Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An English Tea Picnic

I have such fond memories of  many distant lands and different cultures from travelling with my family as a child.  Since it is not possible for my little family to travel to faraway places, I am teaching my children about different countries here at home!
Since 'tea' is the iconic drink of England, we are having an English tea picnic!  We learned many facts about the country, such as, where it is located on a map, who is in charge and the basic structure of the government.  Of course, my girls were fascinated with the 'Queen!'  We also discussed a few of the great names like Shakespeare, Jane Austen and famous musicians like the Beatles.
It was a beautiful weekend with lovely weather, so this was a nice way to conclude our little study! 'Visuals' seem to help my children learn, and we got to practice our manners!

The last of our knock-out roses makes a very 'English' presentation in this teapot!
The breakfast menu was strawberry scones with fresh berries, Devonshire cream and of course, hot tea.
I have been collecting these beautiful mismatched English teacups for some time.  They were perfect for our morning tea. 
Did you know that the only commercial tea grown in America is in Charleston, SC?  The Charleston Tea Plantation produces American Classic Tea, and it is still the official tea of the White House!  The peach tea is my favorite!  Just a little plug for SC!  You can visit the plantation for free when you are in Charleston!
The tarnished silver was my grandmother's and the rose melamine plates add a nice 'English' touch.
In the scheme of life, it doesn't really matter if you hold the saucer a certain way or not, but it seems that children who learn manners, also learn respect for others around them.  This is an ongoing process, I will assure you! I feel like I say a thousand times a day, "Chew with your mouth closed" and "Please don't interrupt!"
I always think of England as being rather damp or 'rainy.'  We had several days of rain before this picnic, so the ground was still a bit wet...perfect for our 'trip' to England!
Do you hold the saucer or not?  Well, it depends if you are at the table or a buffet!
Never wave the tea cup in the air!  Ummm, we missed that little fact when we were invited to a birthday tea party recently.  It seems like common sense, but not to my four year old, who waved it in the air and dropped it...hence, the lesson in how to hold a tea cup!
Wherever we go, I bring a little tea set for my youngest child.  She loves to pretend and it keeps her focused and sitting in one spot!
These vintage shoes are finally the perfect size for my little girl!
As the sun came up through the trees, it was the most beautiful morning!  I am not much of a 'morning person', but it was worth it on this day to crawl out of bed early!
This wicker chair was a recent find in Asheville, NC.  It is a 1930's beach chair from Jacksonville, Florida.  It just looks kind of 'English-y!'
The vintage metal picnic basket and plaid wool blanket help set the tone for our picnic.
We are all done, but I wish we could have stayed at our little spot in the 'English' countryside all day!  I have a large imagination, don't you think!  It was funny to hear my kids act like they knew how to speak in proper English!  Good times, I tell ya'! (said in a long southern drawl...I can't even fake proper!)
As his shirt says, 'toys will be toys' and boys will be boys!  He came straight from his cozy little bed!  I can assure you that he would rather have a hammer in his hand than this teacup!  Can you tell by the way he is holding the cup?!  But...he needs to learn manners, too!  One day, his wife will thank me!
St. George's Cross, the English Flag

Devonshire Cream 
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 tablespoon heavy cream, reserved
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted

Beat softened cream cheese, sugar, and one tablespoon reserved cream with a hand mixer until smooth.  With a spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream.  Do not over mix.  It will be a bit lumpy.  This is so easy for the children to do! Enjoy!
(In Chelsea's Kitchen by Hudson and Campbell)


I wonder where we will go next!  Maybe France?  Maybe Germany...from the comforts of our own backyard!

I am linking to these great blog hops and parties!
Pin It Now!

67 comments :

Mrs.B said...

Such a great idea!!!~ a lesson they will remember.

It's me said...

Great pic nic.......the next time ....I would like to be there!.....love Ria..........

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

A very sweet tea picnic party!! I am loving that tin basket and your granny's tarnished silver --too gorgeous (I am a fan of the tarnished look) and those vintage shoes...all wonderful and I am sure sweet, sweet memories in the making for your wee ones :)

Blessings!
Gail

It's me said...

