Sunday we attended the English Tea hosted by the Heritage House in Riverside, CA.
Shortly after arriving we took a tour of the house and learned A LOT about the history of the house, the period in general, and the city of Riverside. Much of the house is original including some of the beautiful tile work. One thing I found interesting was that the materials used upstairs versus downstairs were dramatically different. Only the fancy tiles and best woods would do in areas where the family would be entertaining, but upstairs, in more private rooms, the style and materials were much more modest. Do you find that you decorate in the same way?
After the tour had a few moments to check out the gift shop while they finished setting up for the Tea. We of course took that time to take pictures of ourselves with our fascinators on!
Once we sat down for the actual Tea we were served with Earl Grey Tea and fresh fruit. From that moment on, we were served one yummy bite after another: small tea sandwiches (poppyseed with cream cheese, cucumber, and chicken salad), scones with devonshire cream and strawberry preserves, cherry tarts, ginger cookies, and a hummingbird cake in honor of Queen Victoria’s birthday.
Just before cutting into the cake we toasted (or “bumped”) to Queen Victoria herself.
We were told that all the food was prepared by one woman! No wonder they only do this Tea twice a year! It was a lot of fun. Can’t wait for next year!
Despite popular belief, pinky up is not considered “fancy” or proper in High Tea Etiquette. I decided to hone in my etiquette for the upcoming tea party! I found a great little website, theteapartyclub.com, and began reading/learning. Mostly, I kind of knew the rules already.. I mean, it’s just good manners! I’ll just touch on a few….
Food is served in a certain order- scones, sandwiches then sweets. It is important to not shove a whole sandwich (or three, if you are my sister at last year’s tea) in you mouth. Take small bites…Scones should be broken into small bite size pieces. Also, never dip your scone in the jam or cream and never use a fork to eat it.
Here are some good manners… It wouldn’t hurt to try these even when not at tea! Never sip or slurp your tea and when you leave the table, place your napkin from your lap to your chair-not the table. I think I’m ready! If you’d like to learn more, check out The Tea Party Club! The site also has tips on planning a tea party, tea party themes, food ideas and tips on being a good hostess!
I couldn’t just leave you with only etiquette today, I also found these great items on etsy! The first is a cute three tiered serving dish by The Salvaged Tea Party and the second is a tea cup light pendant by Mostaza Seed! Up-cycled items are not just clever ideas…they are GOOD MANNERS toward our environment too!
The Salvaged Tea Party
From Mostaza Seed
One day left until TEA TIME!
In honor of English Tea week at WhoopieCookie, I’ve scoured Etsy for the proper, the pretty and the tea party….
StayGoldMaryRose takes real tea cups (you can even send her one of your own) and turns them into beautiful, wearable bangles. Seriously, its like very delicate magic!
Thisilk‘s earrings are made of vintage ivory lace. Rock these to tea time to elevate the whole affair.
PRRINT sells prints on vintage book pages. I was recently gifted a similar item (Thank You, Summer!) and love it. They are both beautiful and interesting. I love that there is literally a story behind it.
Whimsyandspice went ahead and efficiently combined your tea and your cookies! These Earl Grey Sandwich cookies are filled with white chocolate…a personal favorite of mine. What’s not to love?
Braggingbags makes your pies look even more beautiful. These lovebird cake/pie toppers can be engraved with whatever your little heart desires. Imagine your tea time tablescape with these. Too cute!
I live in Southern California. And in Southern California we are pretty laid back. Most days I don my favorite pair of jeans and flip-flops and yes on occasion I say “dude.” So when I have the opportunity to attend an event that can be construed as even slightly formal I like to go all out!
This weekend when I attend the English Garden Tea at the Heritage House I will do so in style.
English women often where hats at formal events and fascinators have made a come back as well. Recently at the Royal wedding I saw a couple of princesses who looked like they had raided a closet backstage at Lady Gaga’s last concert.
Using this tutorial as a general guide, we created our own fascinators for this weekend’s tea.
We might look like little girls playing dress up at a pretend tea party, but who couldn’t use a fun trip back to their five year old self?!
I know the Royal Wedding has ended… Mother’s Day is over too.. but it is still Spring and the flowers are in bloom! It’s the perfect time for an English Garden Tea. As an annual tradition, we will be attending the Garden Tea at the Heritage House in Riverside, Ca on Sunday.
We are celebrating our anticipation with tea time posts this week! What would Tea Time be without scones!
I have a slight obsession with these tastey pastries! I made my scones with dried cranberries (un-sweetened) and orange zest! What are your favorite types of scones?