Americans rarely have teas these days. When one hears the expression “tea party”, the topic of conversation is far more likely to be politics than a social affair. As far as I can tell, the tradition of having tea parties largely disappeared during the social unrest of the 1960’s and 70’s. Probably the main change to have emerged from that period that would have contributed to the demise of the these gatherings was the emergence of working women amongst the middle and upper classes. My grandmothers, as with most women of their socioeconomic class, were stay-at-home mothers; I don’t think that either of them ever had a paying job. Starting with my mother’s generation, women entered the work force en masse; and all of the women in my social circle who are my age or younger work. So, of course, who has time for polishing silver, making finger sandwiches and dainty cookies, and getting all dressed up for a party in the afternoon?
Literally speaking, the 60’s and 70’s are now history, and it is easy to feel nostalgia for some of the social niceties that got thrown away with so many of the inequalities and injustices from that era (and earlier). I never, even for a moment, wish that I lived in an earlier time; and yet, occasionally it is fun to recapture a bit of refinement from the past. So, yesterday I hosted an afternoon tea party – using my grandmothers’ china, crystal and silver – for no special reason except for that it seemed high time for a tea.
Milk Oolong Tea
Cap Cette Picpoul de Pinet
Autumn Fruits Punch
Egg Salad Finger Sandwiches with Whole Grain Mustard
White Bean Sundried Tomato “Humus” & Spinach Finger Sandwiches
Smoked Salmon & Lemon Canapes
Pecan Crackers & Gouda Cheese
Pumpkin Butter & Whipped Cream Tartlets
Pumpkin Cream Puffs
Lemon Curd & Blueberry Tartlets
Gingerbread Teapot Cookies
Chocolate Rum Balls
Fresh Fruits, Nuts, Dark Chocolate-covered Raisins
(I was so busy yesterday that I didn’t get a chance to take photos. So I staged the one above this afternoon. I wish that I had had a chance to have gotten a shot of the whole spread.)
Your tea party menu sounds fabulous!
Thank you! The party was a lot of fun!
What a wonderful idea! I adore tea and would love a tea party. But sadly as you mentioned, it is hard to find the time. And not only to host the party but to get everyone’s calendars aligned!
That’s so true. It really is difficult to coordinate people’s schedules!
This is so cute. Love the flowers and the idea of tea party.
Thank you. It was a lot of fun. I haven’t had, or been to, a tea in years.
How lovely! There are a few hotels that have afternoon tea, but you have to hunt for them. The best one I ever went to was at the Huntington Library in San Rafael, Calif.
I’ve never been to a tea at the Huntington Library, but I love the gardens there!
I love them too. The Rose Garden Tea Room is kind of pricey, but worth it.
Lovely, just lovely! Did you host this for your guests or for friends/family? I love the idea of a tea and you’re the second blogger I follow today that posted about having one. Perhaps it’s catching on again. 🙂
I hosted this for my friends. I’m always hosting parties for guests and so I decided to have my own party : )
I posted this on my daughter’s facebook wall via your “share” button. She’s got a gorgeous old-time tea set and is quite the fan of tea parties!
Thank you, Karen. I hope that your daughter enjoys the post!
Crumbs, that looks more like a banquet than tea to me. If I get a slice of bread and jam with my cup of tea it’s a big day.
Sounds wonderful, and I love tea parties. They just aren’t done enough 🙂
Also, wanted to let you know that I’ve changed the name of my blog. Beyond The Green Door is now Green Door Hospitality.
The tea was a wonderful idea, and you are a such a gracious wondrous person thank you so much.
You are too kind, Linda. I was so glad that you could come to the party!
Even though you didn’t get a picture, I can imagine that it was beautiful!
Thank you. It was very pretty and some of the women wore great “costumes” for lack of a better word.
Drinking çay or tea is still a very important and social activity in Turkey, however I must say your afternoon tea looks very very appealing
I guess that I generally think of Turkish coffee more than tea. Thank you for info!
That looks gorgeous and the menu sounds amazing! Did you make ALL of it?
Thank you! My friend Connie made the Pumpkin Cream Puffs. Otherwise, I started making the sweets three days ahead, then right before serving Nicole and I put together the sandwiches and canapes. It was fun, but not something I could do every weekend.
Love it:) Tea is such a lovely tradition:) And tasty too:).. in fact I would rather have tea (with cocktails of course..LOL) than to have brunch… tea food is just better and I love the size of the tea food:)
Tea, brunch, food, cocktails …. it is all good : )