Category Archives: Special Events

Expedition Photographer Gordon Wiltsie at The Rio Theater Oct 24 2014

ANTARCTICA, Queen Maud Land by Gordon WiltsieThe Quail & Thistle Tea Room proudly presents

Gordon Wiltsie in

“To the Ends of the Earth”
The Adventures of an Expedition Photographer

7pm Oct 24, 2014 at the Rio Theater, Santa Cruz.

Tickets available online at

Many a story has been told imagining places never before seen by human eyes or of cultures barely known to the outside world. Gordon Wiltsie tells such stories, but with one difference: Gordon’s stories aren’t fiction. He was there. These places, these peoples really exist. Gordon Wiltsie has made a career of finding such places and vanishing cultures and documenting them with stunning, other-worldly photography and insightful prose.

NEPALA UCSC graduate with honors in photography and writing, Gordon’s passion for pursuing some of the most inaccessible places on earth began while he was still a student. Traveling and adventuring on weekends and between semesters, writing and developing film (remember film?) between classes, his articles and photographs were soon published in national magazines.

Although his career didn’t launch itself overnight, he eventually became one of the most respected expedition photographers of his generation. He has worked assignments for National Geographic, Outside and other worldwide publications, including such widely varied projects as climbing Himalayan summits, extreme skiing and big wall climbing in Antarctica, dog sledding across the Arctic Ocean, riding reindeer sleds with the last nomadic clans in Arctic Russia, and galloping across Asian steppes alongside the descendants of Genghis Khan (while trying desperately not to fall off his horse!).

Few photographers have undertaken a more varied, dangerous and captivating collection of adventures as Gordon Wiltsie. Join us for an evening of breathtaking imagery and light-hearted storytelling as Gordon shares a few of his most memorable adventures with us.

MONGOLIA, Darhad Valley by Gordon Wiltsie


General Admission tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
Student tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. (Valid student photo ID required at the door)

Tickets are available for purchase online at, and in person at The Quail & Thistle Tea Room, 911-B Capitola Ave, Capitola.

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“A Slice of Carmel” Dinner With Author Barbara Chamberlain Aug 22

Join us at The Quail & Thistle August 22 at 6pm for an evening with award-winning local author Barbara Chamberlain as she reads selections from her murder mystery “A Slice of Carmel” and shares insights into the origins of hers stories and characters.

For this event, The Quail & Thistle will serve a Middle Eastern themed  dinner inspired by scenes from “A Slice of Carmel.”  Appetizers and author meet and greet begin at 6pm with a sit down meal accompanied by Barbara reading from her books beginning at 6:30.  Moroccan mint tea and desserts will follow. 

Who doesn’t appreciate a good murder mystery? Start planning ahead for holiday gifts for the readers in your life.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.

$34 per person includes a 3 course sumptuous meal and a signed copy of Barbara’s book.  Reservations are required.  Tickets can be purchased online at, in person at the restaurant, or by phone at 477-1798.

Special Father’s Day Menu

Treat Dad to something special – Father’s Day Tea at The Quail & Thistle in Capitola!

Our special Father’s Day luncheon includes:

  • Scotch eggs
  • Roast beef sandwich with horseradish mayo
  • Lamb slider with feta
  • Prawn, cucumber and dill sandwich
  • Bacon-wrapped dates
  • Sausage-stuffed jalapeno poppers
  • Chopped muffaletta triangle
  • Assorted sweets and cakes
  • And of course tea! and berry spritzers

Seatings are available at 11am and 1pm.

$26.00 per person

Book your reservation online on our web site or call 477-1798  to reserve a memorable Father’s Day at The Quail & Thistle Tea Room.

