Taking Tea With My Granddaughter

Phyllis Lifestyle 37 Comments

Monday was my granddaughter’s ninth birthday, and I was thrilled when she wanted to go to afternoon tea to mark the occasion. Last weekend, Neal and I went to New Orleans to start her celebration. She had selected the Le Salon at Windsor Court Hotel as our tea destination. We published a book, Taking Tea, and one of the featured tearooms was the Windsor Court; so I was delighted to have tea there. It was on my wish list, too!

After the oohs and aahs of seeing the traditional rose floral arrangement in the lobby, we made our way to our table. The Wedgwood Wild Strawberry china was in place, and our table for three was perfect. The room was filled with groups of women, some who had worn lovely hats, all celebrating birthdays. There was a group of very young ladies as well, and it just made my day to see them enjoying tea.

My daughter-in-law Katie, Amelia, and I were close to the harp and felt like we were close to heaven. The harmonious notes just wafted through the room. Immediately, we knew this was going to be an amazing experience.

The first big decision was choosing the tea we wanted to drink. I am an Earl Grey devotee, so my decision was easy. Katie and Amelia opted for a strawberry tea that they really enjoyed.

Amelia was so excited and had many questions about tea and why we partake of tea with certain rituals. The savories were brought first, and the tea sandwiches were scrumptious. Her face lit up when she saw the tiny sandwiches with thinly sliced cucumber. I love the curry chicken salad and lobster salad served on a sliced cucumber. Each delicacy was precisely prepared and served.

The scones were next and were offered with whipped cream, Devonshire cream, jam, and lemon curd. That brought about a wonderful conversation about eating scones and explaining what a curd was. We all three devoured the scones.

The sweets were the finale, and they served a petit cupcake for Amelia with a birthday candle nestled among the wonderful offerings. Could anything be more splendid? I think not. I gave Amelia a little locket to commemorate our dreamy afternoon at the Windsor Court.

When I returned home with photos galore and memories that I will treasure for years, I found my book on Taking Tea, and in there are the recipes for many of the tea foods we adored. I will be making the scones when Amelia comes for a visit. I am blessed that we share the same love of tea and will enjoy many years of visiting some of our favorite tearooms.



Comments 37

  1. What a beautiful granddaughter! I think it is so neat that she loves “Taking Tea” as well. What a neat birthday! Those roses were HUGE & beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  2. It so precious to share the love of tea and being able to do it with a granddaughter.
    My granddaughter 2 summers ago when she was visiting us in wyoming had occasion to invite some little girl friends of hers and we had a tea party with fine China cups and scones and the whole tea experience. I had so much fun doing that for her and everyone involved had a good time . she is now 12 but still enjoys tea and all the tea accoutrements. So glad some of our young people enjoy this as well.
    So precious you were able to go to tea with your granddaughter. Many more special memories to you both.
    Wendy Robinson

  3. Thank you for sharing such an exquisite afternoon with your granddaughter. And how lovely she wanted to take tea for her birthday. Wonderful memories to treasure.

    Love to all…

  4. You are blessed with a precious granddaughter! I love the expression on her face. Your love is poured into her (it shows) and she will treasure this and so many memories with you all her life. My grandmother took us to the Walnut Room at Marshall Field’s in Chicago. The whole ritual is uplifting.

    Thank you for sharing. I could not stop smiling when reading this post.

    Best wishes to you and your family!

  5. I recall arranging such a tea with my two Granddaughters at the time…. it
    was in a lovely restaurant that did not offer high tea, but the gracious owner
    allowed me to furnish the special tea set and cups and she supplied the loveliest of tea sandwiches and savories. What a memory-making day. I know Amelia will hold her memorable occasion with you for a lifetime. So

  6. My great granddaughter has been to tea there and she enjoyed the experience. It’s lovely to pass on those traditions as I sometimes think they get lost in everyday life. Memories like that last for a lifetime.

  7. I just recently passed on my small china tea set to a dear British friend’s granddaughter as my two granddaughters have long ago graduated to an adult size. I have many memories of special tea times with Natasha and Riella, now ages 30 and 17. However, I also recall a few tea parties with my grandsons as well! Your granddaughter is beautiful and glad you could celebrate for her birthday together.

  8. What a darling, fortunate young lady to have you as her dear Grandmother, there to adore and honor her birthday in New Orleans! What a wonderful treat and lovely experience. Thank you for sharing!

  9. How special for you and your sweet granddaughter..an indelible memory for you both!
    I have a nine year old granddaughter and that’s my dream too..I’m happy I won’t have to wait until she’s much older hopefully!

  10. She is such a sweet girl! How fortunate she has an interest in something that Grandmother loves! I predict many wonderful tea parties in the future!

  11. How delightful that you could share this lovely event with your precious granddaughter & daughter-in-law. All to often, in this day and age, we rush through life without experiencing these special ceremonies. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  12. What a lovely celebration – thank you for sharing. What a treasure Amelia is!
    This just makes me want to take the time to enjoy afternoon teas. I hope to be purchasing “Taking Tea” and experiencing the scrumptious recipes. Thank you again for sharing such a beautiful experience.

