Saturday, October 26, 2013

"A Cup of Christmas Tea" Afternoon Tea

 Christmas Afternoon Tea is a long-standing Jennings Family and Friends tradition.
Readers of this blog remember in 2009 when we built an addition to our home
we added a room we call "the tea room."  
It is a special place where I invite friends and family to gather around the table
to sit amongst some of the many tea cups and tea pots in my collection,
and share a pot of tea, good food and good conversation.
The theme of this tea is "A Cup of Christmas Tea"
Guests in the above photo from left to right:
Mary, Lynn, me (Linda), Melissa, Patty and Alice.
For this special afternoon tea, I set-up a round table covered in a red holly tablecloth,
 using a mixture of Christmas china to set the table, including my
vintage Rosina Yuletide English Bone China cups, saucers, and plates,
with a matching small cream pitcher and open sugar bowl. 
I collected these pretty teacup trios a few pieces at a time.
I placed the plates on square green glass plates given to me years ago
by my Aunt Ida.  I wrote about those plates in a previous blog post.
Aunt Ida purchased the plates in Chicago in the 1940's when she, her young son, 
and husband traveled there by train.  She fondly told me how
she carried them in a box on her lap during the journey back to Kentucky.
I think of her every time I use them. 
For the charger, I used white Lenox dinner plates. 
I used my "Cup of Christmas Tea" teapots, and the matching
dinner plates on the three-tiered server. 
The pretty napkins are very special because they belonged to Lynn's mother, Martha.
The stemmed glasses were given to me by Mary several
years ago.  They were her mother's Christmas glasses,
probably collected at Arby's, but treasured because Mary's mother,
 Laura, enjoyed using them.
I want to mention, the vintage Campbellsville cherry dining room chairs
were my mother's.  She needlepointed the green chair bottoms.
She was so proud of them, and I know she is with me when I used them.
 I enjoy using the three-tier server  the three tea courses.
The top tier served the mini desserts, cookies and pastries.(the last course)
The middle tier traditionally serves scones. (the second course)
And, the bottom tier serves sandwiches and savories. (the first course)
Guests around the table begin eating from the bottom tier first and move upwards.  
Several three-tiered servers will be used at a table to serve one
of each item to every guest.  You can see the plate of sandwiches below will
serve one of each sandwich to two people.  
The second course, is Cranberry Scones, two each for three guests, with a garnish
of star fruit slices, were served with clotted cream and lemon curd.
If you look on the table at the 2nd and 4th photos above, you will see
clear glass vintage dishes of clotted cream and lemon curd. 
The third course, served last, is the dessert course, served
on the top tier of the three-tiered server.  Shown here
each guest has one of every pastry.

 The tea I brewed and served for this special event was
Organic Brown Crown Jewel
a special blend of Assam and Ceylon, exclusive to
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa in Denver,
purchased when Glenn, Austin and I enjoyed afternoon tea there in July. 
Details of this special Christmas Afternoon Tea, including recipes,
will be posted over the next several blog posts. 
I hope you will come back to read more!
You may also read about my teas in the November issue of at this link


Cassie said...

You have your room decorated so nicely for your Christmas Tea. Those photos of the tea table and goodies are great, the scones look especially yummy to me, they are huge.

relevanttealeaf said...

What a fabulous Christmas Tea to appeal to all the senses! I love how your tablescape is beautifully graced with many sentimental items. And the food artistically prepared and displayed on the tiered server, looks scrumptious! A lovely tea worthy of being featured in a magazine. I look forward to reading more!

Lavender Cottage said...

A delightful and inspiring Christmas tea. I enlarged the photos to see all the details and what a fabulous table you had for these ladies.
I will be back to see more, and get ideas.
Thanks for sharing.

GardenOfDaisies said...

What a lovely tea, surrounded by memories of friends and family. That is so cool that you have a"tea room" at your house!!

Angela McRae said...

What a great Christmas spread you prepared! The food looks wonderful, but I must say what I love most are all the sentimental touches that were incorporated: your mom's needlepointed chairs (that was a lot of work!), Lynn's mother's napkins, Mary's mother's Christmas glasses ... so many lovely memories, past and present, combined in this one teatime! I love it!

Rosemary said...

Such a beautiful table surrounded by wonderful family and friends! You did a great job Linda, and I loved the sentiment behind the dishes and chairs, bringing sweet remembrances of loved ones. Someday I hope to be seated in your 'tea room'!

racheld said...


You are my inspiration, as I strive to get the house in order for Thanksgiving, thus easing the way into our own Christmas Tea---a High Tea, indeed, with a dozen or so of us at six-o'clock table, with dainties, nevertheless, slanted to a very Southern taste. We also include a platter of Chris' wonderful ham, and perhaps a dish of small baked potatoes with several toppings, such as smoked salmon and dill.

I think I'm writing it out to smooth my way back into this messy kitchen, where I'm still plodding through a long-time chore and everyday cooking disarray.

Thank you for such serene, elegant moments to ease the way, for I'm needing a beacon to get me to our own. Just the idea of getting out my Mother's china and the old Mammaw goblets---that's inspiring, too.


And THIS YEAR, I'm making scones.

Beth said...

Your tea is absolutely beautiful, Linda. The food all looks great and the table is very pretty. Delightful!

Joy said...

How beautiful! I enjoyed seeing your beautifully decorated room and table, as well as the delicious dainties.

parTea lady said...

What a beautiful Christmas tea. The decor was lovely and all the food looks delicious.

martea said...

What a lovely way to set the mood for the holiday season.
Beautiful presentation, food and such special things to honor friends & family as well as loved ones no longer with us.

TLady said...

I found you through Kentucky Living Mag.!!! We too LOOOOOVE to have Tea together as a family! What FUN to find someone so near that LOVES ALL THINGS TEA TOO!!!!;)LOVE seeing your PRETTY TABLE SETTING & ALL of the goodies you've prepared! I KNOW the work that goes into this kind of spread! Going to start following your blog! :)

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Linda, your Christmas Tea is fabulous! Everything looks very festive and the food, oh my! What a lovely gathering to enjoy tea together. Thanks for sharing.



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