Monday, October 17, 2011

Tea in the Autumn Garden

What could be better on an autumn afternoon than a drive in the countryside where the air has the snap and tang of the season's first apples? Well, maybe a drive in the Northern Virginia Countryside past farm stands brimming with plump pumpkins and lush bunches of herbs that lead you to a sun-dappled afternoon tea complete with touches of summertime flavor of lovely lavender on a shaded porch looking out over a fall garden. Sounds good, doesn't it? It happened right here at Blooming Hill during the the Loudoun County Fall Farm and Color Tour this past weekend.

However, before we could get to the pleasures of tea with all of the trappings like rosy teapots, a bit of milk, some sugar--one lump or two--your preference, and sweet, sweet delicacies, there was some serious furniture arranging on the porch and the patio Friday afternoon due to over an inch of rain that arrived that mornig and the day before. Of course, I was on my own to do the dirty task which should have been much easier than I made it.

It seemed as though I was playing musical chairs all by myself but couldn't win the game. Everything was helter-skelter for a couple of hours as I attempted to fit five tables and ten chairs on the porch and that many more on the patio so that those coming for tea would be spared the effects of a strong wind this past crisp autumn weekend. It was survival of the fittest as the porch furniture, green garden chairs and I played tug-of-war and for once, I was the fittest!

By Saturday afternoon, when Two Broads and a Brit (and I mean that only in the nicest possible way since that is what this little tea catering company of three very talented women has named themselves) arrived at Blooming Hill to set up for tea-time, the tables and chairs were ready for them to do their magic before the guests arrived. And then, the kitchen took on the appearance of the porch from the day before, but only for a moment.  Perhaps, with a bit of panache along with a pinch of organized chaos, the 2B's & B were busy B's  (Get it?...2B's & B were busy B's?...okay, moving on...) with their preparations for the afternoon tea in the garden. 

Flowers were beautifully arranged and table cloths were gracefully placed over tables, silverware arranged with care and food set out in photograph ready fashion.  the whole place looked was so pretty and dainty and very proper for tea.  Just look at the Twinings Tea tins filled with miniature roses colorful mums, hydrangea, beauty berry and sedum, so cleverly done.

The 2B's and B getting things ready before the tea.
Teapots and teacups organized and at the ready while lavender frosted carrot cake, madelines and scones with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam and tea sandwiches were arranged prettily on their serving dishes.  The busy, busy 2B's and B (Here we go again!) moved smoothly and quietly from table to table and back to the kitchen filling each guests table with simply delicious treats and Yorkshire tea. I felt as though I was in some kind of English movie production watching these ladies go about their business of creating such an inviting and welcoming atmosphere on my porch and patio.  However, neither Alice nor the Mad Hatter or even the Wild March Hare seemed to be anywhere in sight...probably a good thing.

Autumn tea guests and friends of mine, Samantha Maynard, Dee Verley-Matthews and Bonnie Milam
And then all too soon the weekend was over and the tea guests went back down the country lanes to their homes sufficiently safancified--that means happy and well fed--I learned that term way, way back in sixth grade. Then the dishes were washed, teapots packed, towels and linens folded neatly away and the TB's & B were merrily on their way, too... waving good-by...sigh!

The very talented Two Broads and a Brit--Kim Labash, Joan Jasinski and Karen Wild.
Now, while my porch is cleaned, organized and  paired down furniture-wise as the coming days will bring harsh changes in the weather, it looks a little forlorn without it's autumnal tea party patrons and the lovely Two Broads and a Brit--and I mean that only in the nicest possible way!  Thank you Kim, Joan and Karen and thank you to all of my Fall Color Tour guests.  Let's have another tea party soon, shall we?!  Cheerio!

1 comment:

  1. So fun to see all set for a lovely tea (and more than a little bit missing the fall color tour myself)!
    Waving a hello to you, Sam, Dee, and Bonnie! :)