common and to ensure its place in every household and at every table.
Fancy That offers rentals of fine china and not trenchers. (grin). We also offer vintage glassware and other unique accessories for your special event. As the holidays begin entering our consciousness, keep in mind that you may need fine china, ruby red glasses, or other items for your holiday party. We’d be pleased to help.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Our visit to All Things Tea in Plymouth and the discovery of Tregothnan Tea

Recently, we visited All Things Tea in Plymouth Massachusetts.

Once we entered the quaint little town, we know we were in for a treat. The town brims with salt air, cooling the hot outside of the later summer day. Once inside, we were greeted warmly and quickly. Immediately to our left was a retail section that included wonderful petit fours shaped in hats, or shortbread cookies shaped in tea-themes.

It was then off to tea. As we had a wonderful Victorian tea, we noticed the brand of tea that All Things Tea serves up proudly: Tregothnan Tea.
Let’s turn to Tregothnan Tea for a moment! It is the only tea grown in the UK! And here it is, being imported by All Things Tea as the distributor in the USA for this wonderful tea! A little about the Tregothnan Tea:
Tea was first mentioned in British literature in 1615. The British took it to Africa and India, in fact wherever in the Empire it might be grown. Tregothnan has a history of botanical firsts and is home to original introductions of Magnolia and rarities from Darjeeling. These Magnolias now tower to 60ft and are among the worlds largest in cultivation. Tea comes from a special form of Camellia sinensis: Tregothnan was also first to grow Camellia ornamentally outdoors 200 years ago.

From their web site: “The belief in doing things well has persevered at Tregothnan: the Estate has stayed within the same family since 1335. Seven years of trials have been undertaken to achieve these fine teas that really deserve the accolade ‘English Tea’! Tregothnan is putting the English into English tea. The search for the perfect tea was intensified when it was proven that high quality tea really thrives in certain places on the Tregothnan Estate in Cornwall. Translated from the Cornish language 'Tregothnan' means 'The House at the Head of the Valley' and the beating heart of the Estate is the Private Botanic Garden.”

Summer House on Tregothnan Estate
Tregothnan is passionate about growing and collecting plants, including many rare specimens and this passion is the inspiration for our range of English Estate products and experiences, notably the UK's first tea plantation and manuka honey production

Quaint seaside town of Tolverne on the banks of the River Fal.
Tolverne on the banks of the River Fal is one of the most intriguing tea houses in the UK and has recently entered an exciting new phase in its history.Until 1832 it was known as Tolverne Passage Inn and was a transport hub for the Fal. The pub licence continues to this day as does the licence to ferry passengers on the river. It’s great to see this continuing as part of Tregothnan. The Boscawen Family have lived at Tregothnan since 1335 and Tolverne is a very special part of Tregothnan. Tolverne is within sight of Tregothnan Garden, the home of English Tea and the inspiration for the growing range of products.

Tea House at Tolverne
Again from their web site: “Whether arriving by land or boat, Tolverne is the hub for the Fal, a truly special place in Cornwall.Tregothnan believe they have developed the perfect Cream tea to enjoy at Tolverne. Tregothnan is well known in London and beyond and we have no doubt that Tolverne will become a favourite destination for anyone interested in tea. Tregothnan at Tolverne ensures continuity of the centuries of management of the banks of the Fal. From tea bush to tea cup: the first fresh leaves are plucked by hand, from sunrise. The 2 leaves and a bud are quickly taken to the withering racks where they are usually laid, supported by bamboo. They leaves are gently withered to allow softening. Rolling then takes place if we are processing black tea. This can literally be rolling the leaves between two surfaces, traditionally by hand. Oxidation is then allowed by spreading the leaves on a surface at a controlled temperature- this stage is also known as fermentation. As the natural liquid in the cells interact the colour changes from green to brown. The final stage is then to dry the leaves to 2% moisture. Green tea varies from the above in that oxidation is replaced by steaming, this retains the green leaf colour.All processes are entirely free of chemicals and have been sustainable for 4 millennia. 36 hours after plucking the fresh leaves the tea is ready for drinking. Blending is a vitally important part of creating tea brand identity. Tregothnan is developing blends that really identify quintessential English tastes by blending traditional imported teas added to our own leaves.”

Delicate tea leaves resting under a blanket of snow
So there it is! A fine tea from England, actually grown IN England, available now at All Things Tea in Plymouth. Please do visit their web site, and their quaint and adorably cute shop at your first convenience!

Thanks for stopping by! Please do tell your friends about Tregothnan Tea, and that you can buy it from All Things Tea in Plymouth Massachusetts.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fancy That now has a Certified Wedding Coordinator on staff

Fancy That is pleased to announce that we have a certified wedding coordinator and event planner now on staff. If you are in the midst of planning your wedding, your shower, or other fabulous event and just cannot seem to get the “ends tied”, think of Fancy That!

