A Ladies High Tea

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. I’m sorry my posts have been so sporadic recently, sometimes it’s just hard getting it together enough to post something. Anyway, on Saturday I had my nieces Libby and Katie over for a formal(ish) ladies high tea and I wanted to share the menu and some photos I took of the place settings, etc.

But first – who’s excited about the return of Downton Abbey?? The movie is coming out this fall and they put out a teaser trailer that shows nothing new, but is still exciting to contemplate. It looks like the movie takes place pretty much where the original series ended three years ago. Maybe a year or two ahead. But the Dowager Countess herself (Dame Maggie Smith) is still alive thankfully, so they haven’t jumped too far ahead.

So, back to my Saturday high tea party.

Linda Merrill Ladies High Tea Menu

The tea du jour was Boston-based MEM Tea Blood Orange Hibiscus. It’s a delicious herbal tea with orange peel, pomegranate and lemon. Plus, look how beautiful the tea bag is!

Linda Merrill Ladies High Tea Mem Tea bag

I used this British scones recipe, but exchanged currants for dried cranberries and added an orange glaze, served with lemon curd. They were very easy to make, not too sweet and not dry. The other tea sandwiches were simple cinnamon raisin bread with cream cheese.

Linda Merrill Ladies High Tea scones and tea sandwiches

I also made goat cheese and scallion muffins. I realized, after the tea party, that I’d made a really odd mistake with my menu. My intention was that these were supposed to be more like mini quiches, just no crust. But all egg and cheese. These were meant to be the main protein of the tea. My nieces are both vegetarian so this seemed a good choice. Well, I have no idea what I was thinking, but I ended up using a recipe that was more traditional muffin. I think I was swayed by the goat cheese and scallion and forgot that I wanted them to have more egg and less flour. They were very tasty and savory, so I highly recommend the recipe. But it was a carb fest, nonetheless. Also note, my menu incorrectly said they had rosemary – I think I really confused this recipe with another… senior moment?

Linda Merrill Ladies High Tea goat cheese scallion muffins

In addition, there was a simple garden salad with Trader Joe’s Champagne Pear vinaigrette, some stilton cheese with a warm French baguette and petit fours for dessert, which I didn’t manage to get a photo of. We also each had our own mini bottle of Prosecco. It always feels decadent to drink sparking wine midday.


Linda Merrill Ladies High Tea place setting

And, for the pretty parts, my table settings. This is my mother’s wedding Limoges china and Royal Danish silverware. I used my faux bois green table cloth along with pink seersucker napkins and used Andromeda from my garden for garnish.

Linda Merrill Ladies High Tea china napkin flower closup


Linda Merrill Ladies High Tea table

A wider view of the table above and my fabulous nieces below.

Linda Merrill Ladies High Tea nieces

Befitting a tea party, I used some old silver tea pots as vases for my tulips. I live about 1/4 mile from the ocean and let me tell you, the tarnish is a losing battle. My mother had all these things before me and lived 1/2 – 1 mile away from the ocean for the last 40+ years and I never saw so much tarnish. I’m going to have to try something different, because the paste I am using does not do the job!

Linda Merrill floral arrangements

The little pink pot is a decoupage piece that I bought several years ago. Usually, it holds my collection of water color pencils, but it works really well here filled with the sweet Andomeda (there are two small glass vases hidden inside).

Linda Merrill flowers decoupage pot

Speaking of tea, I need to go make myself a cuppa. I’m having a new furnace installed in my house today and it’s chilly in here!

Hope you’re well. And please, if you have any great recipes for tea you’d like to share, please do so in the comments!

14 thoughts on “A Ladies High Tea”

  1. This looks SO lovely and delicious, Linda! What a nice treat for your nieces! Also, there is nothing wrong with a carbfest LOL and I think the losing battle with the silver polish is worth the trade off of living that close to the ocean! Afternoon tea is my FAVORITE meal – and this is so inspiring.

  2. Linda ~

    What a pretty post and what a NICE idea to do this for your nieces. I bet they just loved it. Your recipes looks SCRUMPTIOUS and I love how you incorporated your Mom’s china in your high tea placesettings and that decoupaged pot that’s usually used for your art supplies.


  3. This all looks so lovely, even the silver (you see mine and I am not near the ocean), but especially your nieces. I just ordered some Maas Silver Cleaner in 3 different formulations which was recommended to me by an antiques dealer. She says it retards tarnishing. I haven’t used it yet, but I can follow up if you are interested. Now I am going to check out your recipes, because it all sounds scrumptious.


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