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Hankering for tea? Where to find & drink it locally

  • Written by Shannon Michael Features Writer

There’s something synonymous with the smell of autumn in the air, a light drizzle coming down, and a warm cuppa. A cup of tea that is, maybe accompanied by a crumbly, buttery scone lathered in lemon curd or perfectly shaped triangle tea sandwiches.

The Northshore area has two great tea rooms that can make you feel like you’ve been transported to the English countryside and a tea shop to make your favorite teas at home. All are located in or next to Bothell’s Country Village.

Elizabeth & Alexander’s

Elizabeth & Alexander’s English Tea Room is located just south of the Country Village entrance at 23808 Bothell Everett Highway.

Originally opened by Dean and Sue Hale about 15 years ago, it is now owned and operated by Dustin Weller who bought the restaurant four years ago.

The tea room, open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, serves breakfast until 11 a.m., lunch and afternoon tea.  They offer a variety of 14 teas to choose from, including black, decaf and herbal teas.

Guests have several choices of dining experiences, from booking the Alexander Room for small, private parties, to enjoying tea and a scone while sitting in a wing-backed chair in the Churchill Room, or sitting at a small table near the woodstove with friends in the Parlor while enjoying high tea.

Families of young children looking for a kid-friendly dining experience where good manners can be practiced in a welcoming setting will enjoy ordering the children’s tea for lunch. The lunch comes with lemon curd and raspberry jam sandwiches, cookies and fruit, accompanied by a pot of hot cocoa.

Elizabeth & Alexander’s afternoon tea is a three-tiered sampling of many of the kitchen’s specialties, including scones, sandwiches, cookies, chocolate rum raspberry torte and tea of your choice. Reservations for the Alexander Room, larger parties, and for Saturdays are strongly recommended by calling (425) 489-9210.

Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available, including gluten-free scones, which need to be pre-ordered in advance. Their full menu can be previewed at elizabethandalexander.com.

Village Eatery & Tea Company

Tucked back into the left corner of Country Village is the quaint Village Eatery & Tea Company. Opened in July 2009 by Janice Zeller, a British expatriate, the restaurant offers lunch, several high tea options, teas and bakery items for sale.

It is open from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily except Tuesdays and select holidays, including – appropriately so – Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. 

The restaurant is knownfor their wide selection of authentic British fare, including a beef or chicken Cornish pasty (pronounced PASS-tee), sausage rolls, Union Jack Salad, along with scones, and a selection of traditional British beverages such as Lemon Barley Water, a style of lemonade.

Just selecting what kind of tea you want can be an adventure, with over 60 kinds of black, Darjeeling, herbal, and caffeine-free options to choose from on the menu. The loose-leaf teas can also be bought in bulk by the ounce to take home.

Vegetarian options are available, but gluten-free menu options need to be pre-ordered in advance.

Zeller recommends parties of seven or more and those planning to dine on Saturdays call for reservations at (425) 483-2005.

To see Village Eatery’s full menu, visit villageeateryandteacompany.com.

An Afternoon to Remember

Fine Tea & Gifts

The newest addition to the tea business in the Northshore area is An Afternoon to Remember, which was opened this summer by owner Amy Lawrence. The shop features over 150 varieties of loose tea, many of which are Lawrence’s own blends. Located on the ground floor of the Suite C building on the south side of Country Village, visitors can also taste sample a few teas already brewed while shopping.

The store, besides tea, offers a selection of tea accessories such as teapots, tea books, cookbooks and gift items.

In addition to the store, Lawrence’s website, afternoontoremember.com, offers online ordering, recipes, menu suggestions, and links to upcoming classes, events, a blog and newsletter.

An Afternoon to Remember is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Architecture lessons learned in Japan

  • Written by 21 Acres

Are you interested in green building trends? Do you enjoy international and cultural influences in architectural design?

Join architect Nancy Henderson, ArchEcology, in upcoming classes offered at the 21 Acres Center near Woodinville. 

• "Architecture Lessons Learned in Japan - Perspectives for Professionals," Tuesday, October 8 at 6:30 p.m., is geared to industry professionals as Henderson shares insight from her recent trip to Japan to study international sustainable building design.

