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A Literary Tea

I don’t think I ever sit to read without a cup of tea! Many fine authors and poets did too. One of my favourite tea quotes is C. S. Lewis’ “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


Ralph Waldo Emerson found that "There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.”

I wouldn’t call myself an avid reader, but perhaps an ‘at-my-leisure’ reader. I hope to make reading a habit and part of my daily routine…someday. For now, I enjoy a good read when I feel I can afford the time. I have dabbled quite a bit in writing for children. These little stories wait in my journal to be edited and reproduced for my granddaughters.

My most favourite story that I must have read 10 times as a child was A Little Princess by F.H. Burnett. I haven’t been able to make a connection on the family tree yet, but I'm working on it! I found my copy while exploring my grandmother’s cousin’s attic in Albany, NY!

A Little Princess

As I was thinking about Tea and Literature, I looked back at many literary-themed teas I catered. Sometimes I invited a local author to share his or her experience in getting a book published. Other times, I researched the era to come up with an appealing menu. I was lucky to find readers and actors to help make tea time memorable. These teas happened in heritage homes, museums and in my own backyard. For those of you interested in hosting your own literary tea, I have shared some of my menu plans from past Literary Teas below:

 Tea with Emily and Jane

Jane Austen imageEmily-Dickinson

(a combination from 2 Emily Dickinson teas and a Jane Austen party). They never knew each other and lived a continent and years apart.

Chutney Chicken Tea Sandwiches

Garden Ribbons

Minced Ham & Honey Butter

Cheese and Ginger Marmalade Pastries

Maple Pecan Scones with Devonshire Cream

 Lavender Shortbread

Regency Pound Cake

Emily’s Favourite Black Cake (there are many recipes to be found)

 Fresh Berries

 Black Currant Tea

Peter Rabbit Tea Party

20140702_115619 Tuna Toasties & Parsley

Peter’s Peanut Butter and Carrot Ribbons

Cotton-tail’s Country Scones with Jam

Mopsy’s Cheese Munchies

Mrs. Rabbits Cake

Flopsy’s Flower Cookies

 Fruit and Veggies

Camomile Tea & Lemonade

 Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

"It's the stupidest tea-party I ever was at in all my life!"

I love to learn the details and stories behind phrases and words. Did you know that psychiatrist Dr. Wm. Tuke in the 18th century had tea party therapy for his insane patients? Many hat makers went mad from the highly toxic fumes from the solvents they used. Likely Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was inspired by this information.

Speaking of having a Mad Hatter's Tea Party, there is one happening right here in Charlottetown on July 11th at the Prince Edward Island Farm Centre's Legacy Garden! The tea party will feature fresh picked strawberries from Penny's Farm and Garden with Cow's ice-cream, WI shortcake, Purity Dairy chocolate milk, Caledonia House gourmet roasted coffees and Lady Baker's Teas, as well as live music, games and more! For full details on this fun event click here.

March Hare’s Maple Scones with Mock Devonshire Cream

Dormouse's Cheese Treats

Alice’s Cranberry Tea Bread

 Queen of Hearts Lemon Tarts

Hatter’s Chocolate Drops

Wonderland Daisies

Strawberry Bonnets

English Breakfast Tea

 Tea & Poetry

Share a favourite poem while taking tea with your friends! This is one of my favourites because it invites participation. Choose a theme, and ask everyone who comes to bring a well-loved poem to share!

Apricot Scones With Lemon Curd

Southern Date Bread

Chicken Salad Croissants

Asparagus Hors d’oeuvres

Cucumber & Dill Cream Cheese

 Dunk-me Biscotti

Old-fashioned Gingersnaps

Strawberry Tarts


English Breakfast & Lady's Slipper Blend Teas

Tea and LiteratureI celebrate literature and tea times with readings from L.M. Montgomery, Rudyard Kipling, T. S Eliot and many other authors and poets. What are some of your favourite works of literature to savour while you sip a cup of tea?

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