Hi again...their is a transator on my blog...i am from Holland........thanks for the inviting.......have a nice day love Ria....

food for thought said...

oh so much to love in one post! wonderful lesson, fabulous picnic, great food and darling shots, cute cute cute!

Carol said...

What a great lesson and adventure. Wonderful memories for your children.
You little boy has amazing eyelashes. What a cutie!

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

I'd like to know if you were a Theater major with a minor in Set Design when you were in college!!! You have a gift for "setting the stage"! What a sweet idea and one that your kids will definitely remember! The "wellies" were a great touch.

Mary said...

LOVE this English tea picnic~ from your tea cups to your melamine plates! What a great wicker seat you found in Asheville... and your son with his eyes closed sipping his tea is too cute :-)

Gillian Layne said...

Charming, and what a delightful way to introduce your children to the great wide world we inhabit. Thanks for sharing!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

I love this post! What a great idea and I adore your tea party and setting! So incredibly sweet! Love it! :)

Barbara Jean said...

wonderful post. off to check out more of your blog

blessings

barbara jean

Vanessa said...

Christie! This was such a great idea! I love how you are teaching your children an appreciation for other cultures, good manners, trying new things and just how much fun can be had in the process! We recently read a book that refers to the link between manners and morals and how it all ties into respect for yourself and others so I love that you mentioned that. My daughter would have just loved it and it gives me ideas for "tea party" birthdays someday. Wish we could have come and joined yours! :-)
Vanessa

Debbie said...

From an old mom to a young one: Bravo!!
You are such a great mom to do this. It's just darling, and I guarantee they will remember both the lessons AND the adventure. Way to go, Mommy.

Pinky said...

How wonderful of you to teach your children about other countries AND manners at this lovely, sweet picnic! YOur children will have wonderful memories of "traveling" with you through your imagination!!!! Great job! XO, Pinky

Cristie said...

What a beautiful post. It looks so inviting, makes me want to sit down and enjoy a picnic. Thanks and have a lovely week.

Meg said...

You are the coolest mom ever! And your kids are pretty awesome, too. I can't wait for the day I can get my kids around china and not worry about them breaking it! This setting is simply beautiful.

I'm having a fun giveaway going on now! Hope you can check it out! http://alittleknickknack.blogspot.com/2010/10/another-giveaway-for-you.html

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Such a lovely tea and a beautiful post.

Jocelyn
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

Craftberry Bush said...

Aww...I love tea parties with my Bella...My husband is British so I think we might have to have an English Tea Picnic sooner rather than later...(the cold is coming) Thanks for yet another beautiful post !
much love,
Lucy

Style Sisters said...

My mom loved to do tea parties for my girls when they were little..I can't wait to do it for my little grandkids! So nice...come link up to Centerpiece Wed on my blog today.

Karin

Chrissie said...

What a wonderful memory for your children to have. You don't have to travel far to make something special!

Natasha said...

What a wonderful way to teach your kids about England. I can't wait to see where you "go" next time!

Best wishes,
Natasha.

Margitta said...

This looks so cozy... What a great idea to learn about Great Britain! (I love all things english!)
We woke up to snow this morning... no more picnics here...

hip-chick said...

Oh the pictures are lovely. I felt just like I was there! And, how sweet of you to post the recipe for Devonshire cream.

Alycia Nichols said...

What a divine teaching tool for your kids! You really captured the look and feel of an English picnic, especially with that plush throw and the boots! All you needed was a Prince Charles cutout, and I would have thought I was in England! :-) Your children will benefit from this experience far into the future, even if they don't realize it! And your're right...your son's future wife will be beholden to you for your efforts to bring a bit of culture and good manners into his life at a young age! Well done!

Jo said...

Christie,this has got to be the sweetest post ever.
So cute and your Prince was perfect!..love it.
-Jo
-LazyonLoblolly

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This is my first visit to your blog, and I'm charmed! Love this idea for children.

Your English tea is just perfect from the plaid blanket to the beautiful china cups, and I didn't know that Charleston grows the only tea in the country. Not surprising. Charleston does a lot of neat things!

