a garden tea party

Despite the torrential rain, we had a lovely time yesterday serving tea and cakes to over two hundred garden visitors in my best friend Anne's lovely cottage garden. The sun went in at 12 noon on the dot, and returned later on after everyone had gone home, but we were not daunted. After all, we are used to this sort of thing, we have survived the war, we are British!

...as I exclaimed dramatically to various people throughout the afternoon, including my proudly Irish former neighbour, at which point there was an awkward silence. Sorry, Joe.


Anyway, it was all a huge success and great fun. Everybody loves tea and cakes, don't they? I so enjoyed seeing the delighted expressions on people's faces as they took in the vintage china, bunting, pretty cakes, tablecloths and 1940s music playing over the loudspeakers, not to mention Anne's gorgeous garden. It was a treat to be a purveyor of simple pleasures and make people's afternoons into something a bit special. More than a few people have raised their eyebrows over the past week or two, unable to get their heads round the madness of homemade cakes for two hundred people, handmade signs and 'all the bother' of setting out tablecloths, doilies, and my eclectic collection of bone china teasets, but for me it has been a wonderful opportunity to be creative and do what I do best. It's that old chestnut again about homemade over bought, artisan over mass-produced, time spent on more than just the basics, a delight in doing things well and beautifully. Something that sadly for many people is lost and no more than a memory. Anne often says that people make the gardens they feel they 'ought' to have rather than the ones they'd really like, and I sometimes wonder if we extend that to the rest of our lives occasionally. Anyway, it was altogether a lovely day, full of fun and laughter, and hopefully lots of people will remember it and decide to fill their own lives, gardens and teatimes with a bit of creative gorgeousness.



One of the things I felt the occasion necessitated was a new pinny, and after a bit of research into patterns and a rummage in my fabric cupboard I decided to chop up a piece of vintage cotton I'd been hoarding for years and try to create something jollier and a bit more flattering than my usual. I was quite pleased with the result which I hope has the feel of a sort of 'going-out' apron... what do you think?


Lastly, a very big thank you to all of you for your help and encouragement with our moth problem. We now have a nice new carpet and everything but everything has been hoovered and sprayed and replaced carefully with a bit of extra hoovering just to be sure. As much furniture as possible has been raised off the floor to allow for better housekeeping and we are all going to be very, very vigilant from now on. Fingers crossed!

Finally, a couple more photos of Anne's lovely garden where we have spent many happy hours putting the world to rights over a glass of wine!


21 comments:

Gilly said...

I am so pleased it all went well - and if you've got any of that chocolate cake left over, save a bit for me. Though I doubt you will, with 3 men in the house!!

Love the pinny!

Pipany said...

A lovely post whith a cheery feel despite the rain - oh how I am loathing it! Love the pinny and particularly love the fabric. Hope the sun shines for you soon x

Lyn said...

Oh it all looks wonderful!
Well done to you all.
I must say the apron is most definitely a 'pretty pinny', I hope to go to some Open Gardens this summer-when I find the time!
Love
Lyn
xxx

pebbledash said...

I love a tea and cake, and yours sounded wonderful! All for a good cause, too. You look lovely in your new apron!

Beatrice said...

You look stunning in your new apron, the whole event sounds wonderful, and the garden... wow. Just wanted to thank you for your blog, I visit from time to time and I enjoy it very much. Keep up the inspiring work :)

ginny said...

what a really gorgeous photo of you sue... and the garden, cakes and presentation look lovely.. i hope the event raised lots of money for your charities.
ginny xx

Tina ♥ said...

Oh I did enjoy this post...absolutely lovely from start to finish. Wish I'd been there. :)

Gigibird said...

What a shame about the weather......however it all looks lovely especially you in your new apron:-)

Frances said...

I agree with Ginny, that photo of you, in that glorious new pinny, Sue is fabulous.

Think that I see your hand in that calligraphy, too.

Wish that I could have been to that tea in the garden. If I lived nearer you, I would definitely been there, and lent you some china tea cups!

May I be bold enough to comment that I see a lot of creativity in making this event such a success, no matter what weather gods let loose. xo

gilflingsdesigns said...

Oh Sue this is wonderful!!! I love all the attention to detail and creativity that is evident - you are so right - we really tend to forget in the delightful little details that make something more than just 'ordinary' - all the effort and thought and it looks as if you had alot of fun despite our british weather

I love your apron and your smile says it all!

Jo said...

What a gorgeous garden. The tea party sounded lovely. I wish I could have been there. You're right, we do worry too much about what sort of house, garden etc we ought to have instead of enjoying what we already have. You look great in your pinny - very 1940s!

Hens Teeth said...

Great to see you in your 'one of a kind' pinny, which is gorgeous.
Your hard work paid off beautifully, the attention to detail really shows.

Sue said...

Thank you everyone and especially to those 'no-replyers' who I couldn't respond to personally. As an aside, why not change your settings to allow email replies? It's easy - find out how here

~ Lora Hart Jewels ~ said...

What a charming, delightful, romantic and simply lovely idea! A real Tea with homemade cakes. If I were only a wee bit closer, I'd jump in the car just to experience a such a magical event. California's not really *that* far to come for a sip is it? ;-)

Jackie said...

It all looks gorgeous..especially you. How pretty you look.

Sarah said...

What a lovely day you had, I do so enjoy tea and cake, especially served on a cake stand. And what a lovely pinny!

cocoa and blankets said...

You look so lovely in your apron...where did you get a pattern...I could do with making one...shop ones never seem to fit big ladies...I still cant believe you can be a gran...you look very very glam to me....

LissyLou said...

How lovely!!

Mathyld / encore petite said...

Oh ! This is an amazing idea !
I love everything here : the garden, the flowers, the cottage, the cakes and the table setting ...
But, even more, I love the idea. My mother is Canadian, she runs a Tearoom in Provence. And her mother suffers of Alzheimer ...
I am deeply touched by your event.

All the very best from Paris for the year to come,
x x x
___mathyld___

Pinkerton.jr said...

What a wonderful idea!

Bravo for your ingenuity and your generosity.

Happy New Year,

Denise XXX

Sue said...

Thanks for the late comments people! It is quite nice to remember a bit of summer in the middle of a freeze isn't it? :-)