Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Tea Party to Help Drive Away Winter and Talk Style


Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
Henry James 
The Weather outside was frightful, 



But luckily, I had planned something quite delightful: A Style Statement Tea Party!

While I was making a lavender blueberry tea loaf and buttermilk and blackberry scones, I sent Barry out with one mission: find me yellow and pink tulips!  If Spring refuses to come to the Maritimes, we will just have to force it, like one would force a paper white or amaryllis bulb in time for Christmas...

As a Wendy aside, even as I am looking at the delightful tea table below, I am thinking of how wonderful it would be if the walls were pink or a pale blue.... hmm.. remember that pink post?  Can't you just see it?

Well anyway, four girlfriends came over to spend the afternoon with me for our inaugural tea time soiree.  We missed our friend Colleen, who was gummed up with life stuff, and were all dying to meet Mary's sister-in-law, Cathy, who unfortunately had to cancel.  Next time Cathy!

I set the table with all kind of tea table frippery:
 


The tea loaf:

You know, I haven't made a tea loaf in a long time, and think I will do so again really soon!

Some of the teacups my mother used to set out for her bridge and IODE meetings in the 60s, 70s and 80s:



I didn't use a fancy tablecloth on the table, since we were going to be doing a "craft" after we ate and talked...

A close-up of our Queen:

 
 
and of course the MacLeod teacup had to come out (even if my family spells it McLeod...)
 
 
 
I personally adore a teacup where the pattern is inside the cup as well, don't you?
 



Scones served on Wedgewood, anyone?  Thanks Mom for choosing lovely china when you got married...




Teapots a-ready, since Chez Wendy offers a variety of teas, though for this party, King Cole Tea and Christmas in Paris seemed the crowd favourites:






The centerpiece was my homage to spring, little vases of tulips, my diptyque candle, a silvery Eiffel tower and wee teacups:






And doll's china under a couple of the vases on the table:




In the beginning, we sat around and chatted about life, including next weekend's dinner party at Mary's house, which in honour of the Spring Solstice will involve outdoor activities and the burning of sock and which I hope she will post about in her wonderful blog!

And we discussed a possible group road trip to check out the soon-to-be-reopened Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews.  We may have discussed husbands, but what is said at the tea party, stays at the tea party...

Then we discussed our style statements, and helped a couple of folks who were still struggling with finding their second word.  Lots of good discussion and debate and it was quite interesting, as we have all know one another for a long time so we could perhaps be more objective than the person themselves. 

Thanks to a brainwave by Mary in advance, we did collages of our words, which was fun and not something you usually sit around and do with your friends!  There is something satisfying about cutting and pasting and using stickers.  I am convinced that everyone should be doing this kind of thing more often, as it really is quite fun!


I had my trusty scissors, box o'markers, stickers, some Bristol board at the ready, and Mary and I had collected magazines to be hacked up:




And then we got to work:


Martine - Classic-Elemental - on the left, already trying to figure out where closest Williams-Sonoma is and has just discovered Town and Country magazine, which I think I will get her a subscription to for her birthday

Dawn - our classic-timeless, who always look perfect, and Elaine our Earthy-Rustic!

Elaine had no trouble with her words - have never met anyone who knew themselves better than Elaine - old soul!

Mary - AKA judy dench - who is genuine innovative!

Mart doesn't have her eyes closed for this picture - she is dreaming of copper pots from Williams-Sonoma....


When everyone was done we brushed them with clear Elmer's glue to have them set and then dried them with a hairdryer.


And voila, each one different, each one special!

Wendy's (creative-nostalgic)

elaine's

Mary's

Martine's - she and I both had champagne on ours - that's why we love each other!

Dawn's - it is clear Martine and Dawn love blue!


My husband, hidden away in the basement, said he couldn't get over all the talking, talking, talking and all the laughter.  Sometimes it is just a wonderful thing to sit around and talk and giggle and discuss things we might not otherwise talk about. 

I think I like this tea party concept.  I could see doing this again in the summer or fall, but maybe having a different topic or activity.  Kind of a salon thing...  Maybe we could solve the world's problems next time (though we did discuss where that missing airplane is...)  Maybe next time there will be champagne at the end and the husbands can join us afterwards for takeout pizza... hmmm - I am seeing a plan here... what do you think, ladies?

So thank you to all of my wonderful friends for an amazing afternoon of conversation and camaraderie!  See you for the sock burning next weekend!



 Hope you enjoyed sharing the afternoon with us!  Stay safe out there!

When you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you, that's when I think life is over.
Audrey Hepburn


 

 

40 comments:

  1. Love your table Wendy and those scones yummy!

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    1. Thanks Ina! It was so much fun! The scones are a Julia Child recipe and are indeed yummy!

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  2. I like your collage and style inspirations Sofia and Stella. How gorgeous is that burgundy gown? Your friends are lucky to have you host and organize such a fun event. Love afternoon tea and I think the best one that I still remember was in Toronto at Windsor Arms.

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    1. You know I have never gone to a proper tea at a fancy hotel? Adding that to my bucket list!

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  3. It was a lovely gathering. So glad you hosted. JD

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    1. Thanks Mary! It was fun, but I wish it had been warmer outside!

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  4. First, off there's my mum on the teapot, I really need to get mum into to the double business, she could be opening fetes and all sorts.
    You have excelled here, the baking sounds/looks so delicious, the table is so wonderful and I really want to be sitting there with my Pritt stick, I want a collage - waaaa!

