Sunday, June 26, 2016

Return to Downton, Please Join Me

"Sympathy butters no parsnips." Mrs. Patmore
As I begin my blog post, I am sipping appropriately on a cup of Bates' Brambleberry Tea in my Downton Abbey mug.  Please, do grab a cup and join me!

Thursday, I received an urgent text from a friend, letting me know someone in her party had cancelled for a Downton Abbey tea on Saturday, and would I like to take her place?

Hmmmm.... well, I really have nothing that fancy to wear, but I was certainly interested.  She offered me a dress, I raced over to try it on, and we had a lovely visit as well.

Gail, Patsy, Kathleen, Sylvia, Heather
in Sylvia's parlor. 
Gail & Kathleen
Saturday, I arrived at Sylvia's as 5 of us would be carpooling to Escondido in Southern California.  She looked lovely in her ensemble & I soon met some of her friends.
It took about an hour to get there, but upon arrival we were
greeted by these classic cars, setting the stage for the Downton era.

Our party is complete, as these two joyful ladies arrive in their stylish dresses!
View of The Grand Tea Room Patio {photo from their website}

Entrance { photo from their website}
Gift Shop {photo from their website}

Inviting music beckoned us in.
Our place settings.
{Ring the bell for Carson to bring more tea}

The menu looked most promising.
The lovely Kathleen - BTW: This was Kathleen's VERY FIRST tea party!We start with champagne and tea.
(Alcohol is not really my thing, but the teas were divine).
We chatted about favorite moments and quotes from the show.
Everyone was very impressed by the beauty and quantity of the food.

The shepherd's pies was a clever crowd pleaser!

The scones were a bit dry, but the lemon curd and cream were lovely.  The meringue was very good, and something I had not had before.

Sylvia captured this wonderful panoramic view that gives a good feel of the dining room.

All 7 of us, left to right - Kathleen, Gail, Patsy, Sylvia, Heather, Sue and Sharon.

Decor and shop items.

A sweet little board book I bought to read to The Littles.

Love that it includes prayer.
And also, encourages thank you notes... something that's no longer en vogue with the younger ones.

A fun little teabag rest I bought to give as a gift.

CLICK HERE to visit her web page.
The proprietor shared how the fridge went out Friday night, and our tea nearly did not happen! They worked to fix it, and had to remake much of our food early that morning.  The wait staff was so engaging and kind, we really felt like were "upstairs" :)

Trivia questions were asked by Louisa (pictured above), and prizes were handed out for correct answers.  In addition, goodie bags were given out to all!
I was lucky enough to answer a trivia question correctly.
  The side of the soap pictured above.

Sylvia, being the gracious table hostess that she is, gifted us with these lovely goodie bags and cards.

They also included these hand crafted ornaments.
I don't like to go empty handed, so I shared the lovely story below, printed on pretty lavender stationary, and gave a copy to each lady to ready privately later, in the hopes they would have fond memories of our time together and enjoy some encouragement. 

Tea Time with GOD: The Tea Cup Story

A couple vacationing in Europe went strolling down a little street and saw a quaint little gift shop with a beautiful teacup in the window. The lady collected teacups and she wanted this one for her collection, so she went inside to buy the teacup, and as the story goes the teacup spoke and said:

"I want you to know that I have not always looked like this. It took the process of pain to bring me to this point. You see, there was a time when I was just clay and the Master came and He pounded me and He squeezed me and He kneaded me and I screamed: "STOP THAT!". But He just smiled and said, "Not yet".

Then He took me and put me on the shelf and I went round and round and round and round... and while I was spinning and getting dizzier and dizzier I screamed again and I said, "Please get me off this thing... please get me off!" And the Master was looking at me and he was smiling, as He said, "Not yet".

Then He took me and walked toward the oven and shut the door and turned up the heat and I could see Him through the window of the oven and it was getting hotter and hotter and I thought, "He's going to burn me to death!".

And I started pounding on the inside of the oven and I said, "Master, let me out, let me out, let me out!", and I could see that He was smiling as He said "Not yet". Then He opened the door and I was fresh and free and He took me out of the oven and He put me on the table and then He got some paint and a paintbrush.

He started dabbing me and making swirls all over me and I started to gag and I said: "Master, stop it... stop it... stop it please... you're making me gag". He just smiled as He said "not yet".

Then very gently He picked me up again and He started walking toward the oven and I said, "Master, NO!! Not again, pleeeease!!". He opened the oven door and He slipped me inside and He shut the door and this time He turned the heat up twice as hot as before and I thought, "He's going to kill me!!", and I looked through the window of the oven and I started to pound on it, saying, "Master... Master, please let me out... please let me out... let me out!".

