Do you have someone in your life that always does so much for everyone else but expects nothing in return? I do. My younger sister. She has always got my back and is continually supportive. When I got married last year she helped plan my stagette, was the sounding-board for my wedding planning, and on the days leading up to our wedding was a quiet little bee buzzing around getting things done without having been asked. And whilst she knows how appreciative I am for all the things she does, I wanted to spoil her for a change.
She rarely celebrates her birthday and as it is coming up very soon I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to give back. Plans for a surprise birthday afternoon tea party have been under-way for weeks. I’ve been quietly emailing guests, purchasing bottles of sparkling wine, borrowing cake tiers and tea cups from friends, learning how to fold napkins, and having gifts sent from Australia in preparation for the tea party.
It all went off without a hitch – I seriously thought she knew about it ages ago but nope! The look on her face when we surprised her tells me that she definitely had no clue.
No afternoon tea party is complete without freshly baked scones with jam and cream so I used my old faithful soda water scone recipe. I ended up buying a lot of the treats such as the petit fours, madeleines, and the macarons (some were from Bel Cafe and the others from Thierry) to save time. I made the sandwiches myself and served traditional English tea sandwiches; salmon and cream cheese, egg and watercress, and chicken Waldorf salad.
We started the afternoon with some raspberry vodka and lemonade cocktails, before moving on to tea and coffee, before ending with a few bottles of sparkling wine.
Whilst sitting around eating dainty foods and sipping tea from pretty cups and sparkling wine from flutes we wondered why this wasn’t more popular? Of course, if you have been up to Kerrisdale on a weekend, you’ll realize that the tradition of afternoon tea is still very much alive (there is Fabourg, The Secret Garden, and Adonia Teahouse in close proximity to each other) but I wonder how many women still host afternoon tea parties? What has been your experience? Are afternoon tea parties making a comeback?
To my sister, happy unbirthday to you! You’re the best!