Heavens! We Are Quite a Party.

Downton Abbey fans may recognize the title as Mary Crawley’s line when she shows up in London to have dinner with some friends.

The hot item at our tea party was the tea so the food could be set out in advance.
The hot item at our tea party was the tea so the food could be set out in advance.

It is an apt description of a bevy of modern ladies who showed up at The Glade in hats and pearls to engage in polite conversation at a proper tea.

Everything was served in the living room by our butler (Charlie) and footman (son) who described the choice of teas, Rooisbos/Honeybush and Black tea, both decaffeinated.
Everything was served in the living room by our butler (Charlie) and footman (son) who described the choice of teas, Rooisbos/Honeybush and Black tea (both decaffeinated), as they poured.

I made sure to say, “Heavens, we are quite a party!” in my best British accent.

I used orange roses the 1st week and multi-colored bouquets the second week.
I used orange roses the 1st week and multi-colored bouquets the second week.

This post is a conglomeration of two teas held on consecutive Saturdays.

Trader Joe's Mini Bites - week 1
Trader Joe’s Mini Bites – week 1

On the first week I was disappointed by the bakery where I had ordered petit fours not being able to deliver so I substituted Trader Joe’s Mini Bites which come frozen in a package of 12. They were popular.

Chocolate mousse eggs.
Chocolate mousse eggs.

The bakery let us down the second week as well so I bought chocolate mousse eggs at Trader Joe’s. Again, very good.

Tea sandwiches: cucumber on white bread, egg salad on wheat bread, chicken salad on potato rolls.
Tea sandwiches: cucumber on white bread, egg salad on wheat bread, chicken salad on potato rolls.

I had a friend come on both Saturday mornings to help make the cucumber, egg salad, and chicken salad tea sandwiches.

The sandwiches were made the day of the party and kept fresh in a domed cake plate.
The sandwiches were made the day of the party and kept fresh in a domed cake plate.

Each Saturday we made about seven dozen tiny sandwiches all of which were eaten by the end of the party.  Even Charlie tried a cucumber sandwich and much to his surprise he liked it.

I used the painting in the mudroom as the model for the flower arrangement.
I used the painting in the mudroom as the model for the flower arrangement.

Although everyone was happy to converse I read a selection from Proust where he talks about his memory of madeleines evoked from a sip of tea.

Everyone described their most prized possession -- almost every item had a family remembrance.
Everyone described their most prized possession — almost every item had a family remembrance.

Then I pulled out a copy of the Proust Questionnaire from which I had chosen 2 questions to liven our polite conversation. I added a question of my own:  If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?

Charlie knew every song except "The 12th of Never."
Charlie knew every song except “The 12th of Never.”

As people suggested their favorite songs Charlie played them on the piano.  He’s quite a talent!

A small treat to top off delicious food at tea.
A small treat to top off delicious food at tea.

The most popular food — Pavlovas.

Coffee?  Tea? ???

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

9 thoughts on “Heavens! We Are Quite a Party.”

  1. Your food looks delicious and you had great ideas for keeping the conversation flowing. Putting the sandwiches in the covered cake plate was genius!

  2. Time to find another bakery? 🙂 You worked hard on these two teas, and the results are beautiful. Somehow, the colors of the roses, tableware, and food all come together and make an impression of springtime. I am still trying to pick just one song …

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