Pinkorama #2: The Charm of Tea on the Peep-keepsie Train from the The English Wife

Both of our Pinkoramae this year take place within a year of each other (1898 and 1899!), but the settings couldn’t be more different.

Today, returning champions Candace and Cassandra take us to the frosty Hudson Valley in January of 1899 with The Charm of Tea on the Peep-keepsie Train from the The English Wife.

At a Twelfth Night party on a Hudson Valley estate, the scion of an old Knickerbocker family is found dead, stabbed through the doublet (it’s a costume party), his English wife unaccountably missing.  The murdered man’s sister teams up with a reporter, Burke, to try to uncover the truth about what really happened to her brother and his wife.

Candace and Cassandra write:

Under the allure of tea, dry biscuits, and intrigue, Janie and Burke take a cozy trip on the Peep-keepsie train from New York to Cold Spring. A trip so alluring that Janie prefers it to the private car obtained by her mother later on and is some thing to confess to Burke later on that she had wondered if she had pursued the truth for her brother’s sake or because she like sharing tea on the trains with him.

Here we can see them in tete-a-tete.  And you can totally get why Janie likes sharing tea on trains with Burke….  That look he’s giving her there is steamier than the tea.  (To be fair, it’s train tea, so it’s probably pretty lukewarm.   But all the same.)

Here you can see Janie, fighting her native shyness, slowly beginning to open up to Burke under the influence of tea, cakes, and the soothing cadence of the train.  Don’t you love her hat?

And here’s Burke, nattily attired in the gentlemanly winter wear of the Gilded Age.  Also here you get a wonderful view of those exquisite train seats and curtains.

Let’s take a moment to look down on them, shall we?  From here you can almost make out the title of the book Janie has with her….

Taking a wider view, you can see not only Janie and Burke (who seem to be sitting together now!  Scandal!), but also the tea trolley that brought their tea and treats on the way to Poughkeepsie.  Those big wheels were designed to keep it steady on bumpy train rides.

There are two things I love about Candace and Cassandra’s creations every year.  One is that they always manage to find a scene that no one else thinks of– that I would never have thought of!– and bring it so gorgeously to life.  The other is that they always bring it to life using candy as their medium.  I’m so impressed by what intricate details they manage to create out of foodstuffs.  Can you believe those seats and curtains and tea things and their clothes are all made of edible substances?

Take a bow, Candace and Cassandra!  This is truly a tour de Peep (and a tour de Peepkeepsie!).


  1. Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on May 7, 2024 at 7:20 pm

    I SO agree, their use of candy is second to none!

  2. Sheila C. on May 7, 2024 at 10:45 pm

    Poughkeepsie is my home town! For several months I took a northbound train every Friday afternoon, caught it in the Bronx where I worked. I always hoped it would be local, because then I would be able to get a seat sooner. Do they still called out “Manitou, Manitou!” ?

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