Monday, June 1, 2015

Team Darjeeling - June - ATAA meetup

Well friends, you better grab a whole pot for this blog post, because the photos are extensive and amazing!
I belong to the FB page Afternoon Tea Across America.  They decided to start a Traveling Teapot, where each person hosts the pot for 1 month, blogs several times about it, and then mails it to the next person.  This time, there are two traveling teapots in the shape of a TARDIS (from the popular sci-fi show Doctor Who).  I am on Team Darjeeling.
I have been DYING to share this post with you because I don't officially host the Traveling TARDIS Teapot, until June.  However, I happen to own my own TARDIS, and 
when I found out one of the ATAA members was visiting CA from TX in late March, I inquired if she would be interested in meeting for tea while she was here, which she was.  (Yay! Happy dance!!).
Sylvia, Juanita, Brenda, Heather
I also threw it out to the rest of the group and 2 more members were able to join.  In the midst of trying to get a reservation, Juanita offered up her home as an alternative.  I am soooo thankful we all said yes, because her home is basically an homage to tea!  Sylvia (who I knew many years ago, and reconnected with through ATAA FB page) and I were able to carpool and get reacquainted. We all arrived at about 11:00 and I had made these teabag signs for our event.  We were first greeted by her front street little library.

As we rounded the corner of the driveway, there was no doubt we were in the right place. 

And walking into the yard, we were in awe at all the treasures!

See that scripture on the right?  I had texted that along with a prayer to all the ladies first thing that morning to start our day.  More on that to come.

Tea and books.  Perfection Mr. Rabbit!
And now it was time to enter through the pretty door.

But, we didn't get very far, as wonderful tea things greeted us from every corner.


Hutches on 1 side of the dining room


Hutches on another side of the dining room
 We finally made our way to the kitchen where we were all able to do final preparations for the foods we brought.
Sorry Juanita is a little blurry here, but we were in full action mode
getting ready to share!
If you have never thought to have guests bring a dish or two, I highly recommend it!  I often do so with my friends and it takes so much of the pressure off.  Plus it allows guests to share their creativity!  It's so much fun!!

Juanita made us these 2 amazing crustless quiches.
Brenda picked up a box of fresh greens, green apple and strawberries with a raspberry pomegranate dressing.  I brought mandarin oranges and candied pecans.  We left it 'build-your-own' style so people could customize.  I loved it!
Brenda also made strawberry soup, and brought french macaroons from Paris in a Cup Tearoom.  Click here for soup recipe
You may recognize the darling Noritake demitasse cups/saucers from our FB page, that Brenda bought while on vacation here.  They were perfect for the strawberry soup.

I created a new recipe - Curry Chicken and Fig Pinwheels. While the ladies were apprehensive, all stated they loved it! (Hooray!)  Click here for my recipe. And I made cucumber and dill sandwiches pictures here.  Sylvia provided the striped ham sandwiches.  Click here for that recipe.

I brought these refreshing little strawberry cucumber tea sandwiches.  Click here for recipe, and the Little Debbie butterfly cakes, which in all honesty tasted like a ho-ho ;) Juanita provided the delicious cream puffs.
Juanita also blessed us with not one, but two types of scones and 2 homemade creams.  These are the raspberry, white chocolate.  Her cream has a greek yogurt base.  

These are the chocolate, chocolate chip and yes, she made those darling napkins.

She also provided
jam in this lovely cup
I believe it
was blackberry.

Cherries, tiny roses from the garden, wee tea gifts (see our scripture on the tag?) and lovelies. 

There was a fresh sprig of lavender on our plates which Juanita instructed us to crush between our hands, and inhale the calming fragrance.  She then blessed the food, and we started our tea time.

Notice our scripture once again?

2 types of tea were provided, but we were told we were welcomed to try anything in her vast assortment.
Canisters of Tea

3 drawers of teas!
(And there's more to boot! - Whoo Hoo!)