I think this is so admirable to "travel" with your children and acquaint them with other countries as well as good manners. We have been doing that with my little goddaughter, and we took both her and her best friend to tea for Cecelia's birthday. They loved it!

Thanks for sharing this with us. I enjoyed tea with you thoroughly. I'll invite you in return to join us for my MIL's 80th birthday celebration.

Happy Tablescape Thursday...

XO,

Sheila :-)

Cerys said...

This is so cute! I'm from Wales (so sorta England) and this is how we eat and drink everyday! Ha ha not really but it does look very authentically 'English'! I love those Melamine plates btw!x

Olive Cooper said...

That is a charming way to teach your children. Well done!

gail said...

what a delightful post! everything was just beautiful and wonderful to teach to your children. love the melamine plates and tin child's tea set.
gail
adventuresininnkeeping.blogspot.com

Entertaining Women said...

I love every moment of your post, and I completely agree with you about teaching our children manners. The taupe plaid blanket posed against the lovely pinks of your china is perfection. Thank you for sharing your beautiful design and story. Cherry Kay

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

There was something very RL about this setting! Loved it!

Pam said...

What a beautiful post. I think it is so awesome that you are "traveling" with your children and teaching them manners. And your photos are gorgeous.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

What an absolutely lovely idea! I enjoyed your tea post so much from the bright blooms in that stunning, Rose Bud?, teapot to the recipe for Devonshire Cream at the end! Thank you for sharing a splendid post. I host a weekly tea party on Tuesdays; would love to have you join me sometime. Have a lovely weekend.

Blessings,
Sandi

Pat said...

This is beautiful, Christie. I love that you are doing this for your children.

We have a little wicker chair, similar to yours. Ours has a bit of a space under the seat.

Nook Cranny Gifts said...

I loved your tea party/picnic.
Everything is so beautiful, specially your collection of tea cups.
Thanks for sharing.
Michele

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

This brings back memories of tea parties and lessons with my children! It is so good to get them started young and to encourage curiosity about other countries! And the setting is beautiful too! :) Linda

Susan @ Entertain Exchange said...

This is lovely. My mother has mix and match tea cups - I love them. Everything is so pretty and inviting!

Susan,
http://entertainexchange.blogspot.com/
Party and Entertaining Inspiration

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

A great way to spend an afternoon! A friday's favorite for sure :-)

Sue said...

I thinks this is fabulous; gotta try that Devonshire recipe!

Sue @ Beach Bungalow
xo

Craftberry Bush said...

Hey Christie, just wanted to say good luck with you shower this weekend. I am sure its going to be perfect and beautiful like everything else you do. Can't wait to see what you did!
Have fun with it all !
God bless.

Lucy

Debra@Common Ground said...

Where do I start? It's all perfect...the picnic tin, the china, the plaid blanket...everything!
Thank you for linking up with VIF, I always love your posts!
xo,
Debra

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Just coming back over to enjoy this delightful post again! Just gorgeous!! I adore your setting- you are always so incredibly inspiring!! Thank you so much for joining Feathered Nest Friday and sharing this! :)

High Street Cottage said...

Christie, that is exactly where I would want to be on this Sunday, instead of going in to work. I love the china, and I've always loved all things English. The little basket with the children's tea set is too cute. The blankets were the perfect mix of florals and plaids. My favorite I have to say is the vintage beach chair. It doesnt' get any better than that, tami from the high street cottage

SavannahGranny said...

You are one fantastic Mom and that is one fantastic tea picnic. I have visited The Charleston Tea Plantation and my favorite is also their peach tea, both hot and iced. Love that the baby has her own picnic basket and tea set complete with flatware. Supermom you are. Hugs, Ginger

Jeanne Selep said...

I especially love the teacups with the strawberries and the 'vase' you used for the roses. I have a collection of china (see my post) that they would go well with. I let my children pick a plate for special dinners, sometimes after we watch Pirates of the Carribean and we are using the treasure!

http://jeanneselep.blogspot.com/2010/10/furniture-treasure-2010.html

Brambleberry Cottage said...

I've taught children for over twenty years, Christie, and I can assure you that lessons such as these will be the ones remembered. Showing speaks much louder than telling.

