My love for tea time goes way back to my childhood. My grandmother {my Mom and I lived with my grandparents in their stately European home until we moved to the states when I was 8} had a special tea table, set with her finest silver teapot, fine porcelain tea cups, a silver sugar and creamer set, and a little “candle warmer” to keep her pot warm for serving. Every afternoon, all her life, tea time was precisely at 3:30. She would pour out the tea, and offer one, just one, cookie. With the second cup of tea, if I was lucky, there would be exquisite chocolate bonbons from her favorite store. {again, just one!} It’s in her honor that I made my Steeped in Love Floral Arrangement.

I inherited grandmama’s silver teapot, and have carried forth the tea time tradition with my own girls and little people, although they often seem to be able to stretch the one cookie one chocolate concept. Today I’m sharing a Steeped in Love Floral Arrangement that you can make, for a tea party of any size. I hope you love it!

 

 

Steeped in Love Floral Arrangement

 

WELCOME TO MONDAY MORNING BLOOMS!

 

 

Pam, Shirley, Mary and I are so happy you are joining us today. Please grab a cup of tea {or coffee if it’s early in the morning} and get comfortable while we share our tea inspired flower therapy. Chocolates are optional.

 

Steeped in Love

 

I set my little table in the living room for an intimate but elegant gathering for just two. Taking tea is such a cherished ritual, it has been an ideal get together for generations.  It can be simple, or quite fanciful and feminine.  I decided to go for the fanciful setting this time. {If you know me, you know I love both the gracious finery as well as French Country simplicity.} This really is my dream tea table.

I am so excited about our “new” mirror over the fireplace in the living room. Bought from a friend, I think it’s found its forever home with us. It’s why I decided to set my tea table there, in this favorite spot in our living area.  This antique French trumeau mirror almost begs for a little bit of a dressed up party, doesn’t it?

 

 

I started the table off with an underpinning of a round natural linen tablecloth, which I topped with this beautiful antique French Normandy Lace cloth. It’s not perfect and has a few small holes, but it’s the finest work, these are always such a treat to find!

 

 

At the heart of the tea presentation, a bouquet of blossoms burst from a silver teapot, the shine of its antique patina enhances the delicate colors of Eden roses, hydrangeas, lisianthus, bright green hypercum, and wild bupleurum.  I also added a gorgeous scented geranium with velvety soft leaves, I’m not sure which kind it is, I was given a cutting or two, fingers crossed that I can propagate them! They are stunning, and smell so good.

 

The flowers are easy, you know me, it’s a simple arrangement. I just cut everything at an angle, and place in the water at random. I just stick blossoms in here and there until I’m pleased with the result.

 

 

I bedecked my little tea table with the most exquisite dishes, fit for a queen!  I thought you’d enjoy seeing them before they sold, they are the best of the best as far as hand painted porcelain goes.  It’s one of the delights of being an antique dealer, I have the honor of being the caretaker of some extraordinary things for awhile, until they go to their next home to be cherished, and hopefully used for lots of fun occasions.

 

 

The silver tea tray holds Antique Vincennes Sevres Style Hand Painted Porcelain Cups & Saucers. From an old chateau estate in Europe, each cup has a stunning original portrait of a lady, delicately and expertly painted by the most accomplished painters of the era. I can imagine that Marie Antoinette would have drunk her tea from cups such as these, they are certainly of a quality that she would have approved of.

I fell in love with these on a buying trip to Europe, and it’s one of those occasions where I practically had to BEG the French dealer to be allowed to buy them. These days, many times dealers sell the cups that have a broken “ear” or large cracks solely for the portraits, jewelry artist often mount them in silver, sometimes gold, as part of a necklace or bracelet. Anyway, there was a jewelry artist coming to look at this collection, even the good cups {!!!} but I kept saying it was shameful to sell them to be broken up. So in the end, after much discussion and pleading, I went home very happy and packed the good and several of the ‘not as good” sets of tea cups in the container.

 

Steeped in love flowers

 

The plates are a wonder of skill and painting mastery, each one is completely hand painted, with the tiniest details. And then there is a lot of gilt, real gold that was hand applied. These have not been used a lot, they are from a collector, and in such amazing condition. I’ve never seen anything like them before, and probably never will again in my lifetime. Every single plate is different, making each a one-of-a-kind work of art. Made by Copeland, England, especially for Gilman Collamore & Co. – a very high-end luxury shop rivaling Tiffany & Co. and Black, Starr & Frost.

 

Roses for Marie Antoinette tea

 

antique gilt encrusted plates roses

 

Little sterling silver bonbon baskets hold chocolates {just one, please!} and delicate cookies. Antique French lace napkins join the party, along with antique silver forks and spoons.

 

 

If you love tea, and want more tea time inspiration, this book from our friends at Victoria is just gorgeous! You will love it not just for the inspiring photos, but there are wonderful recipes, and tips for setting the perfect gracious tables for every tea occasion. It’s a perfect book to add to your collection.

 

 

Dream Tea Table Sources:

Antique French Normandy Lace Cover

Natural Linen Ruffled Tablecloth

Gilt encrusted dessert plates

Antique French Porcelain Tea Cups

Sterling Bonbon Basket

Antique Linens

Versailles Tea

Marie Antoinette Tea Gift Set

Thank you so much for joining me today for this tea inspired floral therapy post. It’s always a delight to have you visit, and a joy to read your comments. Please come back for the next post, we’ll be visiting Nina’s Paris for tea, and I’m hosting a give-away for the beautiful Paris in Bloom book for one lucky reader!

 

Pin for The best Tea Floral Arrangement

Please be sure to visit my dear friends Shirley, Mary and Pam.  I’ll see you there!

 

Fall tea table

Shirley at Housepitality Designs

autumn tea table

Pam at Everyday Living

floral arrangement in aqua tea tin

Mary at HomeIsWhereTheBoatIs

and me, Lidy at FrenchGardenHouse.

 

Do you love a spot of tea with a friend? Share your favorite treat for tea time with us, we’d love to know!

 

A BIENTOT

 

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and above all uniquely yours. Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com