Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Downton Abbey Inspired Centerpiece


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:

Isobel: "Were you a very involved mother with Robert and Rosamund?"
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.








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59 comments:

  1. I am one of the 3 peoplein the US that doesn't watch Downton, but I sure love your centerpiece and what is on it! I would love to share some tea with you!!!

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    1. Oh, yes! It would be a fun party, wouldn't it?

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  2. I absolutely love this centerpiece! And I love DA. Totally hooked on it.

    Is that an Emma Bridgewater teapot I spy? Don't you love her dishes??? Talk about English!

    Wish we could have tea together. That would be great fun!

    xo

    Sheila :-)

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    1. Yes, it's an Emma Bridgewater. I have a few pieces, and I treasure each one. We'd have so much fun at at tea party!

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  3. I love tea parties...My grandmother and grandfather came from England in 1914 and every time I watch Downton Abby I think of my grandmother as a little girl living in London. Tea parties are picnics indoors...♥ I love your blog. Thanks again for being you.
    Joyously,
    Betty @ My Cozy Corner

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    1. Wonderful memories, Betty! And thank you so much for your kind words.

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  4. Beautiful tea tablescape! I love Downton Abbey too. I still laugh over "What's a weekend?" comment!

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  5. Michael Lee, the centerpiece is exquisite. Well done! I loved to stop by for tea at Rattlebridge Farm. Those sweet petit fours are calling my name.

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  6. Your centerpiece is gorgeous and you've definitely gone all out.
    Sam

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  7. I am another non tv watcher, but coming from a very proper English family I am enchanted with your gorgeous tea time. We are planning a day of play with mani/pedis and then going to high tea for lunch, they will be hard pressed to match your beautiful moment... very artistic shots, makes me feel like I live like a caveman too!

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  8. Dear Michael, If only we would take more time to do things like this, we would all be better off for it. Thank you for reminding us.

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  9. I LOVE this Michael Lee! Using white teacups is brilliant, and all the goodies are so pretty tucked around the hydrangea blooms~I will be borrowing this idea :)
    Jenna

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  10. I adore your tiered centerpiece, Michael Lee! The roses and the hydrangeas with the petit fours just oozes DA charm. I wish I could stop by on Sunday evening for tea and dessert with you. We could discuss the banter between Isobel and Violet and Anna's purchase at the pharmacy!

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  11. Absolutely beautiful arrangement! I think I might have to brew a cup of tea before I sit down to watch Downton Abbey ;-)

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  12. Thank you for this beauty from your gifted hands and mind.

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  13. Thank you for this beauty from your gifted hands and mind.

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    Replies
    1. How very, very kind of you to say so. Thank you!

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  14. I love your pretty centerpiece! I am a Downton follower for sure! When I lived in France we loved our tea time around 4. In fact I may just have a tea break this afternoon. I have been playing the part of a kitchen maid today! Sheila

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  15. How delightful!! Each one of these beautiful centerpieces makes my eyes dance. ADORE the touch of Spring....I am sorely in need of some flowers & sunshine around here. Dreary, dark days depress me! You post, however, has lifted my spirits greatly. I think I need to plan some dessert for Sunday & try to offer it in such a beautiful arrangement.
    Thanks for sharing your pretty photos & ideas, ML.

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    1. So sweet of you to say so, Rett. Your words lift my heart!

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  16. Just beautiful. We are Downton Abbey lovers at our home, too. I hope you will share it with us at Pink Saturday this weekend.

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  17. It's beautiful! I would not miss Downton Abbey! In fact, J and I both enjoy DA.

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  18. That is lovely, ML! Just what we need on these dreary January days. Except to go to the doctor, I haven't been out in 2 weeks. Nasty case of bronchitis which keeps me sitting up coughing all night. I know you know the feeling!
    I am looking fwd to DA Sunday. I must admit I went on line and read the spoilers! I am impatient, blame it on the meds! :). All the best to you, ML. Spring will come.

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  19. It all looks so pretty but Lady Cora would never be seen in Publix! Although Daisy might shop there, I suppose? I spied the Emma Bridgewater tea pot in your vignettes, we love EB here at le Presbytere, perfect at breakfast time,too.

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    1. So true. Yes, I love EB--love the "Bubble&Squeak" plates.

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  20. Swoon Michael Leigh! I so love this and it's the perfect recipe for a cold, gray and rainy day here! I'm with Pinky, I not a DA watcher but I think I need to rectify that and binge watch over tea. Dish love from me too with your lovely Winter Garden plate ♥

    I think my first comment disappeared on me, if it's duplicated, please delete :)

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  21. I really like your tradition of tea and dessert every Sunday evening before Downton airs. I think I will have to join you in this. It sounds absolutely lovely. And, your special-tea centerpiece is gorgeous, too.
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

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    1. Thank you, Linda. I had double decker brownies from the grocery store bakery last Sunday.

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  22. Everyone is so pretty also your blog is so bright.
    When I watch Downton will think of you
    HJPS Laura

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  23. Absolutely beautiful and those little tea cakes look lovely!
    Jennelise

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    1. I can't resist petit fours. I used to buy them all the time when I was pregnant!

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  24. Simply beautiful! I love the whole Downton Abbey era.

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    1. I love that era, too. Thanks for visiting, Gina!

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  25. As someone who just started catching up watching Downton, I love your tradition of serving tea and dessert! Your centerpiece is truly lovely!

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    1. Thank you, Christine. I've really enjoyed DA this season. Maggie is in fine form!

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  26. Lovely centerpiece. Perfect for a garden party as well.

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  27. love downton abbey and your centerpiece is fabulous it looks like it could come from merry olde england thanks for sharing visiting fromt the scoop have a great day

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  28. Oh so gorgeous!! I love that teapot! Thanks for linking up with Home Sweet Home!

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  29. I will feature this today. I just can't resist a pretty tea post!

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  30. Your tiered centerpiece is exquisite! The EB teapot is adorable and yes, I would love to join you for tea time! Thank you for sharing your lovely creation with us.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  31. WOW, that is absolutely gorgeous! I like your chair too! Visiting from Home Sweet Home.
    Have a great weekend,
    Gina at Victorian Wanna Be

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  32. Oh, I am in love with this! A little late seeing it but I am definitely doing this with the simple cups and cakes! Wouldn't my grands be in heaven?!!

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  33. Wow! Gorgeous. Downton Abbey is one of my favorite shows.

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