A few of us met for tea today - our croquet group minus one and plus another.
We went to Dunbar Tea Room, same as usual, but this time we got our teas to go. Sarah set up an impromptu spread in her garden:
See why I'm friends with her? We got to pull out little plates and serving dishes from her pantry, including her grandmother's teapot.
Snooping around in other people's pantries is like browsing bookshelves and cd collections. Okay, they're not usually as accessible - so maybe they're even more rewarding. I have a little china problem and I'm always glad to meet other people with the same porcelain monkey on their back (I don't have any porcelain monkeys. I like practical china. Although in some circles three tea sets, an espresso set, an Italian coffee set and myriad dinnerware may not be considered practical).
Imagine my delight when I walked into Sarah's kitchen this afternoon and was presented with an assortment of teacups to chose from. It's been ages since I was allowed to chose a tea cup - maybe since having tea with my mother's childhood ballet teacher, after whom I nearly named my daughter. She had a glass china cupboard full of fussy little things that we actually got to use when we were there. She wore kaftans, smoked those long cigarettes and had a spectacular auburn wig.
Am I digressing?
We took our tea in the garden because... why wouldn't we? It is gorgeous and we wanted to make the most of it while there's still time. I do not know how people get their gardens to look like this. I have such garden envy. Here's a closer look:
Oh, oops, that's a close-up of the individual dishes of strawberry jam and clotted cream. Tip for staying friends with the people you have tea with: give everyone their own bowl of clotted cream. They were very nice at Dunbar, making sure we had generous fluffy dollops for everyone.
Besides the garden, it was nice having tea at home (or at someone's home) because our kids could run around and we didn't feel like we needed to relinquish our table. And we got to play with china that doesn't come out very often.
Funny, we grow up and get jobs and have families, but we're just as fond of playing dress up and having tea parties as we were all those years ago. I think as long as we remember that we're playing, all will be well.