It’s June, and that means the lavender will be blooming any day. Time for a lavender tea party!
If you want the truth, the inspiration for this tea party was a gift that got a little out of hand–a silver tea set. This silver tea set to be exact:
It turned up in a classified ad right around Mother’s Day, and, since the price was right, someone had to buy it. The original was heavily tarnished and looked pretty darn vintage, but Cami cleaned it up with a little bit of aluminum foil and baking soda and it was so pretty, we decided we needed to throw an event just to show it off. We decided to throw a tea party despite the fact that none of us happen to be tea drinkers.
But first, we had to make a weekend of it. I gathered all of my daughters who live locally, and we hit every estate sale within 50 miles, just to be sure we didn’t miss any other treasures. And after all, who can pass up a fun afternoon scavenging garage sales and estate sales for cool stuff. Like vintage china. And a walnut cutting board, a copper pot, some crystal goblets that were still in the box and going for a song and…this was getting to be an expensive Mother’s Day gift. But it sure was fun!
And that’s where the lavender came in. If you want to throw a tea party and no one drinks tea, you find a suitable replacement, and the lavender in Grandma Joyce’s garden provided all of the inspiration we needed. Welcome to our lavender lemonade tea party!
It turns out that the only real reason for this party was so that the entire group of us could play around with a themed party just for ourselves. The event planners were also the guests of honor. Who needs guests when you have sisters anyway? If you’ve never fired up the shared board feature on Pinterest, now is your chance. Craft your own themed tea party with a group of your closest friends and family and invite yourselves. Just be sure someone brings a camera along so you can create Pinterest-worthy photos to make other people feel guilty about how they never throw a beautiful party (Does anyone else ever feel like it’s getting harder and harder to measure up to Pinterest Standards?)
The Inspiration – Creativity Thrives with Limits
The major limitation we placed on ourselves as we planned was that somehow, lavender needed to be the major “thematic” element. Choosing that simple motif gave us a framework we could use for the rest of the menu and tablescape.
For fun, we each worked on creating or tweaking a favorite “tea party” recipe that incorporated lavender in some form. Lavender macarons. Lavender Lemonade, Lavender Shortbread Cookies, Grilled apricots with lavender-infused honey and almonds, Gingersnaps with lavender mascarpone filling.
But the baking quickly took a back seat to the big picture. That’s what Group Pinterest Boards were invented for! We tried several different looks just to give you an idea how easy and fun this can be. It can also be reasonably inexpensive (well, except for that estate sale binge). Using found items and decor you already own, you can turn your tea party into something a little bit special. Since we couldn’t decide on one look, we decided to showcase all of them here.
If it happens to be lavender season, a quick trip to the Farmer’s Market will probably be your best bet for culinary lavender. Lavender is easy to grow, so consider adding some to your own herb garden or floral border. It dries easily and smells amazing.
Tablescape Look #1: Vintage China Lavender Tea Party
Tablescape #1 was probably the simplest of all. Our vintage china did most of the work of creating color and interest. We added a parfait made with a lavender-lemon custard, some lavender lemonade with lavender sprigs for garnish, and a few lavender shortbread cookies on Grandma Joyce’s vintage cake stand. Easy peasy.
Tablescape Look #2: White on White
Here’s another “formal” table but with a much more minimalist design. We added a simple crystal vase full of lavender as the centerpiece and flanked it with tarnished silver candlesticks. A couple of white taper candles would turn this into a fun twilight candlelight dinner. Contrasting linen napkins were draped underneath the plates. The table runner was a simple piece of cheesecloth. A clear glass goblet from the dollar store is a simple, elegant addition.
Tablescape Look #3: A Touch of Mint
With just a couple more tweaks, we created another lavender tea party look, this time pairing the lavender color with a little more mint. The cheesecloth table runner was topped with a leaf garland and a tall canister of dried Limonium (Misty Blue) took over as the centerpiece.
Tablescape Look #4: More Minimalist
Here’s proof that a simple set of white dishes can still look elegant, and the simplicity is part of the magic. Elevate the centerpiece with a couple of tree rounds, and keep everything else simple. Lavender sprigs in the tall lemonade glasses are not merely a garnish. The lemonade is infused with lavender, giving it a totally unique flavor that is just amazingly refreshing. Lemons in the soup bowls provided a much-needed pop of color.
So, after a week of Estate Sale Scavenging, Pinterest Pinning, rummaging through the cupboards for dishes and flatware and stemware and more, was the tea party a success? Yes. Yes it was. We sat down and ate all of the evidence as soon as the sun dipped too low for more photos. Twilight in Grandma Joyce’s garden is just about the very best time of day. And while you may not be able to duplicate the garden setting (there are few gardens that equal Joyce’s), you can create your own fun lavender tea party any time you wish. All you need is a good tea set. And a warm June evening. Having a few adult daughters who never grew out of throwing tea parties is always a fortunate bonus.
Your lavender tea party is going to be amazing! If you don’t have time to plan yours before lavender season ends, lavender is easy to dry and preserve for future use. Here’s how: