My sister and I were never really into tea parties as kids. Drinking water with sugar out of my sister's little tea cups wasn't very exciting for us. It wasn't until I was in high school or college that I got into tea parties.
My grandmother was born in Niwot, Colorado--a little town outside of Boulder. When she was little, Reverend Taylor's church was on the second floor of one of the buildings. Her family moved out of Niwot when she was in high school. At some point, her daughter, my Aunt K, discovered that Reverend Taylor's had become a tea parlor. Every summer after that, my aunt and her three nieces would have tea together at Reverend Taylor's. It was the best--there were dress-up clothes and accessories to wear and lots of pastries to consume. My youngest cousin is eleven years younger than I am, so she loved playing this glamorous game with her aunt and cousins. By the end of tea, my sides hurt from laughing so hard and I was already tired from the sugar high. It was the best way to spend a summer Saturday afternoon.
A few years ago, Reverend Taylor's had closed when we called to make our annual reservations. We were very sad--especially since I've realized that I don't know what kind of tea they served, and it was the best. But we haven't given up our tea parties--now we make our own treats and serve tea at my aunt's house. It isn't quite the same, but the closeness is and that's what really counts.
Tomorrow I'm having tea at the Brown Palace with my best friend, B, her mother, grandmother and my mother. I won't be wearing borrowed gloves or pearls, but it is still the best way to spend a summer Saturday afternoon.