Sunday, August 14, 2011

Peter Rabbit Tea

We were thrilled to become first time aunts in May, and could hardly wait to plan a baby shower tea party in honor of our sister, Nicki, and our new nephew, Sam :) With a shared love of Beatrix Potter, we had such fun designing our tea party around this theme.

We paired our menu items with our
favorite Beatrix Potter characters.
(Lindsey's boyfriend kindly drew
impromptu illustrations on our
tea party signage)

A darling Beatrix Potter cupcake kit
with cupcake paper liners and toothpicks
was the perfect decoration for
Mr. McGregor's carrot cupcakes.

We were not brave enough to attempt making our scones
from scratch, so we purchased Sticky Fingers cranberry
scone mix - the next best thing! We did spring for
homemade devonshire cream though :)

Our menu included one of our
favorite childhood recipes: mud pies
named in our nephew's honor.

Our tea buffet

We purchased an eclectic mix of tea cups and invited guests
to take their tea cups home with them as a tea party favor.

We personalized the tea cups with each guest's name.

Our baby shower tea favor included a tiny tin of Muggswigz
Earl Grey tea.  We decorated the tins with green jute ribbon
and Peter Rabbit gift tags.

Our father, master gardener and
landscaper extraordinaire, designed
baskets that perfectly complemented
our Peter Rabbit theme.

Thanks to Etsy's vendors and Pottery Barn Kids for their lovely selection of Beatrix Potter decorations :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Amherst Rose: Afternoon Tea with Jane Pettigrew - Day 2

The second day of our weekend of tea featured an afternoon tea buffet followed by a tea tasting and discussion of how to brew a proper pot of tea.


We can not think of a better way to spend a leisurely weekend then with two consecutive days of afternoon tea! The second day of our tea weekend was the perfect sequel. The tea buffet was so beautifully prepared and displayed that we almost hated to eat any of the delicious looking treats. After being served tea and filling our plates from the buffet, our tea host, Mary Jane, passed around mini tea cups and introduced us to her Zojirushi tea kettle. The Zojirushi immediately won us over and has now been added to our list of must-have tea accessories.

While Mary Jane prepared our first tea, Jane Pettigrew handed out Tea Tasting worksheets that listed the teas we would be sampling: Camellia Joy white flowering tea, Huang Shan Mao Feng green tea, Dong Ding oolong tea, Tregothnan English tea, and Charleston Tea Plantation black tea. There was room on our handouts to take notes on the following characteristics of each tea: Appearance of Dry Leaf, Appearance of Liquor, Aroma of Liquor, Taste of Liquor, Appearance of Wet Leaf, Aroma of Wet Leaf, and a Comments Section in which we noted the proper brewing time and water temperature for each variety of tea.

As we sampled the tea, Jane Pettigrew provided us with a background on each tea that included the process used to prepare the leaves which establishes the tea's classification: white, green, oolong or black tea. All of the teas were delicious, and we were extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to sample the first flush black tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation, which is owned by the Bigelow family. We learned that the Charleston Plantation has a walk-through tea factory which allows you to see the process in which the tea is prepared as well as a trolly tour of the tea fields. We can hardly wait to plan our visit!