There are people in the world who have the gift of hospitality, and my friend Holly is one of them. She’s been entertaining for years; teachers, neighbors, missionaries, anyone who looks like they need a little spoiling. When Holly says she’s having a tea party, I’d postpone heart surgery to go.
Holly and her daughter, Heather, put together a tea party the other day and invited me, my daughter Shannon and granddaughter Andrea to join them and out-of-town guests, Amy and Tom who had come to California so their seven-year-old daughter, Mia, could have brain surgery at Stanford. One might expect a solemn afternoon. Far from it. We prayed, talked, laughed, ate like wildebeests and prayed some more. The conversation was as rich and sweet as the food.
I’ve had scones in Scotland, England and Ireland. Holly’s are the best! She made several kinds for this tea party, and we were all poised to pounce. I had two, and dipped into her homemade clotted cream, lemon curd and jams! Oh, my. I could make an entire meal of Holly’s scones, but have learned that other courses are coming and one would be wise (and well rewarded!) to save room for chile relleno casserole, petite quiches, salads with candied nuts, deviled eggs, or whatever else she’s serving. And then there is desert! She brought out a beautiful honey and almond cake this last time, along with meringue tear drops drizzled with cream and raspberry sauce, and rich chocolate brownies.
The food is always scrumptious, but so is the setting. Holly loves to collect beautiful dishes. Rather than let them collect dust in a cabinet, she uses them! It’s always a surprise and treat to see which special china she’s going to have on the table, and what kind of centerpiece. Even the napkins are special! At Holly’s tea, each guest had two, one green and folded like a leaf beneath another in pink, rolled and tucked to look like a rosebud. Blot my lips on art? I used the leaf, but left the rosebud untouched. Those two napkins complimented the lovely Prince Albert dishes and Waterford plates a friend had given her. Everything from table to food served was gorgeous.
Replete (stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey!), I rolled out the door, down the hill and into my car where I sat and gave thanks to a loving God who gave me a friend who loves to have tea parties. And now, here I am sitting at my computer days later, still feeling content and enjoying the memories of a wonderful afternoon.