Special Mother’s Day Menu

For Mother’s Day weekend, this Saturday and Sunday May 10 and 11, we will be offering a special fixed menu:

Adult Menu:

Green Salad start


  • Prawn Toast
  • Sausage Rolls
  • Spanakopita

Tea Sandwiches:

  • Egg Salad
  • Curried Chicken w/ coconut & almonds
  • Ham & Brie w/ Apple
  • Ricotta & Orange Marmalade

Scone with Spreads


  • Chocolate covered strawberry
  • Shortbread cookie
  • Mini cheesecake
  • Lemon blueberry tea cake
  • Lavender Earl Grey tea cookie

Each adult luncheon includes all of the above, plus a pot of tea or iced tea for $26 per person. Portion sizes of each item are small so you can enjoy a wide variety of flavors!

Children (12 and under):

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • Nutella with raspberry jam
  • Chocolate covered strawberry
  • Ants on a log
  • Pigs in a blanket
  • Cinnamon toasted bread with butter

Each child lunch includes all of the above, plus a child’s beverage (hot tea, iced tea, milk, apple juice) for $15 per person.

“What Is Bitcoin?” Fireside Chat & Dinner – March 21, 2014, 6pm

“So what is Bitcoin, anyway?”

Join us for an evening of animated discussion and exploration of what Bitcoin is (and isn’t) and how it works with local tech guru Danny Thorpe.

No degrees in mathematics or secret decoder rings are required – Mr Thorpe excels and delights in creating colorful metaphors to illustrate complex topics in everyday terms.

Topics will include:

Bitcoin Mechanics

  • What is Bitcoin, where did it come from, and how does it work?
  • The Blockchain – the public ledger
  • The Wallet – the vault that contains only a key
  • The Hash – sign here with your digital omelette

Bitcoin Laid Bare

  • Analysis of Bitcoin praise and criticism
  • Facts, fictions, and lessons learned in recent headlines

Bitcoin for Merchants

  • The advantages, costs, and risks of accepting payment, compared to cash and credit cards.

Bitcoin for Consumers

  • The advantages, costs, and risks of buying with Bitcoin, compared to cash and credit cards.

Common Sense Security Practices

  • (that no-one in the headlines followed)

Our goal is to present balanced coverage of Bitcoin features and criticisms so that you may develop your own informed opinion about the emerging world of cryptocurrency. This is not a recruitment meeting, political rally or sales pitch. The only thing we’re selling is dinner!

Dinner will be served following the presentation and discussion session.

Bitcoin Fireside Dinner Menu


  • Hummus with pita bread
  • Spanakopita
  • Goat Cheese with lemon & thyme served with flatbread crisps
  • Dried figs stuffed with feta, wrapped with sage and prosciutto


Greek Style with kalamata olives, feta, bell pepper, red onion and cucumber on lettuce


Choice of
Roasted lamb
Moussaka (vegetarian)


  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Stewed mixed Vegies (green beans, peas and tomatoes)


  • Honey cake
  • Baklava
  • Sesame seed crunch
  • Greek almond cookies
  • Fresh and dried fruits


When: Friday, March 21st 2014 at 6pm
Where: The Quail & Thistle Tea Room, 911 Capitola Ave, Capitola 95010
Cost:  $40 per person, inclusive of class and dinner.

Tickets will go on sale Thursday March 6 and will be available for purchase at The Quail & Thistle or online at Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Update: Ticket sales at BrownPaperTickets are now closed. However, we do still have seats available for this Bitcoin dinner. Please call us at (831) 477-1798 or stop by the restaurant during business hours to check availability.


Your Speaker:  Danny Thorpe, co-owner of The Quail & Thistle with wife Cindy Fairhurst-Thorpe, is a long time Santa Cruz resident and software architect. He worked his way up through the ranks to Chief Scientist in the Delphi software tools group at Borland, co-founded the Google Gears project at Google, contributed to Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Azure at Microsoft, and in recent years has been building security, authorization and authentication infrastructure at Dell Software. He actually did earn his degree in mathematics and holds a patent on a very obscure steganography technique that real cryptographers would simply laugh at – if they could find the data.