Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Downton Abbey Garden Tea

                                          Welcome to our Downton Abbey Garden Tea!

                       On a beautiful sunny summer day we hosted a Downton Abbey Garden Tea and I thought
         you might want to come along too. So grab a cup of tea and maybe a pretty hat and join us.
                                      First a little look at some back scenes preparations.I picked flowers from the                                          garden and made lots of bouquets.I thought a mainly white theme would be                                             elegant for a Downton Abbey Tea.We have lots of hydrangeas of different                                                varieties in the garden.Sorry,I forgot to take a pic of all the white vases and                                               bouquets sitting on the cupboard.
                             Silver was polished and linens ironed-so thankful for good friends and family who                                  pitched in and helped out with food prep,garden chores,grasscutting,setting up                                        tables,serving,dishwashing,cleanup and getting the food all on the plates.
                               There was lots of baking to do and my daughter Jennifer and friend Janice were                                      both a big help with that while other good friends made sandwiches etc.
My rather large collection of pretty plates and teacups etc. came in handy but one of my
daughter's who spend the afternoon washing them all thought "paper was the new china"!

      My friend Snow spent a few days helping me with setting up tables and all the other little details                         that had to be done beforehand.Even my sister visiting from Vancouver for that week got                         roped into helping.
                           We are almost ready! Phew,things did get a little panicky for awhile.

                                        This lovely group of quilters were among the first to arrive. I love that so many got into the spirit of the day and dressed up for it! I love that parasol hat etc.,Penelope!!!
                           Our guests could tour the gardens and the new boathouse below.Someone asked how                                it was advertised and it was just through my blog and word of mouth.The tickets sold out                               quickly and our limit  this year was 45.
                          Just a little peek at the inside of the boathouse but more coming soon-I promise.

                           The Gardener's Cottage was also on the tour and this charming little girl was a very                                 enthusiastic visitor!

                                                      My friend Janice and I.
                                                        Let the party begin! Two delightful visitors are ready for tea.
                                          My sister on the right and her friend Sharon enjoyed a lovely visit in the                       shade of the willow tree and the sound of the brook behind them.
                             More charming friends having some tea. We were blessed with a lovely sunny day           until the last of the guests were leaving when a thunder shower rolled in.Phew! that was close!!!

                      My friend Jean and her husband enjoyed a shady spot under the vine covered pergola.
                                          Just a small sample of some of the food for our high tea.

We served Lady Baker's Tea that was generously donated to us and it was delicious served hot and also as an iced tea. Thank you so much! The tea is available at our local Farmer's Market or visit her here online .

                                    I made sour cream raspberry coffeecake and sticky date pudding with toffee                                           sauce for dessert.
                                   I love how everyone lingered and enjoyed visiting in the garden.My friend Heather on the right and 3 generations on the left-sweet!
               My friends Heather M and Janice. Janice on the left said  she had a little taste of the 'downstairs' at Downton Abbey but also the 'upstairs' as she responded nicely to a panicky call a couple of hours beforehand to help in the kitchen before having her tea.
                                       Friends enjoying a chat.
                                        Margaret and Barbara enjoying a peek though my book - Aiken House &                                                   Gardens.I hope your daughter enjoys it, Margaret!
Now, I would love to enjoy a cup of tea with a couple of  friends, Linda and Sarah who live too far away to attend but generously sent along a donation for sweet Lucas anyway-thank you so much! Maybe,someday soon we can actually have a real visit over a cup of tea!!!

Thank you so much to all who attended our Downton Abbey Tea and to all who worked so hard behind the scenes. A special thank you to my friend Snow who contributed an unbelievable amount of hours so cheerfully-we couldn't have done it without you all!

We had several requests to make it an annual event but as Snow laughingly said "that is like asking someone after they have just given birth when they are having another baby"! Don't be discouraged though because after my first child I did have 6 more! 

I am joining BNOTP for Tablescape Thursday today and My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday.

I hope you too enjoyed coming along today!



Betty said...

What a beautiful tea party. An inspiration to have one. Just beautiful, You have outdone yourself.

