Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Tea and Consorting with Friends on a Thursday"

Last Thursday, my good Friend Marsha invited me and another friend over for Tea. I knew it would be a grand thing from the moment I hung up the phone because Marsha used to own the premier Tea Room in our area and she never does anything "half way."

Many us loved to go to "The Hope Chest" as it was appropriately named, not only for the High Teas that she served...but also for the occasional opportunity to "get away from it all....."

At The Hope Chest you were able to find a spot of quiet where you could not only relax from the craziness going on just beyond the doors, but you could also enjoy her lovely "Cream Tea" that she served daily. It was a "self treat" that I miss to this day.Sadly, she needed to close her beloved Tea Room after so many years of blessing the entire community with her great food and hospitality. Her husband had just recently passed away and she needed to take some time away and rightly so.

I knew that Marsha would fix this "Tea" up "nicely" for Tricia and Myself, and I was NOT a bit disappointed when I went to the back door of her lovely home and she had a cute wooden sign hanging on the doorknob that stated......
"Enter in, Tea being served."

So I let myself in......Marsha was no where to be found at the moment, but I did see this.......
And this.....
Then out came Marsha, "The Tea Baroness."

She had been in the back of the house doing some odd task. This was the table set up.

Tricia arrived shortly thereafter as well and we began our journey of "Tea, Eating, and Consorting".....I say "Consorting" because we had so much to talk about in regards to "possibly opening a new tea room and such".....I will keep it all a secret for now. The "Treasure Trove of Tea"
I called Marsha the "Tea Baroness" earlier because she really does hold a Royal Title in Tea I feel. She knows SO much about it all, flavors, types, textures, tastes, brewing techniques, etc.
She is a wealth of tea knowledge.

Right before Marsha shut her shop doors....she was called upon by Dillard's here in town and "contracted" to do a very special "Tea" in honor of Lord Wedgewood the "Ambassador" for the famous "Wedgewood" China and Pottery lines of products.

He was making many rounds of visits in America at that time and just happened to hit our city of Baton Rouge, as well.

For those of you who are not familier with who I am talking about, let me give you this brief bio on him.
Lord Piers Anthony Weymouth Wedgwood of Barlaston is the 13th descendant of Josiah Wedgwood, the original founder of the "Wedgewood" company.
That day of the Dillard's event Marsha, and three other ladies ran off to take care of those festivities while back at the friend Diane and I along with another lady, ran two teas back at the shop for another 21 women at the same time.
Talk about a crazy day!

The very fun thing is.....and we laughed about this Thursday at Tea.

It was that "Lord Wedgewood, told Marsha something that day at Dillard's that we all already knew."
He said to her that day, "That she made the BEST tasting Cucumber Sandwiches, he had ever had in his lifetime."

That my friends was one mighty fine "kudos" from a cucumber sandwich connoisseur.
Wouldn't you say so as well?

I like to think that perchance Lord Wedgewood "fancied" Marsha's "Tea delicacies" and was indulging her.
Possibly to take her back to England to make him cucumber sandwich's.
Very GOOD ones.

Today is Marsha's may leave her your well wishes here if you like and I will make sure she sees them.
The child in this photo looks JUST LIKE MARSHA....she has the "same red hair and exact same hairstyle" as well!

IT could have been Marsha as a little girl. HA! HA!

Be blessed Marsha, my friend!


southern queen bee said...

Happy Birthday Marsha,
I do remember visiting your beautiful shop. I never got to experince tea , but my niece had her little bithday party there. It was so lovely and we were treated like queens....BEE HAPPY MISSY

KJ said...


You have outdone yourself on this spread, Joyce! Woowee! I am fighting jealously that I never got to attend her quaint tea parlour...and that you experienced a private party in Marsha's home...and that she makes the BEST cucumber sandwiches in the universe and I can only dream of them! HA!

Tea is my thing; far more than coffee! I have tea accouterments all over my home. Oh, I would have loved this intimate party! It must have been a sad day when Marsha's lovely shop closed.


Julie said...

This sounds so wonderful! I've only been to one tea - at Garrison, ND, where they hold an annual Dickens Festival. But it was nothing like yours. Around here, there are Norwegians who must have their coffee, so I guess I can say I have been to a lot of "coffees"!


Marsha said...

Thank you all so much for the Birthday Wishes and for all of Joyce's kind, kind words. We have enjoyed our tea and each other's company along with other friends over the years at the HopeChest. Keep us in your prayers, and who knows.....God works in mysterious ways. Thank you Joyce for your friendship. And you, too, be blessed as you bring so many blessings to others. Love you.

Sara said...

Oh my goodness what an honor for Marsha! I would have been a nervous wreck to serve tea to him!

Julie said...

Dear Joyce,

I sent you a really long email in response to your comment on my blog, only to find out that you are a no-reply blogger. If you will send me your email address, I'll send it again.

Or, if you choose not to, to respect your privacy, I totally understand.

In any event, THANKS, you made my day!!


Karla said...

What a neat post! I loved seeing all the pretty tea things and hearing about your party. How fun!

lila said...

I think Spring is just the best time for tea parties!
We had one here yesterday, with Lady Grey tea brewed from loose leaves...oh, it was so delicious and aromatic! One of the most delightful guests was a 4-year old . She was so cute stirring sugar into her china teacup! I think she may have some good memories of going to a tea party with her grandmother!

lila said...

I forgot to say thank-you for a delightful post!
Marsha is obviously a truly wonderful hostess and a delightful friend. Happy be-lated birthday to her!
[ I came over from Julie's blog, glad I did!]

Alice said...

Happy Birthday to Marsha, a few days late. Such a beautiful tea. Were you served some of her famous cucumber sandwiches this time? Perhaps a new tearoom and a new adventure--I can't wait to hear more.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing tea! And happy birthday to Marsha.

I think it is really important to spoil our friends a little, don't you?


Steph said...

Happy (belated) birthday, Marsha! And what a lovely way to celebrate with friends. A gorgeous, gorgeous tea!