Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A Spot of Tea for 200

The English Countryside themed table at the Glebe House Tour Tea

When my dear friend and neighbour Suzanne asked me to run a Tea Party for 200 people this Fall, my head caught on fire.  But in a good way.  

Suzanne is the talented chair of Ottawa's Annual Glebe House Tour and the Tea Party is held for the participants at the local community centre mid-way through the tour.

My mind raced - what a chance to roll three of my passions into one:  sharing my tea cup and table ware collection, baking for a big crowd and fund raising for a good cause. 

First step was to recruit BFF and partner in decorative crime, Sean. His expertise with staging and keen eye for design is impeccable. 

The English Countryside
We put our heads heads together over the summer and decided to theme each of the 6 tables after a different type of home decor. I developed sweet treats to match each theme, and off we went.

The English Countryside
(Tea Brack Fruit Cake)
Asian Influence
(Matcha and Black Sesame Shortbreads)

The 50s
(Apples, Orange Cream-Filled Ginger Sandwiches)

French Provincial
(Macarons, Meringues, Pâte de Fruits)

The Crazy Cat Lady
(Cat Shaped Sugar Cookies)

The Groovy 70s
(Oreos and Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies)

I created special "House Tour" gingerbread caramels and we sprinkled those here and there for everyone to enjoy. 

Like a community barn raising in days gone by, local businesses donated their time and goods, neighbours were asked for favours and husbands and friends were swept into the fray and put to work. Children painted charming pictures of their homes to decorate the room.  Six delightful young women donned aprons to became "Tea Ladies" and helped with the set-up, serving the tea, and the washing up.  If there's one thing I really miss about my old neighbourhood it's the way everyone pulls together for the greater good.  We couldn't have done it without everyone's help.

The tea went smoothly except for one thing:   we didn't count on how hungry (or curious) our guests were.  Here and there people were spotted table hopping, trying each of the different sweets. Truly flattering but, oh dear - we ran out!   Clearly we must make more next year...

Where would you have liked to sit?
Black Sesame and matcha shortbread cookies at the Asian Influence Table

Little friends and Tea Brack cake in the English Countryside table
The 1950s Table

Orange cream filled ginger sandwich cookies at the 1950s Table
French Provincial Table
Pâte de Fruits and Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons at the French Provincial Table
The Crazy Cat Lady
Oh dear,  I think the Crazy Cat Lady is me!
Groovy Baby!  The 70s Table.  Oreos and chocolate chip cookies, natch!
The 70s Table.  That's my own troll doll that I played with in the 70s


Heather Robinson said...

I love all of it! Gosh, I would have had a hard time staying put too. Did the "Hugs for Cat Lovers" book sell??? tehehe

Gustia said...

Yes! It was the first thing to go after all the cat cookies.