I know you are all teetering on the edge of your seat to see yet another tablescape from essentially the same party. I think we have finally come to the end of the Royal Wedding shenanigans and shindigs. It’s been a long, but thoroughly enjoyable road.
On Sunday afternoon, post wedding, 10 ladies squeezed in to my dinning room for a Royal High Tea and Post-Wedding Reception that benefited the Royal couple in no way whatsoever.
Now, before we go any further, I want to make something clear for you. Many of you many know this already, but just in case, I want to explain the difference between “Afternoon Tea” and “High Tea”.
Most people I’ve come across are under the impression that “high tea” must be some uppity sort of affair enjoyed by the darlings of society. The term “high” is not a reference to class, but rather to how the meal is served. High Tea is served at a higher, dining type table where an “afternoon” (or “low”) Tea is more likely to be served in your sitting or living room at a low table. The Afternoon Tea menu differs slightly with flavors that are mild – no strong onion or garlic flavors. Dainty, crust-less sandwiches could be served at either, but High Tea was often seen as the working mans tea – a heartier meal in the evening of breads, cheeses, meats and eggs and other items dragged out of the pantry.
Now that you’re completely enlightened beyond your interest – on to the party…
First we assembled for a quick picture on the front steps in all our finery. That’s me in the middle in my fabulous black hat. Not everyone shares my opinion on that… Lisa (to my right) was voted to have the “best hat” with her brown fascinator. It was renamed a “distractor” and we liked that name better. Laura (front right) was voted “best dressed” and Sharra, (front left) was voted “my horrid hat” which was probably a mistake since it appears she was wearing a lampshade…
We were fortunate that Sharra is a professional photographer and took this fabulous group photo for us.
I decided to serve buffet style – much like they do in other fine tea rooms.
The menu: Berries and Curd, Chicken Salad on Croissants, Baby Bella and Spinach Quiche, Field Greens Salad with Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette or Blush Wine Vinaigrette dressing, Cheese and Olive Spears, and Scones with Honey Orange Butter, Lemon Curd and Mock Devonshire Cream. Dessert was Chocolate Mousse in Belgian Chocolate Cups, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Lemon Cake Petit Fours, and Wedding Cake. I also served sparkling cider and a variety of black and herbal teas.
Something happened to the chocolate when I put the strawberries in the fridge to set them quicker. It’s always better to let them set up at room temperature. I don’t care for the dull look on them.
We squished ourselves into my dining room at two different but similar tables. One was dressed with a handmade lace cover made by my great Aunt’s Mother. I received it after my Grandma’s passing about 11 years ago.
The second cloth was passed to me by my Mom – it has been in the family for years and had been used at my parents’ wedding reception. It’s made of Irish Linen and is a delicate beauty.
I prefer a mix of eclectic china and silver. I find it far more interesting to look at. Each place setting is a work of art in its own right. I’ve been collecting china and silver since about 1995 and there are a few pieces that are worth a little bit of money, some that are worth nothing, but most all of them I have simply because I liked them.
Here’s the Wedding Cake (our “final” dessert”). It’s not exactly as I envisioned it, but it turned out okay. My fondant is a bit wrinkled and didn’t intend to pipe the buttercream icing so it wasn’t as smooth as it should have been, but I needed something to cover the holes on top made by my unnecessary dowels in the top layer. Next time I’ll know better.
Putting it on my great-Gramma’s antique cake stand makes all the difference.
After we ate we quickly un-set one of the tables so we could get the Irish Linen tablecloth into the wash to soak… Thankfully the cup of tea came right out and I don’t have to disown my friend. The same friend that almost immediately after sitting down toppled her goblet of berries. Some people you just can’t take anywhere no matter how fabulous her hat is.
We had a quick Royal Wedding Quiz which the majority of ladies in the room bombed. The big winner got 5 out of the 10 questions correct. It was pitiful… Or I may be slightly obsessed and write ridiculous quizzes. Nah… That’s not it.
Right after the quiz we had a wedding gift exchange. My goodness… You’ve never witnessed such thievery and conniving… I had several lovely gifts in my possession for a short while – seems someone always stole them though.The hot ticket items seemed to be towels. I suppose after 20-some years of marriage we could all use some new bath towels…
Finally we settled in to watch the Wedding together. We had a great time sharing anecdotes and information we’d gleaned over the past several weeks. When we finished the first viewing, (yes… the first…) we had a little “leftover” snack (a bit of a “low tea”) and went back for more wedding insights and highlights. A couple of the girls looked as if they might be staying for the night.
It was jolly good fun and my only regret is not being able to have more friends join me. I keep trying to convince my husband that we need to remodel the house so I can have bigger parties…The china is all put away now and life is returning to normal. Until the next Royal Wedding or any other excuse for a party comes up…
You can view the party I had for my daughter’s friends by clicking here.