Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wednesday tea at Cozy Cottage

"I wish we could sit down together,
And have a cup of tea,
But since we can't
When you have this one,
I hope you'll think of me." ~Anonymous

Welcome to Cozy Cottage! Today's tea is served in a lovely blue Camark teapot with matching candle warmer and stand. Don't the cups and saucers make you think of pretty blue flowers? Your tea choices today are Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Darjeeling. To accompany your tea choice I offer freshly baked biscuits served toasty warm with homemade blackberry preserves and fresh creamery butter.

My special guest for tea today is my sister-in-law, Bertha Mae. She is a writer and has published a novel, Redemption of Quapaw Mountain in which she brings back to life the isolated Arkansas highlands of the early 1900s and their unique people, culture and mythology. For a preview of her book please visit BeWrite Books at http://www.bewrite.net/merchant2/4.00/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=B&Product_Code=1-904492-38-X .

Our discussion today centers around proper attire for afternoon tea. Luckily, here at Cozy Cottage casual wear is the norm, but that wasn't always so.

The Afternoon Tea Gown was first introduced, in the 1840s, by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford. The gowns were fashioned on the styles and times of the day. Tea gowns were constructed in several segments, allowing the hostess to change from the lingerie-inspired overtops to the more revealing off-the-shoulder, lower cut silhouette for the evening hours. Fabrics ranged from elaborate gowns with fanciful hand work of embroidery, beading and smocking to the delicate white handkerchief linens accented with pastels. Since Afternoon Teas were mostly attended by family and close friends, the hostess' tea gown was often uncorseted for the first time in centuries, introducing the casual form of dress our society has adopted to the present day. The fashions complimented the Victorian era from which they were born. The gowns were accessorized with magnificently embellished gloves, parasols, fabulous hats and small handbags. The fashions complimented the Victorian era from which they were born. The gowns were accessorized with magnificently embellished gloves, parasols, fabulous hats and small handbags. Fortunately, some of these beautiful gowns and accessories have been preserved by the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. With increasing difficulty, more can be found at vintage fairs and shops throughout the United States. (http://www.seedsofknowledge.com/teagowns.html)

I hope you enjoyed our tea time today! Be sure to leave a comment so you will be entered in the drawing for my roses tea cup and saucer pictured below.

Tomorrow's tea will be extra special so please make plans to drop by Cozy Cottage again!


Bertha Mae said...

Thank you so much Debbie for inviting me to your tea party and having me as your special guest. We've certainly had a lot of fun times together haven't we...remember sitting on the porch in the rain? What an evening that was!
Our lives and the memories I share with my family has certainly been the inspiration of my novel. I pulled some of those memories into the story of the novel, interwinding them through the growing up years of Keziah, the main character. Thank you for introducing "Redemption of Quapaw Mountain" to your readers.
I raise my cup of tea to you and with a nod of my head I will say good bye till tomorrow...and when tomorrow comes, we'll again sit on your porch, talk about old times and laugh.

Joyce said...

love the blue teapot and cups, gorgeous!

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

Oh that is a lovely teapot and cups.
I think I will have English Breakfast today...ohhh the biscuits are making me drool, I must watch my manners!
Debbie, I do not know if my pink cups are Camark or not...there aren't any markings on them.
So nice to meet your SIL, hello Bertha Mae! I have a cousin who is a write also...

Paula said...

Oh how wonderful your week of teas are so far! I would love to win the cup and saucer! I have been trying to put together my own chic tea set one cup and saucer at a time.(my Monday's tea post). :)

Sharon said...

I just loved the information you provided about the Tea Gowns, it was so very interesting. Thank you for your invite.

Daphne said...

Thank you for the lovely tea!
I also love the victorian tea facts sprinkled in :)
Please stop by and visit as I am serving tea this week also.

Antiquenana said...

Good day Deb, your invites to your site are always special because of not only the cup of tea shared, but also the great info you provide to others in your blog. Would hate to think we had to revert back to dressing in the long gowns, corsets, etc. from days of old. It would take a half a morning to get dressed. LOL

Have a wonderful day and thank you again for a great blog with tons of info.

ellen b said...

How very lovely. I love that shade of blue. You can come to my tea anytime, too.

GardenGoose said...

such a nice tea time.very nice tea sets you have.