I could see that He was smiling but I also noticed a tear trickle down His cheek as I watched Him mouth the words, "Not yet!"

Just as I thought I was about to die, the door opened and He reached in ever so gently and took me out, fresh and free and He went and placed me on a high shelf and He said: "There, I have created what I intended. Would you like to see yourself?" I said, "Yes". He handed me a mirror and I looked and I looked again and I said, "That's not me, I'm just a lump of clay".

He said, "Yes, that IS you, but it took the process of pain to bring you to this place. You see, had I not worked you when you were clay, then you would have dried up.

If I had not subjected you to the stress of the wheel you would have crumbled. If I had not put you into the heat of the oven you would have cracked. If I had not painted you there would be no color in your life. But, it was the second oven that gave you the strength to endure. Now you are everything I intended you to be - from the beginning." And I, the teacup, heard myself saying something I never thought I would hear myself saying, "Master, forgive me, I did not trust you. I thought you were going to harm me, I did not know you had a glorious future and a hope for me. I was too shortsighted, but I want to thank you.

I want to thank you for the suffering. I want to thank you for the process of pain. Here I am! I give you myself – fill me; pour from me, use me as you see fit. I really want to be a vessel that brings you glory within my life."
{Author Unknown}

"HE has made everything beautiful in it's time. HE has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11 

My new sandals, and after tea, Sylvia gifted the
dress to me! Thank you sweet Sylvia.
Cheers to you friends.  I hope you enjoyed having tea time with me today. I believe I need to ring Carson for more tea now. God bless you.

Lady Mary Crawley & Matthew Crawley

Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson on holiday.
Wedding of Carson & Mrs. Hughes


  1. This was absolutely a top notch event! Thank you for sharing so many wonderful photos!

    1. Thank you for stopping by Rosemary. I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)

  2. I am in awe at such a beautiful blog. You did such an excellent job and love the theme music. I miss Downton Abbey!!!
    I so much enjoyed myself. It was meant for you to be there with us Heather. Thank you for sharing such a memorable event with us. Once again your blog is so very beautiful. LOVE IT!!!!

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  5. Oh such a lovely Downton Abbey tea party ya'll enjoyed. I miss the show so much. Your recap was wonderful with lovely ladies dressed for tea. Love your dress Heather very nice! You are so thoughtful with words for each guest. A perfect tea party.

  6. Just beautiful, thanks you so much for sharing. I would love to do something like that sometime.
    You looked lovely as did all the ladies and how wonderful of Saliva to gift you with the dress. I have never seen Downton Abby and always thought it was Downton Abby for some reason. I gong to look and see if I can find some tapes for the whole series, all the while praying it is affordable.
    I'm trying to learn about the proper way to give teas. God is directing in the way of hospitality.
    So many ladies around me are so stressed and tired, this would be a day away from all of that. While I could never do anything that fancy, the smiles on all of your faces is inspiring me to do the best that God enables me to do. Thank you so much. And is it alright if I copy the story to put in their goodie bags?
    May God continue to bless you and yours.

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    2. Dear Tonia, I love that you want to prepare a tea for the ladies around you. Long ago, when I first got into tea, I had the idea that propriety and etiquette where mandatory. I remember an early tea where a young lady arrived in blue jeans, and I was internally flustered. How could she? Didn't she understand, etc. etc.? What I naive young girl I was. Over the years God would do a work in my heart, and I would learn, it was not about the clothing, or the food, or the decor. It was about the fellowship, and putting God at the head of the tea table. What joy to pray for one another, to sit together being real, and to make ladies feel special just by inviting them. Yes, I do own tea things and enjoy decorating as I can, but I want ladies to feel comfortable too. It is how my name Blue Jeans And Teacups was born... a little cozy, a little girly, and always Godly. By all means, please do use the teacup story. And let me know from time to time how your teas are going. Another tip, I tend to over-plan, but when it gets down to the wire, something always gets left out. Nobody but you will know that, so that is A-Ok! Give yourself permission to let it go :)
      My daughter and sister have trouble with that one, so I think it's a good tip.
      I would love it if you keep me posted on your teas. The Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you :)

  7. Sounds like you had a lovely time! Thanks for providing the music, it was wonderful to be whisked away to Downton.

  8. How I enjoyed your post! What a wonderful party...and I do so miss the series! Looks like it was just perfect!

  9. Good for you for joining in, and you looked stunning in that dress, just as if it were made for you! Loved seeing all those great photos, especially the panoramic one--wow! Thanks for sharing this lovely event and the inspirational story too!

    1. Well hello there Angela. So happy you could pop in. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you have a lovely day. I feel like the week is officially beginning even though it's Tuesday!
      Hugs to you!

  10. WOW! What a fabulous afternoon tea experience! The Dowager would definitely approve!!!