On May 26th, 2021, Friends Board Members Leslie Kavanaugh and Patti Reinstein honored longtime Friends Member Sunday Taylor and her recently published book, The Anglophile’s Notebook, with a sold-out formal English Tea and Book Signing at the Virginia Robinson Gardens.
Elegantly dressed guests entering the Great Lawn were greeted by tables clad in pink tablecloths, each with a lovely pink and red rose arrangement centerpiece, designed by Kerstin Royce. Beyond, on the Terrace, were two tables laden with all good things required for a grand tea including delicious khachapuri, a wide assortment of tea sandwiches crafted by Alenoosh Davoodian, VRG Staff Assistant, and Patti, assorted scones donated by La Provence Patisserie & Café, clotted cream, and fresh fruit. The orange-raisin muffins with smoked turkey and chutney, also created by Patti, were especially exceptional. Pitchers of lemonade and tea and other fabulous edibles further enhanced the tables.
Sunday, seated nearby, was busy greeting family and friends, both old and new, and signing copies of her book. Sunday graciously donated the proceeds from the sale of all books purchased at the Tea to the Friends. When asked about her donation, Sunday replied, “I loved the event! And so many people have been contacting me about how much they enjoyed it. I want to donate the proceeds from the sale of the books in gratitude to FRG for giving me such a special and meaningful event.” We are deeply grateful to Sunday for her totally unexpected and very generous donation.
Many former Friends Presidents, including Ellisa Bregman, Claudia Deutsch, Adrienne Horwich, Leslie, Patti, and Kerstin Royce, were spotted enjoying themselves at this special tea. Rotary Club President Sharona Nazarian was there as well.
Entertainment was provided while guests enjoyed their tea. Leslie and Patti briefly described the revamped FRG Children’s Science Program (FRoG), which had to be moved from the Gardens to virtual due to Covid. They finished with their song and dance routine describing the photosynthesis process. Judging by the large applause, theirs was Academy Award material.
And…there was even a cameo appearance by Superintendent Tim Lindsay who gave a warm welcome to all.
Among the guests were a large number of Sunday’s friends, with some friendships spanning many decades. Friends, as well as family, traveled from as far away as Sonoma to honor Sunday on this special day. A highlight of the day had to be watching Sunday’s eight-month-old granddaughter, Marianne, valiantly try to take her very first step at the Gardens.
All were extremely excited to be at the Gardens, especially since this was the first time many had been in over a year. Their enthusiasm showed. Compliments on the picture-perfect day and marvelous buffet came non-stop. Guests left the Gardens with a little gift of a lovely bookmark and a brownie and cookie baked by Alenoosh. This delightful day was summarized by Rosanna Grabel who said, “It was a warm and happy event! Looking forward to more to come.”
Post by Clare Wagner
Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Member
Photos by Kerstin Royce and Leslie Kavanaugh
Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Members