Somewhere across the pond, Edwardian England exists in a magnificent time warp,
one that is created every Sunday evening by Downton Abbey,
Julian Fellowes's hit drama series on PBS.
I love how the writers turn every tea time cliche on its ear:
Violet: "Does it surprise you?"
Isobel: "A bit. I'd imagined them surrounded by nannies and governesses, being starched and ironed to spend an hour with you after tea."
Violet: "Yes, but it was an hour every day."
--from Downton Abbey
An Edwardian tea (or any type) just wouldn't be the same without a merry centerpiece, and over the years, I've made several that were inspired by Downton Abbey.
Every Sunday, right before Downton comes on, I brew tea and serve dessert.
During the cold days of January, I entertained myself by making a centerpiece,
one that reminds me of sunlight and spring flowers.
I began with footed cake plates--one large, one small--and added teacups
and a small bowl that I found at the local Goodwill.
Then I added springtime and dainty petit fours.
Tea time is a mini-vacation, isn't it?
"Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors."
-- Alice Walker, American Author
The pretty luncheon plate is by Lenox ("Winter Garden--Lady Apple with Bittersweet").
The luck of Downton was with me when I stopped by Publix and found petit fours
that matched the roses. I think Cora would approve.