Dark paneled wood, lush carpet, soft Christmas music surrounded us as we walked into the O’Henry Hotel. A spot of tea and adult conversation awaited Veronica and I as the server led us to our small nook next to the grand piano. The wing back chairs and small glass top table became our sanctuary. A place for both of us to chat, to discuss this website, and to celebrate its continued success. With the opulence surrounding us, we sat back in our chairs and marveled at the deep emerald greens, the amber golds, and chocolate browns. Above our heads written in gold letters was O’Henry’s short story The Gift of the Magi which was appropriate for the holiday season. We couldn’t help but stare at all of the holiday finery, the tea dishes, other patrons chatting and smiling. Here we were celebrating The Dark Jane Book Club, celebrating you our readers, and celebrating the hope of a bright New Year.
As I reflect upon our tea, I believe Ms. Austen would have approved. Well, perhaps, she would have been taken aback by our attires–we wore dress pants because the chill of the wind was unbearable in any more formal dresses or skirts. She may have fussed about our lack of bonnets or romantic hats, but she would have warmed to our delightful plans to celebrate her writing and the writings of those who enhanced her works with monsters, the supernatural elements. And she most certainly would love the food and tea service brought out to us that evening.
We chose to share a pot of Earl Grey tea, and much to our surprise, we didn’t need to add more than one lump of sugar to our tea.Placed upon the small table, we feasted upon truffled egg salad sandwiches, spicy cheese crackers, and brie and ham bites. While we satisfied our savory tastebuds, we saved the sweets till the end. From lemon cookies that burst in our mouths to tart lemon custards, we enjoyed the delicately prepared desserts. Our favorite was the Oreo truffles. Neither one of us could speak or listen to other whilst savoring the rich dark chocolate. A small piece of Nirvana, a better than sex truffle, we were disappointed that they had only brought out two.
The food was indeed most excellent. What I enjoyed most was discussing our plans for the future of The Dark Jane Austen Book Club. We chatted about our book selections for next year, and we have some fantastic titles to read. That evening, we dreamed large, scary, outlandish dreams for this website, for new areas to grow. The kind of things that feel a bit beyond our reach, but we believe are well-worth striving to achieve.
We believe that 2012 will be an excellent year for the DJABC! Please join us as we look toward the upcoming year.