Thanksgiving Tea Table for Ten
The task: decorate and host a ladies tea table for a luncheon. The goal: a simple and elegant, non-traditional Thanksgiving setting. The plan: avoid the cliché, while still honoring the tradition. The how: eschew pumpkins and turkeys and opt for an understated centerpiece of sheaves of wheat with dried baby's breath (for a hint at the harvest) in a ceramic vase (for a refined rustic effect).
The details: a feminine place setting of ivory dinner plates, saucers and footed teacups with a delicate floral pattern and scalloped-edges trimmed in gold. Creamer and covered sugar bowl (filled with sugar cubes) of the same pattern also used.
The linens: hemstitched ecru dinner napkins with an interesting fold and an unlined natural-colored linen tablecloth used as a contrasting overlay atop a full-sized white tablecloth.
The guests: a neatly written place-card on the saucer and thoughtful gifts, uniquely wrapped, for them to take. Gift-wrapping paper seemed too impersonal for this intimate table-setting, so I used lace fabric and mini-paper roses to soften the gift boxes.
The tea: two medium-sized teapots filled with boiling-hot water and kept warm with Toile de Jouy tea cozies. An assortment of Earl Gray, English Breakfast, Assam, Green Jasmine, Lemon & Orange, Chamomile and Peppermint tea bags.
The finishing touch: polished silver, yes a little patina is beautiful, but if your silver has a brown cast instead of a blue one, it's time to polish it up. Finally, think of how you will look at your table. In the case of my mostly neutral table, with sprinkles of blue, I decided to be the pop of color. Happy Thanksgiving! - tm