My favorite holiday with my parents and Bertie is Valentine’s Day. Each year, I look forward to February when my mother, assisted by my father, stages a gorgeous English tea to celebrate the day. You've seen the three past year's Valentine's Teas, and this year's is even more gorgeous!
Our annual Valentine’s tea reminds me of the proper English teas we enjoyed visiting London’s Belgravia and Mayfair, especially at the stunning Basil Street Hotel (now, sadly, closed—the building converted into offices).
Hours and hours (days) of preparation goes into this tea each year, and I genuinely appreciate it.
Let’s take a look at this year’s festivities.
With the table beautifully set with Royal Albert China, silver, crystal, the scene was magnificently set. A host of gorgeous tea sandwiches which included ham, roast beef, turkey, boiled eggs, bacon, savory chicken spread, beautiful blue cheese paste, olive tapanade, cucumber, avocado, radishes, assorted cheeses and other delicacies began the festivities. Since I had stayed over the weekend, I even helped make the sandwiches this year!
These savory delights, lovely tea and a delicious sparkling wine, were accompanied by scrumptious homemade scones served with jam and butter as well as wee sandwiches made from my mother's famous homemade iced raisin bread--filled with lovely cream cheese.
Mocha-topped gingerbread, chocolate-dipped strawberries and apricots, hand-molded chocolates, delicate tarts of French pastry crème and glazed berries and little brownies with cookie-crusts and pink icing made for a stunning (and delicious) dessert table.
My mom also made dozens of gorgeous heart-shaped sugar cookies, decorating each one by hand. Various sizes, each adorned with patterns of flowers, dots, hearts and even mottos like "Love makes the world go 'round," these cookies were a delightful new addition this year.
I can think of no better way to spend a day as a family, showing appreciation for one another and enjoying the things we all love.