July 18, 2011

A summer Sunday tea party fundraiser~

I wore my silk seafoam and gold sacque-back gown, made by my friend the lovely and talented April Thomas, with a white, scalloped-lace mantilla kerchief from Spain, at the neck. I made the floral nosegay for the bodice front, as well as my hat. I wore a sheer, netting lace apron with floral motif that I also made myself. My 'pearl cream' leather, tongued court shoes with 'louis heels' and vintage marcasite buckles were a big hit. I styled my own hair as best I could using a rat for height. I wore a white scalloped-lace trimmed pinner cap under my straw hat. My vintage fan, with an 18thc. al fresco picnic scene was a bargain find. Underneath my gown I wore a shift, cream silk 'clocked' stockings, with my French silk and embroidered satin ribbon garters, and silk brocade pocket hoops, as well as my new silk stays. Around my neck I wore the lace choker that I made with English embroidered netting lace, strand pearls, and a bow out of the gown fabric. (I talked about making this, and my hat in earlier posts several months ago). I carried a much-appreciated white Battenberg lace parasol~
 It was a perfect New England summer day in Parsonfield Maine. A society that oversees an historic c.1830 school near us was hosting their annual, elegant tea party to raise funds for the continued preservation of this lovely old building and it's grounds.

We arrived just before one on this glorious, sunny Sunday afternoon. We immediately became the hit of the day, with everyone buzzing, wondering who we were, and asking shyly about our clothing, and could they take our photo? Many guests arrived in lovely modern day dresses, but sporting nice, summery hats as well, just right for the event.

A barbershop quartet serenaded everyone from the gazebo on the expansive green lawns, singing charming old time songs, to the subtle background accompaniment of birds and insect sounds. Flowers were in full bloom, and the academy gleamed white in the brilliant sun. We strolled the grounds bordered by stone walls, as almost with every step, we were approached by  gracious guests with cameras.

After the lawn concert, we all went into the genteel old building for a marvelous English tea. Each room had small tables and chairs dressed to perfection for the occasion, with a different antique cup, saucer, and plate at each seat, along with silver utensils, fancy napkins, and a little net bag of dried lavender tied with bows, as a favor.
Servers brought antique teapots full of Earl Grey tea, and elegant platters of tea finger sandwiches and cakes and treats of all descriptions. A young girl,  looking lovely, in what was obviously her prom dress, came to each table with a silver tray holding crystal bowls of lemon curd, fresh whipped cream, and sugar cubes and lemon slices for us to help ourselves to.

We met, and talked with all the ladies and gentlemen at adjoining tables in our room, as a wonderful harpist played period music throughout the rest of the afternoon.
We had a memorable, and most delightful day...




You can't tell in this photo, but the lovely, triangular lace mantilla neckerchief is scalloped on all sides, and looked beautiful from the back.


 








These lovely and charming ladies talked with us all through the tea~



 


 UPDATE, SUMMER 2012~HERE WE ARE AT THIS SAME EVENT A YEAR LATER. SEE MORE OF OUR PICTURES TAKEN THAT DAY HERE~




6 comments:

  1. You would have fit in perfectly at the Revolutionary Festival in Exeter this past week-end!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow Mary, that sounds like a grandest day indeed. You and Adam look great. The weather couldn't have been more perfect for your day!
    How lovely to have a harpest while you had tea. ;-D
    Blessings and Hugs Linnie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi 'New England Life'~
    We are reenactors, as well as public speakers. Not only have we presented programs for the American Independence Museum, but we normally are at the festival in Exeter every year in costume, but this year, we had other plans for the day! We'll probably be back there next July.
    They all know us there!
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Linnie,
    Thanks so much! It was indeed the perfect day!
    We had so much fun, and the 'tea food' was fabulous!
    Looking forward to chatting~
    Mare

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Mary!
    I love looking at all the photos of your reenactments, your lovely home, and great costumes, etc, etc, etc! I homeschool and incorporate costuming every 9 weeks into our history curriculum. We do mini-history reenactments of whatever era we are studying, complete with costumes, food, music, interpretations, recitations, etc, etc, etc. We moved from Texas (which we loved) to Northern Virginia two years ago and love all the history out here! I've tried getting my kids and I involved in something, especially 18th century, but to no avail. So we visit Colonial Williamsburg as often a possible, average once a month, and have befriended many of the interpreters who have been exceedingly warm and gracious to us. We hope we can move there one day. At least we are in Virginia now!
    Anyway, thought you might like a bit of history on me. ;) I'm glad you enjoyed the Under the Redcoat post. I know what it wa like to live in Texas and yearn to attend all the events at CW and elsewhere. Last summer a few of the Redcoats e-mailed me to thank me, which meant so much. Now I make an extra effort, even with a lame foot that weekend, to get all the photos and words up for everyone to enjoy...those who were reenacting so couldn't see it all, and those who couldn't attend. I try to make the reader feel as if he/she is there.
    My UTR post is labeled under the category "Colonial Williamsburg-Under the Redcoat." I was privileged to also be able to attend in 2009 and 2010. If you click on that category, you can see those pictures and read those adventures too, if interested. Since your unit was there in 2010, I probably have their photos on my blog! If I do, let me know which ones! ;)
    Blessings to you, your husband and your lovely blog!
    Laurie

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Laurie,
    You and I are kindred spirits, no doubt! We do historical presentations for school kids, as well as tours of our period house. I also volunteer, and teach a hearth cooking class to grammar school kids here at home.
    We both have a great love of history, old houses, and antiques too.
    We spent our honeymoon at Colonial Williamsburg in costume the entire time, and were treated like royalty. We long to go back, and hope to someday. It is a long, expensive drive...
    One of our dearest friends lives in Fredericksburg Tx. I have never been there, and she adores New England, and comes to visit us when she can.
    We too love Virginia. It is so nice that you are close enough to visit Williamsburg often. We also very much want to go to Jamestown, as the 17thc. is our great love.
    The next time our reenactment unit takes part in 'Under the Redcoat', we hope to be able to go.

    Thanks again so much for taking the time to comment and for the lovely compliments!
    Kindest regards,
    Mary

    ReplyDelete