  13. Aren’t we so blessed being Grandmas!!!!! Amelia is beautiful. My two granddaughters , Lucy and Alice, 5 and 2, love tea parties too. So much fun and such precious times!!!!
    Carolyn( Kamloops, BC , Canada)

  14. What at perfectly beautiful experience to share with your granddaughter. I only have grandsons, but was blessed two and a half years ago with a precious great-granddaughter. I hope to make special memories with her.
    Thank you for sharing this special occassion and pictures of your beautiful granddaughter with your readers.

  15. Phyllis, You are so blessed to share this experience with your pretty granddaughter. What a delightful way to celebrate.
    Thank you for your wonderful description of your visit. I felt I was there.


  16. What a beautiful young lady Amelia is. She chose such a special day to spend with her grandmother. This is one birthday Amelia will never forget.
    P.S. Phyllis I received The November/December Tea Time in the mail yesterday. I finished
    it in one night. It was beautiful. I loved everything about this issue. Thank You for such a lovely and informative magazine.

  17. What a lovely birthday for Amelia. She will have such beautiful memories of her special day. A year of happiness and blessings to Amelia for her birthday.

  18. Your Amelia is growing up! What a wonderful time the three of you must have had, taking tea is such a sweet time to share. Something that all three of you will lock into your heart of memories forever. We’ll be taking tea at holiday time this year at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena with our three little people, and I am so looking forward to it! xo Lidy

  19. What a lovely way to make memories with your granddaughter. My daughter and I have had tea twice in the famous Empress Hotel in Victoria British Columbia in Canada.

  20. What a wonderful memory for Amelia. One she will cherish for a lifetime. The many wonders of childhood is having tea at a beautiful tearoom. Alice in Wonderland would have been envious. Oh I can hear her telling her friends about her grandmothers gifts of tea and a necklace. Since I never had tea as a child, on a visit to Savannah while my husband was waorking, I had tea in a quaint little tearoom. The hot Summer weather had them serving iced tea. It was so good, a white tea that I purchased from the tearoom to bring home to enjoy. I so enjoyed this post. Thank you Phyllis.

  21. So nice! To me, one of the nicest things (in addition to sharing the time with loved ones) is the way that tea time is so leisurely! It makes it so relaxing.
    How wonderful to introduce your granddaughter to the custom! And Happy B’day to her, too 🙂
    If you are ever in the area, they have a beautiful Victorian Christmas Holiday season tea at the Hotel Del Coronado, on Coronado Island in San Diego. Also, the one at the US Grant hotel in Horton Plaza is lovely, too.
    While on a trip, my sister and I went to high tea at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, and it was nice, as well.
    I love the tradition, but when I am at home, I just make a cup in a more simple manner. I think I need to pull out my nice tea set and enjoy it properly!

    1. Michelle,
      My husband and I enjoyed a (rare) trip to London 32 years ago and we stayed at the Grosvenor House, too! However, we took tea at a little place that I can’t remember, except for the fact that I repeatedly ordered “high tea” each time the waitress asked what I wanted. Finally, she was so frustrated she blurted out, “What do you want- coffee or tea?”
      Bless my heart, I thought “high tea” was like ordering #5 at McDonalds. Needless to say,
      I became quite educated over the years reading Tea Time!
      My granddaughter is only a toddler, but I look forward to the day we enjoy the local tea room.

      1. Faye,
        What a coincidence! We were there in 1993! It really is a nice hotel and the location was really good, too.
        I have to tell you that I LOVED the cosmetics they had in the rooms! They were from Molten Brown, smelled so good, and I have tried (to no avail) to find the same ones at home!
        That is funny about the waitress and your order 🙂 I guess she displayed some of that “stiff upper lip for you”!
        I love Tea Time magazine as well and kept every copy I received (in addition to ever one of Victoria Magazine).
        I am sorry, that I didn’t see your comment until now. I just happened to click on the former columns.

  22. What a darling granddaughter you have! And already so refined! I hosted a granddaughter tea luncheon at my house on the back patio last year. It was so much fun! The girls arrived in their favorite party dresses and we had just a lovely afternoon together. I was blessed to have a grandmother who treated me to such events. She taught me about the finer things in life that are now dying out in today’s generation. Your granddaughter is lucky to have you!

  23. Thank you for sharing such a memorable experience. You three are truly blessed to have each other. Wild Strawberry is next on my list of tea sets.

  24. Amelia is very blessed to have you as a Grandma Phyllis. Afternoon tea is such a wonderful tradition. This past June, I was fortunate enough to be visiting London along with my sister. We celebrated my sister’s birthday at an afternoon tea at the Grosvenour House. It was pure elegance! The room, tea, food and the service were exquisite. Upon request, they prepared a delicious gluten free tea for me. It was so good, I was almost afraid it wasn’t gluten free!! When we finished, they wrapped the extra scones for me and gave us both macaroons and chocolates as a parting gift in a beautiful box. It’s an afternoon we will always remember.

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