I am SO excited! Amy, one of my best friends from high school, is coming to visit!
It is her very first time to my home and I have been “day dreaming” of the wonderful things I can do to make her visit special. First, we must have tea! Next, we must watch one of our favorite English movies.
In high school, we loved watching movies based in England. We recorded “The Lady & the Highwayman” on VHS from TV (yes, it was the 80s) and watched it over and over - we could practically say all the lines. My favorite line was from Lady Panthea right before the romantic embrace “Oh Lucius, I do love you”. Guess who played Lucius, the gallant man in the leading role - a young and handsome Hugh Grant before he hit it big. I loved the wonderfully lavish gowns the ladies wore, too. Luckily, I have the movie on DVD now, although the video quality is not very good - just like our 80’s recording - so we are ready-to-go!
I also have some of our favorite Jane Austen movies, “Sense & Sensibility” (Hugh Grant is in this too) and “Emma”. I have the latest “Pride & Prejudice”, but we can’t watch that. Why? Because years ago, when the movie was first released, Amy, called me up and said she couldn’t get lost in the romance because the actor who played Mr. Darcy looked just like MY HUSBAND and that was just TOO WEIRD! I had to laugh, because even I had noticed some similarities when I watched the movie. Apparently, I have MY OWN Mr. Darcy! She’s not the only one, a couple other friends have mentioned that too! Just for laughs, I’ve included pictures of MY Mr. Darcy and Matthew Macfadyen, the actor who played Mr. Darcy in “Pride & Prejudice”. Don’t you think there is a resemblance? I think it is the lips and chin…
Of course, I always knew my handsome husband played a leading role in our love story. :) My sweet husband is always supportive of my enthusiasm for anything tea or English related, however, he has “drawn the line” on putting on a top hat and an English gentlemen’s dress so I could get a picture. One day, I dream of us to going to the annual “Jane Austen Society” ball held in the United States where one dresses the part in fine Regency fashion. I’ll get a picture then! :)
Back to Amy’s visit. I’ve got the entertainment lined up, now I need to plan a tea party. What can I use as the perfect tea setting? I’ve got the dining room table, which is fine for the morning, but it doesn’t have the charm I am dreaming of for afternoon tea…so, confession time, I splurged and bought an inexpensive, yet pretty white bistro set online to set out in the garden. With 2 lovely chairs and a dainty white table, it should be the perfect setting for Amy and I to take tea! It just came yesterday and looks so charming in the garden! It is made of resin - not wood - so no maintenance and it came pre-assembled so all I had to do was take it out of the box and set it up (a HUGE plus)! I can use it when my sister comes for a visit… and it will be a perfect setting during photo shoots to launch new teacups and teapots on the website. Can you tell I spent some time “justifying” my purchase? Of course, making a dear friends long-awaited visit special needs no justification! Here's a picture, doesn't it just say "join me for tea"?
Amy cannot have gluten, which is perfect because I can’t either! So, a gluten free tea party menu is in the works. I will make tea sandwiches with gluten free bread. I have never made scones that are gluten free. My sister, Robyn, uses the King Arthur Gluten Free Scone Mix and recommends it. If anyone has a delicious gluten free scone recipe, PLEASE let me know!
I got out my copy of “Babycakes NYC” which was published several years ago by Erin McKenna. It is filled with delicious gluten free, vegan recipes. The Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Toastie in there is delicious so I might whip one of those up. I’ve also wanted to try the Lemon Poppyseed Tea Cake so this would be a perfect “excuse” to make it. I’ll be sure to post the menu and pictures when she comes.
Until then, I will work on something dreadful….cleaning the house!
If you wondered about any of the videos or cookbooks I mentioned, here are affiliate links for your convenience. You never know when a friend might come for a visit! :)