Monday, 17 May 2010

Afternoon Tea Chez Moi

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Sunday afternoon tea-time holds significant childhood memories for me. Each Sunday, my nanna would invite the whole family to her home for afternoon tea.

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She lived in the same street as us, so I remember very well skipping there and back with my dad whistling the theme tune from Laurel & Hardy (don't ask me why!)

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She would have a six seater dining table (although there were many more people to seat than that) literally covered with delicious dishes. Triffles, lemon meringue pie, chocolate cake, walnut cake. The list goes on, although I wasn't much of an eater when I was a little girl so I don't remember too much on the exact details.

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But I do remember very well this Sunday ritual, usually with Ski Sunday and Bullseye playing along on the TV in the background.

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It is only now as an adult I can appreciate the astounding effort that went into these teas. Nanna baked everything herself from scratch and had done so for many years. As well as bringing up five children, she worked some part of her life in a clothing factory, knitting and sewing many garments - and not having many of the modern commodities we now take for granted.

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I'm tired after baking just one dish, I really don't know how she did it and what's more appeared to enjoy every minute of it.

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Yesterday, I decided to hold an afternoon tea of my own (admittedly on a much smaller scale) and invited my good friend to my home for some cakes and conversation.

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I baked Nigella Lawson's Snickers & Peanut Butter muffins, made some open topped sandwiches and bruschetta; and bought some other bits like donuts, fruit lattice and mini cookies.

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I used my new-old mismatched china that I have been acquiring recently, I think this gave the tea true granny-appeal.

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Sadly, she is no longer alive but sometimes a member of the family will host what is known in our family as a 'Betty's Tea' (that was her name)... I would like to hope that this too would qualify.

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68 comments:

  1. beautiful, and i love all of your glassware! i love having tea time with friends.

    xxoo

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  2. Your photos are lovely, pretty and delicious.

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  3. Oh, I'm always enthralled by the quaint english afternoon tea tradition, I believe I will fit right in! I really wished we had the same kind of traditions here!

    Your betty's tea spread looked utterly delectable!

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  4. got to tell you - having afternoon tea w/ you would be great ;-))) beautiful photographs, as always, xx

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  5. Wow ! This looks all beautiful and yummy ! I'd love to be to invited :D

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  6. I love the ceremony of tea with family. Reminds me of my time in England at Oxbridge and preparatory school where I learnt alot about the English culture and the tradition of tea.

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  7. Oh la laaaaa!!!
    I love your tea chez toi!
    Très jolis gâteaux et les tasses en porcelaine sont ravissantes.

    Bisous ma chère amie!

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  8. Lovely photos and what a great post about beautiful memories. It makes me miss tea time with my great aunt and uncle and grandma from England.

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  9. Tea party! I love the pretty pictures and the little muffins :)

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  10. Thats a lovely memory and the photos make it look wonderful!

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  11. that is a really sweet memory and tea is such a significant symbol for so many peole and i love that you posted about it, becaus ei have some fab tea momories to - amazing pictures..and your vintage dress yay!
    xx

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  12. Wow, that's a seriously amazo spread! Well done! I do love that Nigella as well. x

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  13. I think you did a great job, Paula dear! I hope you're going to invite me one day. :)

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  14. WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWww

    next time can i come?! Looks amazing.....I love all your glass wear :-D

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  15. I think she's be very proud- it looks beautiful :)

    Danni
    xxx

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  16. What a lovely story! I'm sure your nanna would qualify your afternoon tea as one of hers!

    It makes me want to haveone anyway!

    Thank you for the precious photographs

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  17. I would love to have a tea with you! The photos are beautiful and everything looks delicious!

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  18. We had a tea party a week ago. My friend set it up with pretty blue china cups but your pink floral teacups look really pretty too! Even the plum colored teapot :)

    B

    A plus B

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  19. your afternoon tea delicacies is making me starve :)
    they photos all look sooo good !
    i wish i had this kind of soirees in my country :)

    ps. what lens + camera are you using ? :)

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  20. that is such a good idea! i'd love to have afternoon tea! inspiration! might do it myself :)

    jp xx

    www.thishopefulheart.blogspot.com
    www.hopefulheart.etsy.com

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  21. Oh how lovely, are you sure there was only two people ? there is a lot a lot of food, so yum xx

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  22. Such a lovely post. It makes me sad to think of the wealth of knowledge our grandparents posess that is completely lost on our generation.

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  23. This looks heavenly! Your Nana would be so proud!

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  24. how sweet these memories sound, especially the thought of you skipping across the street while you father whistled; it really is the little things that stay glued to your mind forever and ever. my grandmother also had a family get together about every sunday while i was growing up, and i am just like you, i never even realized how much care and meticulous work went into those luncheons every week. as a child you just don't know, and then once you've grown, it kind of breaks your heart when you think about how much they must have loved you to go through all that trouble, every week, without fail.

    x

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  25. these pictures are beautiful! i remember sunday afternoon teas at my granny's with bullseye on in the background too! those were the days... xxx

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  26. just beautiful. i love having afternoon tea! perfect excuse to use the pretty china :) x

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  27. ski sunday and bullseye! haha! oh the memories. i love those little sweet bowls.

