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Located a short distance across the Savannah River from Augusta, GA, we in Aiken, SC, are also caught up in the excitement that the Master’s Tournament brings to this area. We have the honor of hosting many of the area’s visitors in our homes, hotels, and restaurants. And, since a major focus of LaDolce is tea, I decided to investigate tea’s relationship to golf.
Golf and tea make great partners. Yes, the kind of tea you drink. Normally, the only tea people associate with golf is the golf tee—different spelling and totally different purpose. But, considering that the game of golf as we know it today originated in Scotland, is it surprising that many restaurants at golf clubs in Europe feature Afternoon Tea?
Starting with the Swilcan Restaurant at THE St. Andrews Links Clubhouse in Scotland, you can enjoy a selection of teas listed on their menu: Camomile (as spelled on the menu), Green tea, Mint, Earl Grey Blue Flower and Spiced Citrus. They also serve scones and shortbreads. While you enjoy your tea, you can take in panoramic views of the Old Course. The lush greens of the courses and surrounding countryside provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing tea. Take a look for yourself.
On the Southern end of the United Kingdom is the picturesque Exeter Golf & Country Club, in Exeter, Devon. Here you can book an Afternoon Tea at the Wear Park Restaurant. You can choose to dine indoors where floor-to-ceiling windows yield a magnificent view of the putting green and the 18th hole, or you can choose to dine outdoors. Your choices outdoors include comfortable rattan sofas on the veranda or outdoor tables and chairs situated along the putting green surrounded by landscaped gardens. Along with your tea, you can enjoy a wide variety of delicacies, scones, and cakes. The choices look splendid. Click here if you would enjoy a peek.
And, bringing it a little closer to home is Arnold Palmer who created a unique iced tea and lemonade concoction. The story has it that Palmer’s wife made lots of iced tea. One day Palmer decided to mix some of the iced tea with some lemonade. Palmer loved the taste and often carried the mixture in a thermos when he played golf. One day, he was in a restaurant in Palm Springs and gave the server specific directions for mixing the drink. A woman sitting within earshot overheard the order and requested an “Arnold Palmer” for herself. Now, the AirZona Beverage Company has bought the rights to the drink, and as they say, the rest is history. Read more here.
Another tea drinker with direct connections to the National and golf is Mamie Eisenhower, wife of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Both were regulars at the Augusta National and even had their own cabin there. Mrs. Eisenhower presided over many teas during her tenure as First Lady, and she also attended teas hosted by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Last year on April 14, the Eisenhower National Historic Site and the Gettysburg Foundation hosted an event highlighting Mrs. Eisenhower, 1950s fashions, and tea. A well-known fact about Mrs. Eisenhower is that her favorite color was pink. And, her preference for pink also showed up in her favorite tea service. For more information about the Eisenhowers, click here. To see Mrs. Eisenhower’s tea service, click here.
Obviously, golf and tea compliment each other. Both golf and tea aficionados endorse their passions for the relaxing benefits they can bring. Hot or cold, tea makes the perfect restorative after a day on the links.