Cream tea in the garden fills me with nostalgia, bringing back layers of memories of teas shared over the years with some of my favorite people. I love to serve the tea itself in bone china cups passed down to me from my Grandmother. Sipping from the delicate lips of these cups always leaves me wondering about all the people from my past, and from beyond my past, who sat and sipped tea. Our lips meet on the rim of the china cup, bridging the yawning gap of time passed.
The tea, which is always loose leaf, is poured from a tea-pot which my mother gave me when I moved into my first flat as an undergraduate student, many, many moons ago. Served alongside, on china side plates are fruit scones, with lashings of clotted cream, topped with strawberry jam. The traditional components cannot be improved, it’s a winning combination proved over time.
I will usually have filled jam jars with fresh flowers from the garden, and if it’s a party I might have tied balloons to the gate to welcome the guests. If it’s a very special occasion I might even have posted invitations, just as my Granny used to do. There is something utterly delightful about a handwritten invitation arriving by post, that makes me very nostalgic.
Taking the time to make and serve tea in this way slows us down to a pace of life which nourishes and soothes. Enjoying all of the tiny details and sensations turns afternoon tea into a ritual of nostalgia. It opens us to the full delights and flavours of the whole experience, and at the same time takes us back into the golden years of memory. Unrushed we can unfold into the layers around us, stilling our busy minds for just a few hours. There’s nothing else to be done on an afternoon like this, other than enjoy the tea, and the warm sunshine.
Find more Nostalgia inspired posts at the Weekly Photo Challenge.