It's been about a year since I've made a post, but today I was inspired by a special person in my life by receiving a very special gift. My father, Cary, sent a birthday gift to his new twenty-two-year-old and (can you guess what it was?) I was thrilled to find a charmingly elegant book of tea in all its Victorian glory. This book is aptly titled, "The Charms of Tea: Reminisces and Recipes" and while flipping through the pages, I found beautiful photographs of vintage china sets, along with traditional tiers of cake, cookies, and cucumber sandwiches. Every photo had its own color scheme and its own Victorian fashion. My eyes lingered on each lovely tea setting, and I thought to myself what an important piece that is in the Tea Experience: Setting.
There are many cases where it is the way a gift is packaged that makes it exciting--or even worth opening. And I am delighted to think it is the same with High Tea, that it is not just what is served but how. It matters what setting I am trying to offer because in the end it is the setting that makes the experience, it is setting that allows for rich conversation and a comfortable atmosphere.
I believe the prose on the front flap of my new book sums this idea up by saying,
"The tradition of teatime has long been a cherished one, bringing tranquil settings to the mind, delicate refreshments to the palate, and warm conversation with good friends to the heart."
I would ask you, reader, which setting do you prefer? What tastes do you imagine while sitting at a table? What small delights perk up your senses as you enjoy a treat with a dear friend? I hope the answers to these questions only enrich your ideal tea experience and bring you closer to living it.