Last week we headed for the east coast and a family wedding in Bethlehem, PA, home to steel tearoom.jpgmill ruins and an 18th century utopia built by Moravian colonists. Blindingly green, the Lehigh Valley in June can be hot and humid. And it was.

But we found relief in a charming Irish team room next door to an Inn where George Washington used to hoist pints of colonial homebrew while plotting  military maneuvers.

McCarthy’s Tea Room, located in the architectural center of Bethlehem, offered an authentic breakfast of eggs, on top of a slender oat cake topped with salty, lean Irish bacon. Grilled tomatoes and a pot of tea added just the right touch of old worldliness. And we managed to revive ourselves long enough to stroll down to the river to examine the 17th century spring house and foundations of the original Moravian settlement.

A graceful town studded with colleges, Bethlehem also boasts hulking ruins of the steel mills that polluted the hearts, lungs and rivers of several generations of 19th and 20th century settlers.

Fascinating place, which also happens to be the home of watercolor master Edwin Havas.