Monday, July 27, 2009

Bright ideas for ... tea parties!

Recently there was a 1905 book I was interested in on eBay. The bidding soon went to $23, which I wasn't willing to pay, so I never even got in the game on that one. To my delight, however, the same book was available on amazon.com for $3.99, and although it's not in the best shape, I wanted this book primarily for the information it contains. The book is "Bright Ideas for Entertaining" by Mrs. Herbert B. Linscott, and it offers "two hundred forms of amusement or entertainment for social gatherings of all kinds: large or small parties, clubs, sociables, church entertainments, etc., with special suggestions for birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Hallowe'en, All Fools' Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and other holidays."

Several of the parties are specifically designated as tea parties, although I think most of these could probably be adapted to a tea party format. The ones specifically named as tea parties include:

-- Children's Sweet Pea Tea, a flower-themed tea party for children.

-- Conundrum Tea, where food descriptions are written as riddles.

-- Spinster Tea, for girls who "wish to have an evening all to themselves" and where the activities include a time where "each spinster in turn may exhibit the picture of her wooer, and relate her story." (If I'd had to do that during *my* spinster days, I think I'd have slit my wrists.)

-- And the one I thought sounded most fun, a George and Martha Tea. To wit:

"The walls should be hung with red, white and blue bunting, relieved at regular intervals with shields and small hatchets made of flowers in the national colors. Have George and Martha receive the guests, and there may be also a number of men and women attired in colonial costumes to introduce strangers and see that all have a good time. Behind a bower of foliage an orchestra might play the national airs, and as the object of the evening should be to promote sociability, it would be well to have a number of interesting games in which all can join."

(Note to self: Book orchestra *now* before everyone else does.)

There are several Bible-themed parties in the book which I think would actually be useful for ladies' luncheons, and when I read about the Box Party idea, where box lunches for two are auctioned off, I wondered why that couldn't be done with tea party foods. Wouldn't you *love* to receive a pretty box (hat box, fabric covered box, etc.) filled with tea sandwiches and maybe even a cup and saucer? It wouldn't even have to be an auction if you rounded up enough ladies who wanted to do this just for fun. Hmmm ... something to think about!

10 comments:

Melanie said...

As a teenager reading historical fiction, I ALWAYS wanted to go to a box party! If you end up doing it with tea - please invite me!

parTea lady said...

This sounds like a very entertaining book with lots of great party theme ideas.

I've been to several boxed lunch parties and they are really fun. People manage to find the most unique containers to pack their lunch in.

Your idea for a tea theme boxed lunch party is great.

comfrey cottages said...

angela, this book looks wonderful! oh i would love to participate in the box tea! wish i lived closer:)
thought to share with you another books site i found, borders marketplace. this book starts at $2.21 there. another source for finding cheap books!
http://usedmarketplace.borders.com/booksearch?binding=&mtype=&keyword=bright+ideas+for+entertaining&hs.x=14&hs.y=13

Linda J. said...

What a fun vintage book!

Ginger said...

What fun little book!

Gerri said...

The conundrum tea has me fascinated. Are there examples of of food written as riddles? I would love to hear them!
Also, at a box luncheon, does everyone then sit down and eat together?
Such interesting stuff!

Southern Touch Catering said...

Angela, You DO come up with the best blogs to read and the most fasinating books ever! I wish I had more time to browse for stuff like this and then time to read them!!! I can't even get to my blog everyday anymore!! But thanks for the great reads here.

Marilyn said...

A box teaparty would be fun! Great idea. Love the sound of the book.

Mary said...

Hi Angela, first time visiting your blog, but I know it will be a great one about all things tea! Love the little book!

Gwendol Bowling said...

Gosh! Was it "Anne of Green Gables" that did the box auction for young suitors? Some other work of literature? Would this not be a charming comeuppance to this new "internet dating" virus which seems to be going around? I would support this "blast from the past" right on the town square, and all the kids could saunter to the new park and enjoy their box meals and tea...with Angela McRae as a suitable chaperone! Seconds, anyone????