There is something about a tea party. It doesn’t seem to have an age requirement. My girls have loved them since they were small and my Grandma has no issues joining them every once in awhile. We’ve been drooling through the pages of Vintage Tea Party by Carolyn Caldicott, who once ran a cafe in London’s Covent Garden, with Chris Caldicott, who took the photographs for the book.
While our Winter Wonderland Tea Party was fun and made The Divine Miss M feel like a true Princess, tea parties can be a simple, everyday moment shared with a book or friends.
The pages are like being invited for tea at a dear friends. It is an occasion with much anticipation and even a touch of romance. There are teawares posed and baked goods captured in close-ups. Cottages along an English Countryside or just a meadow of flowers. It’s the core of a tea party whether it be solo or among friends.
The book flows easily and rather than just offer a suggestion, Caldicott goes into details as to “Where to Find the Vintage Look”. It’s simplistic advice, check with family first. If that doesn’t generate a few pieces, charity shops are a great alternative. I love that this is entertaining on a budget. It inspires my girls, who love the eclectic look of many pieces all combined.
My girls loved the chapter about how afternoon tea came to be. For those, who don’t know, it was created by Anna, Duchess of Bedford. She was at constant battle with a “sinking feeling”. Caldicott writes, “Fortified by her tasty repast she soon decided to share the experience with her lady friends by sending out invitations for “Tea and a walk in the fields””.
The book is quite thorough also including basics of preparing and selecting a good tub of tea, recipes (my favorite) for cakes, finger sandwiches, and more.
The girls and I found it interesting all the variations of tea. The Divine Miss M has even proposed we forfeit our dinner ritual and instead call it “High Tea” where it’s all the elegance and “a much more generous meal”. She’s even solved the problem of where by insisting it be a Fireside Tea. Thankfully, Dad and Li’l Man aren’t much for Tea Parties…so High Tea will wait until they leave one weekend and it’s just us girls!
This is a stunning book that is sure to delight tea or vintage lovers alike!