>>Whether you’re a visitor or
guest The Umstead Hotel and Spa invites you to tour
its art collection and indulge yourself
in its classic afternoon tea.>>A glass sculpture by Dale
Chihuly greets every visitor to The Umstead Hotel. This magnificent piece can be
the first step of your self guided tour.>>From the beginning
Mrs. Goodnight and the curatorial staff
at SAS art and scenic wanted to bring nature
into the hotel so they came up with the design
theme of art in nature. They were very inspired
by our namesake The Umstead Park right across the way and then they also saw in 2005 The Potters Eye exhibit at the
Museum of Art which featured the work
of Mark Hewitt and Ben Owen as well as many other
North Carolina artists so they were driven to bring in
regional and North Carolina art. So when I give art tours
I’m pleased to walk people around the permanent collection which is over 100 pieces. The majority of them
are from regional and North Carolina
artists and Julia, we’ve also created a self
guiding art tour booklet that folks can come in
when they’re visiting the hotel. Pick one up it’s a map. And then it’s got small pictures
of all the pieces including the artist’s
name in the title and where they’re from. So we encourage people that
haven’t asked for an art tour to tour themselves
through our collection.>>Throughout the hotel
every wall is graced with art and the gallery features
rotating exhibits from selected artists
throughout the year.>>Julia this is a great example
of organic imagery and texture. This is a plein air
painting by Lynn Boggus who is an artist
from canvas West Virginia. And we do have 16 of his works
in the collection.>>Guests are invited
to call the hotel they can call me directly and I’ll set up
an art tour for them and have a wonderful afternoon
of looking at the artwork and learning a little bit
more about it. And then they can finish
with afternoon tea.>>After an inspirational tour
of the works of art, I met with hotel General Manager
Jim Beley for afternoon tea served on a Ben Owen
poetry service>>Afternoon tea has been a longstanding
tradition in luxury hotels in the United States.>>Obviously its base is
from England and English aristocracy. But it’s been a part
of American hotels for I’d say better
part of a century. We offer at the Umstead mighty
leaf teas from San Francisco which are whole looseleaf teas which really brings out
the essence and flavor of a quality tea. So Julia we have
multiple selections if I will say my favorite is the orchard oolong tea. which is a semi fermented tea
which has a very mellow aroma and very soft smooth taste. On any given afternoon
The Umstead only serves 16 to 18 people during
our afternoon tea service. Reason being is because
of the detail and creativity
of the food that’s served. There’s a lot of minute detail
that goes into the preparation of the tea sandwiches
of the scones with Devon cream and also then
the sweet cakes, cookies, and sometimes some of our home blended chocolates
of the Umstead. Some of the creativity
of our chefs is truly amazing. Being
our 10th anniversary, they’re now decorating
some of the tea foods with an edible silver just to commemorate
our 10th anniversary and give a little bit
of indication to our guests that we’re
always caring about them. This is simply a treat
to spend a lovely engaging and delicious afternoon at the Umstead Hotel and Spa.>>The Umstead Hotel and Spa
is located at 100 Woodland Pond
Drive in Cary and for a self guided
tour of their art ask for a brochure
at their front desk. Afternoon tea is served
Wednesday through Sunday from 2:30 to 4:00 pm 24 hour advance
reservations are acquired so give them a call
at 919-447-4000. For more information visit their
Web site at theumstead.com.