I was almost 3 when my sister was born. When my mom was in the hospital following her birth (for a whole week) , I stayed with my grandmother during the day while my dad was at work. I got a few new bribes toys from my parents during that "New Big Sister" week -- to entertain me while I was at my grandmother's not-so-child-friendly house. My favorite was a miniature Blue Willow china tea set.
I was allowed to play with my tea set as a child, so most of my original pieces were broken. Over the years, though, I've picked up replacement pieces at various antique shops. It remains one of my favorite things -- and a wonderful reminder of a happy childhood.
I'm pretty sure that my original Blue Willow tea set inspired my life-long love of adult-sized tea sets -- and tea parties.
Tea parties are so simple . . .
Tea. Milk and sugar. Something sweet.
Nothing much to fuss about and easy to throw together.
Tea sets hold memories.
The teacups above were my grandmother's -- part of her Godey's Lady's china collection. My first cup of tea - ever - was served in one of these tea cups. My grandmother was very generous with the milk and sugar -- and used actual sugar CUBES, which were just kind of magical to me when I was little. The teacups below belonged to my great grandmother - part of her "wedding china."
Tea parties are old-fashioned.
Like most people, I tend to meet my friends "for coffee" these days. But every once in a while, I invite a friend over for tea. I may not actually say, "Come to my tea party." But I still get out the tea set. And serve a sweet treat. And probably have a little flower arrangement for the table.
Tea parties are elegant.
It just feels kind of special to drink tea from a lovely tea cup. Makes you kind of want to stick that little pinky finger right out, y'know? Sometimes, it's just nice to treat yourself and your guests to the ritual of a tea party. And besides, it gives you a chance to get out your grandmother's old silver tea service!*
Tea parties are intimate.
Guests feel pampered and a bit special at a tea party. Conversations tend to be more personal, because it just feels easier to share confidences with a tea cup in your hand.
So, although today's Think Write Thursday topic is all about hosting a dinner party, I'm going to go rogue . . . and give a tea party instead.
I'll get out my cheery yellow tablecloth.
And use my Spode Blue Italian tea set.
I'll put together a simple little centerpiece.
And make Ina Garten's Lemon Yogurt Cake.
And who would I invite?
Why . . .
Michelle Obama, of course!
* Which I will not be picturing. Because it so desperately needs polishing. (Maybe another day.)