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Gingerbread is the flavor of the month in Seaside

Butterfield Cottage hosts four Saturdays of teas and tasty treats

By PATRICK WEBB

For Coast Weekend

Published on November 21, 2018 7:42AM

Last changed on November 21, 2018 8:08AM

Tables for Seaside’s Gingerbread Tea are set with festive linens, cloth napkins, antique utensils and china. A candy cane completes each place setting.

Courtesy Seaside Museum & Historical Society

Tables for Seaside’s Gingerbread Tea are set with festive linens, cloth napkins, antique utensils and china. A candy cane completes each place setting.

During a prior year’s event, visitors to the Seaside Museum sample the seasonal fare with a musical group on hand to help set the mood for the holidays.

Courtesy Seaside Museum & Historical Society

During a prior year’s event, visitors to the Seaside Museum sample the seasonal fare with a musical group on hand to help set the mood for the holidays.

A pleasantly decorated arch leads visitors into the dining area at the Butterfield Cottage.

Courtesy Seaside Museum & Historical Society

A pleasantly decorated arch leads visitors into the dining area at the Butterfield Cottage.

This colorful quilt is one of the raffle prizes offered by the Seaside Museum & Historical Society.

Courtesy Seaside Museum & Historical Society

This colorful quilt is one of the raffle prizes offered by the Seaside Museum & Historical Society.


If there was an award for the tastiest holiday event in the prettiest setting, Seaside would have a slam-dunk contender.

Gingerbread Tea at the Butterfield Cottage is an annual fixture that offers residents and visitors a chance to get into the holiday mood in a delicious and fun way.

The Seaside Museum & Historical Society has set four dates this year, beginning Saturday, Nov. 24, and continuing Dec. 1, 8 and 15. The teas are served from 1 to 4 p.m. each Saturday. Admission is $5, with no advance reservations needed.

The teas will be presented by supporters of the Seaside Museum at 570 Necanicum Drive, four blocks north of the Seaside Civic & Convention Center.

They feature homemade gingerbread cake, baked by museum supporters and served with whipped cream and hot tea, cocoa or spiced cider. There are gingerbread-men cookies for children.

“The volunteers at the Museum who work on this event are like Santa’s elves,” said Kim Reef, this year’s organizer. “We like to spread joy and goodwill — and get our warm fuzzies from watching everyone enjoy the fruits of our labors.”

Volunteers can handle 30 guests at any one time, and each date usually attracts twice that number over the course of the afternoon. The Museum “elves” bake four large cakes ready for each Saturday.

Butterfield Cottage dates back to about 1893 and the Victorian-era building is decorated for the season with trees, wreaths and pine garlands. Tables feature cloth napkins, antique utensils, and china cups and plates.

Tita Montero, vice-president of the museum board, will greet visitors on all four Saturdays. Although it began more than 30 years ago as a fundraiser, it has morphed into a seasonal get-together, she said. One couple attended the tea years ago on their honeymoon and, like many, just keep coming back; others make it an annual tradition to attend.

“It is really a community service kind of event,” Montero said. “It has become a way for people to know there’s a museum here, have some fun, and see an original cottage. The Butterfield Cottage is one of the few remaining cottages from the beginning of Seaside.”

The opening weekend will feature music from the North Coast Ukulele Strummers; on Dec. 15, Shirley Yates will sing and play piano.

Door prizes will be drawn every hour, and those attending may purchase raffle tickets for a drawing to be held at the end of the final tea Dec. 15. Winners need not be present. Donated prizes include a handmade quilt, a hand-crocheted holiday-themed afghan, a large decorated poinsettia from Mimi’s Florist and a Candy Cottage gingerbread house kit.







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