Sunday, October 21, 2018

Downton Abbey-Inspired Afternoon Tea: A wonderful way to spend a weekend!

BTS team (Pam, Rachel and Barb) with hostess extraordinaire, Cathy E. 

Downton Abbey enthusiasts know well one of the most famous quotes from the Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley:  "What is a weekend?".  Perhaps the better question is - how should one spend a weekend?  We know the answer:  A Downton Abbey-inspired afternoon tea with old and new friends.

Downton Abbey fashion twins,  pearls, hats and same dress-maker, Barb and Melinda H. 

The first weekend in October, Barb's Tea Service was invited to present a Downton Abbey-themed afternoon tea at the beautiful home of hostess, Cathy Edwards. Dressed in Downton Abbey style, complete with hat, tea gown, pearls and pumps, as the presenter, I usually stand out in the crowd. At the home of Cathy E., I'm happy to report, I blended right in. In fact, I had a DA-fashion twin in Melinda Haberthy.  She came dressed from head-to-toe in Edwardian mode (our dresses were even from the same manufacturer!). It's no surprise Melinda was one of the five guests to win "Best Fascinator/Hat" and take home one of the coveted autumn-themed centerpieces.

Rachel and Pam brewing and serving DA teas

The BTS logistics, ops, management and brew team, Rachel G. and Pam B, expertly prepared, and graciously served up, the tea, looking super sharp in BTS custom-embroidered aprons courtesy Cara R. (for those interested in placing custom embroidery orders and learning more about Cara's sewing services, just send me an email!)

Cathy's fall-themed menu

The tea for the afternoon was, most appropriately,  from Republic of Tea's Downton Abbey collection, including English Rose (a bold, fruity herbal) and Downton Abbey Estate blend (Earl Grey with vanilla). We also shook things up a bit with Republic of Tea's milky oolong, a smooth and light green tea blend.

One of the hat contest winners!

Attendance and enthusiasm was off-the-chart for this event and much credit goes to hostess extraordinaire, Cathy. From her invite to her tea fare, no detail was overlooked. She included a "best fascinator contest" and everyone (everyone!) came donning head-ware. It was a challenge to pick out only five as "best" because they were all amazing.

Our hostess put herself out of the running, but she surely was among the loveliest with her black and white fascinator from Rachelle, of Derby Hats by Rachelle.

The afternoon tea fare of sweets and savories were as scrumptious as they were beautiful. The petit fours and tea sandwiches came from Mrs. Maddox Cakes in Farmington Hills, and some of the pastries came from Svenska in Birmingham. Delicious scones were home baked!

Beautiful and delicious petit fours from Mrs. Maddox cakes

After the tea was served and the presentation over, we got to visit with dear friends, including Carol D., and met many new Crawley-comrades.

Carol D. shows off her fancy fascinator
Melinda H., a contest winner

We surely know what a weekend is AND we know a great way to spend it:  a wonderful Downton Abbey-inspired afternoon tea with old and new friends.

A special thanks to Cathy and all her awesome guests!

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