Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Tea Party and Book Exchange - At Last

Yesterday was a wonderful day and just perfect for a warm and cozy tea party.
My special guests were:

My mom, the Sewing Bee, my friend, the More Creative Bee, and my friend, the Fabulous Phyllis, plus Betty from She's Sew Pretty and her sweet daughter.  My daughter, Baby Bee, was our server and also fellow partaker of tea and treats.
The menu:

We started with homemade scones, lemon curd, and a version of clotted cream.  I found a recipe for clotted cream that used mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, a little sugar, and a little vanilla.  

I made two teas - English Tea and a Wild Berry Plum green tea from the Republic of Tea.  We (okay, mainly me) enjoyed the Wild Berry Plum tea so much that it's all gone!  I'll have to buy some more.  It was just delicious.  We also had ice water and pink lemonade.

After scones, Baby Bee served us some savories.  I made mini quiches, cucumber sandwiches, and - what I thought was the most delicious - a chicken salad with dry roasted almonds on oatnut bread spread with basil butter.  Those were yummy!  We also a had a salad of spring greens with a pomegranate dressing.  
The book exchange:

The guests brought 3-4 books each and then we drew numbers for who got to choose first.  The first time we went in number order, then reverse order, and then we went by everyone's first initial.  The book exchange sparked lots of conversations about what we had read, wanted to read, and our favorite authors. I think everyone went home happy with some new books to enjoy.  There was lots of Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks, and Jodi Picoult.  

The table:

I finally decided to kind of have a garden/spring/literary theme.  Alyssa from Boston Bee had a great idea to include literary quotes but I had such a hard time picking out the "perfect" quotes that I ended up running out of time to get those made.

I used a burlap tablecloth for that garden look.  

The plates were Nantucket Basket from Wedgwood - my wedding china.

On top of the white plates I put my green depression glass in the dogwood pattern.  
Our teacups were the blue glass (depression glass???) and our stemware was from Tag.  

The flatware was my grandmother's silverplate - Spring Garden by Holmes and Edwards.
I used my Nantucket Basket teapot and my Song Bird teapot from Rosie B. Farmer.  I used this set's creamer and sugar too.
The napkins are some I've had for a long time.  I think they might be Martha Stewart from Kmart, but I'm not 100% sure.  The napkin rings were just some mini wreaths I picked up several years ago at Beverly Crafts.

My centerpiece was a vintage looking blue pot filled with pansies.  (some left from the 1/2 flat my friend gave me)  I stacked some books with blue and green covers around the flowers to continue the color scheme.

The lovely surprise:

When things go wrong, they always seem to happen at the most inopportune time.  Well, Sweet Bee Cottage has old pipes and an old main line. might already know where this is going......but about and hour and a half before the party our main line clogged.  Lovely, right?  I don't even want to think about what would have happened if someone had to go to the bathroom as soon as they arrived.  Luckily we found a plumber to come out and clear the clog.  So as we enjoyed our tea treats, right outside the windows in our sunroom, our main line was being cleared.  More loveliness, right?  Oh well.  At least it was cleared quickly and by the end of the party I could allow my guests to use the bathroom.
I also gave each of my guests a S-P-R-I-N-G garland I made and some other sweet little feminine treats.  And I got to use my milk glass taco again to display them.  

Well, now I'm in the mood for another cup of tea.  Baby Bee has agreed to join me in a cup.  She found she enjoyed the tea.  Won't you join us too?  Or,  I could still make a latte for you.

I'm so happy to be sharing this table at Between Naps on the Porch.  

Thank you so much for coming by!    


  1. What a lovely day you had...and the book exchange is such a wonderful idea!

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful party...


  2. It sounds like you had a great time!! Lots of fun with family and friends!

  3. Glad you got that plumbing problem fixed and so soon!
    Oh, what a wonderful tea day you must have had. Your table is so pretty with all of your pretty vintage depression glass. Great sounding menu too! Wish I could have been there.
    Now, I'm having a Heart of the Home - Show Us Your Favorite Cupboard on April 5th and I hope you'll come.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  4. Oh, your tea must have been so much fun. Your table is absolutely lovely,and I love your collection of depression glass. Thanks for putting me on your blogroll. I did the same for you!

  5. Sounds like you all had a great time! How fun to have a Server too:@)

  6. Love it! Everything looked great and you are making me hungry for that chicken salad. Please, please, please post the recipe! I'm off to have a cup of tea now. ;)Alyssa p.s. Glad you got your pipes fixed! I don't want to think about what could've happened!

  7. Sounds like a wonderful tea. I just had a cup of Earl Grey....glad you got your plumbing issue fixed. We just had to rebuild the inside of one of our toilets....what a job...but it is done now!!

  8. That looks like the best sort of day! Tea, sweets, and books. My favorites :)

  9. Oh, how delightful...a tea party AND books! What more could you ask for. Sure wish I lived nearby and then I'd invite myself to your next get-together.

  10. Your tea table was a true delight!! Just perfect!
    It is a joke in my family that whenever you invite guests to come over you had better be prepared to pay for a plumber. Seriously, over the years it has happened a LOT, including at my sister's wedding rehearsal dinner.

  11. Very obvious that you had a wonderful time with family!! God bless you!!

  12. It sounds like such a lovely tea party.

  13. What a lovely tea party...I'm sure it was enjoyed by all...thanks for sharing with us...blessings on your week.

  14. It sounds like a really wonderful get together, with good people and good food! And books. I love books!
    A few years ago, the kitchen sink become badly clogged, on Christmas Eve. And I was having Christmas dinner the next day. I had visions of having to do the dishes in the bathtub. Thankfully my husband has a friend who was going to school to be a plumber, and gave up part of his family dinner to help us, while I was preparing the dinner. This kind of thing always happens at the wrong time, doesn't it? Plumbing.....ya gotta love it!

  15. your table looked absolutely beautiful and the menu, perfectly delicious. love the table setting.

    you're making wonderful memories for your daughter. would love to hear about the books in the exchange.

    it's so true, too, that something always veers a little off course when entertaining. it sounds like you handled it well.


  16. wow...looks outdid yourself on that table setting...I love it. So glad it all went off without a hitch. You are quite the hostess! Hugs,Mica

  17. A beautiful table, a delightful menu! I wish I could have attended the party!

  18. What a fun party! I adore Betty (She's Sew Pretty), and I know this must have been a fun gathering, despite the setbacks outside. Sounds like something that would happen to me! LOL! Very cute idea about the book swap, and I love your tablescape.


    Sheila :-)

  19. How could I not follow someone who begs me to buy from her so she won't end up on Hoarders?! Hey, maybe we can be on the same episode together!

  20. Beautiful! Such a lovely environment you have created for a wonderful get-together!!

  21. What a delightful idea! You totally had me at "books." :) I love your tea party and the burlap tablecloth! Isn't it true how things always happen at the worst possible time. Good for you for getting it cleared so quickly...that's impressive!

  22. I love the calming neutral tones of your tablescape, and those Nantucket basket plates are divine. Your menu sounds delicious, but I'm most intrigued by the book exchange. What a fun idea. I'd love to attend a luncheon like this.

  23. Not only a proper's a lovely tea, too. Thank you for sharing your wonderful design. Cherry Kay


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