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  28. Oh wow your Nan sounds like she makes beautiful teas...I absolutely live for a cup of tea everyday but it tastes that little bit nicer out of a teacup...!

    Love love love,

    Erin

    x

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  29. This looks like the best tea time ever. This is a wonderful post, so nostalgic and sweet.

    Julia

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  30. The perfect way to spend a sunday x

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  31. Everything looks lovely, love how all the china and glassware looks together and I definitely need to try those snickers and peanut butter muffins!

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  32. so lovely ! :D
    i'm inspired to host my own tea party now !

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  33. This looks like the most beautiful teaparty! Were I at your house I would stuff my face!

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  34. ive never seen mini jammy dodgers before!omm ommm ommm

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  35. Pretty photos. I could use an afternoon tea right about now!

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  36. Lovely pictures! Your tea party seems to be great!

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  37. That looks like a lovely feast you baked, your Nanna would be proud! I do love the old traditions, there's nothing quite like it.

    It's sad to think of these traditions dying. Bullseye haha

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  38. what a lovely ritual and how nice that it is etched in your memory! i am sure she would appreciate that you remembered her sunday teas and tried to replicate one yourself :)

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  39. Wowser hon, it puts my morning mug of tetley to shame. I will have to get sorted with some dainty dishwear!!


    xxx

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  40. LOVE your blog... Your hair, your style, everything! What a delightful post- you put on a mean tea party!

    xx

    www.adventuresinfashion.ca

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  41. Looks amazing. The china is beautiful and the food looks delicious.

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  42. I think you have ore than a good start to achieve a betty's tea in the future: the tea you had held looks just exquisite!!!

    Everything is so delicate, appealing and delightful!! the cakes, cookies ad the "granny" cups, everything is set for the perfect tea afternoon.

    xx

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  43. So lovely! Love all your pictures and your tales of your Nana :)

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  44. So amazing! The tradition, the china, the cookies and cakes... ah, i'll be there next sunday, wait for me! ahah;)

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  45. I LOVE it when my Grandma comes to stay, as we have tea and scones then too!!!

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  46. looks so delectable... i love afternoon tea

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  47. An afternoon tea & chat sounds lovely and the pastries look delicious!

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  48. The mismatched dinnerware just adds to the vintage appeal! I love the idea of Betty's Tea. I think she'd be proud! :)

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  49. I absolutely love having tea like this. Everything is so beautiful and looks delicious.

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  50. Oh I wouldn't mind having tea with you! It all looks so elegant and yum.

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  51. Your pictures are amazing!
    I feel like having all those goodies already!

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  52. What a lovely idea! This inspires me and makes me want to have my girlfriends over for tea. Beautiful pictures!

    xo
    Valerie

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  53. That looks so yummie!! Beautiful photos!

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  54. Awww Paula.. what a sweet post. I'm sure your Nanna was such a beautiful woman inside and out. I loved reading and seeing all the beautiful pictures of this story. You did a fabulous job and I'm sure your Nanna would agree. :)

    xx Love & Aloha

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  55. Lovely blog! So pretty! So happy I discovered it...

    From a fellow pink lover!

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  56. The afternoon tea goodies look absolutely divine! I'm sure your grandmother would be so proud of you. I'm always amazed by how much effort grandmothers put into cooking and baking as well. Mine was the same... she'd prepare 4-5 course meals from scratch!

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  57. ooo these are actually too beautiful!!!

    Char x

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  58. Lovely photos and I love your glassware.

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  59. those photos are nice it looks like the perfect tea time party :)

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  60. This looks so lovely. I can honestly say that I have never had an afternoon tea. Your memories with your Gram and family make me want to start this tradition myself.

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  61. Oooh I loved this post honey as it's just what we did as children too. Every Saturday at my Nanna's. She used to bake so many lovely goodies too, Ginger biscuits and lemon cake amongst my faves.
    Sadly she hasn't been with us for a long time like your dear Betty.
    We called the tea, raw tea, because as children it became that as it was a tea that wasnt cooked hence raw!!
    I love your layout of all the food and the china you have collected. Maybe we'll share a tea together in the future!
    Love kxx

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  62. this is great! i'm throwing a small tea party, as you know. any advice? suggestions? ideas?

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  63. that tea party looks amazing :) i love nigella!!
    X

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  64. thank you especially for the comments in this post, i enjoyed reading your own memories too.

    i would to invite you all to a tea-party, that would be amazing :)

    navarro - bake your own if you have time or visit the best pattisserie you can find. mostly just have fun!!

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  65. Beautiful! I love afternoon tea, in Germany we have "Coffee & Cake" and I love to set the table and invite friends. It really brings back childhood memories...I love your china!

    S*

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