"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one. "
~John Lennon


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tea Time

My friend R.J. wrote about her experience with tea on her blog R.J's Place the other day. It was an interesting post and reminded me how much I like tea too. Or is it tea for two?

One of my favorite things to do is enjoy high tea. Part of what makes it special is that I can count on one hand the number of times I have been to high tea, well, two hands at the most.

Is there such a thing as low tea? I have been to smaller places that have a miniature version of high tea. I wonder if that counts?

Anyway, I think my kids got to know my attraction to tea parties when they were wee ones and we had tea time almost every day. Nice tray, tea pot, creamer and sugar bowl, tiny "sammiches", cloth napkins, and cookies. The most important part of this family ritual was the socializing. My son was so shy and my daughters were not, so our tea time was a way for all of us to talk. It didn't happen right away; there were great lulls in the discussions, but gradually they began to learn the art of conversation. Part of that lesson was to learn to listen. Really hear what someone else said, watch their facial expressions, hand gestures, changes in voice.

So it was not a surprise that Mothers Day celebrations were family events that my grown children and then grandchildren arranged at the best places in San Diego that specialized in high tea.

My brother and sister-in-law and I enjoyed high tea in British Columbia at the Fairmont Empress. I also indulged in high tea at the Ritz in London.

Photo courtesy of deviant art.
Living in the this small town has me thinking of the things that I have experienced. I am so grateful for them. There are such great memories of travels and sights. But I am content to live a quiet life here, make friends, enjoy simple activities, be part of a community.

Hey, I wonder if my new friends would like to host high tea at the senior center sometime. Hmmm. Scones, cucumber sandwiches, dainty cookies and candies, herb teas. Maybe we would start a new tradition in town.

43 comments:

Ms. A said...

Why not make the suggestion??? Sounds like a great idea!

LL Cool Joe said...

I've never had tea at the Ritz but it's meant to be good. I just don't think they'd let me in the place to eat it though because you have to be smart.

My mother-in-law still does high tea's sometimes with crumpets, muffins, scones and cakes. I do love them because they tend to be very sweet. I've never had cookies at a high tea though.

DJan said...

I looked up the meaning of "high tea" once and discovered there is a thing called "low tea." I don't remember right now what it was, but I think you should definitely start a High Tea at the Senior Center! I look forward to hearing about it...

Jeanie said...

I would guess that high tea at the senior center would be a big hit.
I have had high tea in London, but never at the Ritz....that would be quite an experience.

Shadowthorne @ Ramzu Zahini said...

I am also a tea person, but i have no time for the proper ceremony; fine china, scones etc. I put the leaves in boiling water and then drink it all up, usually all by myself, the entire pot. I love tea infused with mint or other interesting hint.
I agree with you that learning to communicate and read body language are important skills to younger generations. Sometimes I think that parents were so lazy to teach their children to mind their manners and look for the tell tale signs of anger in others. Some of these children are so insensitive, nearing ignorant to the feeling of other people around them.
I am talking about my experience with the more difficult students.

CiCi said...

Ms.A, I asked a couple of the older women but they are not interested. I will ask a couple my age and see what they think.

CiCi said...

Joey, wow, you mother-in-law does high tea at her home? Nice. I think you British have the best high tea. I think if we have high tea at the senior center it will be more like medium tea, with cookies and candies and finger sandwiches. I don't think anyone will make scones and crumpets, as delicious as they are.

CiCi said...

DJan, I think it would be more medium tea at the senior center. Not as grand as high tea but with good tea and good coffee and home made food.

CiCi said...

Jeanie, I spoke with a couple women at the senior center who said they are too old for all the doings. They come to the center each day for lunch and they play cards occasionally but don't want any more. So I will see what the women my age think.

CiCi said...

Hi Shadowthorne. I know your students pose some social problems at times. It is a lot of work being a parent, a full time job with lots more to teach by example as well as lessons shown in person or spoken. Do you put fresh mint in the tea pot?

Stickup Artist said...

High Tea at the center. What a fabulous idea! I've never been myself, but the Huntington Gardens in San Marino have a gorgeous tea room and you have piqued my interest. It would make the perfect Mother's Day outing! Thanks for the great idea...

R. J. said...

Thanks for the honorable mention, CiCi. I don't know that I've even attended a "high tea" but I strongly suspect I have experienced a lot of "low tea" events. I love the pomp and pageantry of special events like high tea. If scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam were served with the tea, I would probably forget the taste of the tea.

After a little research at http://www.veetea.com/site/articles/High-Tea/ I have been left with a little confusion between the use of the two terms high tea and low tea. Seems we use those terms differently in the states. The British have meanings of the terms that fascinated me.

Hilary said...

What a great idea, CiCi. I think you should do it. I bet it would become a tradition.

When my kids were in school, part of the grade 5 French class curriculum was to hold a high tea for the parents.. all in French, of course. It was a hoot.. and more like mediocre tea but fun nevertheless.

I think events such as high tea make for good fundraisers if/when a need arises.

bill lisleman said...

I've walked past the Ritz in London. Not far from a big city park, I recall. I prefer low beer at a pub.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I have been to a few places for tea parties and they were so much fun.

oceangirl said...

