Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet. We are delighted that you are here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Afternoon Tea, For Martha and Me!

My blogging friend Martha lives in Kansas,
in a gracious house named Linderhof.
(That Old House is quite jealous that Linderhof 
has a real name, not a nickname that is pretty much
the equivalent of "Hey, you!")

Anyway, Martha is serving tea today at Linderhof, using her Johnson Brothers Indies Blue china.  (Click on "Linderhof" to visit.) I have Indies Blue china, too.  Martha and I call it "our" china.  It was named one of the 100 most beautiful china patterns of the 20th century, but I can't remember which organization chose it.  But whomever did, I agree.  And so does Martha.  

Martha doesn't know it, but she and I are having tea this afternoon in the parlor at That Old House,

while the winds outside batter the old cedar clapboards, shake the shutters loose,
and rip brown leaves from the trees.
New Jersey is under a tornado watch until this evening.
But Martha is from Kansas.  I don't think a New Jersey tornado is going to scare her!

Two cozy wing chairs and an old round tea table that belonged to my great-aunt Margaret, and we begin . . . .

One of its feet is a bit damaged, but after a hundred years or more I think that's acceptable.
I tossed on an antique topper in filet lace; the surface of this old tea table shows every year of its age.

If I had a pretty tea tray, I'd pop that on the table.
But I don't, so I won't.

Instead, it's just the stuff for tea.

I don't have the pretty Indies Blue tea pot that Martha got in England,
but I do have a sweet flow blue tea pot, a gift from someone, and I'll use that.

My dilemma?  Brew Earl Grey, Martha's favorite, and suffer through it myself,
or just go with a good strong Ceylon, my fave, and make believe
I don't know that Earl Grey is Martha's brew.

No, can't do that.  I'll make my brew in the flow blue, and  Martha's in this delicate Asian-inspired pot:

I know Martha likes shortbread -- another of our mutual loves.
I'm gilding the lily and serving it coated in chocolate, in a tiny Limoges dish on an Indies plate.

Also on the plate -- the cake I made this weekend for my Dad.
My Grandma Cake.  It's getting a little crunchy around the edges, but I like it that way.

Milk and sugar?  Yes, please.
I'll stir it in with the 1920-era Ambassador silverplate spoons.

Because it's such a gloomy gray afternoon, I'm adding a candle to trouble the darkness.

I think Martha and I would have lots to chat about over tea,
or coffee, or dinner, or Harvey Wallbangers (do they still make them?) . . .
as I know I'd have lots to chat about with so many of you.

You could bring your favorite doll; I couldn't resist this tiny tea set from Williamsburg for the table:

So, take a cup, and I'll be Mother and pour.

We are never too old to play.

Tuesday is the day that tea parties blanket the bloggy world!
Join in -- check out the wonderful blogs below, and their tea time or tabletop link parties.
Marty hosts Tabletop Tuesday.  Click here!

The Plumed Pen and A Breath Of Fresh Air host Tuesday Tea For Two and Teapots And Tea Things.  Click here!

 It's Tea Time Tuesday with Katherine, at Lady Katherine's Tea Parlor.  Click here!

 Martha of Martha's Favorites is our hostess for Tea Cup Tuesday.
And she shows a "Father" cup that I have the "Mother" mate for!   Click here!
 Martha and Terri of Artful Affirmations share the hosting duties for this fun meme.  Click here!

 At Rose Chintz Cottage, it's Tea Time Tuesday.  Click here!

Whew!  That's a lot of visiting!
Good thing I'm inside today because of a tornado watch.

Who are you hosting for tea today?  -- Cass



  1. Oooh, I LOVE Martha! Can I send scones? She loves scones!
    xoxo Pattie

  2. Oh I love this setting and all of the beautiful pieces of the tea set. I would love some scones and tea. Fabulous. Hugs, Marty

  3. I agree with you and Martha and who ever voted this china 100 most beautiful of 20th century. ;-)

    I would love to sit and enjoy a cup of tea in the "Old House". I'll have one of those chocolate delights. Thanks for having me, Cass. ~ Sarah

  4. A lovely tea time, I must say!! Loved all your beautiful blue wear. I have always loved it....
    the color is so rich looking. Your tea table was
    delightful and I am sure Martha would enjoy it very very much.
    blessings, Nellie

  5. Beautiful china, beautiful tea setting and yummy food. I must admit to loving Earl Grey also!

  6. Hi Cass,
    I love the Indies Blue pattern too and I agree it is one of the prettiest. Although I don't have any pieces of it, I have always admired it. That cake looks good and I love shortbread too; chocolate covered? Even better. The child's tea set is adorable and love the antique silver! A simply charming tea, my dear! Thanks for sharing.