Offering rentals of fine china, vintage glassware and unique accessories for your special event, we now can offer you the pleasure of assisting in your wedding coordination and planning, afternoon tea planning, or just another ear to listen to your plans.

If you rent items from Fancy That, there is no additional charge for any of the consultation services. If you do not rent from Fancy That, you have to ask yourself WHY? (grin) Take a look at our web site! Surely there is SOMETHING that fits your special affair!

Join us! Make an appointment to stop in, and let us hear about your plans for your next event! (Call toll free 1-888-323-2TEA (2832)). We look forward to having you join us in our showroom in Walpole.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Rechaud

Beautiful to look at, but awful to clean. No wonder they all but disappeared in the 1960s and early 1970’s. No, I am not talking about bell bottom pants, or tie-dyed shirts.

I am talking about the rechaud.
Antique Rechaud
Good restaurants did not have plates in the kitchen. They stored the plates in warming cabinets that were usually located near the guests. Once the guests arrived, the proper quantity of plates was removed and placed on a heating rack called a rechaud. The rechaud had a candle or other heat source, and kept the plates warm and toasty.

“Back waiters” or those who service the “back of the house” (we call it the kitchen! And frankly, the only reason my home HAS a kitchen is because it came with the house...viva la’ take-out and delivery service!) or kitchen area would bring the food to a service table next to the guests’ table. The food, if on a “Hotel-Silber” tray (called that from the German, heavy silver-plated trays that were used to carry the food from the kitchen) was then placed on a warming rechaud.

Many of the rechauds were hand made. Made mainly from brass and silver, the more elaborate were footed, sterling silver, or ornately decorated to match the theme of the rooms where they were used. At the time of closing, you could see the newest waiters snuggling up to the rechauds, working for hours getting the candle wax off the contraptions.

Mid Century Modern Rechaud

Modern inventions all but killed the rechaud. In the 1970s, the electric heating tray, often brown in color with arms that formed the legs, were being sold. You could find them everywhere. Cloth cords hung off the ends like a tail. Now, modern “rechauds” are electric, made of stainless steel or cast metal, and are easy to clean and maintain.

If food is to be kept warm at the side of a table, the front waiter will place the food in what we now know as chaffing dishes. Of course, there would be nothing wrong with affectionately calling the modern chaffing dish a rechaud…I am certain it would make the chaffing dish blush a little, and make the waiter wonder what other words in French you know.

Enjoy your next buffet!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Types of Service, Russian, British, Butler and French

Having been at a few weddings this season, and visiting friends at restaurants where the servers actually know what type of service they are offering, I thought it fun to review some of the normal styles of service. Imagine the look on your caterer’s face when, planning for your wedding, you ask for Butler Service as guests arrive, Russian Service for the entrée, and French Service for the dessert. Imagine the look on your groom’s face!

Let’s give them a look.

Russian Service is when the experienced chef precuts the protein of the meal, and assembles them back together in the kitchen. What you, the diner sees, is a tray that looks like the whole goose even though it may only be a portion of the goose. Said to have originated during the time of the Czar, Russian service is perfect for the one-table banquet when all guests see the entrée brought out.

French Service is when the food is worked at the side of the table. Many times the food is precooked in the kitchen, and finished at table side along with the sauces and garnish. At times an entire fish could be filleted at your tableside. When you have the faming meal at your table, that is French Service.

British Service may be familiar to you as “family service.” Big platters and tureens are brought out from the kitchen and placed before the guests. The guests then happily help themselves. British Service is perfect to get the table’s talking and have a family atmosphere. British Service can be formal as well.

Then there is Butler Service. When a canapé is brought out and placed in the hands of the servers, this is called Butler Service. Often times, the servers then have pre-arranged sections of the room and ensure that each guest gets their opportunity to enjoy the wonderful delight.

Now that you are informed of the styles of service, let your mind wander to your next event. Imagine British Service for your Holiday Party! Enjoy! And while you are thinking of planning your next event, don't forget to include Fancy That! in your next plans. Thank you!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Holiday Mice Vendor/Craft Fair December 4 at the SWUMC in South Walpole

Fancy That loves being part of the community, so we are pleased to say that we will be part of the South Walpole United Methodist Holiday Mice Vendor/Craft Fair this December! We'll have a display table showcasing some of our vintage rentals, and we'll also be selling some yummy tea-time treats!

Mark your calendar for the Vendor/Craft fair on December 4th from 9 AM - 2 PM at the historic South Walpole United Methodist Church, where you can register for a chance to win a vintage cup and saucer, a gift certificate for a future rental order, and other items.

For more information about the fair, contact Sharon Gunn at sgunn01757@aol.com.

See you at the Holiday Mice Vendor/Craft Fair!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More photos from the Gracie Lou Photo Shoot

Fancy That! is pleased to have been part of the photo shoot hosted by Gracie Lou Events. The china and goblets are on loan from Fancy That!