Welcome to the History Lovers Grand Tour & Scavenger Hunt!
As the name implies, we’re a group of readers and authors who love both history and romance, especially when they’re combined in a delightful story. If you feel the same, you’re welcome to join us on our Facebook page and converse with us about historical romance fiction.
Below you’ll find authors of historical romances set in a wide variety of time periods. Perhaps by participating in our Grand Tour you’ll discover some new authors for your future reading pleasure. Hop around to your heart’s content, feel free to comment on the posts, hunt for answers to the authors’ questions, and perhaps you’ll be one of our 25 lucky prize winners (see contest details below)…although you’re already a winner if you find a new story to read, do you not agree?
The theme for this tour is Courting Rituals, and for my post, I’ve chosen to talk about going to Gunter’s Tea Shop located in Berkeley Square.
Gunter’s & Acceptable Regency Outings
I have an ongoing fascination with Gunter’s Tea Shop and my characters LOVE to go there. It was like heading over to Dairy Queen, Sonic Drive-In, Coldstone or a Ben & Jerry’s shop today. Something to cool you off and a social place to hang out while the weather’s warm. Located in Berkeley Square, the shop capitalized on the fashionable pastime of gentlemen taking ladies for rides in their carriages and provided one of the few places they could stop to socialize without risk to the lady’s reputation.
If a gentleman were to take the lady he was courting to Gunter’s in his carriage or phaeton, he would park under the elms that line the square, dismount and lean against the railing until a waiter from the shop raced across the street to take there order. This way, a gentleman could sit and talk for reasonable amount of time with an unchaperoned lady in full view of everyone and not risk censure.
The inside of the shop, which took up both #7 and #8 Berkeley Square, was also a popular gathering place for courting couples. They might not have had as much in the way of private conversation, compared to the couple parked outside, but they could still enjoy innocent pleasantries along with their confections in the often crowded shop.
We’ve become very bland in what we think of as acceptable ice cream and sorbet flavors these days. In the Georgian and Regency Eras, ices could be sweet or savory. Parmesan Ice? You betcha! Elderflower, muscadine, currant were just a few of the other sweeter varieties that sound so exotic to our modern ears.
I am offering a prize of a US$25 Gift Certificate to the Book Retailer of your choice! You can qualify for a chance to win by posting your favorite flavor of ice cream, sorbet or Italian ice and why in the comments section below. One commenter will be chosen at random to receive the prize at the end of the week!
Here’s my question for the scavenger hunt: What’s an example of a savory flavor of ices served at Gunter’s during the Regency?
Click on the History Lovers Grand Tour page to fill in the answer there (not in the comments below!), and you may continue on from there. Enjoy!
I’ve blogged and written about Gunter’s Tea Shop several times. I think it’s something about the hot summer months that draws my attention there. I’m sitting in Atlanta as I write this post and thinking of the suffocating heat and humidity and how it must resemble that of London in the height of summer 200 years ago.
I hope you enjoy two of my favorite passages that include Gunter’s:
The scent of spring rose from the bowl. She dipped into the ice and scraped off a dainty portion. Raising the spoon to her lips, she reminded herself to savor the first spoonful as long as possible. Subsequent ones never satisfied the same way. Cool, tangy crystals burst in her mouth releasing the delicate, subtle taste of summer. Marcia closed her eyes and leaned against the squabs while the world around her melted away like the ice on her tongue.
–Marcia Drummond, Revealed
And from a hero’s perspective:
Hubert Langham, Lord Dendridge, strolled along Berkeley Square, his nose lifting to catch the tantalizing scents wafting on the easterly breeze. Gunter’s iconic golden pineapple beckoned him closer to the teashop. Soon individual aromas emanating from the confectionery were distinguishable: vanilla, caramelized sugar, fresh fruit. But the floodgates of his memories erupted with the rich, luxurious scent of chocolate. His mother had brought him here prior to his being sent away to school at a tender age.
–Hubert Langham, Sweet Temptation
History Lovers Grand Tour Authors
Rue Allyn • Amylynn Bright • Collette Cameron • Téa Cooper • Beverley Eikli • Susana Ellis • Aileen Fish • Debra Glass • Amy Hearst • Evangeline Holland • Piper Huguley • Eliza Knight • Kristen Koster • Cora Lee • Georgie Lee • Suzi Love • Denise Lynn • Deborah Macgillivray • Barbara Monajem • Shelly Munro • Ella Quinn • Eva Scott • Shereen Vedam • Elaine Violette
- Each author will offer a prize for a contest, the specifics of which is set up entirely by her. The contest will be open to all participants, regardless of geographic location. For logistical purposes, authors may substitute a digital prize (gift card, etc.) of equal value for another prize that might prove difficult to mail to a distant location.
- The Grand Prize for the Scavenger Hunt will be awarded to the participant with the most correct answers to the authors’ scavenger hunt questions. In case of a tie, the winner will be chosen randomly.
- The winners will be posted on the History Lovers Grand Tour page the following week.
- Click on the above links to each author’s blog. The blog tour entry can be identified by the graphic in the upper right corner of the post. If it is not the top post, look for the graphic in a prominent location on the sidebar, and click on it to find the blog tour entry.
- Read the blog post and the author’s short answer question marked for the SCAVENGER HUNT (note: some may ask an additional question to encourage comments). Locate the answer to the SCAVENGER HUNT question, then click on the link to the History Lovers Grand Tour page and type in the answer next to the author’s name. Be sure to fill in the your name and email address!
- You may go back to same page and read more of the author’s post (excerpt, etc.) or you may click on another author’s name on the answer sheet and repeat the process.
- When you are finished, check to make sure the spaces for your name and email address are filled in correctly, and submit your answer sheet to the tour coordinator. If you submit an incomplete answer sheet, you may come back later and make another submission with the remaining answers when you have more time.
- Any questions about the scavenger hunt should be directed to the tour coordinator.