I have very few regrets in my life, and every one of them involve an opportunity I missed; a chance I didn't' take. This story is about one of them. Don't worry, like most of my stories, it has a happy ending.
I began reading Victoria magazine when I was just 19 and very impressionable. My dreams were filled with Edwardian style dresses, lovely manners, and high tea. Victoria featured stories about high tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia frequently enough that taking tea in that lovely place became a real dream of mine. Fast forward about 10 years or so and you will find Jeffrey and I visiting Victoria, B.C. with my parents. My one goal was to experience high tea at the Empress Hotel. I had even brought a very special dress to wear. (Notable because I do not wear dresses.)
Here's where we get to the regret part... High tea was very expensive. Very. And, nobody but me was interested in it. In fact, my family actively tried to talk me out of it. I felt like I had only two choices. One, I could pitch a fit and get my way, but disappoint everyone else. Two, I could graciously acquiesce and never let on how disappointed I was. I choose number two. Since then, each time I think of that lovely, lovely trip, (and it was wonderful in spite of the tea thing) I feel a pang of disappointment.
Fast forward another eight or nine years to today. I was reading my Victoria magazine, and whaddya know? They were featuring tea at the Empress Hotel again. A tiny twinge. And then.
My daughter walks in and hands me this:
How did she know? She couldn't possibly have known.
I'm sure I don't need to say it, but we had a marvelous time. I am certain that the most gorgeous teacakes served on the finest china in the most posh surroundings could never compare to our tea party on the floor of my daughter's bedroom. Some days you remember that being a Momma can surpass even your long-held dreams. Some days being a Momma gives you more than you could ever have imagined. On those days, you know that being a Momma is all you will ever need in this world.
Today was that kind of day.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~As we enjoyed our tea party, Sloane offered us (Gareth the tiger, Lilybear the Leopard, Gopti the cat, and myself) the recipe for her delicious tea. I asked her to tell it to me again so I could write it down just for you. The rest of this post is from Sloane, in exactly her words.
"This is how you make Rose Tea.
- First you take two teaspoons full of sugar.
- Then you add 6 cups of water.
- And then you put a half of water bottle full of lemonade tea - which is tea mix that has lemony spice taste with a touch of watermelon.
- For the rest, well, you put about 8 chocolate chips in it.
- And then, voila, you are finished. Well, almost.
- First you let it get hot. Then cool.
But, today I put in double chocolate because my guests all love chocolate. And, don't forget: always add two chocolate chip cookies for your guests. Or, whatever their favorite cookie is. Ours is chocolate chip. To make a nice tea party, you should decorate with whatever your guests' favorite colors are. Handwritten invitations are nice, too. YUM! That chocolate packs a wallop of good!" ~ Sloane Lawson
Lilybear the Leopard with her invitation.
the tea table
Meet Gareth the tiger.
This is our hostess, Sloane.
And, this is Gopti the cat, an uninvited, but no less welcome guest.
Sursum corda. Lift up your heart.
The picture of the Empress Hotel came from here. The lovely tea picture came from here. I took the the tea party pictures today.