This class will cover the similarities and differences between green building trends in Japan with those in the United States, and address how cultural values play into these methods. Henderson will cover the emphasis on monitoring building performance in Japan and discuss the lessons that can be learned for projects here in America.

Enjoy a light dinner of Japanese cuisine prepared by 21 Acres’ Sous Chef Asako Sullivan.

Class fee is $25 per person.

• "Architecture Lessons Learned in Japan - Discussion and Inspired Insight," Tuesday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m. is geared to the general public and anyone interested in green building design, no architectural expertise required.

Henderson will cover the similarities and differences between sustainable building design trends in Japan with those in the United States and address how cultural values play into these methods sharing the lessons that can be learned. Enjoy tea and a light taste of Japan prepared by 21 Acres’ Sous Chef Asako Sullivan.

Class fee is $15 per person.

Interested students may enroll and register one of three ways: 21acres.org/school; phone: (425) 481-1500; or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  As a special offer, all 21 Acres students receive a discount in the 21 Acres Farm Market the week after class.

High school theatre programs welcome new direction

  • Written by Shannon Michael Features Writer

Among the many fresh, new faces at area high schools this fall are new drama directors at Bothell and Woodinville high schools.

At Bothell High School, Chaya Glass replaces James Wilson, while Josh Butchart takes over the Woodinville High program from Leslie Herlich. Both Wilson and Herlich retired in June.

Chaya Glass

Chaya GlassCourtesy Photo. Chaya Glass is the new drama director at Bothell High.Glass, who grew up near Mill Creek, has been interested in performing since she was young. "My parents will tell you that when I was little, if there was anything that even remotely looked like a stage, I would be on it, usually singing," she wrote in an email interview.

She grew up taking classes with Seattle Children’s Theatre, was involved with all of the productions at Mountlake Terrace High School, and sang in the jazz choir as well before graduating and moving on to Washington State University.

At WSU, she had every intention of studying broadcast production, but the selection of theatre classes was tempting, so she ended up double majoring in theatre arts and communication.

From there, she attended Western Washington University to earn her teaching credentials in secondary theatre arts.

She is also a teaching artist with Seattle Children’s Theatre and at other summer camps in the area during the summer.

She has done local productions in community theatre, including Noises Off with the Cascade Community Theatre in Duvall.

Prior to being hired at BHS, she was a long-term substitute in drama at Cedarcrest High School last year.

At BHS, Glass is teaching two periods of beginning drama fall semester. Spring semester she’ll be teaching technical theatre and musical theatre.

When Glass was hired, Wilson was helpful by providing her with a long list of contacts he’d cultivated through the years.

"That has definitely been very helpful to know exactly who I can count on to support me, and he was right in those names because I have started the school year with a tremendous amount of support from both parents and staff," she wrote. 

Glass has one major goal for her first year at BHS. She plans to really let the students take ownership of their department and productions.

"I have a great group of students who all care very deeply about this department, and I want them to be able to step up and make what they want to happen, happen," she wrote, adding, "Too many times I see programs where it’s just adults telling students what they should be doing. I don’t want that. I want my students to feel like this is their program and their place to express themselves."

BHS Theatre Arts’ first production will be the student-directed and acted one-act festival Dramafest on November 1 at 7:30 p.m. and November 2 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Northshore Performing Arts Center (NPAC) on the BHS campus. Seven seniors will direct six one-act plays, and 85 students have been cast to participate.

Their winter play, yet to be named, will run January 9, 10, 11, 17 and 18. The spring musical will be April 25th and 26th and May 1st to 3rd. Both productions will be in the NPAC.

For more information about BHS Theatre Arts productions and ticket prices, visit bothelldrama.org.

Josh Butchart

Josh Butchart 2Courtesy Photo. Josh Butchart is the new drama director at Woodinville High. Josh Butchart comes to WHS’ theatre arts program with almost a decade of teaching experience to guide his students.

"I started doing theatre as a techie (technical theatre student) in high school, and moved onto the stage as an actor my senior year – so my original love of theatre started out backstage," he wrote in an email interview.

A theatre and education graduate of Whitman College, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting while substitute teaching during the day. He landed a substitute job at Beverly Hills High School, which eventually turned into a full-time position.

He spent the next seven years teaching theatre, directing, producing and designing at BHHS. "It was a fantastic job, but I really wanted to pursue my master’s degree and return to the Northwest," he wrote.

