Rustic Teatime Family Retreat

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!

– Albert Einstein

blog signature

Sharing Rustic Teatime Family Retreat this week with:

Return to Loveliness at Delightsome Life

Rose Chintz Cottage

Tuesday Cuppa Tea at Antiques and Teacups

Martha’s Favorites

Whole-Hearted Wednesdays

Little R&R Wednesdays

Not Just Homemaking Party at Hope for All Seasons

Martha’s Favorites

Katherine’s Corner

Vintage Mama’s Cottage

Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger

kenzie  turns 5

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!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Kathryn Ross

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at and blogs at


  1. karan buck says:

    Tea Time looks lovely and your pictures are beautiful! I’ve never had Quail’s Egg – can’t wait to hear all about it in person.

    • Yes–quail’s eggs are very flavorful and darling on a savory platter. I’ll be into the shop next week–and I’ve got an idea I hope you’ll jump on board with, Karan!! See you then!

  2. What a lovely tea time! It is just wonderful that you can all gather once a year for this special occasion. My aunt who is also in her early eighties is an artist. She sells her paintings as well. Actually my mother and my siblings as well as myself have all been artists at one time. My oldest son has also inherited the gift.
    Those tea time goodies look amazing. I’ve never had quail egg. Sounds interesting! A cup of tea and some Creme Brulee sounds lovely. 🙂 What a wonderful time you all must have had. Family time is so special and I’m glad you get to do this with your family. Thank you for sharing and joining me for tea.


  3. What a lovely home. Looks like you had a amazing time with your friends. Sending hugs your way, Martha

  4. This is a delightful post, it’s obvious you love your family time. I love the idea of an annual get together for the girls, I also love the look of all that wonderful food.
    Have a great day.


    • Blessings, Diana! Glad you enjoyed our little teatime. Hope you are inspired to put out the cups and saucers yourself and make space for more simple joys–and a scone or two.

  5. I enjoyed seeing your visit to your aunt’s house for tea. What an interesting home, she has, and I love that she is thriving and creative at her age. You are blessed to have such a beautiful family and to get together this way. Thank you for letting us share this beautiful experience – it was almost like being there myself.
    Blessings to you and your family,

    • Thanks, Gail. I do love a good teatime–so much scope for photography and succulent words to share with others, multiplying in the lives of others a respite of joy and gladness.

I would love to hear from you--share your thoughts!


%d bloggers like this: