Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tea, Glorious Tea!

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Just before Mother's Day, my sister hosted a wonderful cream tea. I've been to tea at her place three times before...once, I forgot to take pictures, and the other two times, well...I just never got around to posting. I promise you that you have never been to a tea like the one my sister puts on.

First of all, the interior of her home is practically a Victorian wonderland.
In another post I'll have to show you pictures of her ceiling, which is papered with William Morris prints in her own custom layout. These lanterns greet you when you enter her front door.
Here's a closeup of the mantel you can see through the doorway.Back in the front hall, a forsythia branch on the way into the parlor......and more forsythia on the stairway to your left.And we haven't even gotten to the placesettings yet!!My sister tailors each table to its occupants; she at least finds out what your favorite color is, or what your favorite flower is, or your favorite memory, so that you feel special...
The china, teacups, tablecloths and glasses are different, creating little separate oases for each set of guests.
This was our table for two. I love the ruby colors!You can see our personalized "Welcome" card on the table. Check out my gorgeous teacup, and the menu, if you can make it out...
The first course is traditionally scones. Today, we had two kinds: Cinnamon Chip and Strawberry Lavender.
I douse mine with a generous helping of clotted cream (my sister is always experimenting, and this tea's recipe was OUTSTANDING!). The pretty yellow dollop is lemon curd, and the pink? Yeah, it's homemade violet jelly. That my sister made. With violets from her garden!! Can you believe it?? It was so yummy...sweet and very subtly flowery; not "perfumey" at all. And there's no artificial color in it. Apparently, it's more lavender until you add the lemon juice, then it turns that lovely shade of pink.

The next course was soup. I had the Potato Celery Root...
...Michael had the Old-Fashioned Chilled Strawberry. We had to run out early, so we didn't get to hang out afterward to try the Chilled Springtime Sweet Pea.
Here I am, about to happily devour my soup. Look at all the cute little ruby-colored dishes! Our ruby goblets hold sparkling black cherry water. Yum!
Next is the savory course.
Here we have (clockwise) a Cheese Calla Lily, Cornbread Cup with Sherried Chicken Salad, Roasted Lamb on Toast with English Mint Relish, and Chervil-dill Egg Salad. Hope you saved room for dessert...
Aren't these the cutest? These Chocolate Cakelets would melt in your mouth. If you've ever had Eclair Cake, you get the idea...but Eclair Cake never looked so elegant. But you still haven't seen anything yet.
Behold, the Hummingbird Cupcake, Madeleine, Frozen Black Cherry Cream, and Bakewell Tart! And yes, my sister made the crystallized pineapple topper for the Hummingbird Cupcake herself.

Every meal should finish with an after-dinner mint. Here's my sister's version:
A wee scoop of peppermint ice cream coated in pink mint chocolate. The purse cookies were our favors to take home.

One of the guests asked me if she could be an adopted sister. Can you blame her??

Nobody does afternoon tea like my sister. Nobody.


Jackie's Stitches said...

Your sister is an amazing talented woman! It all looks so wonderful.

Lene Andersen said...

That's incredible! I'm drooling into my keyboard...

Jean in Georgia said...

Looks absolutely wonderful. :)

Julie said...

I get the biggest kick out of these postings. I would have never imagined that this was your scene or that this a tea room scene even existed.

Old Geek-outs