Fireside tea

December 31, 2013

Last night my daughter and I had some friends over for tea and a movie. It was a wonderful opportunity to create a lovely setting in which to enjoy the company of our dear friends. It is cold here so we all enjoyed hot tea and a fire, and, as we settled down to watch a second movie, pulling out cozy afghans and blankets to snuggle under.

We had these wonderful little cookies called "stroopwafles." They are just the right size for laying on top of a hot cup of steaming tea. The heat of the tea softens and melts the caramel filling inside. I found these at World Market.

My daughter made her delicious cherry pecan scones from her Aunt Sarah's recipe. I found a set of these green plates on Ebay a few years ago. The pattern is The Florentine by Johnson Brothers. 

I made some little tea sandwiches on thin white bread with strawberry cream cheese spread and thinly sliced strawberries and chive and onion cream cheese spread and cucumbers. I cut the edges off the sandwiches and then cut them into tiny triangles.

The white coffee pot with the gold trim (above in the foreground), which I filled with Constant Comment decaf tea, was my great-aunt's. She lived to be 95, and after she died, my mother went out to Maine to help sort through her belongings. Knowing my love of all things tea-related, she sent me this pot and the matching set of six cups and saucers. I only saw Great-Aunt Esther a few times in my life, but I remember her as a twinkling-eyed, fun-loving woman, who never failed to send me cards on every birthday and holiday throughout my childhood. This is the only thing I have of hers, so it is especially treasured.

No tea table is complete without flowers. I love winter whites.

And really, every tea table does require some chocolate as well, don't you think?

Every tea deserves proper linens and silver. So many of the heirlooms I have inherited sat in china cupboards and linen drawers for years, decades even. I know I risk damaging them by using them, but I decided a long time ago to use them as often as I can. I want to be able to enjoy them and bring the beauty and memories they represent into our everyday life. Over all the years, I've only broken two teacups, and maybe stained a couple pieces of linen, a small price to pay for the enjoyment I receive in using them. And even though I don't generally enjoy ironing, there is something very satisfying about ironing old linens.

We had a lovely night of conversation, good movies, and pot after pot of tea. This tea party didn't break up until 1:20 a.m.!

I am linking up with Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday and A Delightsome Life for A Return to Loveliness. A very grateful thank you to those of you who have encouraged me in my new blogging endeavor! May you all have a wonderful 2014.

Also linking with Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday


  1. Hi Deborah,
    I am so happy you have joined me for tea today! You have served quite a feast for your friends and everything looks lovely. Sounds like you all had a fabulous time together. Your china is beautiful! Happy New Year and I wish you much joy in the coming year.


    1. Thank you Sandi. You too! I look forward to joining more of your tea parties in 2014.

  2. What a delicious looking tea table, and what fun you had at your gathering!

    1. thank you Millie for stopping by! getting a comment is so exciting to me as a new blogger!

  3. This is all so pretty, that you USE your special things & don't keep them hidden away in a cupboard.
    I've never had cherry pecan scones. I must hunt down a recipe for such...they look delish!

    1. thank you Rettabug. I like using my beautiful things -- it elevates the ordinary.


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