Monday, January 15, 2018

A family reunion tea at Callaway Gardens

For several years now, Alex and his cousins (and spouses!) have been meeting at Callaway Gardens for a reunion. This year we stayed at the Lodge and Spa, which was a wonderful way to spend a chilly January weekend!

I stepped out onto our balcony just long enough to snap a photo, and that was plenty of time in the cold weather for me!

Even in January, there is lots of beauty at Callaway Gardens!

And one of the most fun things about this year's reunion at Callaway was that I was among the family members who had agreed we wanted to provide a *tea* for everyone upon arrival. Two of the cousins rented one of the cottages so that we could all congregate in a homelike atmosphere when we weren't in our individual rooms. One cousin brought all the china and treats for the children, another made some treasured family pound cake recipes and decorated with her prize-winning camellias, and I brought the teas (a caramel rooibos, an Earl Grey, and a plain black tea) and finger sandwiches. It worked out beautifully, and we've already decided to do this again next year!

Aren't these ruffled camellias gorgeous?

Here's my sister-in-law, Marilyn, and her grandson, Angus, who is eagerly awaiting the arrival of his young cousins.

This is the McRae family plaid (and the sterling flatware that one cousin brought for the tea, a nice touch!).

This pound cake was delicious, and it was served with a lemon curd sauce that was just amazing. I got the recipe and plan to try it myself!

I realized I had made too many sandwiches and ended up squeezing them onto the servers, but everyone seemed to enjoy the chicken salad mini croissants, cucumber cream sandwiches on teapot-shaped bread, and pimiento cheese ribbon sandwiches. I was happy to see even the men eating these with gusto!

Oh, and I also decided to make my friend Sandy's brown sugar shortbread, which was a big hit. Everywhere I take it, people rave over this! (Recipe here.)

And the rest of the pictures of the grown-ups are on other people's cameras or iPhones, but I was happy I managed to capture one of young cousins Sophie, at back, and KK and Angus. All three of them drank tea, and it turns out that Sophie and KK are big tea lovers all the time. In fact, I'm told that KK, who I believe is four, is like "a little old lady" who wakes up each morning and pads around in her old bathrobe and bunny slippers, holding out her teacup as she awaits her morning tea. And at gatherings with other kids, while they're getting soft drinks, she's off by herself and preparing her own cup of tea. Don't you love that! It was such a great weekend, and if we didn't all live so far apart—Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Connecticut—I'm sure we'd do it much more often!


  1. What a fun idea to have a tea at the reunion! Callaway is indeed beautiful,even in the winter, and any time family members can gather together is very special.

  2. How perfectly wonderful and also bringing tea education to the family in a lovely setting! Amazing and great photos of the day!

  3. A wonderful welcome for your reunion! Thank you for the photos, everything looks so inviting and yummy. The cookie recipe looks easy enough for even me!

  4. What a lovely family reunion! All the food looks so yummy. The sandwiches sound interesting and I know the brown sugar cookies are great. I made the recipe when you first posted it. Cold weather is perfect for tea time.

  5. That's such a lovely afternoon tea that you all fixed for the family! I'm glad your reunion wasn't prevented by the winter weather. Callaway Gardens is definitely on the must-visit list for me and my three sisters now!
    --from Vernona in DC

  6. What a wonderful family tea time. Not sure I could get my family to do something like this. Everything looked just lovely. Glad it was a success.

  7. Looks like a fun time. Thanks for bringing us along. 🙂

  8. Looks delicious - beautiful setting too!

  9. What a lovely family tea. The food table was beautifully set and the food looked delicious!

  10. How perfect to arrange a tea time for family members to gather around. Looks delicious!


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