Lella said...

immagini incantevoli ed è stato delizioso leggere il post.

Kamilla said...

It looks like you had a great time. Everything so nicely prepared and decorated, all guests dress to the occasion:) Great job,I wish I could attend it , too:) Take care:)

Carol said...

Looks like everything turned out very lovely. the gardens and food were beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Bernideen said...

What a fabulous event and I am sure the ladies were so thrilled to get to see your gardens and sweet place!

Unknown said...

super bir paylasim:)))))

Michele M./ Finch Rest said...

Thrilling beyond measure.

I love you did this, how wonderful - so beautiful in every way.

And you look lovely, Carolyn- you fit right in that era, my dear.

I am SO GLAD you had such good help- many hands make lighter the work, though unless someone does a formal afternoon tea they have no idea how difficult they are to do flawlessly.

Your food looks amazing.

Would love your recipes for your dessertsss!

One Shabby Old House said...

What a beautiful tea. Carolyn. You looked beautiful in your dress and hat and everything around you was just perfect. How fun that would have been to attend!

Erin | Bygone Living said...

Wish I could have been there! Looked beautiful!

Andréa said...

How I wish I could attend!
But I am far as your friends or a lot further than they in Brazil!
Even so, I visit your blog daily, and I can see their gardens here at home, thumbing through his beautiful magazine ..
A big hug

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I can see all the work that went in to your fundraiser Carolyn and everyone got the royal treatment.
Delightful places to sit, gardens fluffed, delicious food and weather that held out. Congratulations on a spectacular event.

Two Cottages And Tea said...

What a beatiful tea time! I would just love to help you with the next tea! You look so lovely, Carolyn. Your tea dress and hat so perfect for your special tea. Thank you for sharing with us!

Debbie Harris said...

Strolling through the photos I felt as if I was there attending right along with you ladies. What a beautiful setting for an afternoon tea party, just lovely!

I have not visited your blog for some time, it was good to visit again. You have a wonderful blog!!

See you again soon.


Unknown said...

Oh, how beautiful!!!


Olá Carolyn,

Parabéns pelo evento, todos os detalhes perfeitos. Realmente um belo chá.

Adorei a delicadeza de sua roupa e o chapéu.

Tudo maravilhoso.



brandy1 said...

Wonderful and thrilling Carolyn.I felt quite goose bumpy with joy reading this post and seeing the lovely photos. Shirley N.Z.

Susan said...

Fabulous photos, Carolyn. Just a charming event. Loved everything. GREAT JOB! Susan

Pamela Gordon said...

Oh I did enjoy this post, Carolyn! What a perfect afternoon and all your guests look wonderful in their finery. I'm glad it was such a success and for a good cause. Everything looks just beautiful. Pamela

Wendy@Once upon a rose haven said...

Hi Carolyn,
What a special and lovely event! Your photos are gorgeous! Thank you for sharing with us!

Kaiva L. said...

super. I'm thrilled romantic garden party. I love it.

Sofia said...

Oh.... just LOVELY!
Hugs Sofia

A Romantic Porch said...

Oh Carolyn, That was so much fun. Everything is very beautiful and peaceful. Thanks for sharing.
xo rachel

Linda said...

Delightful Party! Wish I could have been there. :) I love Downton Abbey...and I love your gardens!

Linda @ Truthful Tidbits (in Kansas)

Tess said...

Absolutely beautiful! Everything looks gorgeous and delicious. AND the amount of work put in had to be amazing. You can see why the Cawley's had so much staff!!! ;-)

Rose Cantiero said...

Gostaria de ter apreciado junto esta linda tarde!

Phyllis @Around the House said...

Your tea looked delightful, I wish I could have come..I know all the work this takes, the prep work can be backbreaking, I am happy you had some help, the garden looks inviting and so charming...thanks for sharing this special day...

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

What a feast for the eyes - every single picture took my breath away. Your tables, your umbrellas, your guests dressed in their fun DA clothes. And oh, that boat house. Not to mention the beautiful food. I am so glad I got a glimpse of this party and your gardens. Visiting this post has made my day. laurie

dizzyizzy said...