Zig Ziglar put it this way, "Children more attention pay, to what you do than what you say."

Thanks for linking to my party. I love seeing what you link up each week.

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com

Becca said...

I read this on your blog earlier this week. What a great idea!

Thanks for linking up to Home and Family Friday!

Becca
becca-homeiswheremystorybegins.blogspot.com

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Christie, everything you do is so special. How wonderful to combine learning, manners, and fun in a beautiful tea party. Love the picnic basket, the pretty tea cups, and even the boots -everything does look so English. The plaid blanket, the little vintage shoes - all of it conveys a charming English country picnic. What wonderful memories you are making with your children, and I'm sure they are also learning the art of making a beautiful vignette. Thank you so much for linking up. laurie

Cabin and Cottage said...

Such a beautiful chronicle of your picnic! Very sweet.

Sue said...

What a delightful lesson for your children to enjoy. It is a lovely set-up, complete with such yummy looking goodies. I always wondered what the heck Devonshire cream was! Thanks for including the recipe. Here from the Tablescaper's party...
~ Sue

Marlis said...

What a perfect thing to do. I taught both my boys to mind their p's and q's and it has served them well. You can't go wrong. Your pictures are enchanting. I enjoyed my visit.

Anna said...

Your post is a feast for the eyes! You have some wonderful pieces and it looks like you all had a fun and delicious lesson.

Martina said...

I love this! Such a delightful ay of teachung children and have fun with them. Perfectly done!

Sherry said...

Wonderful tea party! My boys have had tea a bit too! I had no girls.
Sherry

The Tablescaper said...

What a wonderful post. It truly has the feel of an English picnic. Awesome seat. If you hadn't told us the rose plates were melamine, we never would have know. I'm both you and your children had a wonderful time and will long remember it.

Thank you for being a part of Seasonal Sundays!

http://thetablescaper.blogspot.com/

- The Tablescaper

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Christie, you are such a good stylist. You really could have a career doing that or maybe you have. I love that woven chair. I was in Asheville last Saturday and I could stay for a week and just shop all the antique malls.

Sarah said...

What a beautiful tea. Lucky kids to have a mom who wants to share such wonderful cultural experiences. ~ Sarah

Kathy said...

Your tea is just lovely -these are great memories your children will have growing up with a "fun" mom. or should i say mum? I actually did not know there was only one US commercial tea grower . I enjoyed seeing your son enjoy the tea too.

Gloria said...

Beautiful tea party! What a great way to spend the day and to make some wonderful memories!
Very pretty!
@}`~}~~~ sweet blessings to you, Gloria

malia said...

So gorgeous! I wish I could dive into one of your beautiful photos. Thanks for joining us at A Crafty Soiree... love to see you again on Thursday

THE VERANDA HOUSE said...

HI IT IS A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU.YOUR BLOG IS SO CHARMING AND ROMANTIC,LOVE YOUR TEA CUPS .I LOVE TEA TO ..BLESSINGS

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

The preciousness of this post is irresistable! It really looks like an old fashion tea time! I lived in Scotland and England as a child and you have captured the beauty and essence of a proper tea... including the roses!! What a wonderful time you must have had with those dear little ones! The photos of their dear little hands holding the tea is so darling!
Beautiful post!!!!!
xo Yvonne

Light and Voices said...

Save me a cup of that tea please. You have a lovely blog.
Joyce M

Mary said...

What a lovely post! I am so glad you linked with Outdoor Wednesday, so I could find your blog.
I will be having an outdoor tea party with my girls (and boy needing to learn good manners...) very soon. You are an inspiration!

God Bless,

-Mary

Linda said...

What a wonderful way to start the day! Your children will keep this memory forever...and so will you! Great post :0)

I Love Pretty Little Things said...

What an amazing, fun, delicious, and thought- provoking way to learn. Why can't schools teach everything that way? Ha Ha
Looks like so much fun and a memory in your kids hearts forever!
Joyce
P.S. What I always say to my boys, even though they don't always listen- "Manners Matter".

Donnie said...

Those were beautiful photos. I would have loved to have been invited to tea too. I'm glad I got to see them. Happy Outdoor Wednesday.

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