  7. what a lovely post!
    Meeting you has been a pleasure

  8. Cass -- what a sweet post and I did have a lovely time at tea. I so appreciated the Earl Grey (I've just been to the store to stock up on Ceylon!)

    Can you believe that I PASSED UP the biggest size teapot in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a mere $50? It is one of those things that I knew I should have but had bought some other stuff and didn't think I should. It's haunting me to this day!!!!

    I'll have to invite you for tea at Lnderhof soon -- in early fall, you're safe from tornadoes on the prairie.

    BTW, Oliver says "hi" to Dion -- he insisted on going out and leaving Dion "mail"!

  9. What a clever,imaginative, and cute post. Martha, being a long time friend, I would LOVE to join y'all for tea too. Both of you have some of the most beautiful and elegant china.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  10. Oh, I enjoyed this beautiful tea very much, Cass. Now, gotta go visit Martha..:)

  11. What pretty blue and white dishes and I like my cake to get crunchy edges, too. That's the best.

  12. I love your table top is warm, lovely...welcoming :) PLUS chocolate-covered shortbread...what more could one want?

  13. So pretty and all in my favorite blue & white!

  14. Oh Cassie, you are my JoY! Too cute for words. But what is tea tray??? I am shocked.
    **kisses** Deb

  15. Such a special tea setting. I can see why you and Martha both love it! Blue and white is classic!! Lovely treats to go with the tea, too.
    You are always welcome to share tea with us.
    Blessings, Pam

  16. So inviting and that child's tea-set is so pretty. The shortbread looks scrumptious and I think I could taste the cake,mmmmmmmmmmm.
    Lovely way to spend an afternoon. Hugs, Deb

  17. Oh, this is too funny, Cass!! I love the part about New Jersey tornadoes!!

    All of your china is beautiful and the yummies look...well, yummy!


  18. Oh, I do love Martha's blog from Linderhof! Her and your tea today are both lovely!

  19. Total coziness! And a rainy day is perfect for tea. I'm glad you made earl grey. I will have to suggest my sister has a look. She has the same indies china and I have the same chairs. Looks like home.

  20. Tea looks wonderful, would love to try your Dad's cake. Thank you and have a wonderful day.

  21. Just love the lace on the beautiful table between the wing chairs! Oh, the china is so pretty. I adore how you have the two plates together with the goodies. What a lovely Tea for you both!
    I can't say if the buttermilk taste is like commercial buttermilk, for I do not like buttermilk at all. Just in my baking. lol Thanks for joining me for Tea Time

  22. Hi: What a lovely table! Everything looks wonderful. I especially love the blue china. Thank you for sharing with us. Blessings, Martha

  23. Cass, I love your Indies Blue! The blue/white combination has always been a favorite colorway of mine. How fun that you set things up for Martha and yourself! It's still okay to play house and have tea. *grin*
    Oh, and that miniature tea set is adorable, too.
    ~ Sue

  24. What a treat - I love the parties in Blogworld - especially tea parties. I imagine this one was full of laughter and happy conversation. The Grandma cake, crunchy at the edges, is how I like it to, as I've been making it since first finding it on your blog.

  25. I enjoyed visiting your blog. I came by way of Pondside. The tea for Martha and Tea for one are so warm and cozy, I wish I wasn't drinking my sitting at the computer. My mother collected blue and white dishes. Yours are beautiful.


Thank you for visiting That Old House; it's always exciting to find new comments -- they are treasured! Because of increasing spam, I have reluctantly eliminated "Anonymous" commenting. Legitimate anonymous commenters, please forgive me! You might try using "Open ID" instead. Blogger's spam software worked for a good long time, but, sadly, no longer.