When the Transcontinental Railroad opened the Great Plains to productivity, Cheyenne became the business and social hub of the Rockies. Merchants shipped goods North as far as Canada and as far South as Mexico.
Cattle raising became the most common product and people came from all over the world to participate in the land rush. As the country doubled in size, ranchers were taking control of tens of thousands of acres and thousands of cattle., Many of these ranchers were landed gentry from Europe. These men saw the living standards at the ranches and quickly hired managers to run them. They built their elegant homes in Cheyenne, These wealthy cattle barons brought the customs of fine living to the west. One of these Victorian customs was English High Tea.
During the Victorian period, people were accustomed to eating a meal at noon and a meal around 9 PM. Queen Victoria is credited with having the munchies is the late afternoon. She added sandwiches and biscuits (that’s English for cookies) to an afternoon tea break. When there was a special occasion, or company, the menu was expanded. It then became known as High Tea. It is still a very special event and includes lots of delicious goodies.
The English High Tea that is served at the Nagle Warren Mansion has developed a reputation of being an elegant and fun occasion. Fresh teas of fine quality are imported from the United Kingdom and frozen to keep their freshness. Tea is brewed with care and served to the guest at their table by cheerful ladies clad in period dress. Cream, lemon and hand-decorated sugar cubes may be added to suit each person’s taste. The mansion’s staff bakes scones, tarts, biscuits and cakes. The bakers give each of these delicious baked goods their own special touch by adding golden raisins, nuts, or other savory delicacies. They are always searching for and adding intriguing new items to their selection. The guests select which of these pastries they desire. High Tea is served in the distinguished parlor, sitting room and library at Victorian tables topped with refined lace table cloths, antique china and a silver tea service. Classical and jazz music plays softly in the background.
The best part of High Tea is the company. Conversation varies from humorous to serious and casual to formal. Mothers bring their daughters and guys bring their girlfriends, or vice versa. It’s a group of close friends or an office getaway. Whichever it is there is always a convivial chatty atmosphere.
The Nagle Warren Mansion has been fully restored, appointed with delightful details like fresh cut flowers. Victorian antiques and beautiful oil paintings adorn the halls and rooms of the mansion. The mansion has a remarkably original and comfortable ambiance. Most important, everyone has a smashing good time!