Carolyn everything is so lovely. I am so please that you had such a great response to you tea. I wish that I could have been there. Thanks for sharing the highlights.

hron said...

Fabulous event, Carolyn! Thank you for the inspiration . . . this will be next summer's highlight for my lady friends!

Marlis said...

Your tea was charming! I love the setting and all the preparations you made. The food looks as scrumptious as the gardens inviting. xo marlis

Janneke said...

This must have been great! So good you had so many helping hands for it is quite a job. You were beautifully dressed, real Downtown Abbey, and it is fun to see all these different dresses and hats all so very nice. Delicious food in a beautiful garden with lovely guests!

Jocelyn said...

Everything looks so beautiful! Did I miss a recipe for Sour Cream Raspberry coffee cake??

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Everything is just beautiful, Carolyn! I'm glad you had lots of help. You are a gracious hostess and you look lovely in your frock. A splendid Tea!


Melanie said...

What a magical event you held. Your guests must have had such a beautiful time. I love some of their Downton fashions and hats.
Simply lovely ! said...

Wow looks amazing. As you know the same day, my birthday I was in Cambridge & Grantchester, having afternoon tea in the Orchard. What great friends and family to help you organise what looks a super day and I felt as though I was there with you.
I hope one day you get to visit Highclere Castle it is well worth the visit.

Jackie in Surrey UK.

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Barbara - My Island Bistro Kitchen said...

It was a delightful and splendid afternoon, indeed!

Diane said...

I am almost speechless (or is it "wordless", when one is typing??)! What a magnificent tea party in such a stunning location. All of the appointments were elegant and the food looks absolutely delicious! I adore the outfit of the lady with the parasol (yours was gorgeous), because she reminded me of an older friend that I had, as a child. My elderly friend always dressed like Queen Victoria, when she was in morning for Prince Albert. What a wonderful and fun event!

Linda said...

A fantastical tea of epic proportions! There! Haha I must admit, Carolyn, I couldn't think of anything else to say. Your lovely readers have said it all and I agree with every one of them! You never cease to amaze me, my friend! And, thank you for setting that pink teacup for me. LOVE it and you, too!
Linda at Beautiful Ideas

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Such a beautiful event! Love your dress. It would have been a thrill to be there. Nice to see behind the scenes!

janice15 said...

Looks like you had a most wonderful time.. very lovely.. I have been thinking about a small tea party too it's been a while.. I just loved all of it .. with love Janice

A New England Life said...

Such a dreamy afternoon! One I'm sure your guests will remember for a long time to come.

I just ordered your book for my moms birthday. I'm only a month late. LOL! But I know she'll love it!


Sanna - My Blueberry House said...

Hello Carolyn,

What a lovely tea party. Everything is so beautiful put together. A lot of hard work for sure. I love Downton Abbey. Thanks for "living out" the fantasy and imagination of what a tea party at Downton Abbey might look like.

Have a good day,

Plum and Nearly said...

This party is so beautiful. We have a church in Quincy, IL, that hosts a garden tea party every other year. The last one, last year had about 85 women attending. Although hats and glove were optional, everyone came dressed to the nines. I can't wait for the next one in 2014. I think it would be perfect if everyone came dressed in white. Thanks so much.
Kay (PlumandNearly)

All Things Chic 2 said...

Wow Carolyn
So happy all went well...
I enjoyed viewing all the beautiful pics...
Thanks for sharing Lori ~

BohoMind said...

Wow, it looks like you had a really good time, the tea party looks so elegant and fun! The food looks delicious and the china so beautiful.

Unknown said...

Dear Carolyn,
I recently disovered your blog from another pinner on Pinterest! Stunning, magical, feminine, beautiful, uplifting - it speaks to the desire for beauty deep in my soul.

I wanted to share some beuatiful photography with you, too! We recently held a FABULOUS Downton Abbey themed tea at our tearoom, Heirlooms Tea Room and Special Occasions! Enjoy our lovely photo album here:


Sentimental Living said...


Deanna said...

Beautiful Tea and would have been great fun to be there!