He earned his master’s in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Washington this past spring, then immediately applied for the WHS job.

At WHS, Butchart is teaching technical theatre, introduction to theatre and advanced acting/production, along with an English class. "I am also directing and designing the school productions: the fall and winter plays, and the musical," he wrote.

For Butchart, his first goal is always to produce high quality, professional caliber shows.

A close second is to run an intensive, preparatory, conservatory-style set of theatre classes.

"This means classes that will be preparing students for college theatre programs, instilling professional standards, and exposing students to advanced theatrical material and techniques. I also want to expand the size of the program, and try to get our numbers back up to WHS’ historic norms," he wrote.

"The Curious Savage," by John Patrick, will be WHS Theatre Company’s first production.

The play is a comedy about the outside world intruding on the quiet lives of the residents of a private mental institution.

It runs from November 6-9, at 7 p.m. in the WHS Theatre. Tickets are $10 general admission; $5 for students with ASB and children under 12.

The winter play and spring musical have yet to be announced for WHS. Visit woodinvilledrama.org to learn more about upcoming WHS productions.

Inglemoor High

Meanwhile, Gretchen Stewart’s established theatre arts program at Inglemoor High School will offer three major productions this school year, starting with "Thirteen Past Midnight" by Billy St. John.

The play will be at the school’s Si Siverson Little Theatre October 25-26 and November 1-2 at 7 p.m., October 31 at 3:30 p.m., and November 2 at 2 p.m.

The classic "You Can’t Take it With You" by Kauffman and Hart will be IHS’ winter production, also in the Si Siverson Little Theatre.

The play runs January 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on January 25.

Tickets for these two plays will be $7 for students with ASB, children, seniors and military; $10 for students without ASB and adults.

Performances of IHS’ spring musical, yet to be announced, will be in the NPAC.

The musical will run May 9, 15, 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on May 10.

Tickets for the musical will be $10 for students with ASB, children, seniors and military; $15 for students without ASB and adults.

More information can be found on the drama page of the Inglemoor High School website: nsd.org/education/club/club.php?sectionid=712.

Online resources make genealogy research easy and fun to do

  • Written by Shannon Michael, Features Writer

If you’ve always had a yearning to learn more about your family’s genealogy but just didn’t have the resources to travel to where your ancestors lived, living in the 21st century has its benefits with the increasing amount of data added online daily.

It used to be that in order to research a family’s history, one would need to rely on family history handed down through family Bibles, personal memoirs, newspaper clippings of obituaries or wedding announcements, family tree charts, old photos, and mementos from the past.

It also usually involved traveling to places where they lived and visiting local historical societies, libraries, public records depositories, and accessing church records to garner tidbits of information on an ancestor. While visiting where an ancestor lived is still a fun way to learn more about a person, so much information is more easily available online.

The best first resource to use, though, should always be the oldest members of your family. Don’t wait until it’s too late to ask them as many questions as you can to learn about each of your family elders’ childhood, parents and personal history. Go through old photos and have them identify family members you may not recognize, too.

While your elders’ memories may not always be accurate, using information compiled from family members makes the foray into online researching easier.

With the plethora of websites such as Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org and MyHeritage.com, digging into one’s family history often takes just a few seconds of  entering an ancestor’s basic vital information into their database search engines to find links to censuses, birth and death records, marriage records, military service records and more.

While many of the more popular websites require a paid subscription, some are available through library subscriptions. For example, the King County Library System offers free access to several websites, including Ancestry.com, through their online databases. The only requirement is you must access some of these databases by visiting and using the library’s computers.

MyHeritage.com lets you register for free, create an online family tree of up to 250 names, and link some basic historical records to individuals on the tree. The paid subscription allows access to additional resources and records including the ability to link up with other family trees already created on the website.

Once you learn the name, locations and dates of birth and death, parents’ names and spouses’ names, you can often take that information home from the library and search for more information online that may be available without a paid subscription about a specific ancestor.

One website, almost entirely created by a vast army of volunteers, is FindAGrave.com. This constantly expanding database of cemeteries and the headstones of people laid to rest in them is a great resource for finding additional information about an ancestor.