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    1. Too funny! Your Mum really needs to cash in!

      the collage was wicked good fun! nothing like paste and pictures and stickers to make an afternoon fly!

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  5. What a wonderful tea party. Thank you for giving us a peek. Love the vision board. I think we are long lost sisters! The IODE reference made me smile. We have a group in oakville and one of my new friends just joined.

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    1. Oh My mother and grandmother were really IODE ladies - they loved it!

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  6. oh wendy this is so beautiful. what is it about tea parties?
    i went to one yesterday and took photos too.

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    1. Janet - yours looked beautiful and a little swankier! I think tea parties are so fun and I think we've gotten away from them, but Downton Abbey and Mad Men have helped bring back some of those social niceties, I think! I just loved it!

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  7. I have been to proper teas at fancy hotels and thought they were quite a delightful way to linger for an afternoon. Mostly now I have tea parties with my granddaughter! You party was such a lovely idea and your table was screaming Spring - such a treat for all of us winter weary folks. It looks like it was so much fun.

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    1. Teacups, when my kids were little we used to have tea parties almost every weekend. They are both tea drinkers because of it, though son has also recently taken up with coffee!

      It is funny - at dinner last night my daughter kept remarking how all the tulips were just cheering the place up! My friend Martine also bought two bunches of tulips that I have a vase in the other room. An abundance of flowers is not an extravagance, is it, this time of year - it's a necessity!

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  8. It all looks so beautiful, I wish I could have come!! I haven't given or attended a tea party for years. I love when the pattern is inside the cup too!! Your food and flowers all look so festive. I love your fun activity. Nothing like a glue stick and scissors to get the creativity juices flowing. xo

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    1. well you would have had fun! I think I need the glue stick and scissors going all the time!

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  9. How fun is that? I have never even considered doing a proper collage let alone with friends. It is like a superb version of kindergarten where you can talk and talk and talk! There is something quite luxurious about an afternoon tea - much more than a fancy dinner for some reason. The setting and china are all beautiful Wendy!

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  10. I just cried to my husby, "I want to be Wendy's neighbor!" and I could cry missing your tea party.

    Just before I came over I clipped the weather forcecast for today ... 86F!

    I once read something about prison walls being pink ...

    That's hilarious the burning of sock for Spring!

    When I come over, I'll bring my new tea love Valentine Tea.

    I am certain world peace could be found if you hosted the next event among the leaders.

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    1. Valentine Tea! That and the one the two Jennifers recommended are on my list. Dani's got me on Red Roobius - is there anything more soothing than tea?

      I wish you were all my neighbours!

      Don't count on world peace! I am winning, but not THAT winning! My problem is I just go merrily through life forgetting you aren't supposed to wear your heart on your sleeve!

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  11. I've held tea parties in the past, but never with an activity like this one, such a great idea. I'd love to go to afternoon tea at a fancy hotel, it's on my list too.

    Your table looks lovely, such a pretty collection of china!

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    1. Patricia - if I can get up your way we can do it together!

      I know - my mother got all that china in 1959 when she got married (plus the odd teacup, thereafter - my sister and I split those up) I just love them!

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    2. Wendy, after this summer I'll be living near Ottawa. The lovely Chateau Laurier does an afternoon tea!

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  12. This looks like so much fun! I love afternoon tea and it's been ages since I did a tea party with friends, I should definitely try to do that in the near future. My husband and I love going for high tea at the Four Seasons - it's a real treat. Love the vision boards!!

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    1. High tea! Do you have to be careful about which spoon? That's where I need Tabs' mum. I feel like she could explain the mysteries of high society to me, in a good firm Scottish way!

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  13. Your tea looks lovely. It is so fun to get together with the girls! Real china, yummy food, crafts too. I'm on the way! I would love it even if the menfolk roll their eyes.

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  14. The collage idea was brilliant. Loved art as a kid and then again when my kids were creating. I shall trudge through your mounds of snow next time...or just have in the summer and I may be joined by other blogger friends. You hit creative nostalgic right on the head with your tea. You are just too damn perfect.

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    1. No perfect in creative nostalgic! It was way fun!

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  15. Lovely lovely party Wenders and thanks for documenting it so well so that we could share it with you and your gorgeous friends. I can tell right off I'dl ove them all. What an excellent afternoon and you were the perfect hostess, that baking you are doing looks amazing.

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    1. Dani - you would love them all and they would love you! I was a good hostess because I wasn't drinking wine. I have been known to forget to serve courses....

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  16. oh, that looks like so much fun!
    and what about style? achievable? immutable? in progress?

    and the baking - an inspiration!

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    1. Well since mine is creative-nostalgic, I think it will be always a moving target depending upon the whim of the moment, but I will always be attracted to velvets and a slightly more retro vibe!

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  17. What a great idea and it sounds like a fabulous afternoon. The setting looked so welcoming and the baking makes me hungry.

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    1. well between the guests and Barry and Forrest, it was all gone quickly!

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  18. Very cool! Love that Barry was able to find the tulips. What a lovely day. Huge thumbsup on the collages. The should be brought to the next soiree to discuss what scenes/words have come to life from those intentions.

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    1. well we are seeing each other Saturday, so I imagine the next discussion starts then, although we have been emailing all morning about it!

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  19. Love the tea party!! Beautiful china and the best tea! And such a creative workshop to boot!

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