Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Spot of Tea

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
-Henry James

William and Kate's Royal Wedding reminds me of those girlish dreams of marrying a prince - not going to lie, in most of those dreams it was Prince William. This same region of my brain that is responsible for these daydreams is also responsible for the urge to have tea parties. As a little girl, I would dress up in my older sister's prom dresses that enveloped me like I was the center of a fluffy pastry. Then I would gently take out grandma's china tea set and fill the cups with hot water, the creamer with corn pops and place cheeze its on a platter (aka crumpets). All this talk about the royal wedding has awakened those adolescent dreams of becoming a princess. It's really not even nostalgia; I still believe in the possibility. Along with the re-awakened dream of living in a palace, is the urge for tea parties.

Tea parties are brilliant affairs. To begin with, I love tea. Last summer I cooled myself down with Iced Passion Tea Lemonade. Even the instruments for making and drinking tea - tea pot, sugar and creamer, and tea cups - are so delicate.

And the hats. Oh, the hats! I love trying on hats at vintage stores, and I could spend hours looking at Yestadt Millinery's inventory. (Unfortunately, I could not manage to get a picture of my favorite hat from their website, so look up the "cookie" hat. Gorgeous.) For a taste of the the style, Anthropologie has a few of there hats: the Periwinkle Plaid Boater.Another store I peruse is

Then there are the clothes. For some reason, I always think of tea parties in some chic historical setting. I wish I could have a tea party dressed like the women in the Edwardian drama, Downton Abbey.I love Mary's dress in this picture (center). There is nothing more chic than well placed lace on an article of clothing. Lace and stripes? Genius.

I also love photos that I love posted on The Sartorialist last summer. They look like they could go to a tea party.
And having tea outside? Perfection. I threw a Garden Party last summer for my engaged friend, Katie (no not that Kate).
I made the Iced Passion Tea Lemonade and decorated with bouquets of hydrangeas and sprigs of mint cut fresh from our yard atop lace tablecloths. But there was a shocking lack of vintage parasols.

Then again, it is also nice to curl up in an old chair with a good book, sipping a cup of tea. No lace. No hats. Just a good old fashioned cup of tea.
"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me"
-C.S. Lewis


  1. I am throwing an outdoor tea party in July! You must, MUST come!

  2. ahhhh hillary this is a wonderful post.

  3. you and i would have been great childhood friends.