What a whirlwind. We are back from London and I can still hear the sounds and smell the smells. The grease smell of the Tube (underground subway), the clip clop of the police on horseback (don’t want to talk about that smell…!!!), the crack of Big Ben* chiming the hour as we soak in the blossoming tree branches.
*Did you know that Big Ben is actually the bell, NOT the clock tower? The clock is the Queen’s Clock. A little piece of info we learned on our tour!
Do you get attached to smells? Do they bring you back to a place and time? One of our souvenirs from London is a loose leaf Blueberry tea by Whittard. Oh my gosh. Their packaging is so lovely! The store was just as lovely! What sold us on their product though was the SAMPLES! Around their entire store, they had tea pots of freshly brewed tea, ready to be sampled. When our family tasted the Blueberry Rooibos, we were hooked. Just the SMELL of it was enticing. I can’t wait to make an iced blueberry tea with a splash of lemonade. I think it’s going to be just perfect for summer.
Since we are talking tea, I thought I’d share my daughter’s “Tea Party Birthday” from a few years ago. It was a little wacky and a lot of fun to plan.
For the parties I plan, I always have to have a direction, a theme. Jillian knew she wanted a tea party. My big debate was, how “Alice in Wonderland” do I make it? Or do I just focus on a lovely “English Tea” sort of theme? Well, the final result morphed into a little bit of both.
I started by calling my mom! “Mom, Jillian wants to have a tea party for her birthday. Do you mind if I borrow 12 of your antique tea cups and saucers for 7 year olds to use?!” YEIKS! Who in their right mind would let little kids use their family heirlooms? Kathy Monroe, that’s who! “What am I going to do with them? They are just collecting dust!”
I also collected fancy stemmed miniature aperitif glassware from Goodwills in the area which the girls sipped sparkling water “on the rocks”, accompanied by rainbow ice cubes.
Did you notice the initials stitched on the hankie? I inherited a good handful of handkerchiefs from my mom’s aunt (they had a notions store many-a-moons ago) and I may have picked a few more up from local vintage shops. Once the RSVPs rolled in, I hand stitched the party guest’s initials on their handkerchief and used them as their place marker AND napkin at the table. Fun, right?
We served traditional tea sandwiches, scones, hand monogrammed iced cookies and fondant wrapped “teacup” cupcakes. Man, I had a lot of time on my hands!!! We must have been living off Chinese takeout and had mounds of laundry waiting for me upstairs!!!! 🙂Confetti Cakes that has so many inspiring designs. Her teacups are WAY MORE DETAILED than mine (um…can you say hand painted?!!!). I had a 7 year old and a 5 year old at this time. The big question is WHEN did I have TIME to do these???!!! Who the heck knows.
We had two games:
Game 1: Toss the sugar cube into the teapot. Each child got 5 sugar cubes, stood on the doily, and tried to throw them into the awaiting teapot.
Game 2: Mad Hatter Hat Stacking. 2 people were the models, and 2 were the stackers. On the count to 3, the stackers were to stack as many hats onto your model as possible within 1 minute. Oh the models were too darn cute!!!
In fact, is it tea time? I feel like putting on a pot right now. Will you join me?
Cheers to teatime! xo, Meliss