Monday, August 25, 2014

"Summer Tea on the Porch" in Senoia

If an organization has ever hosted a fancier tea than the one I had the privilege of attending Saturday afternoon, I’d like to hear about it! Members of the Senoia Area Historical Society absolutely outdid themselves with their “Summer Tea on the Porch” event, and oh, I wish you all could have been there.

Actually, one of you was! As soon as I pulled up, I noticed the lady parked in the car in front of me was wearing a pretty hat, and when she got out I saw that it was my friend Cynda Pierce, whom I got to know through this tea blog. We now run into each other all over the place — church, the Chamber, a summer Bible Study — so I just smiled when I saw Cynda was going to be at the tea. (Yay!) Here is Cynda, at left, with my friend Nancy Roy, who is a longtime member of Senoia’s historical society. Nancy is very dear to me because she took me under her wing when I was a young reporter fresh out of college and covering Senoia's historical society. We've been friends ever since!

The hosts for the tea were Dub and Mary Pearman, whose beautiful old home is on Pylant Street in Senoia. Doesn’t it put a spring in your step when you get out of the car and see a pretty tent set up near the porch? That was my first clue this tea was really going to be something quite special! (And for all you zombie fans, their home was featured in episodes 9 and 11 of “The Walking Dead” last season. So there. You have a friend who has been to tea in Zombieland.)

When guests started arriving, I was so happy to see the nice ladies from Peachtree City that I met when I spoke to the historical society earlier this month. Here are Gloria Downing, who is originally from England, center, with her friend Carol Allessio, at left, and daughter Cheryl Bains, at right. It was fun to run into them again!

Nothing says summer quite like a row of wicker chairs all lined up, yet another touch that made everything look so welcoming and inviting. I must admit I was rather surprised to realize this would not be a buffet tea as I had assumed but an individually plated tea. For 40 people? On a porch? How on earth would they pull this off?

The tables were elegantly decorated with fabric cloths and napkins, silver and china, glassware, fresh flower arrangements and delightful favors.

Maybe they were just faking it really well, but everything looked perfectly serene and calm when I got there 30 minutes early to get my instructions for judging the hat contest. I had plenty of time to wander around and snap some shots of the pretty teawares on the tables, like this teapot!

The table favors were quite impressive. Someone(s?) went to the trouble to make these handcrafted paper fans, which were a) gorgeous and b) useful! There were electric fans all over the porch (which actually made it comfortable for August in Georgia, no small miracle!), but if anyone needed the individual fan, it was available. I never actually needed mine, but it was so pretty I definitely enjoyed having it to take home!

And this was another great idea: they printed the menu on handmade bookmarks! So I didn’t have to ask, “Now what kind of tea sandwich is this?” as I normally do, and I also have a fun memento of the day.

My other memento of the day is probably the five pounds I must have gained eating the scrumptious food! I haven’t had a Cucumber Sandwich in a while, so it tasted extra good to me, but so did the Chicken Salad en Croute (in pastry), the Pimento Cheese Sandwich, the Cheese Buttons, and oh my, that Scone was good! They served them with the jam and cream on them, and they were cooked perfectly and not one bit soggy. We had lots of iced water and an Iced Peach Tea that I loved. (Again, how they managed to pull this off for a crowd remains a mystery to me unless Mrs. Patmore and Daisy were back in the kitchen slaving away.)

And the sweets? Oh. My. Goodness. This Peach Crumble is one of the best sweets I've had in a long time. It was like a custard/trifle with peaches and sugared pecans, and absolutely perfect (and elegant) for a southern teatime. The Lemon Square was terrific in texture and taste, and I also enjoyed the Strawberry with Cream and the Chocolate Truffle. And it’s hidden at back in the picture here, but behind that delicious Peach Crumble was …

The tastiest, prettiest Petit Four I’ve ever had! The cake was delicious, the filling was creamy, and as you can see, it was beautifully decorated. And a historical society member made these! Can you believe that? If it sounds like I’m gushing, well, I am. And because I’ve carried on so today, I guess I need to wait until tomorrow to share more photos and tell you who won the hat contest. You are going to *love* the unique twist to the winner’s hat … and I'll bet some of you will want to copy the winner's idea for yourself!


  1. Oh, wow! I wish I had been there, too! What a beautiful setting for an elegant tea. I love the bookmark menu idea, and all the food looks so delicious. I'm looking forward to seeing the hat contest pictures.

  2. Everything is so gorgeous and elegant!!! I want to know more about that peach and sugar pecan custard/trifle. Have an event coming up this weekend - that dish would be great to take.

  3. Looks like tea heaven to me...gorgeous setting, delightful friends and companions and a yummy menu! What more could one ask for!

  4. Lovely! The menu sounds like a perfect southern tea to me!

  5. It does look just perfectly beautiful to me too! I would love to make some of those fans.

  6. It was surprisingly comfortable out there Saturday, and even though it was a bunch of little food, I don't think anyone could have left feeling hungry.

  7. I think I may just have to move to Georgia to be closer to such exquisite tea ladies! Summer porch tea party looks like so much fun - even before I see the hat part of the tea party! Just gorgeous!

  8. It is a beautiful tea time on the porch. How very special. I am going to remember the bookmark idea with the menu. Great idea! The food and ambiance was true Southern style.

  9. How pretty! It looks like it was a lot of fun! Wish there was a Tea Room near me in Loganville! :)

  10. We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon. It was a pleasure and honor to host this event. I have no doubt that the Senoia Area Historical Society will be hosting afternoon tea in the future. My heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers for contributing their talent and hard work. Especially you Nancy Roy.

  11. What a lovely tea. Can't wait to see the winner tomorrow

  12. Angela, this looks absolutely lovely! Great photos and text - I feel like I was 'right there, on the porch.' Thank you so much for sharing, Joanie


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