I got myself into some trouble last winter with a serious cream tea habit. Working from home in the dead of winter was depressing in an already depressing season of the year and a depressing year in general. That four p.m. teatime was instead called ‘scone o’clock.’ To be honest, a year later, I still weigh more than I did prior to Cream Tea Mania. This is despite working out and eating more healthfully again and kicking the scone habit. If you’re under 35 and reading this, enjoy that metabolism while you can.
Just because I’m not going to make scone o’clock a daily routine ever, ever, ever again doesn’t mean I’m opposed to the odd cream tea now and then. This is a lovely time of year for it (as my somewhat tight waistbands will attest). It’s also a fun thing to do for my daughter, who is six and loves a tea party. I love seeing her enjoy this because I loved tea parties so much growing up.
My eighth or ninth birthday was a ‘fancy’ tea for which I mandated a ‘dresses or skirts only’ dress code. Young Me was terribly distressed when my friends acted like, you know, eight- and nine-year-olds and not like fellow miniature fifty-somethings. We couldn’t even hear the piano, it was so raucous, and if you think I’m making this up for the Internet, unfortunately, I’m not. Young Me spent most of the party whining to my mom in the pantry. I hope Margaret is less uptight one day, but she recently pinged my coffee mug to see if it was true crystal, so I doubt it.
My favorite tea blend is Earl Grey, and the Fortnum & Mason version is the best. It’s one that goes really nicely with lemon, perfect for citrus season.
The real star of any entertaining I do is usually the tablescape, not my limited ability to decorate a cake. I used a cheery Sarah Flint runner and napkins with our casual wedding dinnerware. I also added oranges to the table, of course, and some white flowers in a stoneware pitcher.
I had grand plans to host a small tea over the long weekend, but I’m just not comfortable having people (especially my grandmother) over right now. So the tablescape and coffee cake were just for us to enjoy. Hopefully, the Omicron wave will peak here soon, and we can cautiously get back to small gatherings.