High tea in a small community sounds fun! CiCi, do I ever tell you that I love your new profile picture, it shows your wisdom, wittiness and your positive charge to life. I look forward to continue leaning on your vibrant power.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hi CiCi, Hearing about your tea parties with your kids made me smile. My grandmother used to do that with me and it's a wonderful memory. I've never actually been a fan of hot tea, but I do love going to High Tea, or sitting around the kitchen table having tea with loved ones. It's nice to just stop and relax for a while.

I think High Tea at the senior center is a great idea. I bet everyone would enjoy it.

Hope you're having a fun weekend. IT's been kinda busy around here and for the past few weeks but tomorrow/Sunday I'm going to make a point of stopping and having some tea in your honer :-)

xoxo jj

Shadowthorne @ Ramzu Zahini said...

No, i buy the teabags with mint infusion in them.... Its rather hard to find mint plants here. My mom got some, i might ask from her, or stole the entire pot.

CiCi said...

You could make a deal with your mom. Each time you take her somewhere she gives you some of her mint to use that week. You could keep it in some water just enough to keep it moist and use it in your tea each day. Ask your mom what she thinks.

CiCi said...

So glad you like the idea. Because you are in a different atmosphere, it is a special place to talk and relax together.

CiCi said...

R.J., your post about your fun tea experience brought back some great memories for me, so I owe you more than one!! I have always admired the British rituals and words.

CiCi said...

The French high tea must have been so much fun, practicing their French and experiencing the social part of high tea. You may be right about this being a fund raising idea. Now I have my thinking cap on and will speak with the director at the center.

CiCi said...

I am not a beer person but extravagant high tea was a great experience for me. Cheers!

Anne H said...

I LOVE tea.... and just started subbing out my afternoon coffee - with tea!
So yeah - sounds like a great tradition!

CiCi said...

I knew you would have been to high tea. Glad you enjoyed each experience. The places I have been to for high tea were each very different. The one thing in common was the person waiting on our table was so attentive, our tea cups were kept full and we had a lot of food. It isn't just a snack, it is a meal.

CiCi said...

Not being anonymous any more and having my own blog not associated with a husband seems to be a good experience for me. You can lean on me any time and you are always there for me too.

CiCi said...

I am so glad to hear about your tea times with your grandmother. I know it warms your heart to think of those times with her.

I like my coffee in the first half of the day but in the evenings I really like hot tea with honey and lemon. I always have decaf green tea handy but sometimes add orange and cinnamon or whatever strikes my fancy.

Take it easy today, my friend, and while you sip some tea and toast me I will be sipping mine and toasting you right back.

Lots of love to you.

CiCi said...

Hi Anne, do you add things to your tea? Lots of times I have mine plain but often I add something to try something in it. Always testing the waters, tea water anyway!

"Abby" said...

High Tea sounds wonderful! I've never experienced such a thing - on any hands!

I drink tea daily. I can (and have) live without coffee, but life without tea is not something I want to experience. I think a new tradition of high tea at the Senior Center would go over really well!

CiCi said...

Abby, tea is great, isn't it? Have you ever put a lemon drop in your tea?

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Now that would be so fun to have a high tea at the Senior Center! I've never been to one anywhere, so I must add that to my bucket list!

terri said...

I have never been to high tea... have never even learned to enjoy tea! But you make it sound so nice!

Rock Chef said...

Give it a try! How about celebrating St George's Day (23 April) like this? Everyone does St Patrick's Day...

CiCi said...

A bucket list is a great thing. It is like a hope list.

Let me know when you have had the experience of high tea. I think you will enjoy it as much as I have.

CiCi said...

Terri, when a group is at high tea, it is the most relaxing time being waited on discreetly and tastes so delicious.

CiCi said...

Mothers Day is actually Saint Mothers Day, right? Do you have All Saints Day in the UK?

Rock Chef said...

All Saints Day? The day after Halloween? I know of it but it isn't something that people make a fuss about. The main one is St Patrick, which is just an excuse to drink green Guiness and whisky.

Brian Miller said...

i think a tea party would be fun...i have never had high tea...though i do like some earl grey in the evenings...

CiCi said...

So far the older women at the senior center have not budged; they do not want high tea. I will begin polling the younger ones now. Well, younger like my age if you can call that young. Ha.

Pauline said...

My first visit to you. I, too, have had high tea at the Empress in Victoria and loved it. That's my one and only experience of it. I hope you find a few kindred spirits to enjoy your high tea idea.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

My mother took us to high tea at the Empress in Victoria when we were kids. What a treat! In the past 8 years or so, it seems that many church women's groups have enjoyed a lovely tea together about once a year. It is a wonderful social occasion and it helps to pass on the tradition to the younger women. Perhaps that is an angle you could use to bring this experience into your community?

Congratulations on your POTW!

CiCi said...

Thanks for your lovely addition to the comments. I am glad for you that you were able to add the high tea to your list of experiences. I am still hopeful that one day we will enjoy high tea in our little town if only once a year.

CiCi said...

Karen, isn't the tradition of high tea special? You gave me an idea, maybe the high tea is not for the senior center; perhaps the church ladies would like the idea.