When was the last time you had a tea party? It's been years for me, but my trip to Wales one year ago inspired this tea party, and these dishes have a story of their own.
The evolution of this tea party began last year but has a little more history than that. To fully understand the emotion behind this I need to let you in on a bit of who I am, and that begins with who I came from.
My mom was born in Wales and lived there until she was 8, then her family emigrated to Canada where I was born and raised. I grew up hearing the stories of her lively family living in Rose Cottage, a beautiful stone house in the country away from the city where WW2 bombings were going on while my Grandpere was away at war.
(Me and Mom outside of Rose Cottage, 2019)
Growing up, I heard the stories of the idyllic trips to the cliffs at the seaside, and how strong my Grandmere was to raise 6 kids (including a set of triplets whom my mom belonged to, and a set of twins) while my Grandpere was serving their beloved country in the war. In my mind, Wales was magical and special, and my Mom and her family have always been a source of strength to me. BUT, for reasons I can't explain, it wasn't until a few years ago that I realized these events were more than just stories, and Wales was more than just a mythical place. It took so many years for me to realize that I am half Welsh! It was a kind of lightbulb moment for me which created a deeper stirring my soul to go to Wales and visit parts of me that I've never tapped into before.
In June 2019 my dream became a reality when I spent the most glorious time in Wales with my mom and my two sisters!
(How cute are we?)
There are scarcely words to describe my time in Wales, which is why I have never attempted to write about it, but I can tell you it was even more dreamy than I could have imagined and Rose Cottage is every bit as magical as I could have hoped it to be.
Wales is a truly magnificent country with more castles than any other country, and the landscape is divine!! Every day was an unfolding of magic and imagination.
(One of the MANY Welsh castles we explored)
Being a visionary person and a fashion designer, I imagined myself at several locations throughout Wales having late afternoon tea in a long flowy dress along the river side. Very Jane Austen-like.
(Fish and Chips along the river in Wales. Our version of afternoon tea, minus the long flowy dresses)
Enter 2020 and travel is only a dream, BUT, because we are not traveling this year, Grant and I have been finding little hidden gems to escape to not far from home. On a recent adventure we found a park and trail just a few miles from our home complete with a fairy tale scene. I was immediately taken back to Wales in my mind and I had the vision to create a tea party there and set up my June Tablescape. (I have been creating a new Tablescape for each month in 2020. I promise to post pictures, soon.)
(How did I not know this was a few miles from my house?!?!?!)
My girlfriend happened to be in town for a few weeks so we put our creative minds together and developed the perfect summer afternoon tea-party.
(Best Friends for 30+ years)
These dishes belonged to Grant's Grandma and had been handed down to us, carefully wrapped and preserved in a large tote. I didn't fully appreciate how beautiful this gift was--until I started to unwrap them for the tea party. The tote was filled with all manner of plates, tea-cups, serving platters, tea-pots, creamers, bowls, and coffee cups. I was as giddy as a child on Christmas morning as we set up our tea-party at the edge of the pond!!!
Our daughters joined us in fancy dresses, we had amazing food (including traditional Welsh Cakes), the table was garnished with fresh flowers and an heirloom tablecloth, and the Heavens provided the most perfect weather for this glorious tea party!!
(Welsh cakes pictured here)
(Beautiful Mother and Daughter)
(Beautiful Day, and yes, we hung umbrellas in the trees!)
Let me tell you the rest of the story about the dishes! On Mother's Day my siblings and parents were gathered via Zoom and my sister showed us all the tea cup she was having her drink out of. It belonged to our Grandmere and we all had a moment to remember her drinking Postum out of it. I didn't think too much about that until the night before this tea party. I had my sister send me a picture of the teacup and saucer she had and guess what? The pattern from my Grandmere's teacup was the EXACT pattern of the entire dish set we have from Grant's grandma!!!
A coincidence? Call it what you may but I have a feeling that our Grandmothers who were feminine, tough, funny, talented, and paved the way for us to have a BEAUTIFUL LIFE may have had a hand in all of this celebration!
It was an honor to have a piece of our heritage and to recognize that we too are strong, funny, talented, feminine women who will continue to raise our families in love and by example!!
Create a Beautiful Life,
*p.s. I think I want to do this every year. Who wants to join me?