We had the most delightful and intimate little tea party with friends at the Boston Harbor Hotel Sunday to celebrate my birthday. It was a gorgeous day - sunny and warm and fresh, as a little April shower swept through in the morning, rinsing everything clean. (Washing away the pollen was especially key since my beloved's allergies are BRUTAL. On Saturday, through misery that was painful to witness she wailed, "Now I remember why I left here!" Poor thing.)
We were excited to explore someplace new with our friends. As some of you may know, I love a good tea service, and while this one was plenty posh, they don't always have to be (in fact they definitely shouldn't all be - more on that in a bit). We had beautiful views right over the water and things began with a terse little lecture on the menu instructing guests on the history of "high tea" vs. "afternoon tea," and why Americans frequently screw them up. Something about table heights and times of day and so on.
Also, the tomboys were worried we'd still be hungry afterward, but clearly that was foolish. Silly tomboys!
Juniper berries in the cocktails (along with yuzu and Pavan liqueur and orgeat)! The biscuits and scones were especially good with Devonshire cream, which I love, and the griddled Vermont cheddar and ham were yummy as well.
Since I'm spoiled with getting to make my own little motorloaf tea sandwiches at Tal-y-Tara's back home, I'm really more in it for the sweet stuff elsewhere, but M liked the egg salad duet a lot - and while not normally not a fan of smoked salmon, she found this one really mild and pleasant - maybe because it was maple smoked? The raspberry pastries and tartlets were her favorite, but she really liked the baby Key Lime pie, too.
Yours truly, and the delicious birthday girl beverage with elderflower liqueur, delicate ginger flakes and fragrant rose buds for garnish - Aphrodite's Potion. The service was excellent, and a good time was had by all! I can't wait to take my mom when she comes to visit this June.
Despite all that, sometimes it's nicest just to have a casual, everyday tea that's special and relaxing because it doesn't require crisp white cloth tablecloths and tiered platters.
Back home, that place is Tal-y-Tara Tea and Polo Shoppe in the Richmond District (it's sort of unfussy fussy, if that makes any sense), and my second favorite place is sunken in off a little close in Edinburgh, where two old ladies gossip and barely pay you any mind while it storms rowdily outside and you gorge yourself on amazing Millionaire's shortbread over a pot of tea surrounded by infinity doilies.
We've yet to find that style of tea here in Boston, but never say never!
The answer to "So, shall we all go to the carousel?"
The Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove is very new - it only just opened last summer - and showcases a wonderfully strange mix of critters "native to the land, sea and sky of Massachusetts including a sea turtle, a cod, a peregrine falcon, a grasshopper, a harbor seal, a fox, a skunk, a whale, three types of butterflies, a barn owl, and a sea serpent." Some adorable, some terrifying.
All inspired by the drawings of schoolchildren, which is adorable. I fully credit my ability to get on the turtle in a vintage dress without breaking my own neck to my horseback riding steez.
Also, I really loved these scalloped Kate Spade tights, but they ran before a full day's wear. Tsk!
The minty moto making another appearance, proving its worth and wearability yet again!
Since it was sundown and beautiful, we took the long way back from the carousel. Here's a little sleepy harbor action for you. (Fun fact: Just around the corner is where we watched our first set of New Year's Eve fireworks in Boston to ring in 2013!) After the stroll we regrouped in JP for Mad Men, presents, homemade Momofuku Milk Bar compost cookies and cereal milk, and it was an all-around magical day.
Vintage Dress - Bobby From Boston | Faux Leather Moto Jacket – BCBGeneration | Navy Scalloped Tights - Kate Spade | Vintage Gloves - SoWa Vintage Market | Envelope Clutch - Elliott Lucca (available in many other colors here) | Pearl Earrings + Double-Strand Pearls - Vintage | Navy Patent Pumps - Nine West (similar here) | Nail Polish - Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure 'So Much Fawn'
For something totally different, head to Qwear for my review of a Topman floral bomber jacket, and keep an eye on Autostraddle for my latest style post - especially if you're planning to attend a spring wedding this year!