Sunday, June 6, 2021

Afternoon Tea in Texas




Afternoon tea was introduced in 1840, in England, by Duchess Anna of Bedford. The Duchess would become hungry around four in the afternoon. Her evening meal would not be served until eight p.m. which is a long time between lunch and dinner.  The Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter, and cake be bought to her room late in the afternoon. This became a habit and she began inviting friends to join her. 




While in Texas this past week, visiting my son and his family we had our traditional tea party. This time on a rainy afternoon we had homemade hot chocolate instead of tea, bread and butter sandwiches cut into animal shapes, fresh strawberries, and raspberry and chocolate-filled cookies. 




I love my DIL's china. On the last visit we made to their house I got an idea for a Christmas present for my DIL. I was able to surprise her with this teapot this past Christmas. Surprise presents are as much fun for the giver as the receiver.


I got the squirrel sandwich at my husband's request. I have an ongoing battle with squirrels getting in my bird feeders. 



After the tea party and the dishes were washed and ready to put away I enjoyed playing around making a vignette with her china in the kitchen. Sarah had brought peonies for me earlier in the week from Trader Joe's. 

This is the first arrangement I did with the peonies and a filler called Lepidium also from Trader Joe's.


The peonies were in the marshmallow stage just beginning to open. I learned from P. Allen Smith that cutting the peonies in this stage makes them last longer. 

As the peonies opened I experimented with different vases and learned if I gently fluffed the blossom it would open more. I later learned that placing the peonies in warm water would help them open. I also learned that if you wrap your peonies in bud stage in saran wrap and store them in the refrigerator that they will last a long time.  Do you have any other tips?


When we arrived in Texas the kids were excited that they had several swallowtail butterfly chrysalis (pupa) to show me. One was on a parsley plant and the other had crawled to the back of a patio chair. Several days later we watched this butterfly emerge. It was exciting to witness this. God's creation is amazing. 
I had hoped for them to witness the stages of metamorphosis of the monarch butterfly since they are close to the migration path monarchs take. They may still be able to as the summer progresses.
 Our ten-day trip passed quickly. On the way to San Antonio we stopped overnight to visit with Mike's aunt and uncle in Houston. It was great to be with them.  It had been so long since we had seen them because of the pandemic. 
I hope things are becoming more normal for you also. I am getting together for lunch with friends again, and back to church which I have missed very much. It feels so wonderful to be vaccinated and feel free again.


Hoping you are enjoying the beginning of summer. Thank you for your visits and comments. I will respond to your comment on this post. I hope to post soon showing my hydrangeas and gardenias. 


29 comments:

  1. What precious time! Gorgeous tea set( Russian patern?),really beautiful. Love your peonies and that pretty butterfly. Blessings.

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    1. Thank you very much for your visit. Yes, it is Russian and I agree such a beautiful pattern.
      Blessings also to you.

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  2. That teapot was such a thoughtful gift for your DIL, Bonnie, and yes, it’s a beautiful pattern. The tea party looked perfect! The peonies looked so pretty, and the butterfly was such a beauty. I know you enjoyed your family time!

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  3. Yes, Kitty, I did enjoy my family time. I was so excited to be able to locate a teapot. It was the only one Replacements had at the time.

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  4. What a sweet time for you Bonnie. I am loving that tea set! WOW! So pretty. Have a great week dear Bonnie. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Thank you, Cindy! It was fun to visit our grands and have a tea party.

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  5. I am in love with your DIL's china!...How nice of you to gift her the teapot!...Loved seeing your Tea Party and so glad you had a great time with your family...treasured memories!

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  6. Thank you Shirley. It was a wonderful visit with our family. Thanks for your compliments.

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  7. I wish I'd known the peony tip a week ago! Gorgeous -- one of my favorite fragrances. I adore that beautiful tea set but I bet the day was even "prettier" and more special than the china!

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  8. How wonderful to have an annual tea party, I am hoping to start a tea party tradition with my daughter and granddaughter too...the teapot is lovely, and her china is indeed beautiful! The peonies are gorgeous, so glad you had such a good time~
    Jenna

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  9. I love your tea set. Beautiful.

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  10. Bonnie, I love your tradition of an annual tea party. DIL’s china is beautiful and how special that you gifted her the teapot. I learned those peony tips from someone and can’t remember who shared those with me. I am so glad you enjoyed a lovely trip to see your family. You created beautiful sweet memories!

