Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 22, 2018

PREVIEW: Ventfort Hall, Tea & Talks Series

Ventfort Hall, Lenox, MA
through September 4, 2018
by Shera Cohen

Each summer, Ventfort Hall loads its calendar with more activities than the prior year. I try to include at least one program into my Berkshire vacations.

Ventfort’s Tea & Talks Series, held each Tuesday at 4pm, offers lectures (but not the boring kind) followed by a decadent English Tea Time gathering in the den and dining room, respectively. While I’m not a tea person (tea will forever remind me of being sick when I was a child – it was Mom’s go-to drink), I did discover that I am a cucumber sandwich person.

This week’s lecturer was author Paul Freedman, speaking about “Ten Restaurants that  Changed America”. Freedman’s hour-long talk and slideshow was chockfull of anecdotes on Delmonico’s, Schrafft’s, Mama Leone’s, and even Howard Johnson was delightful. Restaurants highlighted in his book were not necessarily “the best,” but were change-makers, each for a different reason. A Q&A followed, with audience members (the room was packed) asking about the origin of fast food, automats, and diners.

Tea & Talk presents a diverse range of subjects. Among those upcoming are: Invention of the American Art Museum, The Winchester, World’s Fairs, Photographer Henry Coit Perkins, Anne Morgan, and ends with Mar-a-Lago.