Oh look, there's the TARDIS!  I filled her with peonies, which I later left for Juanita as a hostess gift.
Do you take hostess gifts?  I always do.  I think there is great charm in old fashioned customs like this.  Brenda brought Juanita a candle in a cup and saucer and Sylvia brought her a cute quilt and button themed cup and saucer and some patterns.
Brenda and me (Heather)
These were our place-mats.  You can order them from Grandma Rae by clicking here.
Sylvia brought us these beautiful scrapbooks and teaspoons.

My gifts for the ladies.

Juanita invited us to choose anything we liked from this selection and gave us gift bags to fill! Now isn't she a generous hostess.

Juanita's crafts.
Classic novels as earrings.

tea fabrics
She decorated a box of tea with tea stickers! Oh, yes she did!

Her kitchen window

Refill your cups.  

We're heading out back!

The hummingbirds were amazing.

Oh, just some of her potting shed teawares? What?!

The covered patio with fairy lights and tea fun!

One of the dining areas.  

Down a little path, 

are some more treasures.

Then the yard opens up to this lovely area.  The tortoise lives in there.
There are bird houses galore & a swing for kids of all ages.

There are decorated sheds  and more toys.

Plus hidden gems around every corner.

These are the amazing raised flower beds Juanita's husband built.  No bending required here folks!  They feature miniature roses, tomatoes and more!
See what a lovely overcast day we had? Perfect tea weather.
MANY demitasse cups hanging above the miniature roses.

I think fairies should live in here. Don't you?

Our tour is nearly through.
Mr. Z arrives to pick up his wife, Brenda.  Mr. S. gives him the grand tour while we clean up.

Mr. S and Mr. Z
It's been an amazing 3 1/2 hours.  Yes, really!  And we won't soon forget the many blessings we shared and the new friends we made.  We are already looking forward to doing it again!
Above Juanita's kitchen sink faucet.

I truly hope you THOROUGHLY enjoyed your time, and felt the magic of our experience.  We are all so grateful to be a part of Afternoon Tea Across America.  God bless you one and all!
Until next time, hugs and a cup of tea.
~Heather Elizabeth

I will also be sharing this amazing adventure on the group blog where you can read more of the Traveling Teapot's adventures:

Ps: My apologies for some weird spacing.
Blogger sometimes is finicky, even though 
the layout appears normal when I create it!

I may also be sharing at the following parties:


  1. I had a lovely afternoon with you all, thank you so much.


    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Blessings, Heather

    2. Glad you enjoyed it! Blessings, Heather

  2. How completely lovely!!!! What a great tea party! I wish I was on Facebook to join that fun group, sounds perfect!

  3. Thanks for the photo tour. What fun! So glad we could share it with you!

  4. Oh my, what a wonderful time you ladies all had! And I thought I had a lot of tea wares and tea! The food looks splendid and I would love to try some strawberry soup. I'm so glad you could share this all with us. Thank you for joining me for tea and have a beautiful day.


  5. Wow!!! I was smiling the entire time that I was reading your post. Thank you for sharing with us your fun visit of Juanita's delightful home!

  6. Oh....My.... I am in tea cup heaven! :) Wow, what a delightful time you must have had - I am so glad you shared it with us through your wonderful pictures.

    Hugs and blessings to you, my friend!

  7. What a creative lady and hostess she is. You did a fantastic job of making us feel that we were with you. Great pictures too. You will have a hard time topping this particular blog.

  8. Oh my gosh! That house is a tea lover's dream! It looks like it was just fun to see all the lovely things around every corner! With birds! Wow. On top of that, you got to have what looks like a delicious tea party. I just went to my first "pot luck" tea, and it was really nice, and way less stressful for the hostess. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  9. Oh my, it's easy to tell that this lady is a true tea lover! Gorgeous teacups everywhere you turn. What a fun time for all of you! I adore getting together with friends! Thanks so much for sharing it with SYC.

  10. What a dreamy way to spend time with ATAA friends over tea. What a amazing cheerful and loving cottage home and garden(s). Thank you so much for sharing every detail. Truly a special respite. The food looks amazing. The kindred spirit you all shared and all the smiles shared over tea. Tea friends are the best!