Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tea With the Parlor Maid

Downton Abbey style.  Setting the scene... our menu included pictures of the family on the balcony and also of the wait staff outside the manor.  Tucked in between the courses of the menu were quotes that were used during some of the episodes, and each one was attributed to the character that spoke the line.  For example, "Tea is in the library when you're ready to come down", Cora, the Countess of Grantham.  One of my favorite lines, "Anyone who has limbs can make a salmon mousse." was Mrs. Patmore.  She also said "Use an alarm clock to remind you when to put things in the oven and when to take them out."
Our parlor maids were all decked out in fashionable garb of the era.  Using the Butterick 'History' pattern B5509, the aprons were stitched during the long cold winter month of January. The pattern features five designs in three sizes.  I made two of the designs, and then using some of the material fashioned little head pieces to accompany the aprons.  For my niece, I took a headband, stitched a 'sleeve' in the material, attached matching lace, and slid the headband through it.  Adding a little dart in the back of the head piece fashioned it to look more like a hat.  Using the headband helped keep it in place.

We used antique pedestaled pressed glass goblets for water and matching aperitif glasses for the effervescing cherry shrub.  Silver teapots, trays, and milk jugs were all pressed into service to help create the atmosphere for the day.


relevanttealeaf said...

What a fabulous tea that would have been to attend! Thanks for sharing highlights on your blog.

Martha said...

What fun! I did two Downton Abbey teas (only we called them "Downtown Abbey") cooking classes as I can't do an English accent and so I was an American that was the head cook at "Downtown Abbey"! Loved the idea of the quotes and the pics on the menu. We will probably do another when the series starts again and I'll "steal" some of those ideas!

Thanks --


Karen's Place said...

Ohhh I wish I lived closer to you all. Would just love this! Very nice and crisp parlor maid uniforms.

La Tea Dah said...


I always appreciate your attention to detail. The aprons are beautiful and using a headband to create a maid's cap so that it will stay in place was so inventive.

I would have loved to attend this tea. I'm so glad you are sharing with us, your readers in blogland. It is always a pleasure to visit here.

Gracious Hospitality

Bernideen said...

This reminds me of Anna's apron in Downton Abbey! Very sweet!

Marilyn said...

Oh I do wish I could have been there for this one. It sounds just wonderful. What attention to detail making special outfits for the parlor maids too. Love it!

Angela McRae said...

Ohhhhh, I wish I could have been there! The details you put into your themed teas just amaze me!