The “Remembering the Miller & Rhoads Tearoom” luncheon I’ve written about a couple of times over the past few months took place today at the Roanoke Country Club. Actually, two of the three seatings took place today; the third will be held later this month.
Although the Peacock-Harper Culinary History Friends planned to host about 150 people at one luncheon, the country club will end up serving nearly 400 guests by the time the third seating is done. There are no tickets left for sale.
I purchased two tickets to the first seating for myself and my mother-in-law, who drove all the way from her home in the Outer Banks to attend with me. She is from Richmond and lived in Roanoke for many years, so she has treasured memories from the Miller & Rhoads tearooms in both cities.
To me, the best part of the luncheon was the fact that so many of the women who attended (and it was mostly women) brought out their best attire and unpacked vintage accessories as a tribute to the snappy outfits they used to wear to lunch at the Tearoom. One attendant, Joan Bowers, generously offered her large vintage hat collection for the club’s use. They incorporated them into the table centerpieces and decorated fireplace mantles with them. Bowers also loaned hats to some members of the Peacock-Harper group.
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The menu consisted of dishes that were all popular in the Tearoom: Senate bean soup, Missouri clubs with mustard pickles, frozen fruit salad, chocolate silk pie and lemon buttercup pie. The event was attended by Mayor David Bowers, former Roanoke City Manager Bern Ewert and Donna Strothers Deekens, who was the Miller & Rhoads Snow Queen for many years.
Guests left the event with a beautiful, large pamphlet full of original Tearoom recipes. If you didn’t get to go to the event, do not be dismayed! You can still get a recipe pamphlet by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the following address:
VA Egg Council
Re: Miller & Rhoads
3401 West Ridge Rd., Roanoke, VA, 24014
Please add one extra stamp for each additional pamphlet you want besides the first one. And allow a bit of time for the pamphlet to arrive – these envelopes are being stuffed by a volunteer.
I hope you enjoy this photo slideshow of the event with pictures by The Roanoke Times staff photographer Stephanie Klein-Davis.