Every year my aunt and cousin host an afternoon tea for all the ladies in our family. There aren’t too many of us, so it makes for a cozy afternoon retreat around the table with delectable goodies.
This summer, my cousin Debbie hosted it at her rustic sea captain’s house built in 1821.
The plaque on the front of the house makes it official as an historical home, though there have been a couple of additions in its 194 year history.
The tree to the left in the photo below was planted by Captain Carlisle in the same year he built the house–both swiftly approaching the two century mark and still full of life and living!
Debbie recently peeled back the plaster on the walls of the stairs to reveal the original plank siding of the house.
I love how she filled the space with gilt gold frames in varied sizes–empty–allowing our imagination to fill them with ancestral portraits. Also–she was clever to keep the ripped edge look in the upper left plaster connecting into the foyer and the front door.
Everywhere you looked there were vintage touches . . .
The vista out the back windows is charming. The large barn-like garage and studio is surrounded by a lush summer garden with color and herbs growing free.
She keeps a wild and rustic landscape about the entire yard which seems to fit the period home with a unique charm.
We started off with a new recipe Debbie tried for Raisin Scones, accompanied by my aunt’s homemade clotted cream and lemon curd.
Earl Grey and Green Tea was served up in three pots on the handcrafted wood table.
I loved the sweet little lemon shaped cup for the lemon curd–and so did my sister peeking from the other side of the table!
We had a little excitement just before sitting down to eat, my sister and me. You see, while we were chatting in the living room, sitting side-by-side on the couch, I spied something green out of the corner of my eye on my sister’s shoulder. I’d been aware it was there while we talked as she was wearing a red lacey top and the green seemed to jump out at me. I thought it might have been a renegade leaf from the fresh flowers she’d cut to fit a vase a few minutes earlier.
However, when I took a closer look I was shocked to see it was a katydid!
I am proud to say we handled the entire affair with calm and reserve–rather than screaming and thrashing arms to “Get it off! Get it off!”
Calmly, I did so–and proceeded to do a mini-photo shoot prior to releasing it into the garden onto a basil bush.
Katy did well with that–a real natural.
But–those scones were calling and teatime was well on the way!
When I plopped the clotted cream and lemon curd into the middle of my scone, it looked much like an egg yolk and white. Little did I know what Debbie had planned for the Savory Menu!
The crabcake sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches were to be expected. But, Debbie had prepared a real treat with quail’s eggs! The tiniest little bit of goodness I’d ever seen in eggs! Apparently, they are extremely nutritious. I ate two.
Onto the Sweet Menu . . .
An excellent selection for the sweet tooth! You betcha I ate all the fruit and thoroughly enjoyed every bite of that decadent dark chocolate cup, too. Loved the just right sweetness of the cream on the pecan sandie, and the creme brulee custard is always a favorite.
My aunt and mom grew up on a chicken farm. There were always tons of eggs so grandma was quite clever and gifted with the custards and baked goods and cakes she whipped up each week. I grew up eating lots of custard and sponge cakes as a result, and think of my mom-much-missed when I eat them now.
That’s why I look so forward to these annual teatimes with my mom’s side of the family. She loved these tea events and I am blessed to have memories of when she sat round the table with us.
My aunt remains active–taking art lessons in her early 80’s and winning ribbons in art shows. My uncle tells me she’s also a crack shot at the shooting range.
Cousin Debbie is also very creative outside of the kitchen and teatime menu planning. She also paints, and creates glorious mixed media wall art from fabrics and fibers. She’s got the walls to show them off, too!
Lovin’ my family!
Taking joy in simple things like teatime, scones, shared histories, and the beauty of a rustic retreat.
Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!
Sharing Rustic Teatime Family Retreat this week with:
Return to Loveliness at Delightsome Life
Tuesday Cuppa Tea at Antiques and Teacups
Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger
P.S. My grand-girl turns 5 years old this week and Nana will be there to celebrate! It’s a Carnival Birthday Party so be looking out for an upcoming post detailing all the amazing ideas my daughter-in-love has come up with to celebrate the theme and our favorite girl!