Time Travel and a Garden Party

Preparing for the Caber Toss at the Virginia Scottish Games
Preparing for the Caber Toss at the Virginia Scottish Games

Time travel is possible, or at least the feeling of time travel.This weekend I went to the Virginia Scottish Games. If you have never been to a Scottish Games, make the effort. Lots of men in kilts throwing heavy objects, an abundance of deep-fried anything, endless variations of meat and pastry, Celtic kitsch, and some of the best people-watching out there make it all worth it.

In my wanderings, I stumbled across a camp portraying two sides of life in 1883. The two tents side by side showed a husband and wife separated by miles and continents. An elegant tent draped with red silk opened to reveal an oriental carpet and table laid out for tea. A woman with an even more elegant green gown, bustled in the back, smiled at visitors.

The adjacent tent showed a somewhat different scene: a British soldier of the era, in uniform complete with pith helmet. Maureen, the lovely lady in green, explained to me that they portrayed home and campaign. The elegant tent showed what an afternoon tea garden party might be like, while the other tent showed campaign life in Egypt.

At one time, Maureen served tea to visitors but found that the effort was a bit overwhelming when she was on her own for preparation and serving. If you would like to reproduce the genteel garden party yourself, here are a few suggestions:

  • Never underestimate the power of a white tablecloth to provide a touch of elegance.
  • Use the nicest china you have.
  • Artistically draped fabric improves any scene. No sewing involved!
  • Wear pretty clothes.
  • Use your nice manners.
  • And of course, serve the best tea that you can afford.

Don’t forget the scones!

Make sure to stop by Stephanie’s blog, The Tea Scoop!

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

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