Each guest received a hand delivered invitation.
Notice that the actual invitation is held in a fabric lace envelope and tucked under a double sided satin ribbon tied around a moiré hatbox. Each hatbox held an antique fine china cup and saucer, an HRH (His Royal Highness) tea bag, and a beautiful custom made iced cookie in the shape of a fully detailed teapot. We had a blast putting them together! They were very well received, and the acceptances were amazing! Only two people declined. Won't you join us for our tea? (Warning: This is a long post and photo intensive. Just want you to be prepared!)
Our own version of Carson, proper British accent and all, was there to greet our lovely guests at the front door and to oversee the...
never miss a detail...
well-loved, if never appropriately appreciated...
"downstairs" staff as they attended to the last minute details for our tea.
Now if you are a true "Downton Abbey" detailphile (That's a word, right? Sure it is. Francophile, Anglophile, detailphile!), you might remember this dinner plate from the opening credits each week as the newest episode was introduced...the dinner plate that the Granthams supposedly used for many of their numerous elaborate dinners.
Who knew!? This is my mother-in-love's 1940's wedding china by Castleton, and I just happened to have more than enough to recreate the Downton setting for each guest. I chose to set each dinner plate on one of an assortment of my blue chargers for further continuity. Interestingly, Castleton is an American china. I don't know if Masterpiece Theatre chose the plate in the post production studio or if there is an actual English pattern after which the Castleton was later modeled. Pretty good question, I think.
The first course was, but of course, an assortment of scones served with lemon curd and jams. These were served from tiered hostess trays set on each table, then put on assorted sets of luncheon plates already in place at each table. Here, the Royal Doulton Orient is flanked by my mother-in-love's Reed & Barton Francis I silver flatware. The charger is Spode Vermichelli. I used this set-up on two of the eight tables in the living room.
Three tables featured the Coalport Exotic Bird luncheon plate. The charger is Mottahedeh Blue Lace. The lemonade is served in the Waterford Simply Pink goblet, and water is held by the Lalique Trèves goblet, part of my wedding crystal.
Two more tables were set with this charming Copeland Spode luncheon plate. It is not marked with a name. I found 12 of them on eBay, and I couldn't resist. It is one of those patterns that works in so many different situations. I like it a lot! The charger is Zrike cobalt.
Two other tables were assembled using the Schumann Empress Dresden Flowers. The charger is Steelite cobalt. Here I chose to use my wedding silver flatware, the Reed & Barton Grande Renaissance. It's hard to believe that I've been using this silver for almost 49 years! I'd choose it again.
Several of our guests arrived a bit early to take a peek at the tables.
It was a delightful way to spend an afternoon, and...
...we were blessed to raise more than $50,000.00 for the work carried out by City Care. God was definitely in the details on this day, in this place. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.
This week I'm joining: