MANITOU SPRINGS — In our exclusive series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems and well-known spots.
Take a step back in time for a glimpse at life in the Victorian era.
Visitors to the Miramont Castle can take a self-guided tour of the museum or enjoy the tradition of high tea.
Tea tastings are done twice per day in the Queen's Parlour Tea Room, one at 11 am and the other at 1 pm.
And that's where our adventure begins...
After taking our seat, tea room manager Leah Blake greets us with the first of four tastings.
We start with a delicious scone that's served with a variety of spreads, my favorite being the organic strawberry preserves!
Course number two is a colorful assortment of fresh fruit that's served with a lemon curd.
Both courses are super flavorful, especially when paired with some piping hot tea.
The third course includes four different tea sandwiches, each more scrumptious than the next.
Lastly, Blake brings out my favorite course, dessert, and it doesn't disappoint.
The mouse and orange cranberry red wine tart are to die for!
A separate admission fee, but something that shouldn't be missed, is a self-guided tour of the historic castle.
Front desk manager Margaret Johnson has been with the Miramont for 14 years, and she shows us around.
Construction on the castle began in 1895.
It was originally built as a personal residence for a french priest and his mother, but as Johnson tells us, they weren't here long enough to enjoy it.
The family left in the early 1900s, selling the castle to the Sisters of Mercy.
In 1976, the Manitou Springs Historical Society purchased the building, restored the castle, and began offering tours.
We start with the newest addition, the Fire Museum, which is located in the original castle's basement.
Johnson tells us that it currently serves as Manitou's only firefighter museum.
Climbing the staircase that once served as the original entrance to the castle, we arrive at the parlour.
Working our way past the dining room and serving kitchen, we come to the eight-sided chapel.
The next floor features my favorite part of the tour, the seven-sided glass solarium.
Adjacent to the solarium is a guest suite and the Spoils of War exhibit, which honors the brave men and women who once served our country.
Onto the fourth and final floor, it's the castle's gift shop.
All in all, the 14,000 square foot castle has 30 rooms that are filled with history that dates back to the late 1800s.
For more information, head to their website - miramontcastle.org.
To reserve your tea tasting, call the castle at 719-685-1011.