Tea with a Friend

Ready for tea!
Ready for tea!

In our very busy world, it is so nice to take time to enjoy the company of a friend.  Recently a friend and I shared an afternoon of stories, memories and plans over tea, sandwiches and scones.

I felt it was a perfect time to use my mom’s silver flatware. With it I paired a tea set from Lenox Autumn. Throw in a silver tray and cloth napkins, and our tea table was ready!

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For the menu, I chose to have a three course tea complete with sparkling wine.

Our treats included:

First Course
Cucumber and dill sandwiches
Egg salad sandwiches

Cucumber and dill sandwiches are on the top tier and egg salad on the bottom.
Cucumber and dill sandwiches are on the top tier and egg salad on the bottom.

Second Course
Scones with butter and strawberry jam

Freshly made scones are a must for any tea.
Freshly made scones are a must for any tea.

Third Course
Lemon crunch cake
Chocolate éclairs
Chocolate bon bons

Lemon crunch cake and chocolate éclairs make a lovely display.
Lemon crunch cake and chocolate éclairs make a lovely display.

For our tea, as loyal Anglophiles, we chose the Queen’s Blend from Fortnum & Mason. It was wonderful.

The tea was a perfect compliment to the items served.
The tea was a perfect compliment to the items served.

The local stores do not sell lemon curd or Devonshire cream. Although I have made lemon curd from scratch, I did not have time to make it for this occasion. As a matter of fact, I used pre-made eclairs and bon bons, which worked out fine.  I made the cake the day before, the scones the morning of, and the sandwiches right before the tea.  So, it never seemed like much time was spent in the kitchen.

As with any tea, we had more food than we needed with lots left over.

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The menu.

For a bit of fun and frivolity, I named my home the Corner Castle for the day and gave each offering a royal name such as the King’s Chocolate Bon Bons and Buckingham Palace Scones.  For the next tea I might choose Alice in Wonderland or a French tea as my theme!

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Might I encourage you to spend an afternoon catching up with your friends over a tea?  Be it indoors or outdoors, casual or formal, multi-course or scones only, it is a wonderful way to enjoy a leisurely afternoon. It is also fun to use all your tea accoutrements!

I have to share some of the faux pas of my tea entertaining.  First, I couldn’t find anything in which to serve the strawberry jam.  I ended up using a demitasse cup from my china pattern.  I also could not find a pair of sugar tongs.  I considered ice tongs, but thought better of it!  I also failed to put out an implement with which to serve the sandwiches.  Thank goodness for good friends who laugh it off!

Parting Thoughts:  My husband pointed out that readers would be left thinking about all that needed cleaning up after the guests leave.  My Aunt Pinkie always said, “Leave it for me to clean up later.  When you are gone, I will have nothing to do but recall our time together and wash dishes.  Let’s enjoy each other while you are here.”  I believe this is a wise course of action, and ask this of all my guests.

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