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    1. Thanks, Pam for you nice comments. Yes, every visit has great memories. So blessed to be able to travel and see our children.

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  11. Gorgeous china! What is it, Bonnie? What a great gift. Glad your trip in TX was full of family visits. It's so much better this year!

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  12. The name of the china is Lomomosov Cobalt Net. It is made in Russia. If you ever see any please let me know.

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  13. Such a sweet and precious time!! I love it. Your daughter in law's china is beautiful, just gorgeous. It's Russian, right? I will maybe do hot chocolate for our next tea time with the little people, that's such a great idea. And...squirrels, you and I have that in common. They are a little (a lot!) pesky. so happy your trip was wonderful, friend. xo Lidy

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    1. Thanks Lidy for your visit! It was a sweet and relaxing tea party.

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  14. Beautiful tradition Bonnie of a traditional tea party. You DIL china is so pretty. How special you found a matching teapot. I bet she was so surprised. How wonderful your trip away was. We have a squirrel problem. They recently ate some flowers and tore up a nice patio chair.

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    1. Thanks Linda, I understand about the squirrels eating cushions on chairs. I have to move mine every time we are out of town. Since my porch is visible from the kitchen I can catch them when I'm home and chase them away.
      They are very pesky creatures.
      Thanks for your visit.

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  15. Oh Bonnie, I love your surprise gift for your daughter-in-law, such a beautiful teapot and pattern. I'm sure it was fun for you to play with her dishes and flowers. I think you named all the tips I know. Funny about the squirrel sandwich, those rascals well take over feeders. Your trip sound wonderful and I am happy to hear you are getting out and doing the things you love. We had my sister and brother-in-law here for the weekend (the reason I'm late here, so sorry) for the first time in 18 months. It was wonderful and we had so much to catch up on even though we spoke on the phone several times a day during the pandemic. We are getting out a bit more now, feeling a little more comfortable and fully vaccinated. Have a wonderful June dear Bonnie..........

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    1. Emily, Thanks for your visit and I am so glad your sister and brother-in-law were able to visit. I know how much that meant to you.

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  16. Bonnie, such a beautiful post. Love Sarah’s China. To be able to surprise her with this beautiful teapot brought excitement and joy to both of you. I know that feeling. Sometimes the giver is more overjoyed than the recipient. Is that your beautiful hands pouring the tea? I love that photo so much. The peonies are unbelievably beautiful. My have bloomed and gone. I am so happy you had this visit. I too am seeing my friends and went to church Sunday. Actually my calendar is filling up. I don’t want to miss moments with loved ones. God has given me a larger appreciation of just how blessed I have been. God Bless. Always love your beautiful posts.

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  17. So good to hear from you Dianne. It was very special to surprise Sarah with the teapot. And the kids enjoyed the surprise too. I was nervous about it getting there on time and not damaged but Replacements did a great job.
    Have a beautiful week.

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  18. Being vaccinated really did bring a sense of freedom to me, it sounds like you were the same way! I am so happy you were able to travel to be with family. Yes, that china is beautiful! I am sure your daughter in law was thrilled with the lovely teapot! I agree, a surprise gift for no reason is just the best, isn't it! Oh, and I would choose hot chocolate over tea any day!!

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  19. Thanks Chloe! Yes, it feels so nice to be able to feel free again. I am grateful for the vaccines.
    Forgot to mention your new dog. I will enjoy updates all along.

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  20. Good morning, Bonnie. It looks as though you had and enjoyed a lovely trip. Your daughter's tea service is lovely and I know she must have been thrilled to receive the tea pot.
    As for the peonies, I do not wrap them, but cut them in the marshmallow stage early in the morning. Then I lay them in a long florist box with layers of parchment paper between them, if you have several. Do not place them in a refrigerator with apples, as the apples give off a gas that will cause them to wilt. One year, I had them on my Thanksgiving table.

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  21. Good tip about apples. That is amazing you had peonies at Thanksgiving.
    Thanks, Sandra for your tips. You are so blessed to have numerous peonies. They are so beautiful.
    I wish I could grow peonies but I do not have enough sun. I wish I could have brought some home with me. I did two times from Texas but it did not work out this time.
    Thanks for you visit.

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