Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tea Party Part1 - The Theme

At long last I'm getting around to posting about the tea party I helped put together for our church's Mother-Daughter Tea--the day before Mother's Day this year.  I worked with five wonderful ladies at church who all helped make this a success--giving a shout out to:  Julie, Marilyn, Audra, Lisa (another one), and Debbie. 

For our initial planning meeting we had to first come up with a theme.  So I invited the ladies over for tea one evening so we could get our heads together.  I was thinking of moving in the direction of "tea & conversation", with a proper English tea.  Since I had lived in England for five years (and loved it), I called my English friend, Teresa from Bury St. Edmunds, for some ideas as well.  I decided to have a sampling of English teatime recipes for our informal tea get together--to help get our creative juices flowin' (so to speak).  Our tea sampling consisted of: Yorkshire teacakes with lemon curd, pineapple & banana scones w/jam & butter (sure wish I had clotted cream), Branston pickle w/cheese & crusty bread, cucumber tea sandwiches w/dilled cream cheese, mature cheddar w/red onion & homemade tomato chutney sandwiches, custard pie, & jam tarts--and tea, of course.  Okay, I went a little overboard for my informal tea get together but it was a delicious start for putting our ideas together.  =)

I remember, it was some time before we moved to England--my hot drink of choice was primarily hot chocolate (not ever being a coffee drinker--sorry), and we had just started attending a new church with our young family.  A wonderful English lady had invited me over for tea, and I'll never forget that experience, ever.  When I got there, we sat down together in her living room and she brought out tea on a lovely tray with a dessert plate of candy bars cut up into manageable pieces.  So, while we sipped our tea, we munched on candy bars and had a wonderful chat!  She asked me about myself and my family, and I learned a bit about her and what it was like when she lived in England.  It was then I realized for the first time--sitting down to have tea with friends or family isn't about the tea, or even what you serve; it's all about the conversation!  When we eventually moved to England it was no different there--whenever I was invited to tea, whether it was a big to-do or one-on-one with a friend, it was a time to relax, enjoy the company, and a wonderful time to simply converse.

Along with the informal tea I also made a satchel type purse (more on that in another post) I thought would be nice to have on the tables for each of the attendees.  It was with this satchel, and our teatime treats, that we jointly came up with the idea of integrating "Mary Poppins" into our tea party--and so, we aptly named our Mother-Daughter tea:  "A Supercalifragilistic Proper English Tea"!

First things first--the invitation!  Now I was thinking a nice invite in the church bulletin would be okay...but apparently individual invitations have been mailed out for quite a few years.  So in keeping with that tradition, I made our invitations on MS Word.  While I would've liked to have made them by hand, there just wouldn't have been enough time to make 150!  I used Google to find some images and created my own template on Word.  It was time consuming as I hadn't used Word for this capacity until now, but I was pleased with the outcome.  I printed them on parchment paper and Audra helped get them ready for mailing--Thanks Audra!!

Our theme ideas included:  Mary Poppins, daisies, umbrellas, theme title, satchels, invites, colors (lime green, yellow & white/black), table designs, and guest speaker.  I think we accomplished quite a lot in just a couple hours time.  Not too shabby!

Stay tuned for Part 2 - The Menu ... I may even have some delicious recipes to share.  =)

Have a lovelee day!

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