Low Tea

Monday, February 11, 2013

No, I don't mean "high tea".  Although I almost made that mistake.   According to About.com, outside of the United Kingdom, low tea and high tea are often confused.  low tea "is what most people think of when they hear 'high tea.' It involves things like manners, lace and dainty foods."  In other words, everything I abhor.  Kidding (kind of).  And, as you know, if its on the Internet it must be true.

The afternoon tea was held at Nosh, a restaurant in one of my favorite buildings in Pawleys Island, South Carolina (think exposed brick walls, brick floors, fireplaces, and Southern charm) in honor of my older sister Amber and her soon to be sister-in-law, Austyn, for their upcoming weddings.

Mrs. Sally, Amber's soon to be mother-in-law, hosted the shower.  In the picture below, Amber is on the left, Mrs. Sally is in the middle, and Austyn is on the right.

As a bonus, I was able to spend the afternoon with some of my favorite ladies... (from right to left) Grandma, Mom, Amber, yours truly, and my sister-in law Morgan, who is due in April (an Aries baby like her aunt).

I look like an amazon.  I wish I could take credit, but its the heels.

Mrs. Sally decorated the room with beautiful flower arrangements, white table cloths and a variety of her mom's, her aunt's, and her own china collection.  The heirloom china was gorgeous, and it really set the mood for an afternoon tea. 

My other favorite personal touch was the food. Mrs. Sally gave the chefs at Nosh her personal recipes for the miniature sandwiches and desserts.  The sandwich fillings included chicken salad, shrimp salad, vegetable  salad, and cucumber and shrimp.  They were truly outstanding. 

 The desserts were sinful.  Strawberry and blackberry tarts, lemon square, chocolate truffles, and carrot cake petit fours.  I ate more than I care to admit. 

Truth be told, I am not exactly the best candidate for an afternoon tea, low tea, or whatever you want to call it.  I'm a little to unpolished for such a proper gathering.  When my sister and I first discussed the tea, our conversation went a little like this:

Me:  So Mrs. Sally is hosting a wedding tea for you.  Fantastic.  What exactly does one do at a tea?
Amber:  Well, you drink hot tea and enjoy finger sandwiches and dessert.
Me:  Is there alcohol?
Amber:  No.
Me:  What do you mean there is no alcohol?  Not even mimosas?
Amber:  No.
Me:  Damn, I think I am busy that day.

The day of the tea:

Me:  So really, there is no alcohol?
Amber: No, maybe you should bring a flask to add a spot of something else.
Me:  You think I can smuggle in a bottle of champers?

Hey people, its Saturday.  And its 5 o'clock somewhere.  Don't judge.

Turns out, tea was fabulous.  You British folk know what you are doing.  Hot tea, (we had peach and raspberry), tasty sandwiches and bite size desserts.  What is there not to like?  I was in hog (literally) heaven.  I mean, how cute is this tart? 

My favorite was the carrot cake.  If you don't like carrot cake, you are crazy and we cannot be friends.  My queue of crazy friends is full.

This is a snap of my mom and sister mid-tea.  As you can see, the Good Lord gave her the lions share of the good looks.   I'd like to say I got the brains, but she is a pretty smart cookie too.  She and my brother will tell you I got the "book smarts".  Great.  That and $5 will get me a Starbucks coffee.

At the end of the tea, Mrs. Sally gave Amber and Austyn beautiful blue handkerchiefs for the wedding day to serve as their "something blue".  Mrs. Sally purchased the handkerchiefs in Italy three years ago in anticipation of the weddings of her two sons.  How darn sweet is that?  Mrs. Sally has two boys and no girls, so as you can imagine, she is thrilled to be gaining two daughters.  

I realized at the end of the tea that I had left my obnoxious hot pink lipstick all over Mrs. Sally's beautiful china cup. Shocking really. You can't take me anywhere.

In spite my general ineptitude in formal social gatherings, the bridal tea was fabulous.  I am so happy for Amber!  Not only did she find an amazing man to marry (they truly fit each other like a glove), she is fortunate to be marrying into a wonderful family.  Wishing 10,000 lifetimes of happiness to Amber and Austyn in their marriages. 

And I love these ladies!

King was more than a little miffed that he was not invited to the tea.  You owe him one Amber.


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