Free to join, many members choose to manage a few memorial pages for their deceased loved ones, while others devote hours of time visiting cemeteries, taking photos of each headstone, and creating memorial pages for each person in that cemetery. Once the basic memorial page is created, additional information can be added, including links to the deceased’s parents’ memorial pages, obituaries and photos of the person, along with a photo of the headstone or marker.

Another great free resource is RootsWeb.ancestry.com, billed as the Internet’s oldest free genealogy resource. The website is a vast treasure trove of compiled data.

You can find pages such as one devoted to all the surnames of people who’ve lived in Illinois to pages like German Settlers of Cole Camp, Missouri where the page administrator’s mission is to create a database of every German immigrant to this small region of Missouri, passenger lists for every ship that brought them to America, and who served in the military. 

And, while some states are generous with sharing older public records, such as birth and death records online, other states will require ordering specific records for a fee.

Unless you are descended from Native Americans, eventually the paper trail will lead to researching for information from other countries. The more extensive websites like Ancestry.com have databases of information for other countries such as Canadian, Australian and British censuses.

Researching your family genealogy can also be a fun family adventure. School-aged children can hone their online research skills, visits to cemeteries to search for ancestors can be like a scavenger hunt, and in the process everyone learns who they are and where they came from.

One warning should be issued if you haven’t yet tried researching your family’s genealogy online: It can be addicting and time-consuming! But, if you love the thrill of a good hunt for clues that will lead you to new discoveries about your family’s past, then the joy of discovery waits with just a few clicks on your computer.

Kenmore man wins contest, joins legendary angler on Lake Ontario

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

FishingPhoto courtesy of Todd Pearson. Kenmore’s Todd Pearson (right) spent last week angling the waters of Lake Ontario with one of the nation’s top fisherman, after winning a contest from Yakima Bait.It was in late August that Todd Pearson logged onto YakimaBait.com to buy bait for steelhead fishing. A pop up flashed across his screen, stating that he’d been selected as a potential prize winner. 

The 50-year-old Kenmore resident read the contest details and got fired up. This was a shot to help set a world record, and to fish with the legendary Buzz Ramsey. Pearson spent the next hour feverishly filling out a questionnaire.

Yakima Bait Company held a national contest, with entries pouring in from anglers across the country.  The entrants yearned to be part of a team providing documented proof on film that Rooster Tail is the world’s most versatile multi-species lure.

On September 6, Pearson received a call telling him he’d won. "I must have come across pretty well," he said. 

He flew back to Michigan last week. As of this writing, he was fishing with the legendary Buzz Ramsey. 

"Buzz is one of these guys like John Wayne, the real deal," Pearson said. "There’re not many people who can walk the walk so effortlessly. He’s just humble, and he’s got high values and standards. To be here with someone who is such an industry icon, is great.

"This contest is about going out and getting it on video," Pearson said. "So there are numerous locations around the United States, with ours being the primary because it’s got Buzz as the spokesperson. It’s unfortunate that we came up to Lake Ontario at this time because there’s been a cold snap that moved in for about a week before we got here. So the fishing has been off. Even the local anglers have said it’s been horrible. But we’ve managed to catch fish. It’s been great. We went out today and were the only people catching fish on the Rooster Tail."

During his trip, Pearson has witnessed the widespread love of this particular lure.

"The local community has been aware of our presence," he said. "Every day, we’ll be hanging out somewhere, and someone will see Buzz and come up and meet him and they’ll have a Rooster Tail story. They’ll say, `I caught my first bass on a rooster tail.’ Or ‘I was going through my grandfather’s tackle box from 40 years ago, and there were Rooster Tails in there.’ It’s as American as apple pie, if you’re a fisherman."

While Yakima Bait’s filming expedition will run into late October, Pearson was to return home by last weekend. He was asked for his favorite moment.

"It was on day 2, and it was rather rough out," he said. "We were trolling for lake trout and brown (trout) and salmon. It was just so rough and nothing was biting. We went into a island inlet called Stony Lake and fished the reeds. Buzz and I, within minutes of each other, lost bait to Northern Pike — they have sharp teeth. We just looked at each other and were thinking ‘Well, we need to step our leaders up.’

"And it was a surreal moment for me," Pearson said. "I was like ... ‘I am fishing with Buzz Ramsey!’’"

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Comments or news tips? Derek Johnson can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..